Eurovision Song Contest 1996
|Eurovision Song Contest 1996
|Final date||18 May 1996|
|Host broadcaster||Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK)|
|Opening act||Morten Harket performing "Heaven's Not For Saints"|
|Interval act||"Beacon Burning" video and dance act|
|Number of entries||23|
|Returning countries|| Estonia
|Withdrawing countries|| Denmark
|Voting system||Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs|
|Winning song|| Ireland
|Eurovision Song Contest|
The Eurovision Song Contest 1996 was the 41st Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 18 May 1996 in Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway. The presenters were Ingvild Bryn and Morten Harket. Harket, lead singer of a-ha, opened the show with a performance of his single "Heaven's Not for Saints". Eimear Quinn of Ireland was the winner of this Eurovision with the song, "The Voice". The song was written by Brendan Graham, who also composed the 1994 winner "Rock 'n' Roll Kids". It was also a record seventh win for Ireland.
The European Broadcasting Union continued to experiment in their efforts to find a broadly acceptable method of whittling down the large number of potential participating countries to a more realistic figure. This year, they reverted to the pre-qualifying round that had been used for the 1993 contest, but this time with just one country exempt from the process - the host Norway. The pre-qualifier was an oddity in that it was not broadcast in any form, and did not even entail any live performance of the entries. Instead, the traditional set of national juries simply listened to the studio recordings of each song, through audio tapes, and awarded points accordingly. All that was subsequently revealed of their deliberations was which countries had qualified, with the precise scores and placings remaining under wraps (although they were leaked some time later).
It rapidly became evident that this system was no more sustainable than any other the EBU had tried, as it meant that several countries had gone through their traditional full-blown national selection procedure to come up with an entry, only to suffer the anti-climax of having their challenge quietly extinguished without even having had the opportunity of presenting the song to an international audience. As a leading financial contributor to the contest, Germany were particularly aggrieved that their entry, the techno song "Planet of Blue" performed by Leon, was one of the seven cast aside. It was the only year in the history of the ESC in which Germany did not participate in the final.
The 1996 contest also featured two novelties — which similarly failed to become a tradition — firstly a short 'good luck message' for each entry, recorded by a political leader or official from their country. The seniority of the figure who delivered the message varied wildly from country to country, ranging from Presidents and Prime Ministers on one end of the spectrum to junior ministers or ambassadors on the other, but a few very significant European political figures did appear, including long-serving Swedish premier Göran Persson and President Alija Izetbegović of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But of course the only good luck wish that was fully rewarded in the end was that of Irish Taoiseach John Bruton, who introduced the song that took his country to a fourth win in five years.
Secondly, the voting section was conducted using "blue screen" virtual reality technology provided by Silicon Graphics. The host Ingvild Bryn introduced the viewers to the 'blue room', upon which a 3D scoreboard, views of the green room, the jury spokespersons and country graphics appeared. The only physical aspects were Ingvild herself and two podiums.
Individual Entries 
|01||Turkey||Turkish||Şebnem Paker||"Beşinci Mevsim"||The fifth season||12||57|
|02||United Kingdom||English||Gina G||"Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit"||—||8||77|
|03||Spain||Spanish||Antonio Carbonell||"¡Ay, qué deseo!"||Oh, what desire!||20||17|
|04||Portugal||Portuguese||Lúcia Moniz||"O meu coração não tem cor"||My heart has no colour||6||92|
|05||Cyprus||Greek||Constantinos||"Mono Yia Mas" (Μόνο Για Μας)||Only for us||9||72|
|06||Malta||English||Miriam Christine||"In a Woman's Heart"||—||10||68|
|07||Croatia||Croatian||Maja Blagdan||"Sveta ljubav"||Holy love||4||98|
|08||Austria||Vorarlbergish||George Nussbaumer||"Weil's dr guat got"||Because you feel good||10||68|
