Skip to main content

Winning Eurovision beards: From ABBA to Conchita

29 June 2014 at 17:12 CEST

To many, Conchita Wurst’s beard might’ve been a surprise on the stage at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, but in fact, facial hair has a long tradition at the contest. So, maybe all the previous winners and participants led to it in 2014?

This content is unfortunately no longer available

All leads to ABBA

Even Emmelie...

Do you also remember the flute player that started Emmelie de Forest's winning song Only Teardrops? Of course you do! If you remember it correctly, he also had a beard!

See him use all his charm in the beginning of the song as well!

Ell and his beard

Before Conchita Wurst made a splash in Copenhagen with her full beard, half of the Azerbaijani duo Ell & Nikki in 2011 flirted with facial hair. Namely, Ell’s beard wasn’t 'running scared' and took home the trophy, leading the contest to Baku in 2012.

Have a look at how Ell and his beard rocked Düsseldorf and brough Azerbaijan their first victory.

From Russia with love

But only two years earlier, the Russian star Dima Bilan and his beard 'believed' they could win Europe’s favourite TV show.. and they did, bringing the contest to Moscow the year after!

Beards go heavy metal

However, maybe the most remarkable winning beard that decade must've been the one Mr Lordi of Lordi had. Just have a look below - isn’t that just beyond imagination?

New century, new popularity

The very first winning beard of the millennium was immediately in 2000 when the Olsen Brothers’s Jørgen Olsen charmed Europe with his silver facial hair and their ballad Fly On The Wings Of Love. Who do you think would win the battle of beards - Conchita Wurst or him?

Twice in a decade

As an honourable mention, in 1998 Katrina & The Waves won with their song Love Shine A Light and their lead guitarist Vince de la Cruz also had a goatee!

In addition to VInce, in 1994 the Irish duo Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan won the contest with their ballad Rock’n’Roll Kids. And this time they went all the way and both of them had one!

First there was Benny

However, it was exactly 20 years earlier, in the hippy seventies when a beard took the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest and ended up with getting the trophy. And we’re talking about no other than one the B-s in ABBA - Benny Andersson.

Yes, he was the very first one sport a beard and win the contest in 1974 with the song Waterloo. Of course, he had some help from the rest of the band and the great song but maybe it was the beard that did it?

Outstanding beards

But beards have not only been victories but still noteworthy additions in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Take a look!

The French lead the way

TWIN TWIN and their anthem to moustaches from this year’s contest deserves a mention because not only did they have facial hair on stage but they also sang about it. Just check out how much fun they had!

And who can forget the French entry back in 2008 - Sébastien Tellier and his Divine where everyone on stage had a beard - male or female!

Famous bearded hits

A legendary entry from the 1979 contest is called Dschinghis Khan and was performed by.. Dschinghis Khan. Of course, this meant at least one in the band had have a great beard. And they did.

One of the biggest hits that ever came out of the Eurovision Song Contest is Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu or more commonly known as Volare. You might not know this but the singer Domenico Modugno also had moustache. So the reign of beards started already then!

Going even further back

But of course there was yet more facial hair to be spotted on the Eurovision Song Contest stage over the decades. For example, have a look at Vajta from then-Yugoslavia, singing about his beloved Lejla.

Full is better?

Full beards were most certainly in fashion throughout the seventies and eighties, another great example being Mouth & MacNeal from the Netherlands. The male part of the duo that sang I See A Star in 1974 does have a fair amount of facial hair to show off indeed.

Dramatic beards were one of the key feats of yet another Eurovision entry back from 1974: Korni Grupa, representing Yugoslavia with their serious song about Generation '42.

From the Carribean to Eurovision

With exotic sounds, France has often enchanted our fellow Eurovision fans. In 1992, Kali didn't only have an eclectic Caribbean song but also an amazing beard.

And could there be a more suitable way to end this story than having a look at a song dedicated to Eurovision itself? The lead singer of Telex, who represented Belgium in 1980, also had a full beard!

Was it inevitable?

As you can see, facial hair has had quite a part in the history of the contest. So, maybe it was inevitable that if you added a beard to a great song and performance, you'd one day end up winning the biggest song contest in the world?