The French for zero points has been adopted by the British public for this one event of the year. Scores are announced in English and French on Eurovision night and this dubious accolade is shared by a few of the competing countries, almost always deserved, most countries have bounced back from this ultimate failure.
Germany received this fate in 1964 when Nora Nova sang ‘Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an da Schöne’. Apart from having a pretty long title the song itself is pretty inoffensive, the orchestral accompaniment is almost Disneyesque and is reminicent of ‘Jeepers creepers’, I think it’s sweet, judge for yourself.
I can’t be quite so kind about the UK’s entry when it quite rightly received nul points, and it happened fairly recently, nothing could save this car wreck. Jemini sang ‘Cry baby’ in 2003 and I remember being open mouthed on the night and sitting through three painfully off key minutes just waiting for the song to be over. The band cried technical difficulties, which are of course a hazard of a live performance, others have even suggested that UK involvement in the war in Iraq to explain the score.
Switzerland 1998, even the weird bra dress and singer flirting with the camera couldn’t save this superiorly boring number, even with a sex scandal did nothing to help the popularity of this song.
But spare a thought for Portugal that whilst it has only scored nul points once in the competition, in it’s 47 years competing still has yet to win! They will compete in semi final 2 with ‘Ha Um Que Nos Separa’ performed by Leonor Andrade, a song about the distance between two souls be that physical or emotional, I’m not sure its a winner but we’ll see.
Portugal is in good company however, more than twenty countries have yet to win, Malta, Iceland, Hungary, Cyprus and Romania to name but a few. Could this be their year?
Norway has the questionable fame of being the country that has finished last the most times. Even the Scandinavian vote couldn’t save Norway in 2004 when they only scored 3 from their neighbours Sweden. It hasn’t been all bad though they have had successes too, the winner in 2009 was the endlessly cheerful Alexander Rybak and his violin.
In recent times it has become rare that any one country will actually score ‘nul points’, this is down to the number of countries that compete and therefore are able to vote, even if they don’t make it through the semi finals. Will we see any ‘nul points’ losers this year?