Eurovision Song Contest 1997
|Eurovision Song Contest 1997|
|Final||3 May 1997|
|Musical director||Frank McNamara|
|Directed by||Ian McGarry|
|Executive supervisor||Marie-Claire Vionnet|
|Executive producer||Noel Curran|
|Host broadcaster||Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)|
|Opening act||Good luck messages from former Eurovision stars and winners.|
|Interval act||"Let The Message Run Free" performed by Boyzone|
|Number of entries||25|
|Voting system||Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs|
The Eurovision Song Contest 1997, was the 42nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Dublin, Ireland, following the country's victory at the 1996 contest with the song "The Voice" by Eimear Quinn. It was the seventh time that Ireland had hosted the contest, having previously done so in 1971, 1981, 1988, 1993, 1994 and 1995. It was the fourth time in five years, that Ireland hosted the contest – and a record sixth time that it was staged in Dublin. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), the contest was held at the Point Theatre, with the final on 3 May 1997. The live show was presented by Carrie Crowley and Ronan Keating.
Twenty-five countries participated in the contest, equalling the record of the 1993 and 1994 editions. Italy returned after their three-year absence. Denmark, Germany, Hungary, and Russia, returned after their last participation in 1995, despite all of them taking part in the non-televised 1996 pre-qualifying round in which they failed to qualify and therefore were absent. Belgium, Finland, and Slovakia were relegated due to having the lowest average scores over the previous four editions.
The winner was the United Kingdom with the song "Love Shine a Light", performed by Katrina and the Waves and written by band member Kimberley Rew. This was the United Kingdom's fifth victory in the contest, following their wins in 1967, 1969, 1976 and 1981. Ireland, Turkey, Italy and Cyprus rounded out the top five. Turkey's third place finish was their best result in the contest at this point, finishing in the top five for the very first time.
This year, televoting was tested in five countries: Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The results of the televoting countries were, in some cases, different from those that used a jury. Iceland received 16 of its 18 points from these five countries. The use of televoting would be further implemented the following year, and be the primary method of voting in the contest for the next decade.
Having to host so many contests (sometimes in succession) put great financial pressure on host broadcaster RTÉ. There were early rumours stating that the Irish broadcaster was to team up with the BBC in Northern Ireland (BBC had previously offered to do this for the 1995 contest), however RTÉ eventually decided to host the event alone.
Ireland hosted the contest for the fourth time in five years after winning the 1996 contest in Oslo. Dublin was chosen to be the host city, making it the sixth time that the Eurovision Song Contest was staged in the Irish capital. The venue for the contest was the Point Theatre located on the North Wall Quay of the River Liffey, amongst the Dublin Docklands. The theatre previously hosted the 1994 and 1995 contests. The Point Theatre is the only venue to have hosted the final three times.
After the controversy over the 1996 pre-qualifying round, the European Broadcasting Union introduced a new system for 1997: countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years would be excluded from the 1997 contest, and those with the lowest averages over the previous five years would be excluded from future contests (save that every country so excluded for one year would automatically be allowed to participate the following year), with so many countries being omitted as would reduce the number of participants each year to 25. The running order was determined by a draw on 28 November 1996.
Israel declined to participate, as the Contest was held on its Holocaust Remembrance Day, granting a reprieve to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would otherwise have been excluded owing to its low point average over the previous four years. RTÉ once again produced a highly spectacular show, with a stage that had a smaller performance space for the artists than in previous years. This was the third Eurovision set to be designed by Paula Farrell, who had previously been involved with the 1988 and 1994 contests.
There was a wide array of different styles this year. Denmark brought a rap song, Croatia came with their version of the Spice Girls and Sweden brought a mid-1980s style boy band. The music was in general more modern than before, and for the first time in six years, an up-tempo song won (the last time this happened was in Rome 1991, with Carola's song, Fångad av en stormvind).
This year, televoting was tested in five countries: Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The results of the televoting countries were, in some cases, different from those that used a jury. Iceland received 16 of its 18 points from these five countries.
