Eurovision Song Contest 1998

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Eurovision Song Contest 1998
ESC 1998 logo.png
Dates
Final9 May 1998
Host
VenueNational Indoor Arena
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Presenter(s)
Musical directorMartin Koch
Directed byGeoff Posner
Executive supervisorChristine Marchal-Ortiz
Executive producerKevin Bishop
Host broadcasterBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Opening actBirmingham, Old and New
Interval actJupiter, The Bringer of Jollity
Websiteeurovision.tv/event/birmingham-1998 Edit this at Wikidata
Participants
Number of entries25
Debuting countries Macedonia
Returning countries
Non-returning countries
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Italy in the Eurovision Song ContestNetherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Monaco in the Eurovision Song ContestLuxembourg in the Eurovision Song ContestSpain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Denmark in the Eurovision Song ContestFinland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Austria in the Eurovision Song ContestFrance in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song ContestMorocco in the Eurovision Song ContestCyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Iceland in the Eurovision Song ContestBosnia and Herzegovina in the Eurovision Song ContestCroatia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Slovakia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Lithuania in the Eurovision Song ContestPoland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998Russia in the Eurovision Song ContestMacedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998A coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries     Countries that participated in the past but not in 1998
Vote
Voting systemEach country awarded 12, 10, 8–1 points to their ten favourite songs
Nul points in final  Switzerland
Winning song
1997 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 1999

The Eurovision Song Contest 1998 was the 43rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, held on 9 May 1998 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and presented by Irish television and radio broadcaster Terry Wogan and Swedish television presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the contest was held in the United Kingdom following the country's victory at the 1997 contest with the song "Love Shine A Light" by Katrina and the Waves.

Twenty-five countries participated in the contest. Six participating countries in the 1997 edition were absent, with Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Iceland and Russia relegated due to achieving the lowest average points totals over the past five contests and Italy actively choosing not to participate. These countries were replaced by Macedonia in its first contest appearance, and previously relegated and absent countries Belgium, Finland, Israel, Romania and Slovakia.

The winner was Israel with the song "Diva", performed by Dana International, composed by Tzvika Pick and written by Yoav Ginai. The United Kingdom, Malta, the Netherlands and Croatia rounded out the top five, with the Netherlands achieving its best result since 1975 and Malta equalling its best ever result. It was also a record-extending fifteenth time that the United Kingdom had finished in second place. It was the first contest in which the results were determined predominantly through televoting, and would become the last contest in which all participants were required to perform in the language of their country and the last to feature an orchestra and live music accompaniment for the competing entries.

Location[edit]

National Indoor Arena, Birmingham – host venue of the 1998 contest
Location of the selected host city (in blue), shortlisted cities (in green) and other cities that expressed interest (in red)

The 1998 contest took place in Birmingham, the United Kingdom, following the country's victory at the 1997 edition with the song "Love Shine a Light", performed by Katrina and the Waves. It was the eighth time that the United Kingdom had hosted the contest – setting a new contest record – with the nation having previously hosted the contest in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, in Edinburgh in 1972, in Brighton in 1974 and in Harrogate in 1982.[1] The selected venue was the National Indoor Arena, a sporting venue and indoor arena opened in 1991 which prior to the contest had previously hosted the 1993 IBF Badminton World Championships and 1995 World Netball Championships, as well as being the principal venue for the recording of UK television programme Gladiators.[2][3][4][5]

Many cities across the United Kingdom expressed interest in hosting the contest, the first to be held in the country in sixteen years, with venues in Aberdeen, Belfast, Bournemouth, Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Harrogate, Inverness, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield being considered.[6] Following visits by the production team to each city, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Manchester were shortlisted as potential host cities, and Birmingham's National Indoor Arena was subsequently announced as the host venue on 8 August 1997.[6][7]

Production[edit]

The Eurovision Song Contest 1998 was produced by the British public broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Kevin Bishop served as executive producer, Guy Freeman served as producer, Geoff Posner served as director, Andrew Howe-Davies served as designer, and Martin Koch served as musical director, leading the 60-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and arranging and orchestrating the music for the opening and closing sequences and the interval act.[8][9]

