Eurovision’s darkest moments

Get ready for a whirlwind of outrageous outfits and catchy tunes, as Eurovision[1] makes its grand return this weekend. This Saturday (May 11), UK's representative Olly Alexander[2] is set to dazzle with his catchy track, Dizzy. But amidst the glitz and glamour of the contest - which this year is being held in Sweden on the 50th anniversary of ABBA's Waterloo victory - there are also some darker chapters in its history.

Here, we delve into some of the most shocking incidents linked to the event.

Bucks FizzBucks Fizz were caught up in a horror coach crash, three years after their historic 1981 Eurovision win

The lively British pop group Bucks Fizz clinched the 1981 song contest with their upbeat number Making Your Mind Up, renowned for a routine featuring a cheeky mini-skirt reveal. However, three years later, the quartet were involved in a horrifying bus accident on their way back from a gig in Newcastle when their vehicle collided with a lorry, reports the Daily Star[3]. Bobby G suffered whiplash and Jay Aston was hospitalised with back injuries while the other two were thrown through the windscreen.

Cheryl Baker broke her spine and Mike Nolan had internal bleeding and facial injuries which left him battling for his life in a coma. He recovered but was left with epilepsy and lost 50% of his vision. This week Mike announced he would be stepping back from performing with Cheryl and Jay under the name of The Fizz as travelling was becoming too much.

They last released an album, Everything Under The Sun, in 2022.

Lynsey de PaulLynsey de Paul died suddenly in 2014

Lynsey de Paul, who was romantically linked with actor Sir Sean Connery, came second representing the UK alongside Mike Moran at Eurovision in 1977 with the song Rock Bottom. However, she tragically passed away suddenly at the age of 66 in 2014. The star suffered a brain haemorrhage at her home in north London.

Her niece Olivia Rubin expressed shock at her sudden death, stating: "She was in perfect health. "She was a vegetarian, didn't smoke and didn't drink.

Russian Alexandrov EnsembleThe Russian Alexandrov Ensemble took part in 2009s Eurovision

Known as the Red Army Choir, the Russian Alexandrov Ensemble participated in 2009's Eurovision, held in Moscow, as part of an interval performance with 2003 entry female pop duo t.A.T.u, who had a UK No 1 with All The Things She Said. In the early hours of Christmas[4] Day in 2016, a Russian Tupolev Tu-154 military plane, carrying the group to a festive celebration crashed off the coast of Russia, near Sochi. All those aboard, including 64 members of the choir and its director, were killed in the accident, which was attributed to pilot error.

Toshe ProeskiToshe Proeski's life was cut short when the car he was travelling in collided with a truck on a motorway in Croatia on October 16, 2007

Dubbed the Elvis Presley of the Balkans, Tose Proeski represented Macedonia in 2004 and finished 14th with his song Life, while the winning title went to Ukraine 's Ruslana.

The 26 year old's life was tragically cut short when the car he was travelling in collided with a truck on a motorway in Croatia on October 16, 2007.His neck was crushed, and the singer was killed instantly. A day of mourning was declared in Macedonia and he was given a state funeral.

MikaMika's took a break from work when his sister fell 50ft from a window

Pop sensation Mika,[5] the Lebanese-born star behind the UK No 1 smash hit 'Grace Kelly', took on hosting duties at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Italy. However, back in 2010, he faced a personal tragedy when his sister Paloma, then 28, suffered a horrific accident.

She fell from her fourth-floor flat in Kensington, London, plummeting 50ft and becoming impaled on railing spikesone piercing through her abdomen. After an intense 17-hour surgery and a long recovery that included relearning to walk, she miraculously survived. Reflecting on the ordeal, Mika, who's now 40, shared: "It showed me that you could lose everything you take for granted in five seconds. "

Sara TavaresSara Tavares, who represented Portugal at the 1994 contest passed away in 2023, at 45, after a decade-long battle with a brain tumour

The Eurovision community has seen its share of heartache with stars passing away far too young.

Ors Siklosi, the dynamic frontman of Hungarian heavy metal band AWS, died at just 29 in 2021 following a battle with leukemia. The band had made their mark at Eurovision in 2018, finishing in 21st place.But Ors isn't the only one. Valters Fridenbergs of Latvia, who charmed audiences with 'The War Is Not Over' in 2005, securing fifth place, succumbed to cancer at the tender age of 30.

And in a recent loss, Sara Tavares, who graced the Eurovision stage for Portugal in 1994, passed away in 2023 at 45 after a decade-long fight with a brain tumour.A star-studded life cut short

Mia MartiniMia Martini died from a heart attack due to a cocaine overdose

Italian songstress Mia Martini, who graced the Eurovision stage twicefirst with 'Libera' in 1977 and then with 'Rapsodia' in 1992suffered a tragic end. The beloved singer and actress was found dead at 47 in her apartment in Cardano al Campo, near Milan, in 1995. Her untimely death was attributed to a heart attack caused by a cocaine overdose .

Liam ReillyLiam Reilly died suddenly on New Years Day in 2021 at his home, aged 65.

Irish singer Liam Reilly, who was the frontman for Bagatelle and secured a joint second place at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990 in Zagreb with his song 'Somewhere In Europe', sadly passed away "suddenly" on New Year's Day in 2021 at his home, aged 65.

Alexander RybakAlexander Rybak won Eurovision in 2009 with his song Fairytale

Norway's Alexander Rybak, who won Eurovision in 2009 with his song 'Fairytale' scoring a record number of 387 points at the time revealed in 2020 that he was recovering from an addiction to sleeping pills and antidepressants.

The singer, now residing in Los Angeles, returned to the contest in 2018, finishing 15th.

Singer Matt Monro, who represented the UK in 1964 and finished second, tragically died aged 54 from liver cancer after a battle with alcoholism.


  1. ^ Eurovision (
  2. ^ Olly Alexander (
  3. ^ the Daily Star (
  4. ^ Christmas (
  5. ^ Mika, (