October 6, 2022

Nul Pointers 1965 – 1983

01 “Que Bueno, Que Bueno” Conchita Bautista (SPAIN/1965)

Like Anita, Spain’s Conchita couldn’t leave well alone after her first contest appearance, and paid the price in Naples. Her song translates as “That Good, That Good” but the juries disagreed as one of Eurovision’s giants suffered it’s second zero.

02 “Paradis, Wo Bist Du?” Ulla Wiesner (GERMANY/1965)

Ulla was looking for paradise but in the end Germany joined the Netherlands in scoring a consecutive pair of zeroes. That wasn’t half as nice as paradise. Ulla went on to be part of several choirs and orchestras but never received much exposure.

03 “Als Heet Weer Lente Is” Lize Marke (BELGIUM/1965)

Lize sang every song in the Belgian final but she failed to leave her Marke on Eurovision. Belgium have always alternated between Flemish and French songs, the former generally faring much worse. In the interests of national unity Lize recorded a French version.

04 “Aurinko Laskee Lanteen” Viktor Klimenko (FINLAND/1965)

Viktor was born in a Russian prisoner of war camp but went on to a long and successful career that has spanned five decades. Known as “The Singing Cossack”. Not to be confused with the 1960s Soviet gymnast of the same name.

05 “Bien Plus Fort” Tereza (MONACO/1966)

Monaco, like Luxembourg, regularly imported foreign singers (and songwriters) to perform for them. Tereza Kesovija, undaunted, sang for her native Yugoslavia (she was Croatian) in 1972. Like Victor, her success extended into the new millennium.

06 “Dio Come Ti Amo” Domenico Modugno(ITALY/1966)

This was the man that gave the world “Volare”, third in 1958 and then “Piove”. By 1966 though he was going downhill faster than Alberto Tomba, though this song, like his other two, has been covered by dozens, including Jack Jones and Tereza (see left!) .

07 “Quel Coeur Vas-Tu Briser?” Geraldine (SWITZERLAND/1967)

A poor vocal performance which ended up breaking Swiss hearts. The first of only two ever “nul points” under the ten votes per country system, which meant that not one of the other foreign jurors placed it their favourite. Not the same Geraldine as Luxemburg 1975.

08 “Je Suis Tombe Du Ciel” David A.Winter (LUXEMBURG/1970)

Only twelve entries in the boycott year and David (real name David Lion Kleerekoper) falls from the sky to an embarrassing zero for the country that was to win two of the next three contests. He went on to sell two million records of his single “Oh Lady Mary”.

09 “Mil Etter Mil” Jahn Teigen (NORWAY/1978)

The most famous “nul points” of all and the first under the current scoring system. A performance in Paris that was totally OTT yet the song went on to spend months in the Norwegian top ten. Teigen returned to Eurovision in 1982 and 1983 to some (relative) success.

10 “Aldri I Livet” Finn Kalvik (NORWAY/1981)

The English version of Finn’s song featured backing vocals by no less than Frida and Agnetha of Abba, but his low key ballad failed to ignite the juries. He sang immediately before Bucks Fizz so maybe it was always going to be somewhat overlooked.

11 “Nuku Pommiin” Kojo (FINLAND/1982)

In the era of cold war nuclear hysteria, “A Little Peace” romped home in Harrogate, while the off-message “Nuku-Pommin” , er.. well… bombed out. Yet like almost every nul pointer, Kojo has maintained a viable career in his homeland.

12 “Opera” Cetin Alp (TURKEY/1983)

One of the most bizarre Euro songs of all time that included lyrics like “Opera, Opera, Carmen, Aida, Opera, Opera, Tosca, Figaro, Fidelio…” quite priceless and an obvious nul pointer in the days when irony meant nothing at Eurovision. Cetin passed away in 2004.

13 “Quien Maneja Mi Barca” Remedios Amaya (SPAIN/1983)

Sometimes being true to your national musical roots bears no fruit at all at Eurovision and such was the case in Munich. Remedios wailed her song about boats with a flamenco passion. She is a class act though and still big in Spain and Latin America.