Construction within the National Indoor Arena began on 19 April 1998 to build out the stage and orchestral area for the contest, as well as creating space for the green room, the dressing rooms, the press centre and accreditation area, and small rooms for use by each country's individual commentators.[6] Although the arena could hold up to 13,000 people, the assembled audience during the contest was limited to around 4,500, with tickets for the dress rehearsal and live show awarded by ballot.[6][10] The contest organisers also engaged with fan groups, and tickets in the front rows of the arena were distributed among these groups for the first time.[11][12]

The green room was situated behind the stage, and was designed to resemble a nightclub. The arena featured three large video screens to enable the audience to follow the voting, and video walls were also constructed for use on stage, in the press centre and the green room. A 400-seat auditorium for press conferences and 38 booths for journalists equipped with phone lines were installed within the press centre, and 40 commentary boxes were constructed in the arena to accommodate the teams from the various broadcasters, with 28 built for television and 12 for radio.[6][8][9] Much of the press centre facilities constructed for the contest were subsequently retained and augmented for use during the 24th G8 summit held in Birmingham the following week.[9][13]

Orchestral rehearsals and rehearsals of the main elements of the interval act took place on 2 and 3 May, with rehearsals for the competing countries beginning on 4 May. The first rehearsals for each country, lasting 40 minutes in total followed by a 20 minute press conference, took place on 4 and 5 May, with second rehearsals for each country taking place on 6 and 7 May and lasting 30 minutes.[6] Three dress rehearsals were held on 8 and 9 May, with an audience in attendance during the evening dress rehearsal on 8 May, which was also recorded for use in case of problems during the live contest that resulted in the broadcast being suspended.[6] Stand-in studios were also prepared in Studio 4 of BBC Television Centre, London and in the Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham in case of an emergency at the National Indoor Arena that resulted in evacuation.[6]

Presenters[edit]

Terry Wogan (pictured in 2015), co-presenter of the 1998 contest

Television presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson and television and radio presenter Terry Wogan were the presenters of the 1998 contest. Wogan had previously provided television and radio commentary on the BBC since 1971, and performed this role once for the contest's broadcast on BBC One from a separate commentary booth erected behind the stage in addition to his role as the contest presenter.[6][14]

The draw to the determine the running order, held on 13 November 1997 in the National Indoor Arena, was compered by Wogan and Katrina Leskanich, lead vocalist of the 1997 contest winners Katrina and the Waves.[6][15]

Opening and interval acts[edit]

Violinist Vanessa-Mae performed as part of interval act.

The contest began with a video entitled "Birmingham, Old and New", which presented overlapping images of present-day Birmingham with archive footage of the city, including shots of Brindleyplace and boats on the city's canal network, to music from the BBC Concert Orchestra.[6][16] A fanfare from the trumpeters of the Life Guards greeted the contest's presenters as they entered the stage.[16] Also featured during the opening section of the broadcast was a summary video of the 1960 contest, the first to be held in the United Kingdom, with that year's presenter Katie Boyle – the only individual to host four contests – in attendance as a special guest.[16][17] Special appearances were also featured from Katrina Leskanich and Carrie Crowley, the co-presenter of the 1997 contest, who appeared via video link from Dublin.[16]

The interval performance was entitled "Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity", based on music from the movement of the same name from the orchestral suite The Planets by English composer Gustav Holst.[18] A medley of vocal and instrumental pieces inspired by English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Indian and Zulu cultures, the segment included over 200 performers and featured music from the BBC Concert Orchestra and performances by soprano Lesley Garrett, violinist Vanessa-Mae, the Sutherland Pipe Band, Andrew Findon on tin whistle, Carys Hughes on harp, the bhangra dance group Nachda Sansaar, the Canoldir Male Voice Choir, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, trumpeters from the Band of the Blues and Royals and an excerpt of Patti Boulaye's Sun Dance.[16][19][20][21]

