From its humble beginnings in 1956, when simply seven nations participated, Eurovision has grown to epic proportions.
Recognized for its kitschy mixture of Euro-pop, weird choreography and hammy performances, an estimated 182 million viewers tuned in to look at the competitors in 2019. This yr, 39 acts search worldwide glory.
Though the competitors centres on the music, the costumes rival for consideration. They’re a sort of language, embodying the cultural values and the expressive company of the artist. The Eurovision costume is a performer in its personal proper, and so listed below are ten of the most effective (or most head-scratching) costumes from Eurovision historical past.
Conchita Wurst in gold
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gained the coveted prize in 2014, sporting a sublime gold brocade, floor-length bodycon robe teamed with a superbly manicured beard and shiny, lengthy hair.
In selecting a gown which hugged to her curves, Wurst reached the excessive glamour of performers resembling Celine Dion (who gained Eurovision for Switzerland in 1988), whereas the juxtaposition of the beard introduced her standing as a genderqueer artist.
On the world stage, Wurst was seen to interrupt floor for others to fearlessly comply with in her footsteps.
The demonic Lordi
The demonic costumes and corpse-like masks worn by Finland’s heavy steel band Lordi had been wholly embraced by the crowds, leading to them taking out the 2006 title.
The ghoulish prosthetics and Kiss-inspired costumes included fur, studs, chains, claws and horns, capturing the spirit of heavy steel — it additionally catered to Finland’s wholesome urge for food for the music style which thrives within the nation.
Silver star Verka Serduchka
For even unsuccessful contestants there’s the chance for costumes to depart a long-lasting legacy.
Ukrainian performer Verka Serduchka did simply that in 2007, donning a disco ball skullcap, matching tie and metallic trench whereas shadowed by silver-clad backup dancers.
Like Conchita Wurst, Verka Serduchka is a drag persona: Andriy Mykhailovych Danylko’s flamboyant middle-aged lady, the place a full-bosom was as a lot because the costume as a headpiece topped by a big silver star.
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Aliona Moon’s shifting canvas
Moldovan singer, Aliona Moon, stood on a rising platform in a 5 metre lengthy robe on which projections reworked the material from cosmic nebula to a flaming pyre.
The gown itself was pretty unremarkable, however the usage of digital projection recast Moon’s costume from gown to canvas. The projections shifted with the track’s tempo, including drama and suspense because it reached a crescendo.
A really messy Wig Wam
For his or her 2005 entry, Norwegian outfit Wig Wam offered a bewildering imaginative and prescient of glam rock meets camp cowboy.
The lead singer’s costume gave a transparent nod to music icons of the 70s and 80s: suppose Suzi Quatro’s Can The Can, David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust or Alice Cooper’s College’s Out. The crotch-hugging silver spandex go well with flared onerous on the legs and scooped low on the chest, bearing the requisite rocker’s bushy chest.
Fortunately for Wig Wam, all eyes stayed on the lead singer, since his fellow band member’s costumes had been an incoherent, incomprehensible mixture of rock trend genres and many years.
The horny Svetlana Loboda
Ukraine’s 2009 artist Svetlana Loboda carried out in a burlesque costume as she was flipped across the stage by buff, gyrating, scantily dressed gladiators.
Burlesque, identified for its eroticism and use in cabaret, was the right match for Loboda’s track “Be My Valentine (Anti-Disaster Woman)”, however Loboda and her gladiators had been flanked by two statuesque Marie Antoinette-meets-Girl Liberty figures in silver lamé — perplexing bookends to a efficiency that was nothing in need of chaotic.
Buranovskiye Babushki’s conventional gown
Eurovision is not only a contest for the younger and sequinned. In 2012, Buranovskiye Babushki endearingly sang a combination of folks and pop in conventional Udmurt gown.
The Udmurt individuals are an ethnic group from central Russia, and their conventional gown combines detailed embroidery with vibrant crimson materials in a practice that reaches again centuries.
Over the course of Eurovision’s historical past, the Buranovskiye Babushki had been maybe essentially the most devoted instance of nationwide gown — and their costumes remained unchanged by their Eurovision fame.
Dschinghis Khan just isn’t Mongolian
The implied connections to Genghis Khan from Germany’s cringe-worthy 1979 entry, Dschinghis Khan left the viewers scratching their heads.
It solely turns into more odd once you realise the costume approximates nothing near Mongolian gown.
As a substitute, Dschinghis Khan wore a bolero-style jacket lined by a golden cape and matching pants, topped by a rhinestone crown. A discerning eye may also catch the cavalier boots carrying the singer across the stage — one other unlikely merchandise of gown within the early Mongol empire.
The baffling Dustin the Turkey
Representing Eire in 2008 was Dustin the Turkey. Virtually improbably, the DJ — a Muppet-like fowl with a big beak and a sequined jacket – was upstaged by the dancers’ deeply complicated assemblage of lamé, feathered headdresses and loincloths.
The one relationship you can glean from this frankly baffling association was the colors of Eire’s nationwide flag.
One of the best of 2021: TIX
To date, the 2021 competitors has not upset. Norway’s artist TIX mixed monumental feathered wings with neck-to-toe sequins, headband and aviator sun shades — along with an array of chains, a beastly dance crew of horned devils, pyrotechnics and the compulsory mild present.
Whether or not you think about Eurovision a cultural cringe otherwise you stay an unabashed die-hard fan, after 65 years it stays a real costume spectacle.
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Laini Burton doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their tutorial appointment.