Eurovisions craziest moments – riots, lesbian kisses and turkey called Dustin

Love it or loathe it – and some people probably voted Brexit just to get it off our screens – Eurovision is back this weekend (Saturday May 14), with Italy playing host.

Once dubbed by its much-missed late presenter Terry Wogan as an excuse to, "Have a good sneer at Johnny Foreigner and chuck things at the telly," there's no denying that the annual continental kitsch fest has, during the course of its 66-year history, excelled in dividing its audience.

But, whether its return in 2022 presents an excuse to throw a lederhosen and Liebfraumilch party or is simply the ideal time to colour compartmentalise your sock drawer, you cant deny it's had some must-see moments over the years.

From bearded ladies and gobbling glove puppets to toppling despots and drug-fuelled scandals, here are some of the craziest which have hit our screens.

Portugal incites revolution (1974)

Eurovision entries have sparked a lot of things over the years, not least the overwhelming urge to grab your coat and head for the pub.

But few will beat Portugal’s entry at the 1974 contest which actually signalled a political uprising when it was broadcast on the radio.

The ballad E Depois do Adeus by singer Paulo de Carvalho acted as a prompt for the country's rebel generals to rally their troops against the authoritarian regime of the time.

The coup became known as the Carnation Revolution, so called because protestors took to the streets to place flowers into the muzzles of soldiers' rifles.

Maneskin 'take drugs' (2021)

The lead singer of this Italian rock band, which won the contest in 2021, was suspected by some viewers of snorting cocaine during the grand finals.

Damiano David appeared to have been caught on camera at one point hunched over a table and making a low sweeping motion with his head.

Another band member then appeared to nudge him and he quickly sat back up

However, David denied it and would later test negative for drugs following an investigation by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Donatan & Cleo's slavic eyeful (2014)

Eurovision's never been afraid to 'flash the flesh' when it comes to the stage outfits of some of its acts.

But in 2014 a lot of dads all around the country suddenly became way more interested in the competition.

This collective pique in interest may or may not* have had something to do with Polish act Donatan & Cleo's track We are Slavic, the backing 'dancers' for which consisted entirely of buxom washer women seductively scrubbing their laundry and winking at the camera.

(*Clue: it was ENTIRELY to do with that).

Dustin the Turkey (2008)

In 2017 Eurovision host Terry Wogan was heard to ask, "Who knows what hellish future lies ahead?" before answering his own question with, "Actually, I do. I've seen the rehearsals."

It's doubtful he could have foreseen Ireland’s controversial entry for the following year, however – the feathered glove puppet ending up axed from the show by unimpressed voters at the first semi-final stage.

Dustin's song Irelande Douze Pointe (Ireland 12 points) got a resounding 'nil points' from the many Europeans who regarded it as making a mockery of the contest.

Which begs the question: How do you make a mockery of a show that once had Samantha Janus in a pink basque singing about the starving kids in Africa while three go-go dancers gyrated behind her?

Finland's lesbian kiss (2012)

"Oh oh, oh oh oh, ding dong," may sound like something Leslie Phillips might have purred during an old Ealing comedy, but it was actually part of the lyrics for 2012's Finnish entry.

And Krista Siegfrids, along with her song Marry Me, sparked controversy after she began snogging her girlfriend on stage during her performance, whilst decked out in a white wedding dress.

It was in protest against her country's ban on gay marriage and ended up upsetting the stuffy likes of Turkey and China, the latter even choosing to censor the moment in question from being broadcast.

Bearded drag artist is crowned queen (2014)

Despite Israel's Dana International having already become Eurovision's first transgender winner as far back as 1998, Austria announcing that a bearded drag queen would be representing them in the competition 16 years later still caused a stir.

So much so a number of countries threatened to cut Conchita Wurst's performance, until they were forced to back down by the EBU.

Indeed, so successful was the 24-year-old's appearance she even drew votes from places hitherto known for being less that tolerant towards the rights of the LGBT community.

Katie Price's latex low point (2005)

Believe it or not, Katie Price had a stab at Eurovision glory in 2005.

Not Just Anybody almost saw the infamous glamour model represent the UK, sporting a pregnant belly bulge and hideous pink latex catsuit.

Sadly she wouldn't end up going on to wave the Union Jack at Ukraine's Palace of Sports and later described the failure as one of her biggest regrets.

And, if you know anything about Katie Price's career, you'll know that's a hotly-contested claim.

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