Also, for the first time in Eurovision history, there was a country where not one, but two spokespeople gave votes – France. Television reporter Frédéric Ferrer and 1977 Eurovision winner Marie Myriam each took turns at giving results from that country. Long-time Irish conductor Noel Kelehan was not the host conductor this year due to illness, the duty being fulfilled by Frank McNamara.
|Alma Čardžić||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1994|
|Maarja-Liis Ilus||Estonia||1996 (along with Ivo Linna)|
|Şebnem Paker (along with Grup Ethnic)||Turkey||1996|
Most performances had a conductor who directed the orchestra; four countries used a backing track instead of the orchestra. This was also the first year where full playback was allowed in the Contest.
- Cyprus – Stavros Lantsias
- Turkey – Levent Çoker
- Norway – Geir Langslet
- Austria – N/A
- Ireland – N/A
- Slovenia – Mojmir Sepe
- Switzerland – Pietro Damiani
- Netherlands – Dick Bakker
- Italy – Lucio Fabbri
- Spain – Toni Xuclà
- Germany – N/A
- Poland – Krzesimir Dębski
- Estonia – Tarmo Leinatamm
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Sinan Alimanović
- Portugal – Thilo Krassman
- Sweden – Curt-Eric Holmquist
- Greece – Anacreon Papageorgiou
- Malta – Ray Agius
- Hungary – Péter Wolf
- Russia – Rutger Gunnarsson
- Denmark – Jan Glæsel
- France – Régis Dupré
- Croatia – N/A
- United Kingdom – Don Airey
- Iceland – Szymon Kuran
Some of the postcards were preceded by greetings from past Eurovision stars. These stars are (in order of appearance):
- Céline Dion ( Switzerland 1988)
- Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA ( Sweden 1974)
- Johnny Logan ( Ireland 1980 & 1987)
- Bobbysocks! ( Norway 1985)
- Eimear Quinn ( Ireland 1996)
- Cliff Richard ( United Kingdom 1968 & 1973)
- "Three Irish in a row": Linda Martin ( 1992), Niamh Kavanagh ( 1993), Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan ( 1994)
- Cheryl Baker & Mike Nolan of Bucks Fizz ( United Kingdom 1981)
- Julio Iglesias ( Spain 1970)
- Sandra Kim ( Belgium 1986)
- Secret Garden ( Norway 1995)
Each country had a jury that awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for their top ten songs, or a televote, where the top ten most voted for songs were awarded the 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points. Iceland got most of its 18 points from the 5 countries that used televoting. Ireland was ostensibly the best scoring country across the televoting countries, except they were able to score points from all 5 televoting countries. The United Kingdom was only eligible to receive points from 4 of them, since they couldn't vote for themselves. In fact, the UK received 12 points from all the other televoting countries except Germany, from whom they received 10 points: in other words, the UK earned 46 of 48 (95.83%) possible televote points that year; Ireland earned 47 of 60 (78.33%) possible televote points—including their only 12 from the UK.
During the voting the United Kingdom received at least five points from every voting country, bar Malta who only gave the United Kingdom one point.
|Voting procedure used:
100% Jury vote
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||22||8||4||2||3||4||1|
Below is a summary of all 12-point in the final:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|10||United Kingdom||Austria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland|
|3||France||Estonia, Norway, Poland|
|Turkey||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Spain|
Qualification for the 1998 contest
In addition to the United Kingdom, the host country of the 1998 contest, the 18 countries with the highest average scores between 1993 and 1997 were allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 alongside new and returning countries.
- Automatic qualifier
- Replacement qualifier
|25||Bosnia and Herzegovina||23.00||27||39||14||13||22|
Katrina and the Waves, (with lead vocalist Katrina Leskanich) representing the United Kingdom, were the winners of the contest with the song "Love Shine a Light", written by that band's lead guitarist Kimberley Rew, and Marc Roberts from Ireland came second with "Mysterious Woman". Despite being the runner-up, it remarkably received only one 12-point score, which came from the United Kingdom. The UK spokesman Colin Berry remarked: "You're going to like this one: Ireland, twelve points!" causing Terry Wogan to reply: "Well, tit for tat!" The winning song scored an unprecedented 227 points; it received points from all participating countries, including five sets of 10 points and a record-breaking ten sets of the maximum 12 points.
