Eurovision hopeful John Lydon calls contest “disgusting”

Matthew Joyce

John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten
John Lydon, member of Public Image Limited, vying to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023.

John Lydon, also known as former Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, has called the Eurovision Song Contest “disgusting” and “absolutely awful”, despite vying to represent Ireland in it this year. 

When asked in an interview on RTE’s Drivetime if he has watched the Contest, Lydon sternly replied “No! Absolutely not! It’s absolutely awful, the whole thing of it is disgusting”. 

“These shows come off so dreadfully phony to me,” Lydon added. 

These comments have been met with fury by some Irish Eurovision fans, taking to Twitter to air their concerns, and call for Lydon’ act “Public Image Limited” to be removed from the national selection process. 

This comes as Lydon was announced among five other acts to compete for the opportunity to represent Ireland at this year’s Contest, which takes place in Liverpool in early May. 

John Lydon is performing as part of band “Public Image Limited” with the song ‘Hawaii’, which Lydon describes as a love letter to his wife of five decades, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

When questioned on the possibility of getting to represent Ireland, Lydon said “it’s win, lose or draw for me. My wife gets the reward… it’s all about her for me”.

Also among the contestants are Irish band Wild Youth with their song “We Are One”, who have teased the idea of representing Ireland ever since the Contest last year ended. 

Other contests include CONNOLLY, ADGY, Leila Jane and K Muni & ND. 

Following the announcement of the ‘Eurosong’ contestants, Ireland’s odds to win the Contest have shortened considerably. 

Eurovisionworld, a Eurovision fan and news site has shown Ireland on a steady rise in the odds, from 17th favourite before the announcement to 9th favourite as of the time of writing, with a 3% chance of winning. 

Last year’s winners Ukraine are favourites to win again this year, with their song Heart of Steel by Tvorchi, which was chosen late last year, with a 20% chance of winning, as of the time of writing.

Albania saw a steady decline in their chances of winning after their act was chosen, with them falling to last place in the odds. 

The United Kingdom are hosting the Contest in Liverpool this year on behalf of Ukraine, as a result of the ongoing invasion of the country made it impossible to hold the Contest there, as is tradition for the winning country. 

Before choosing their act, Ireland will find out which of the two semi finals they will compete in on 31st January, during an allocation draw hosted by TV personality Rylan and the UK’s 2022 points spokesperson AJ Odudu. 

37 countries are taking part in the Contest this year, with five countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and United Kingdom – automatically qualifying for the Grand Final, due to their higher financial commitments to the Contest. 

Ukraine, as last year’s winner, will also get a direct ticket to the Final. 

The two semi finals take place on Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th May, with the Grand Final on Saturday 13th, in the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. 

Matthew Joyce

Photo: Fairfax media via Getty Images