Trophy[edit]

The trophy awarded to the writers of the winning song was designed by Anongkarat Unyawong, a student at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, who had won a competition conducted at the school for the occasion.[22][23] The winning performers received a glass bowl designed by Susan Nickson bearing the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 logo.[16] The winners were heralded by the trumpeters of the Life Guards as they entered the stage, and the awards were presented by Katrina Leskanich.[18][23]

Format[edit]

The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 were published in November 1997. The document set out the overall aim of the contest and provided detail on the organisation of the event, the qualification process, the criteria for the competing songs and performers, the voting system to be used to determine the results of the contest, as well as the rights and responsibilities conferred by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) onto the participating broadcasters.[24]

Entries[edit]

Each participating broadcaster submitted one song to the contest, which was required to be no longer than three minutes in duration and performed in the language, or one of the languages, of the participating country. Short quotations from another language, no more than a single phrase repeated a maximum of three times, were permitted.[24] Each entry was able to utilise all or part of the live orchestra and could use instrumental-only backing tracks.[24] This was the second edition of the contest in which the entire song could be performed with a backing track, following the 1997 contest; previously any backing tracks which were used could only include the sound of instruments which featured on stage being mimed by the performers.[25] A maximum of six performers were allowed on stage during each country's performance, and all performers must have reached the age of 16 in the year of the contest.[24]

Selected entries were not permitted to be released commercially before 1 January 1998; entries were only permitted to be released after being selected for the contest, and were then only allowed to be released in the country they represented until after the contest was held.[24] Entries were required to be selected by each country's participating broadcaster by 15 March, and the final submission date for all selected entries to be received by the contest organisers was set for 23 March. This submission was required to include the score of the song for use by the orchestra, a sound recording of the entry and backing track for use during the contest, and the text of the song lyrics in its original language and translations in French and English for distribution to the participating broadcasters, their commentators and juries.[24]

For the first time a watermark was included on screen during each entry with the name of the country being performed, an innovation which now features every year.[26] This edition of the contest would conversely be the last in which countries would be obliged to perform in their own language and the last to feature an orchestra accompanying the competing entries; from the following year's contest participating countries were able to send entries in any language and the organising broadcaster was no longer obliged to provide an orchestra.[27] In subsequent years the rules would be modified again to remove the option for entries to be accompanied by live music entirely.[28]

Voting procedure[edit]

The results of the 1998 contest were determined through the same scoring system as had first been introduced in 1975: each country awarded twelve points to its favourite entry, followed by ten points to its second favourite, and then awarded points in decreasing value from eight to one for the remaining songs which featured in the country's top ten, with countries unable to vote for their own entry.[24][29] For the first time each participating country was required to use televoting to determine their points, with countries with weak telephone networks that prevented them from holding a large-scale televote being granted an exception.[30][24] This followed a trail held in the 1997 contest where televoting was used to determine the points from five of the twenty-five competing countries.[29] Viewers had a total of five minutes to register their vote by calling one of twenty-four different telephone numbers to represent the twenty-five competing entries except that which represented their own country, with voting lines opening following the performance of the last competing entry.[16][24] Once phone lines were opened a video recap containing short clips of each competing entry with the accompanying phone number for voting was shown in order to aid viewers during the voting window.[16] Systems were also put in place to prevent lobby groups from one country voting for their song by travelling to other countries.[24]

The points from countries which were unable to use televoting were determined by an assembled jury of sixteen individuals, which was required to be split evenly between members of the public and music professionals, comprised additionally of an equal number of men and women, and below and above 30 years of age. In addition countries using televoting were required to appoint a back-up jury of eight members which would be called into action upon technical failure preventing the televote results from being used, with the same equal split of gender, age and occupation.[30][24] Each jury member voted in secret and awarded between one and ten votes to each participating song, excluding that from their own country and with no abstentions permitted. The votes of each member were collected following the country's performance and then tallied by the non-voting jury chairperson to determine the points to be awarded. In any cases where two or more songs in the top ten received the same number of votes, a show of hands by all jury members was used to determine the final placing; if a tie still remained, the youngest jury member would have the deciding vote.[24]