|09||Switzerland||French||Kathy Leander||"Mon cœur l'aime"||My heart loves him||16||22|
|10||Greece||Greek||Mariana Efstratiou||"Emeis Forame to Himona Anixiatika"
(Εμείς Φοράμε το Χειμώνα Ανοιξιάτικα)
|We wear spring clothes
in winter time
|11||Estonia||Estonian||Maarja-Liis Ilus & Ivo Linna||"Kaelakee hääl"||Sound of necklace||5||94|
|12||Norway||Norwegian||Elisabeth Andreassen||"I evighet"||For eternity||2||114|
|13||France||Breton||Dan Ar Braz &
L'Héritage des Celtes
|"Diwanit Bugale"||May you blossom, children||19||18|
|14||Slovenia||Slovene||Regina||"Dan najlepših sanj"||The day of the
most beautiful dream
|15||Netherlands||Dutch||Maxine & Franklin Brown||"De eerste keer"||The first time||7||78|
|16||Belgium||Dutch||Lisa del Bo||"Liefde is een kaartspel"||Love is a cardgame||16||22|
|17||Ireland||English||Eimear Quinn||"The Voice"||—||1||162|
|18||Finland||Finnish||Jasmine||"Niin kaunis on taivas"||So beautiful is the sky||23||9|
|20||Poland||Polish||Kasia Kowalska||"Chcę znać swój grzech..."||I want to know my sin||15||31|
|21||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Bosnian||Amila Glamočak||"Za našu ljubav"||For our love||22||13|
|22||Slovakia||Slovak||Marcel Palonder||"Kým nás máš"||While you have us||18||19|
|23||Sweden||Swedish||One More Time||"Den vilda"||The wild one||3||100|
Pre-qualifying round 
Shaded countries were eliminated from the competition
|Austria||Vorarlbergish||George Nussbaumer||"Weil's dr guat got"||Because you feel good||6||80|
|Belgium||Dutch||Lisa Del Bo||"Liefde is een kaartspel"||Love is a cardgame||12||45|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Bosnian||Amila Glamočak||"Za našu ljubav"||For our love||21||29|
|Croatia||Croatian||Maja Blagdan||"Sveta ljubav"||Divine love||19||30|
|Cyprus||Greek||Constantinos||"Mono Yia Mas" (Μόνο Για Μας)||Only for us||15||42|
|Denmark||Danish||Dorthe Andersen & Martin Loft||"Kun med dig"||Only with you||25||22|
|Estonia||Estonian||Maarja-Liis Ilus & Ivo Linna||"Kaelakee hääl"||Sound of necklace||5||106|
|Finland||Finnish||Jasmine||"Niin kaunis on taivas"||So beautiful is the sky||22||28|
|France||Breton||Dan Ar Braz & L'Héritage des Celtes||"Diwanit Bugale"||May you blossom, children||11||55|
|Germany||German||Leon||"Planet of Blue"||—||24||24|
|Greece||Greek||Mariana Efstratiou||"Emeis Forame to Himona Anixiatika"
(Εμείς Φοράμε το Χειμώνα Ανοιξιάτικα)
|We wear spring clothes
in winter time
|Ireland||English||Eimear Quinn||"The Voice"||—||2||198|
|Israel||Hebrew||Galit Bell||"Shalom Olam" (שלום עולם)||Hello/peace world||28||12|
|Macedonia||Macedonian||Kaliopi||"Samo ti" (Само ти)||Only you||26||14|
|Malta||English||Miriam Christine||"In A Woman's Heart"||—||4||138|
|Netherlands||Dutch||Maxine & Franklin Brown||"De eerste keer"||The first time||9||63|
|Poland||Polish||Kasia Kowalska||"Chcę znać swój grzech..."||I want to know my sin||15||42|
|Portugal||Portuguese||Lúcia Moniz||"O meu coração não tem cor"||My heart has no colour||18||32|
|Romania||Romanian||Monica Anghel & Sincron||"Rugă pentru pacea lumii"||Prayer for world peace||29||11|
|Russia||Russian||Andrej Kosinskij||"Ja eto ja" (Я это я)||I am what I am||26||14|
|Slovakia||Slovak||Marcel Palonder||"Kým nás máš"||While you have us||17||36|
|Slovenia||Slovene||Regina||"Dan najlepših sanj"||The day of the
most beautiful dream
|Spain||Spanish||Antonio Carbonell||"¡Ay, qué deseo!"||Oh, what desire!||14||43|
|Sweden||Swedish||One More Time||"Den vilda"||The wild one||1||227|
|Switzerland||French||Kathy Leander||"Mon coeur l'aime"||My heart loves him||8||67|
|Turkey||Turkish||Şebnem Paker||"Beşinci Mevsim"||The fifth season||7||69|
|United Kingdom||English||Gina G||"Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit"||—||3||153|
Voting structure 
Each country had a jury that awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for their top ten songs. One year later, televoting would be introduced in only some countries, such as Sweden and the United Kingdom. When Belén Fernández de Henestrosa, the Spanish spokesperson, announced the votes of the Spanish jury, she awarded six points to "Holland" (the Netherlands), which host Ingvild Byrn misheard as "Poland." The official results table corrected this error, and the Netherlands' seventh place result was restored at the expense of the United Kingdom, who ultimately finished eighth. Norway's entry, "I evighet", is notable for being the only runner-up not to receive a single "12 points" score in a Eurovision final since the current voting method was introduced in 1975.
Score sheet 
12 points 
Below is a summary of all 12 point in the final:
|N.||Recipient nation||Voting nation|
|7||Ireland||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey|
|3||Estonia||Finland, Iceland, Sweden|
|Cyprus||Greece, United Kingdom|
|United Kingdom||Belgium, Portugal|
Returning artists 
|Elisabeth Andreassen||Norway||1982 (for Sweden, part of Chips)
1985 (part of Bobbysocks!, winner), 1994
Good luck wishes 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2012)|
In 1996 all contestants were wished good luck by a politician from their own country. Those wishes were shown right before their performance. This was the only year in Eurovision they did anything like this.
These are the people who wished their country's participant good luck:
- Turkey - Süleyman Demirel, President of Turkey
- United Kingdom - Virginia Bottomley, UK Secretary of State for National Heritage
- Spain - Don Alberto Escudero Claramunt, Spanish ambassador
- Portugal - António Guterres, Prime Minister of Portugal
- Cyprus - Glafkos Klerides, President of Cyprus
- Malta - Edward Fenech Adami, Prime Minister of Malta
- Croatia - Zlatko Mateša, Prime Minister of Croatia
- Austria - Elisabeth Gehrer, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Austria
- Switzerland - Michel Coquoz, Swiss Chargé d'affaires
- Greece - Caterína Dimaki, Greek Chargé d'affaires
- Estonia - Tiit Vähi, Prime Minister of Estonia
- Norway - Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway
- France - Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Culture of France
- Slovenia - Milan Kučan, President of Slovenia
- Netherlands - Aad Nuis, State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands
- Belgium - Luc Van den Brande, Prime Minister of Flanders
- Ireland - John Bruton, Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland)
- Finland - Riitta Uosukainen, Speaker of Parliament of Finland
- Iceland - Davíð Oddsson, Prime Minister of Iceland
- Poland - Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - Alija Izetbegović, Chairmen of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Slovakia - Vladimír Mečiar, Prime Minister of Slovakia
- Sweden - Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden
- Turkey - Ömer Önder
- United Kingdom - Colin Berry
- Spain - Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
- Portugal - Cristina Rocha
- Cyprus - Marios Skordis
- Malta - Ruth Amaira
- Croatia - Danijela Trbović
- Austria - Martina Rupp
- Switzerland - Yves Ménestrier
- Greece - Niki Venega
- Estonia - Annika Talvik
- Norway - Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
- France - Laurent Broomhead
- Slovenia - Mario Galunič
- Netherlands - Marcha (Dutch representative in 1987)
- Belgium - Anne Ploegaerts
- Ireland - Eileen Dunne
- Finland - Solveig Herlin
- Iceland - Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir
- Poland - Jan Chojnacki
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - Segmedina Srna
- Slovakia - Alena Heribanová
- Sweden - Ulla Rundqvist
National jury members 
- Spain – Montserrat Marial (businesswoman), Juan Diego Arranz (psychologist and teacher), Elvira Quintillá (actress), Álvaro de Luna (actor), Mónica Pont (actress), Mikel Herzog (singer), María Mayor (model), José María Purón (composer), Anabel Conde (singer, Spanish entrant at Eurovision Song Contest 1995), José Sancho (actor), Asunción Embuena (TV hostess), Pedro Bermúdez "Azuquita" (singer), Adriana Vega (actress), Antonio Pinilla (student), Mabel Alfonso (singer and composer), Manuel Redondo (make-up artist and gemologist)
- Greece – Agni Hatzikotaki, Antonis Papaioannou, Litsa Sakellariou, Giannis Dimitras, Andreas Hatziapostolou, Spiros Papavasiliou, Stamatis Mazaris, Nikos Tsolakis, Artemi Plessa, Sofia-Marina Athanasiou, Eleni-Zina Bilisi, Sokratis Rousopoulos, Kiriaki Tzekou, Nikos Papanikolaou, Ioannis Trahanas, Panagiota Kesari
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