"Love Shine a Light" is regarded as one of the most successful Eurovision winners,[d] and was the closing song in the medleys that opened the 50th anniversary show Congratulations in Copenhagen in 2005, and the ESC 2006 semi-final in Athens. With this victory, the United Kingdom has five Eurovision wins and it is to date the country's last win in the Contest. After the 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Broadcasting Union aired a replacement show titled Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, part of which featured the 41 scheduled acts performing "Love Shine a Light", alongside footage of European landmarks being lit up in tribute to the contest.
Barbara Dex Award
For the first time, the Barbara Dex Award was organised as a humorous fan award given to the worst dressed artist each year. Named after Belgium's representative who came last in the 1993 contest, wearing her self-designed dress, the award was presented by the fansite House of Eurovision until the 2016 contest, when the Belgian Eurovision fansite songfestival.be took the reins. Debbie Scerri of Malta is the inaugural winner of the award.
International broadcasts and voting
Voting and spokespersons
The spokespersons announced the score from their respective country's national jury (or, in some cases, televote) in running order.
- Cyprus – Marios Skordis
- Turkey – Ömer Önder
- Norway – Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
- Austria – Adriana Zartl
- Ireland – Eileen Dunne
- Slovenia – Mojca Mavec
- Switzerland – Sandy Altermatt
- Netherlands – Corry Brokken (Dutch representative in 1956, 1958; winner of the 1957 contest, and presenter of the 1976 contest)
- Italy – Peppi Franzelin
- Spain – Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
- Germany – Christina Mänz
- Poland – Jan Chojnacki
- Estonia – Helene Tedre
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Segmedina Srna
- Portugal – Cristina Rocha
- Sweden – Gösta Hanson
- Greece – Niki Venega
- Malta – Anna Bonanno
- Hungary – Györgyi Albert
- Russia – Arina Sharapova
- Denmark – Bent Henius
- France – Frédéric Ferrer & Marie Myriam (Winner of the 1977 contest)
- Croatia – Davor Meštrović
- United Kingdom – Colin Berry
- Iceland – Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir
Most countries sent commentators to Dublin or commented from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, the provision of voting information.
- Austria – Ernst Grissemann (ORF1); Stermann & Grissemann (FM4)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Diana Grković Foretić (BHT)
- Croatia – Aleksandar "Aco" Kostadinov (HRT 1); Draginja Balaš (HR 2)
- Cyprus – Evi Papamichail (RIK 1); Pavlos Pavlou (CyBC Radio 2)
- Denmark – Jørgen de Mylius (DR1); Ole Jacobsen (DR P3)
- Estonia – Jüri Pihel (Eesti Televisioon); Marko Reikop (Raadio 2)
- France – Olivier Minne (France 2); Frédéric Taddeï (France Inter)
- Germany – Peter Urban (Das Erste); Thomas Mohr (Deutschlandfunk/NDR 2)
- Greece – Dafni Bokota (ET1); Giorgos Mitropoulos (ERA1)
- Hungary – István Vágó (MTV1)
- Iceland – Jakob Frímann Magnússon (Sjónvarpið)
- Ireland – Pat Kenny (RTÉ One); Larry Gogan (RTÉ Radio 1)
- Italy – Ettore Andenna (Raiuno); Antonio De Robertis (Rai Radio 2)
- Malta – Gino Cauchi (TVM)
- Netherlands – Willem van Beusekom (TV2); Daniël Dekker & Hijlco Span (Radio 2)
- Norway – Jostein Pedersen (NRK1); Kristian Lindeman (NRK P1)
- Poland – Jan Wilkans (TVP1); Artur Orzech (Polskie Radio Bis)
- Portugal – Carlos Ribeiro (RTP1)
- Russia – Philip Kirkorov and Sergei Antipov (Public Russian Television); Vadim Dolgachev (Voice of Russia)
