The Eurovision Song Contest is – by the superstitious, at least – believed to be plagued by curses.
They’re curses that can cause bad results or even have countries leave the contest. In this short series, we take a look at a few of these Eurovision curses, continuing with the curse of the colour green.
One of the lesser-known curses of the contest, though still an interesting one, the curse involves the use of the colour green being used on stage or worn by the performer.
So, we decided to take a look at a few supposed "victims" of the curse.
The Eurovision Song Contest was first broadcast in colour in 1968, so we will be featuring artists from that point onwards.
Katja Ebstein (Germany 1970)
In 1970, Katja Ebstein represented Germany for the first time with the entry ‘Wunder gibt es immer wieder’ (‘Miracles Keep Happening Again and Again’). The positive song with the slow and happy melody was one of the favourites to win the competition (along with Mary Hopkin’s ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There?’ for the United Kingdom), but only managed to come in third place behind it and eventual winner Dana’s ‘All Kinds of Everything’.
Katja is believed to be the first Eurovision artist to suffer from the curse of the colour green. On the night, she wore a green dress with an open blue coat over it, with a blue-green pair of knee-high boots.
Zoli Ádok (Hungary 2009)
In 2009, Zoli Ádok represented Hungary with the entry ‘Dance with Me’ in the second semifinal. The song failed to qualify to the grand final at all when it placed fifteenth in the semifinal.
In his semi-final, Zoli wore a pair of bright green pants and a shiny tank top. The unfortunate outfit choice won him the 2009 Barbara Dex Award, an annual award handed out to the worst dressed contestant in the competition.
Kristina (Slovakia 2010)
In 2010, Kristina represented Slovakia with the Slovak-language entry ‘Horehronie’. The song was an ode to the Horehronie tourism region in the country. The song reached number one on the Slovakian Airplay Chart and number 30 on the Czech Republic Airplay Chart, and has since been a fan favourite amongst hardcore Eurovision fans and is an often requested song during preview parties.
Despite its legacy as a favourite amongst Eurovision fans, the song failed to qualify from its semifinal, where it came sixteenth. The curse of green in this performance comes not from Kristina’s choice of outfit, but the immense use of the colour in the lighting and on the stage, which at times may have become rather overwhelming for fans.
Eldrine (Georgia 2011)
In 2011, nu metal band Eldrine represented Georgia with the entry ‘One More Day’. The metal rock song appeared to be a major hit with fans across Europe, with many expecting a top ten placement. While the song did place in the range, it came ninth with 110 points.
The costuming worn by the group was a rather zany and whacky outfit, with strange patterns and green highlights all over them. The outfits were strange enough to win the group the Barbara Dex Award that year.
Conan Osíris (Portugal 2019)
Yet another fan favourite Eurovision entry that failed to qualify through to the grand final was Portugal’s most recent entry in 2019. Conan Osíris’ ‘Telemoveis’. Leading up to the competition is was highly expected for the song to qualify, with many fans rating the song in their top ten not just for it semifinal, but overall. Unfortunately, the song failed to make the top ten in either the televoting or the jury vote, and failed to qualify for the final.
Both Conan and his backup dancer wore eclectic emerald green outfits that appeared to be made from silk, with ruffles and layers abound. The outfits were yet another case of the curse of green giving the entrant the infamous Barbara Dex Award.
So, is wearing green a death sentence at the Eurovision Song Contest?
Not necessarily. Winners of the Barbara Dex Award have worn a wide array of colours (pink appears more often than maybe it should have appeared at Eurovision at all), and wearing the colour green doesn’t mean that songs don’t qualify.
The entries listed above all have other reasons why they may not have done as well as expected. Eldrine’s nu metal song may have appeared to fans to be rather similar to Lordi’s ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ five years before, and Conan’s ‘Telemoveis’ was a fan favourite for many, but also an incredibly divisive song that fans either loved or hated. More goes in to the final placing of a song than just the colour.
Check out our other articles in the series of curses including: