Eurovision Song Contest 1998

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Eurovision Song Contest 1998
ESC 1998 logo.png
Dates
Final date 9 May 1998
Host
Venue National Indoor Arena
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Presenter(s) Ulrika Jonsson
Terry Wogan
Conductor Martin Koch
Director Geoff Posner
Executive supervisor Christine Marchal-Ortiz
Host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Interval act Jupiter, The Bringer of Joviality
Participants
Number of entries 25
Debuting countries none
Returning countries  Belgium
 Finland
 Macedonia
 Israel
 Romania
 Slovakia
Withdrawing countries  Austria
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Denmark
 Iceland
 Italy
 Russia
Vote
Voting system Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs
Nul points   Switzerland
Winning song  Israel
"Diva"
Eurovision Song Contest
◄1997 New Eurovision Heart (Infobox).svg.png 1999►

The Eurovision Song Contest 1998 was the 43rd Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 9 May 1998 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The presenters were Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson. Despite being one of the presenters, Terry Wogan still managed to provide his trademark comedy commentary to the contest for the BBC.

Winner[edit]

Dana International from Israel narrowly won this year's Eurovision, with the song "Diva", written by Svika Pick and Yoav Ginai. The singer had attracted much media attention both in Israel and Europe since she had undergone gender reassignment in 1993, being the first openly transgender performer to enter the competition.

This year was notable for several reasons: this was the last year with an orchestra, the first year with mass televoting, and the last year with language restriction. The 1998 contest was also memorable because of the suspenseful voting, where the winner was decided on the last nation's 12 points. Greece, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Malta, Israel and Belgium did not sing with an orchestra, they sang with fully backing tracks (although this did not stop both Germany and Slovenia presenting 'conductors' at the start of their performances). France utilised the violin section of the orchestra but as they did not bring a conductor of their own, no conductor was shown before their entry. Ironically, the contest was held in an English speaking country for the last time the contest was run without the free language rule so only the UK and Ireland performed in English.

Macedonia, participating as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, took part for the first time, after their 1996 entry did not make it past the internal selection by the EBU. Belgium, Finland, Israel, Romania and Slovakia all participated after their break from the previous year's contest; Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Russia and Iceland could not participate because of their low average scores from the past five years. The Italian broadcaster, RAI, decided to withdraw from the contest, a move that would see Italy absent from the contest for 13 years before their return in 2011.

After the points from most of the countries were announced, it was clear that Israel, Malta, and the United Kingdom would be fighting for the top spot. Israel and Malta were apparently tied with 166 points after the penultimate vote (in fact, Spain's vote had been wrongly tallied and the real scores were Malta 165, Israel 164[dubious ]). Everything came down to the vote of Macedonia, who rewarded Israel with 8 points, United Kingdom 10, and in a twist awarded 12 points to Croatia not Malta, leaving Chiara to fall from first place to third. On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, Dana International brought the nation their third Song Contest victory. Also, Edsilia Rombley, who placed fourth with 150 points, ensured the best result for the Netherlands since their win in 1975.

Notable participants[edit]

For the second year in a row, at least one country went home empty-handed; Switzerland's Gunvor Guggisberg with her composition "Lass Ihn" failed to score a single point.

Other notable participants were Germany's Guildo Horn, whose shocking comedic act culminated in his climbing the scaffolding on the side of the stage. Controversially chosen to represent Germany, he was criticised for his lack of seriousness by the German press. However, after winning by 60% of the vote, the German people were firmly on Horn's side. "Guildo-Fever" spread throughout Germany during the weeks leading up to the contest, with Horn becoming front-page material in Germany. He was also noticed in countries around Europe, and the early criticism that had existed in Germany arose in those countries. Even though his 7th place was disappointing, to some Germans it was a revival for the contest in Germany, and was the beginning of 4 consecutive top-ten finishes.

Greece earned only 12 points, all of which came from Cyprus, ranking Greece 20th by the end of the broadcast , her worst result till 1998. Greece will be ranked 20th again in 2014's edition at Denmark with 35 points. After the contest, there was a correction made with the Spanish votes, who mistakenly awarded Germany zero points, rather than the 12 that were rightfully theirs.

In a BBC interview, future Eurovision entrant Nicki French said that one of her most memorable Eurovision moments was Ulrika's infamous faux pas during the voting. On hearing that the Dutch lady announcing the Netherlands' votes had previously been a contestant in Eurovision, Ulrika replied, "A long time ago, was it?" which was followed by much laughter from the audience.[1] In fact Conny van den Bos who sang for the Netherlands in 1965 said that she had gone to the contest many years ago; unfortunately for both Conny and Ulrika this wasn't heard above the noise of the audience.[1] What was heard, however, was Ulrika's seemingly insulting comment.

Russia and Italy did not broadcast the event due to withdrawals. In 1998 the Russian broadcaster ORT prepared to run internal preselections, but soon organisers realised that because of low average results in previous years Russia would not qualify to compete in 1998 (though there were rumours that Channel One had planned to name Tatyana Ovsienko as their representative, performing "Solntse moyo"). Because Russia did not participate, Channel One decided not to broadcast the 1998 contest. According to other sources Channel One had expected Channel Russia to broadcast the contest.

Results[edit]

Draw Country Language[2] Artist Song English translation Place Points
01  Croatia Croatian Danijela "Neka mi ne svane" May the dawn never rise 5 131
02  Greece Greek Thalassa "Mia krifi evesthisia"(Μια κρυφή ευαισθησία) A secret sensibility 20 12
03  France French Marie Line "Où aller" Where to go 24 3
04  Spain Spanish Mikel Herzog "¿Qué voy a hacer sin ti?" What am I going to do without you? 16 21
05   Switzerland German Gunvor "Lass' ihn" Let him 25 0
06  Slovakia Slovak Katarína Hasprová "Modlitba" A prayer 21 8
07  Poland Polish Sixteen "To takie proste" It's easy 17 19
08  Israel Hebrew Dana International "Diva" (דיווה) 1 172
09  Germany German Guildo Horn "Guildo hat euch lieb!" Guildo loves you! 7 86
10  Malta English Chiara "The One That I Love" 3 165
11  Hungary Hungarian Charlie "A holnap már nem lesz szomorú" Sadness will be over tomorrow 23 4
12  Slovenia Slovene Vili Resnik "Naj bogovi slišijo" Let the gods hear 18 17
13  Ireland English Dawn Martin "Is Always Over Now?" 9 64
14  Portugal Portuguese Alma Lusa "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" If I could embrace you 12 36
15  Romania Romanian Mălina Olinescu "Eu cred" I believe 22 6
16  United Kingdom English Imaani "Where Are You?" 2 166
17  Cyprus Greek Michalis Hatzigiannis "Genesis" (Γένεσις) Genesis 11 37
18  Netherlands Dutch Edsilia "Hemel en aarde" Heaven and Earth 4 150
19  Sweden Swedish Jill Johnson "Kärleken är" The love is 10 53
20  Belgium French Mélanie Cohl "Dis oui" Say yes 6 122
21  Finland Finnish Edea "Aava" Open landscape 15 22
22  Norway Norwegian Lars Fredriksen "Alltid sommer" Always summer 8 79
23  Estonia Estonian Koit Toome "Mere lapsed" Children of the sea 12[3] 36
24  Turkey Turkish Tüzmen "Unutamazsın" You can't forget 14 25
25  Macedonia Macedonian Vlado Janevski "Ne zori, zoro" (Не зори, зоро) Dawn, don't rise 19 16

Voting structure[edit]

Each country had a televote except Turkey, Romania and Hungary, where the top ten most voted for songs were awarded the 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points, with a back-up jury in case of mistakes. A jury was used if there were exceptional reasons not to use a televote.

Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.

With just one country left to vote, it was anyone's guess as to who was going to prevail, with Israel and Malta locked in battle with the scoreboard showing them with the same points total (although, due to the error above, Malta actually one point ahead), and the United Kingdom apparently nine points behind. When Macedonia came to award the decisive points, Israel was the first of the three contenders to be mentioned, receiving eight points. That was enough to knock the UK out of contention for victory, but left plenty of room for Israel to be overtaken by their principal rival. Next, the ten points went to the UK, nudging them into what looked like being an extremely fleeting spell in second place, since most of the audience assumed the twelve points were destined for Malta. Instead, there were gasps as Macedonia sent the final points of the evening to fellow Balkan nation Croatia, handing Israel their first win in the contest since "Hallelujah" in 1979.

It is also noteworthy that Israel only received points from 21 of the 24 other countries, whereas the United Kingdom received at least one point from every country, but finished second. Furthermore, whilst Israel received three sets of 12 points compared to Malta and the United Kingdom who both received four sets of 12 points, Israel received a seven sets of 10 points to help seal the win.

Score sheet[edit]

Voting procedure used:
Red: Televote.
Blue: Jury.
Voters
Total Score Croatia Greece France Spain Switzerland Slovakia Poland Israel Germany Malta Hungary Slovenia Ireland Portugal Romania United Kingdom Cyprus Netherlands Sweden Belgium Finland Norway Estonia Turkey FYR Macedonia
Contestants Croatia 131 5 8 1 5 10 6 10 10 10 12 3 2 2 7 4 3 5 3 6 3 4 12
Greece 12 12
France 3 1 2
Spain 21 1 4 6 3 4 3
Switzerland 0
Slovakia 8 8
Poland 19 2 5 2 10
Israel 172 10 12 10 10 10 7 12 7 6 12 7 5 10 6 5 10 10 3 7 5 8
Germany 86 3 12 12 8 8 10 6 6 12 7 1 1
Malta 165 7 6 6 5 8 12 8 7 8 7 3 12 5 12 5 8 6 8 5 12 5 10
Hungary 4 1 1 2
Slovenia 17 3 2 5 4 3
Ireland 64 2 2 4 2 2 6 6 1 1 8 8 1 4 2 8 7
Portugal 36 1 10 6 2 2 2 2 1 6 4
Romania 6 6
United Kingdom 166 12 7 3 3 3 1 7 12 1 8 10 5 5 6 12 8 7 7 6 8 5 8 12 10
Cyprus 37 4 12 5 1 1 1 4 4 3 2
Netherlands 150 10 8 5 4 7 6 5 8 6 7 12 10 7 10 8 12 7 8 7 3
Sweden 53 3 4 8 2 1 5 6 10 12 2
Belgium 122 4 7 7 4 7 12 5 4 3 3 6 7 8 7 6 10 2 7 6 1 6
Finland 22 10 1 10 1
Norway 79 8 1 4 4 3 5 5 10 4 3 4 3 3 12 4 2 4
Estonia 36 2 8 1 4 2 1 2 4 12
Turkey 25 5 12 2 1 5
Macedonia 16 6 3 4 3

12 points[edit]

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:

N. Contestant Voting nation
4 Malta Ireland, Norway, Slovakia, United Kingdom
United Kingdom Croatia, Israel, Romania, Turkey
3 Germany Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland
Israel France, Malta, Portugal
2 Croatia Macedonia, Slovenia
Netherlands Belgium, Hungary
1 Belgium Poland
Cyprus Greece
Estonia Finland
Greece Cyprus
Norway Sweden
Sweden Estonia
Turkey Germany

Returning artists[edit]

Artist Country Previous Year(s)
Danijela  Croatia 1995 (part of Magazin)
Egon Egemann (Gunvor's violinist)   Switzerland 1990
José Cid (part of Alma Lusa)  Portugal 1980
Paul Harrington (backing singer for Dawn Martin)  Ireland 1994 (with Charlie McGettigan, winner)

International broadcasts and voting[edit]

Voting and spokespersons[edit]