- Slovenia – Miša Molk (SLO1)
- Spain – José Luis Uribarri (TVE1)
- Sweden – Jan Jingryd (SVT2); Claes-Johan Larsson and Susan Seidemar (SR P3)
- Switzerland – German: Sandra Studer (SF DRS), French: Pierre Grandjean (TSR), Italian: Jonathan Tedesco (TSI)
- Turkey – Bülend Özveren (TRT 1); Fatih Orbay (TRT Radyo 3)
- United Kingdom – Terry Wogan (BBC 1); Ken Bruce (BBC Radio 2)
- Australia – N/A (SBS TV)
- Belgium – Dutch: André Vermeulen (BRTN TV1), Guy De Pré (BRTN Radio 2), French: Jean-Pierre Hautier (RTBF La Une); Alain Gerlache and Adrien Joveneau (RTBF La Première)
- Finland – Aki Sirkesalo and Olli Ahvenlahti (YLE TV1); Iris Mattila and Sanna Kojo (YLE Radio Suomi)
- Israel – No commentary
- Macedonia – Dragan B. Kostik (MTV 1)
- Romania – Doina Caramzulescu and Costin Grigore (TVR1)
- Slovakia – Juraj Čurný (STV2)
- Yugoslavia – Nikola Nešković (RTS2)[e]
National jury members
- Turkey – Merter Beton
- Netherlands – Maxine (Dutch entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 (as part of Maxine & Franklin Brown)), Maggie MacNeal (Dutch entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 (as part of Mouth & MacNeal) and 1980), Chiel van Praag, Ruud van Dulkenraad, Noortje Kandt
- Spain – Fernando González (racing driver), María Esteve (actress), Manuel del Rosario (student), Yolanda Flores (journalist at RNE), Antonio Carbonell (singer, Spanish entrant at Eurovision Song Contest 1996), Beatriz Rojo (student), Fernando Arias (riding instructor), Miryam Fultz (singer), Mari Carrillo (actress), Javier López de Guereña (composer), Eva Santamaría (singer, Spanish entrant at Eurovision Song Contest 1993), Pepe Rubio (fashion designer), Ana Ojeda (doctor), José Moreno "Josele" (comedian), Pilar Darder (housewife), Manuel Hernández "Manolo HH" (radio host)
- Poland – Wioleta Machowiec, Jacek Skubikowski, Patrycja Markowska, Robert Janson, Magda Makarewicz, Wojciech Karolak, Olga Kurek, Paweł Brodowski, Danuta Błażejczyk, Michał Borkowski, Anita Lipnicka, Grzegorz Szczerba, Joanna Rawik, Jacek Makowski, Hanna Banaszak, Artur Jaworski
- Estonia – Koit Toome (future Estonian entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 and 2017), Kate, Marju Länik, Heli Lääts, Väino Puura, Aivar Joonas, Elina Reinold, Tarmo Männard, Kärt Hellerma, Vello Rand, Kaidi Klein, Rauno Pehka, Marika Valk, Linnar Priimägi
- Portugal – Raul Mendes
- Greece – Fotini Dourou, Andreas Hatziapostolou, Litsa Sakellariou, Petri Salpea, Giorgos Vrouvas, Thomas Bakalakos, Evangelos Alexandropoulos, Grigoris Lambrianidis, Loukas Anapliotis, Natalia Giakoumi, Pelagia Gialitaki, Maria Grigoriou, Katerina Kalohereti, Chrisostomos Kontakiotis, Nikolaos Lenos, Maria Sipsa
- Contains some lyrics in English
- Germany was permitted entry into the 1998 contest following Italy's withdrawal.
- Despite having the same average score, Slovenia ranked higher than Germany by virtue of achieving a higher score in the most recent contest.
- As noted on a TOTP2 Eurovision special, it ranks third in the rankings of points achieved as a percentage of maximum available with 227 out of 288 or 78.81%, behind Nicole's "Ein bißchen Frieden" in 1982 (161 out of 204 or 78.92%) and Brotherhood of Man's "Save Your Kisses for Me" in 1976 (164 out of 204 or 80.39%). For comparison, Elena Paparizou's 2005 win took 230 points out of a possible 456, or only 50.04%.
- After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia last participated in 1992. RTS2 broadcast the show, although Yugoslavia did not participate.
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