Today is International Kissing Day and to celebrate we’re going to look back on some of Eurovision’s most famous kisses in its 65-year history.
In the second Eurovision Song Contest final in 1957, Denmark’s entry caused a scandal with the competition’s very first kiss on stage. Dressed as a sailor and his sweetheart, Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler sang “Skibet Skal Sejle I Na” (“The ship leaves tonight”) before kissing in front of the cameras for a 13-second long kiss. The controversial moment sparked an uproar from some countries who deemed the kiss far too indecent for television. Wilke defended the decision to kiss as a historic moment for television, bring the love!
First homosexual kiss
It might surprise you to learn that the first homosexual kiss on stage only took place in 2013, better late than never! Finland’s Krista made Eurovision history during the 2013 semi-final in Malmö, Sweden, when she shared a kiss with one of her backing dancers. Krista was very candid about the kiss before the competition; speaking to Gay Star News in Malmö, she said she intended to make a statement on marriage equality in Finland and around the world. Krista said she was “here to talk about love. Yes my love! Love is beautiful. “The kiss was not without controversy, with some of the more conservative European countries protesting against it. However, in Krista’s own words,” It’s live on TV, so no one can stop me. ”
2013 was actually a pioneering year for gay kissing at Eurovsion; during the intermission, Petra Mede sang “You may kiss the groom”, the camera turned to the first male kiss of the same sex and the audience went wild. Bravo Sweden, kisses to all!
First homosexual double kiss
In 2015, Vienna, Austria hosted Eurovision Song Contest. In the second semi-final in Vienna, the Lithuanian artists wrote a new Eurovision story with not one, but two same-sex couples kissing on stage. Singers Vaidas and Monika performed the opening number with their choristers and dancers. During the song, the music stopped and the two singers kissed, as well as the two male performers and the two dancers hug each other for a kiss. One of the male choristers was Jurijus, who would perform at Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 with “Run With the Lions”.
Speaking to Gay Star News about the importance of the kiss, Vaidas said: “We have to find a way to live in tolerance and equality in the world, and how we can change the major opinion on gay men and women in my country People are afraid of things they don’t understand. We have to show them that in this case the fear is not enough. We have to educate the subject.
Fuck the most passionate
Although Birthe and Gustav shared the longest kiss, we are going to award the most passionate kiss to Arciom Lukjanienka and Ksienija Žuk who performed as Naviband for Belarus in 2017. Their song ‘Historyja Majho žyccia’ (L ‘ story of my life) was the first performance in Belarusian. The song secured a respectable 17th place, with the husband and wife duo kissing passionately at the end of the song, much to the audience’s delight.
The most embarrassing kiss
Ilinca and Alex Florea achieved a spectacularly unique yodelling-rap fusion for Romania in 2017. Alex, fueled by the buzz of their offbeat performance, got totally carried away and rushed in for the most awkward kiss in lore lore. ‘Eurovision. Ilinca was clearly taken by surprise, as were the audience, and a one-sided kiss resulted that was quickly stopped.
During the 2019 semi-finals in Tel Aviv, we were treated to a kiss cam. Audience members went wild with glee as the camera zoomed in on several same-sex couples kissing each other during Dana International’s interval performance of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”. Twitter was abuzz with the inclusivity of the performance and the tender moments of the cam kiss proved to be the highlight of the semi-final for many viewers.
No reflection on the Eurovision Song Contest could be complete without a nod to Brotherhood of Man who won the 1976 competition for the UK in the final held in the Netherlands. Their catchy chorus of “kisses for me, keep all your kisses for me” has stood the test of time and remains firm like a Eurovision classic. Brotherhood of man embraced wide collars and wide ’70s flares in their iconic rendition of the song, which was about saying goodbye to your young child as you head to work, how sweet!
Kisses have therefore been a part of Eurovision’s performances and lyrics for a long time and will continue to be so in the years to come, especially in a post-pandemic world! Happy International Kissing Day!