  1.  Croatia - Davor Meštrović[4]
  2.  Greece - Alexis Kostalas[5]
  3.  France - Marie Myriam[6] (winner for France in 1977)
  4.  Spain - Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
  5.   Switzerland - Regula Elsener
  6.  Slovakia - Alena Heribanová
  7.  Poland - Jan Chojnacki
  8.  Israel - Yigal Ravid[7] (co-presenter in 1999)
  9.  Germany - Nena
  10.  Malta - Stephanie Farrugia
  11.  Hungary - Barna Héder
  12.  Slovenia - Mojca Mavec
  13.  Ireland - Eileen Dunne
  14.  Portugal - Lúcia Moniz[8] (representative for Portugal in 1996)
  15.  Romania - Anca Ţurcașiu
  16.  United Kingdom - Ken Bruce
  17.  Cyprus - Marina Maleni[9]
  18.  Netherlands - Conny Vandenbos (representative for Netherlands in 1965)
  19.  Sweden - Björn Hedman[10]
  20.  Belgium - Marie-Hélène Vanderborght[6]
  21.  Finland - Marjo Wilska[11]
  22.  Norway - Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
  23.  Estonia - Urve Tiidus[12]
  24.  Turkey - Osman Erkan
  25.  Macedonia - Evgenija Teodosievska[13]

Commentators[edit]

Notes

* After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was last participated in 1992. Third channel of Radio Television of Serbia broadcast the show, although Yugoslavia did not participate.

References[edit]

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  4. ^ "Pogledaj temu - SPOKESPERSONS". Forum.hrt.hr. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Εκφωνητές της ΕΡΤ για τις ψήφους της Ελλάδας στην EUROVISION - Page 3". Retromaniax.gr. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Concours Eurovision de la Chanson • Consulter le sujet - Porte-paroles des jurys des pays francophones". Eurovision.vosforums.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  7. ^ "פורום אירוויזיון". Sf.tapuz.co.il. 1999-09-13. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  8. ^ a b "Comentadores Do ESC - escportugalforum.pt.vu | o forum eurovisivo português". 21595.activeboard.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  9. ^ a b Savvidis, Christos (OGAE Cyprus)
  10. ^ a b "Infosajten.com". Infosajten.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  11. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Viisukuppila.fi. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
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  13. ^ "FORO FESTIVAL DE EUROVISIÓN • Ver Tema - 98 Malta - The one that I love - Chiara". Eurosongcontest.phpbb3.es. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  14. ^ "Pogledaj temu - POVIJEST EUROSONGA: 1956 - 1999 (samo tekstovi)". Forum.hrt.hr. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ a b c Christian Masson. "1998 - Birmingham". Songcontest.free.fr. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  17. ^ "FORO FESTIVAL DE EUROVISIÓN • Ver Tema - Uribarri comentarista Eurovision 2010". Eurosongcontest.phpbb3.es. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  18. ^ "Zobacz temat - Eurowizyjna gra". Eurowizja.Com.Pl. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  19. ^ "Dr. Peter Urban kommentiert - Düsseldorf 2011". Duesseldorf2011.de. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  20. ^ "Thomas Mohr: Mit Dschinghis Khan im Garten". Eurovision.de. 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  21. ^ betelgeuseIE (2010-02-07). "Eurovision Song Contest 1998 opening sequence". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  22. ^ "Welkom op de site van Eurovision Artists". Eurovisionartists.nl. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  23. ^ mathiasehv (2009-11-19). "ESC 1998: Melanie Cohl België twaalf punten/Belgique douze points". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  24. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Viisukuppila.fi. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  25. ^ "Alt du trenger å vite om MGP - Melodi Grand Prix - Melodi Grand Prix - NRK". Nrk.no. 2003-05-27. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  26. ^ [3][dead link]
  27. ^ "Song Contest mit Stermann & Grissemann". wien ORF.at. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  28. ^ "Forside". esconnet.dk. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  29. ^ "Morgunblaðið, 09.05.1998". Timarit.is. Retrieved 2012-08-09.