Eurovision Song Contest 1974
|Eurovision Song Contest 1974
|Final date||6 April 1974|
Brighton, United Kingdom
|Executive supervisor||Clifford Brown|
|Host broadcaster||British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
|Interval act||The Wombles|
|Number of entries||17|
|Voting system||Each country had 10 jurors who could all give 1 vote to their favourite song.|
|Winning song|| Sweden
|Eurovision Song Contest|
The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th annual Eurovision Song Contest. It was held in the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The BBC agreed to stage the event after Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973, declined on the grounds of expense to host the contest for a second consecutive year.
The winner of the Contest was Sweden with the song "Waterloo" performed by the band ABBA, that went on to become one of the most popular recording acts of all time. ABBA are among the few Eurovision winners to achieve international superstar status. Sweden's win was their first. Katie Boyle returned to host her fourth Eurovision Song Contest (after hosting the contest in 1960, 1963 and 1968). Sandie Shaw, who won the contest in 1967 with "Puppet on a String", was present as a spectator in the audience.
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) on the south coast of Great Britain. The venue which hosted the 1974 Contest was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue that contains the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. All three venues are linked to the rest of the Royal Pavilion Estate by an underground tunnel to the Royal Pavilion in Pavilion Gardens and through shared corridors to Brighton Museum, as the entire complex was built for the Prince Regent (later George IV) and completed in 1805. Originally the Concert Hall was the Prince Regent's stables with the Corn Exchange being a riding school.
William Porden designed the new stables and riding school for the Prince. Inspired by water colour pictures of India, he created a building in the Indo-Saracenic style with a vast glass dome (24 metres (79 ft) in diameter and 19 metres high) covering the main hall. Many pessimists[who?] predicted that this daring construction would collapse once the scaffolding was removed. The stables were converted to a concert hall around 1860. Since that time, the Corn Exchange and Concert Hall have gone through many different guises with the latest renovation of the Concert Hall taking place in 2001–02 and costing £22 million. This rebirth was ushered in with the help of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Courtney Pine, Nigel Kennedy and Fatboy Slim (amongst others).
A two-night preview programme, Auftakt für Brighton (Prelude for Brighton), was coordinated by the German national broadcaster ARD in February and was hosted by the journalist Karin Tietze-Ludwig. It shares two special distinctions in that it was the first "preview"-type programme to be broadcast in many European countries simultaneously (traditionally each national broadcaster puts together their own preview programme), and also in that it aired nearly six weeks before the actual Contest, the earliest-ever airing of "preview week". The programme was also notable in being the European television debut for the winners, ABBA, who were peculiarly credited in previews as "The Abba".
- Finland - Ossi Runne
- United Kingdom - Nick Ingman
- Spain - Rafael Ibarbia
- Norway - Frode Thingnæs
- Greece - Giorgos Katsaros
- Israel - Yoni Rechter
- Yugoslavia - Zvonimir Skerl
- Sweden - Sven-Olof Walldoff
- Luxembourg - Charles Blackwell
- Monaco - Raymond Donnez
- Belgium - Pierre Chiffre
- Netherlands - Harry van Hoof
- Ireland - Colman Pearce
- Germany - Werner Scharfenberger
- Switzerland - Pepe Ederer
- Portugal - José Calvário
- Italy - Gianfranco Monaldi
Three artists returned to the contest this year. Gigliola Cinquetti winner of the 1964 Contest participated again for Italy. Romuald Figuier who also participated in the 1964 Contest for Monaco, as well as in 1969 Contest for Luxembourg. Norway's Bendik Singers also returned after last participating in Eurovision Song Contest 1973.
International broadcasts and voting
Unusually, a separate draw was made for the order in which the participating countries would vote. In all previous contests either nations had voted in the same running order as the song presentation or in the reverse of that order. It wouldn't be until 2006 that the voting sequence was decided by draw again. Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Italy drew the same position in both draws. Countries revealed their votes in the following order:
The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1974 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are also included in the table below.
The United Kingdom was represented in the contest by the (British-born) Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John, who finished in fourth place with the song "Long Live Love". As noted by author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, Olivia disliked this song and preferred others from the UK heat, but "Long Live Love" was chosen as the UK's entry by a public postal vote.
France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song "La vie à vingt-cinq ans" by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of French President, Georges Pompidou, during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Since President Pompidou's funeral was held the day of the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.
Malta withdrew from the contest for unknown reasons, but had selected Enzo Guzman with the song "Paċi Fid Dinja" (Peace in the World) to represent them. The singer has confirmed this to be the case. Malta returned to the competition in 1975.
Italy refused to broadcast the televised contest on the state television channel RAI because the contest coincided with the intense political campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce which was held a month later in May. RAI felt that Gigliola Cinquetti's song, which was titled "Sì" and repeatedly featured the word "si" (yes), could be accused of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote "yes" in the referendum. The song was not played on most Italian state TV and radio stations for over a month.
Portugal's entry "E depois do adeus" was used as the first of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime. Played on a Portuguese radio station late in the evening of 24 April 1974, the broadcasting of the song alerted the rebel, largely left-wing captains and soldiers to prepare to begin the successful military coup. (The second song to be broadcast, marking the actual start of military operations of the coup, was Grandola, Vila Morena by Zeca Afonso - with no Eurovision Song Contest connection). John Kennedy O'Connor described "E depois do adeus" as "the only Eurovision entry to have actually started a revolution", while Des Mangan suggests that other Portuguese entries (he mentions 1998's "Se Eu Te Pudesse Abraçar") would not be likely to inspire coups.
Katie Boyle compered the contest without wearing any underwear: http://www.dw.de/documenting-the-ridiculous-official-eurovision-biographer-john-kennedy-oconnor/a-6526293
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