Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Eurovision: The Yuppie years

So, where were we? Oh yeah, we had got to the end of the 1970's and Isreal had won twice. Wisely deciding the cost of hosting the competition twice in a row was too prohibitive, they asked the Dutch to host the 1980 contest, where after ten years Ireland scores another win with this ctachy little number...

So the Irish get to host the contest again, and the British decide to do a nice, quiet, contemplative little number that wins for the fourth time.

So back to Blighty, and they hold the contest in the cultural capital of the country - Harrogate. Now consider the world at this time - the attrition between the US and Russia was the worst it had been since Kennedy, and people wnated the tension to end. Who would have thought Germany would provide the winning song along those lines?

What should be obvious by now is that, unlike the seventies, the contest in the eighties was throwing up some very interesting surprises. So in 1983, the contest comes to pre-unification Hamburg. As this was the era of the power ballad in the charts, it was probably time for another one to win, and lo and behold Luxembourg provide one for us.

So off to the principality we go in 1984. Ten years previously Sweden had surprised everyone with Abba, and this eyar they surprised everyone again with a boy band singing about the joys of their golden pixie boots.


so we're back in the Nordic countries in 1985. A few years earlier, Norway had the ignomy to become the first country to score nil points in the voting, so how do you bounce back from that? You do it by winning is how...

Ah, that Eurovision beat, how we've missed it.

The following year Oslo put on a show, and another country that had never won before picks up the title with another first - the youngest ever entry at the time at 13 years old. this is Sandra Kim from Belgium.

By 1987, the show was still going strong, but the biggest surprise of all was when, for only the second time, a past winner came back to win the contest again for their country.

We will hear more from Mister Logan later....

So, back to Ireland in 1988, and another little surprise is waiting. The Eurovision has a fine tradition of bringing in singers from elsewhere to represent them, so when the Swiss asked a little known Canadian singer to sing a power ballad for them no-one batted an eyelid.

So, you know who to blame now, don't you?

Finally, in 1989, the winner came from a country in the Adriatic that, just a few short years later, would tear itself apart.

A sign of things to come with the contest? Not yet, but things were changing, and the Irish still had a part to play in that...

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