Postcards[edit]

Each entry was preceded by a video postcard which served as an introduction to the competing artists from each country, as well as providing an opportunity to showcase the running artistic theme of the event and creating a transition between entries to allow stage crew to make changes on stage.[31][32] The postcards for the 1998 contest continued the theme of the opening segment, with each clip focussing on a particular theme – either an object, place or concept – and creating a juxtaposition between its past and present-day versions. Each postcard was accompanied by extracts of Britpop or classical music, with a pattern featured in the final moments of the footage forming into the flag of the country which was about to perform.[16][33] The various themes for each postcard, and the musical accompaniment which featured, are listed below by order of performance:[16][33]

  1.  Croatia – Football; "Sight for Sore Eyes" (M People)
  2.  Greece – Beaches; "Alright" (Supergrass)
  3.  France – Aircraft; "Ordinary World" (Duran Duran)
  4.  Spain – Leisure; The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (performed by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra)
  5.   Switzerland – Loch Ness; "Enchanted Highland" (APM Celtic Players)
  6.  Slovakia – Jewellery; "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Dub" (Apollo 440)
  7.  Poland – Glasgow, Scotland; "Slight Return" (The Bluetones)
  8.  Israel – Art; "Common People" (Pulp)
  9.  Germany – Ironworks; "Always on My Mind" (Pet Shop Boys)
  10.  Malta – Fashion; "Mulder and Scully" (Catatonia)
  11.  Hungary – Wales; "A Design for Life" (Manic Street Preachers)
  12.  Slovenia – Pubs; "Ocean Drive" (Lighthouse Family)
  13.  Ireland – London, England; "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (The Verve)
  14.  Portugal – Education; "Beautiful Ones" (Suede)
  15.  Romania – Sailing; "Sailing" (Rod Stewart)
  16.  United Kingdom – Cars; "Hush" (Kula Shaker)
  17.  Cyprus – Food; "Born Slippy" (Underworld)
  18.  Netherlands – Broadcasting; "Polo Mint City" (Texas)
  19.  Sweden – Retail; "Don't Marry Her" (The Beautiful South)
  20.  Belgium – Theatres; "She's a Star" (James)
  21.  Finland – Films; "The Chad Who Loved Me" (Mansun)
  22.  Norway – Medieval; "Hail to the King" (performed by the Kneller Hall State Trumpeters)
  23.  Estonia – Belfast, Northern Ireland; "Bright Side of the Road" (Van Morrison)
  24.  Turkey – National landmarks; Symphony No. 5, III: Romanza (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
  25.  Macedonia – Weather; "Sugar Coated Iceberg" (The Lightning Seeds)

Participating countries[edit]

Per the rules of the contest twenty-five countries were allowed to participate in the event.[24] Macedonia participated in the contest for the first time, having previously applied to enter the 1996 contest but failed to progress from that edition's qualification round; due to the then-ongoing Macedonia naming dispute with Greece, the nation participated under the provisional reference "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" or its shortened form "FYR Macedonia".[26][34] Belgium, Finland, Israel, Romania and Slovakia made a return to the contest, replacing Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Iceland and Russia, which were relegated following the previous year's contest, and Italy which decided against entering the event.[26]

Qualification[edit]

Due to the high number of countries wishing to enter the contest a relegation system was introduced in 1993 in order to reduce the number of countries which could compete in each year's contest. Any relegated countries would be able to return the following year, thus allowing all countries the opportunity to compete in at least one in every two editions.[35] The relegation rules introduced for the 1997 contest were again utilised ahead of the 1998 contest, based on each country's average points total in previous contests.[6][24] The twenty-five participants were made up of the previous year's winning country and host nation, the eighteen countries which had the highest average points total over the preceding five contests, and any eligible countries which did not compete in the 1997 contest.[6][24] In cases where the average was identical between two or more countries the total number of points scored in the most recent contest determined the final order.[24]

Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Iceland and Russia were therefore excluded from participating in the 1998 contest; however after Italy declined to participate Germany was subsequently provided a reprieve and allowed to enter.[26][36] The calculations used to determine the countries relegated for the 1998 contest are outlined in the table below.

Table key

  Qualifier
  Automatic qualifier
  Replacement qualifier
  Did not enter
Calculation of average points to determine qualification for the 1998 contest[a]
Rank Country Average Yearly Point Totals[37][38][39][40][41]
1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
1  Ireland 155.20 187 226 44 162 157
2  United Kingdom 121.40 164 63 76 77 227
3  Norway 91.60 120 76 148 114 0
4  France 80.40 121 74 94 18 95
5  Italy[b] 79.50 45 114
6  Malta 75.20 69 97 76 68 66
7  Sweden 74.60 89 48 100 100 36
8  Poland 66.50 166 15 31 54
9  Cyprus 63.40 17 51 79 72 98
10  Spain 61.40 58 17 119 17 96
11  Estonia 59.33 2 94 82
12  Hungary 54.67 122 3 39
13  Croatia 54.20 31 27 91 98 24
14  Turkey 52.25 10 21 57 121
15  Greece 50.20 64 44 68 36 39
16   Switzerland 47.50 148 15 22 5
17  Portugal 46.00 60 73 5 92 0
18  Netherlands 44.75 92 4 78 5
19[c]  Slovenia 42.25 9 84 16 60
20[c]  Germany[b] 42.25 18 128 1 22
21  Denmark 42.00 9 92 25
22  Russia 40.00 70 17 33
23  Austria 39.60 32 19 67 68 12
24  Iceland 38.20 42 49 31 51 18
25  Bosnia and Herzegovina 23.00 27 39 14 13 22

Conductors[edit]

For those countries which opted to utilise the orchestra during their performance a separate musical director could be nominated to lead the orchestra during their performance, with the host musical director, Martin Koch, also conducting for those countries which did not nominate their own conductor.[24][42] The conductors listed below led the orchestra during the performance for the indicated countries.[33][43]

The entries from Greece, Switzerland, Israel, Germany, Malta, Slovenia and Belgium were performed entirely without orchestration, however in the case of Germany and Slovenia conductors for those countries were present during the contest.[33] Stefan Raab, the writer of the German entry under the pseudonym "Alf Igel", had no intention of conducting the orchestra but insisted on taking the customary conductor's bow before the entry, while the Slovenian entry had been due to be performed with the orchestra before a change of mind by the songwriters during the rehearsals led to the full backing track being used and their conductor Mojmir Sepe instead signally to start the track.[44][45] The French entry had been planned to be performed completely with the backing track, but during rehearsals a decision was reached to incorporate additional live string accompaniment from the orchestra directed by Martin Koch.[46]

Returning artists[edit]

The contest featured four representatives who had previously performed as lead artists for the same country. Two artists returned as lead artists in the 1998 contest: Danijela had previously represented Croatia in 1995 as a member of the group Magazin;[33][47] and José Cid, a member of Alma Lusa, had represented Portugal in 1980.[48] Additionally, Egon Egemann, who had previously represented Switzerland in the 1990 contest, and Paul Harrington, winner of the 1994 contest for Ireland with Charlie McGettigan, returned as backing performers for their respective countries, with Egemann performing on stage as violinist for Gunvor and Harrington providing backing vocals for Dawn Martin.[49][50]

Participants and results[edit]

Dana International brought Israel its third victory in the contest and became the contest's first LGBTQ+ winner.

The contest took place on 9 May 1998 at 20:00 (BST) and lasted just under 3 hours.[24][33] The table below outlines the participating countries, the order in which they performed, the competing artists and songs, and the results of the voting.

Following the contest it was announced the results of the Spanish vote had been incorrectly tabulated, resulting in Germany, which should have been awarded twelve points, receiving no points at all; this subsequently had an impact of the remaining countries which were awarded points by Spain.[30][26][51] The tables in this article present the corrected results as published by the EBU.

The winner was Israel represented by the song "Diva", composed by Svika Pick, written by Yoav Ginai [he] and performed by Dana International.[52] This marked Israel's third contest win, following the country's back-to-back victories in 1978 and 1979.[53] Dana International, the contest's first trans participant, also became the first openly LGBTQ+ and first openly trans artist to win the event.[54][55] The United Kingdom earned a record-extending fifteenth second place finish, Malta equalled its previous best contest performance, and the Netherlands obtained its best placing since its most recent victory in 1975.[30][26] Incidentally, it was the third year in a row that the entry of the host country had finished in second place, following Norway in 1996 and Ireland in 1997.[40][41]

"Diva" was subsequently nominated in 2005 to compete in Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest, a special broadcast to determine the contest's most popular entry of its first 50 years as part of the contest's anniversary celebrations. One of 14 entries chosen to compete – the only song from the 1990s on the list – "Diva" ultimately finished in thirteenth place.[56][57]

Participants and results of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998[58][59][60][d]
R/O Country Artist Song Language Points Place
1  Croatia Danijela "Neka mi ne svane" Croatian 131 5
2  Greece Thalassa "Mia krifi evaisthisia" (Μια κρυφή ευαισθησία) Greek 12 20
3  France Marie Line "Où aller" French 3 24
4  Spain Mikel Herzog "¿Qué voy a hacer sin ti?" Spanish 21 16
5   Switzerland Gunvor "Lass ihn" German 0 25
6  Slovakia Katarína Hasprová "Modlitba" Slovak 8 21
7  Poland Sixteen "To takie proste" Polish 19 17
8  Israel Dana International "Diva" (דיווה) Hebrew 172 1
9  Germany Guildo Horn "Guildo hat euch lieb!" German 86 7
10  Malta Chiara "The One That I Love" English 165 3
11  Hungary Charlie "A holnap már nem lesz szomorú" Hungarian 4 23
12  Slovenia Vili Resnik "Naj bogovi slišijo" Slovene 17 18
13  Ireland Dawn Martin "Is Always Over Now?" English 64 9
14  Portugal Alma Lusa "Se eu te pudesse abraçar" Portuguese 36 12
15  Romania Mălina Olinescu "Eu cred" Romanian 6 22
16  United Kingdom Imaani "Where Are You?" English 166 2
17  Cyprus Michael Hajiyanni "Genesis" (Γένεσις) Greek 37 11
18  Netherlands Edsilia "Hemel en aarde" Dutch 150 4
19  Sweden Jill Johnson "Kärleken är" Swedish 53 10
20  Belgium Mélanie Cohl "Dis oui" French 122 6
21  Finland Edea "Aava" Finnish 22 15
22  Norway Lars A. Fredriksen "Alltid sommer" Norwegian 79 8
23  Estonia Koit Toome "Mere lapsed" Estonian 36 12
24  Turkey Tüzmen "Unutamazsın" Turkish 25 14
25  Macedonia Vlado Janevski "Ne zori, zoro" (Не зори, зоро) Macedonian 16 19

Detailed voting results[edit]

Televoting was used to determine the points awarded by all countries, except Hungary, Romania and Turkey.[30] The announcement of the results from each country was conducted in the order in which they performed, with the spokespersons announcing their country's points in English or French in ascending order.[16][24] The detailed breakdown of the points awarded by each country is listed in the tables below.

Detailed voting results of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998[30][61][62][d]
Voting procedure used:
  100% televoting
  100% jury vote
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
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]

The below table summarises how the maximum 12 points were awarded from one country to another. The winning country is shown in bold.

