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Eurovision – the show must go on!

This year, although Eurovision is cancelled in its regular format, the European Broadcasting Union are hosting a special programme called Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light.

This isn’t the first time that things haven’t run as expected for our favourite song competition though – from SuRie's stage invasion to numerous satellite link breakdowns during the voting, the competition has been fraught with strange and unusual controversies over the years but the show always goes on!

We look back at some of the defining moments of the competition history:

1963 - Points failure While Norway were announcing their points in the 1963 contest, British compere Katy Boyle wasn’t able to hear their result and announced she would go back to them later despite audience members claiming they could clearly hear the scores announced. By the time she returned to collect their results, they had changed their votes altering the outcome of the contest and giving victory to their neighbours Denmark at the expense of Switzerland!

The official line is that the jury read the results out in the wrong order but some people still suspect foul play.

1969 - Four-way tie

One of the most memorable wins for the contest was in 1969 when there was a four-way tie between the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and France.

Of course, this raised the question of who would host the following year. With the UK having hosted in 1968 and Spain in 1969, only France and Netherlands were in consideration. A toss of a coin resulted in the host country being decided as the Netherlands and the rest is history!

1978 - Israel or Belgium won?

In 1978 Jordan refused to broadcast the Israeli entry, "Abanibi", by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta due to a particularly difficult time of political relations between the two neighbours. Viewers in Jordan were broadcast pictures of flowers in place of the Israeli entry.

Israel went on to win the contest but the Jordanian broadcasters were not willing to give in and its media simply announced that runners-up Belgium had come first!

1998 – Viva la diva

Dana International wasn't expected to win the contest but has since become one of the most iconic symbols of Eurovision.

Born male, Dana's Birmingham triumph has led to greater acceptance of transsexuals, both within the music industry and the wider community.

Her iconic anthem is still very much a fan favourite today and is a symbol of being proud of who you are and who you want to be. Check out the video above from when she performed at the Eurovision's Greatest Hits show.

2012 - Marry Me – Ding Dong!

EuroStarz own Krista Siegfrids sparked controversy after she engaged in a kiss with another woman during her performance of ‘Marry Me’ in protest of her country's ban on same sex weddings. Go Krista!

2018 – Stage invasion

In 2018 EuroStarz favourite SuRie was the victim of a stage invasion right in the middle of her performance.

Like a true professional, she picked up her microphone and continued with the song earning herself iconic status among fans for her professionalism in such a frightening incident. Graham Norton even described her as a ‘national heroine’ for her tenacity.

So there you have it, some of the more unusual and controversial events of the past 65 years of the contest. While it hasn’t always been easy, the one thing that Eurovision has taught us is that the show must always go on, even in the face of adversity, hostility or satellite link failures.

Eurovision continues to bring joy and hope to all of its fans, so this weekend get your glitter cannons ready and lets get happy!

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