The curses of Eurovision: From the colour green to order of performance

Colin previews the upcoming Eurovision semi-final

When one thinks of Eurovision, one tends to think of the cheesy lyrics, flamboyant outfits, hilarious performances, and occasional political controversies when it comes to the vote.

The song contest, which is being held by the UK in Liverpool this year on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine, has been running for the best part of 70 years.

In that time, it has come to harbour not one but several rumoured curses with the event shrouded in superstition from some performers and planners.

This year, Britain’s Mae Muller is performing I Wrote a Song 26th – and the title itself may protect her from one of the curses…

Here, takes a look at the Eurovision myths to look out for this weekend.

The Curse of Green

Those who wear green or have the colour green as part of the stage design do not tend to do well. Usually, the performer will not make the final or will not receive many “Douze Points”.

They might also be handed what was formerly known as the Barbara Dex Award, which was given to the worst-dressed participant, named after the Belgian singer who performed in a handmade dress in 1993.

But this became the You’re a Vision Award last year and it is now given to a notable outfit, in a bid to champion creativity, diversity, and positivity.

Germany’s Katja Ebstein was the first to befall the Curse of Green in 1970 and more recently, France’s Alvan & Ahez included green lights and then ended up second last in 2022.

The Curse of Number Two

This is perhaps the most famous curse of Eurovision and it applies to both the semi-final and the final.

As the name suggests, the second song to be performed during the final has never won the competition. In fact, those who have played in this spot have come last nine times — three of which were given the dreaded “Nul Points”.

The first to fall to the dreaded curse was Netherlands’s Corry Brokken who won in 1957 but finished last when she performed second the following year.

When it comes to the semi-finals, introduced in 2004, the second performer has rarely qualified.

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The Curse of Last Year’s Hosts

Typically, countries that won the competition two years before do not do well or do not qualify for the final.

Those who won the competition two years beforehand and then hosted it the previous year, do not do well that year.

For example, the 2009 host Russia came 11th in 2010 and the 2013 Denmark did not qualify for the final the following year.

It is thought this could be down to several reasons, whether that be voters subconsciously not choosing the previous winners so that someone else can take home the victory or that those who have just won choose a song that would not come out on top as they cannot foot the bill for another Eurovision right away.

However, Ireland is a significant anomaly to the curse, as they managed to win three times in a row in 1992, 1993, and 1994.

The Curse of 43

Eurovision started off with just seven countries taking part in 1956, but this has grown over the years and, after the introduction of a second semi-final in 2008, 43 countries now take part.

However, the number of countries is said to be cursed.

It is said that each time the European Broadcasting Union announces the 43 countries taking part, one always drops out. The only years where this did not take place in the last 15 years were 2008, 2011, and 2018.

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will be available to watch on BBC and BBC iPlayer on Saturday, May 13at 8pm.

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