Eurovision Hopeful John Lydon Says the Song Contest Is "Disgusting," Has Never Watched It

"But look, we're giving it a chance to break out of that mould"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 11, 2023

Ex-Sex Pistols bandleader John Lydon took a surprisingly soft turn earlier this week with the release of post-punk project Public Image Ltd.'s notably gentle new single "Hawaii," which they've submitted in another bid to represent Ireland at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

The band previously put forth a song they hoped had the lucky charms needed in 2018, but they were not chosen by the Irish public. Now, Lydon has expressed his thoughts on the contest that he's entering (again) — namely, that he thinks it's "disgusting."

In a new interview on RTE's Radio 1, Cormac Ó hEadhra asked the musician about the Eurovision bid and he admitted that he's never even watched the beloved competition series.

"It's absolutely awful, the songs," Lydon said [via Metro]. "The whole thing of it is disgusting to me. I'm a songwriter, I perform live, and these shows just come across as so dreadfully phoney to me." And The Masked Singer is high art?

He added, "But look, we're giving it a chance to break out of that mould."

When pressed, Lydon admitted that he had "no idea" how he plans to do that. "Apparently, I have to do karaoke over a backing track," he said.

He did, however, express gratitude for the "fantastic opportunity" of being invited to compete to represent Ireland with Public Image Ltd.'s first new song in eight years — a love letter to Lydon's wife, Nora, who lives with Alzheimer's.

The singer's reputation for swearing on live TV precedes him, so Eurovision's broadcasters best have that bleep sound effect at the ready when PiL competes to be Ireland's flag-bearers next month. Hosted by Liverpool, this year's edition of the annual song contest takes place on May 13.

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