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
4  Malta  Ireland,  Norway,  Slovakia,  United Kingdom
 United Kingdom  Croatia,  Israel,  Romania,  Turkey
3  Israel  France,  Malta,  Portugal
 Germany  Netherlands,  Spain,   Switzerland
2  Croatia  Macedonia,  Slovenia
 Netherlands  Belgium,  Hungary
1  Belgium  Poland
 Cyprus  Greece
 Estonia  Finland
 Greece  Cyprus
 Norway  Sweden
 Sweden  Estonia
 Turkey  Germany

Spokespersons[edit]

Each country nominated a spokesperson who was responsible for announcing, in English or French, the votes for their respective country.[24][63] As had been the case since the 1994 contest, the spokespersons were connected via satellite and appeared in vision during the broadcast.[64] Spokespersons at the 1998 contest are listed below.[16]

During the voting procedure Ulrika Jonsson made an unplanned comical moment with the Dutch spokesperson Conny Vandenbos; after Vandenbos had expressed her sympathy with the performers in the contest – having previously represented the Netherlands in 1965 – she added that "it's long ago". Due to the noise in the arena this comment was not heard, but Jonsson's reply, "a long time ago, was it?" was, leading to a reaction from the crowd due to the perceived rudeness of the remark out of context.[65]

  1.  Croatia – Davor Meštrović [hr]
  2.  Greece – Alexis Kostalas [el]
  3.  France – Marie Myriam
  4.  Spain – Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
  5.   Switzerland – Regula Elsener
  6.  Slovakia – Alena Heribanová [sk]
  7.  Poland – Jan Chojnacki
  8.  Israel – Yigal Ravid
  9.  Germany – Nena
  10.  Malta – Stephanie Spiteri
  11.  Hungary – Barna Héder [hu]
  12.  Slovenia – Mojca Mavec [sl]
  13.  Ireland – Eileen Dunne[66]
  14.  Portugal – Lúcia Moniz
  15.  Romania – Anca Țurcașiu [ro]
  16.  United Kingdom – Ken Bruce[67]
  17.  Cyprus – Marina Maleni
  18.  Netherlands – Conny Vandenbos[68]
  19.  Sweden – Björn Hedman[69]
  20.  Belgium – Marie-Hélène Vanderborght
  21.  Finland – Marjo Wilska
  22.  Norway – Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
  23.  Estonia – Urve Tiidus[70]
  24.  Turkey – Osman Erkan
  25.  Macedonia – Evgenija Teodosievska

Broadcasts[edit]

Each participating broadcaster was required to relay live and in full the contest via television. Non-participating EBU member broadcasters were also able to relay the contest as "passive participants"; any passive countries wishing to participate in the following year's event were also required to provide a live broadcast of the contest or a deferred broadcast within 24 hours.[24] Broadcasters were able to send commentators to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language and to relay information about the artists and songs to their viewers.

The 1998 contest was transmitted to 33 European countries, as well as to Australia, Canada and South Korea.[6][8] Known details on the broadcasts in each country, including the specific broadcasting stations and commentators, are shown in the tables below.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster Channel Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Belgium RTBF Unknown Jean-Pierre Hautier [71][72]
VRT VRT TV1 André Vermeulen and Andrea Croonenberghs [nl] [73][74][75]
 Croatia HRT HRT 1 Unknown [76][77]
 Cyprus CyBC Unknown Unknown [78]
 Estonia ETV Reet Linna [et] [79][80][81]
 Finland YLE YLE TV1 Maria Guzenina and Sami Aaltonen [fi] [81][82][83]
 France France Télévision France 2 Chris and Laura Mayne [84][85][86]
 Germany ARD Das Erste Peter Urban [86][87][88]
 Greece ERT Unknown Giorgos Mitropoulos [89][90]
 Hungary MTV Unknown Gábor Gundel Takács [hu] [91][92]
 Ireland RTÉ Unknown Pat Kenny [93][94][95]
Unknown Larry Gogan [93][96]
 Israel IBA Unknown Unknown [52]
 Macedonia MRT Unknown Unknown [97]
 Malta PBS TVM Unknown [98]
 Netherlands NOS TV2 Willem van Beusekom [73][99][100]
Radio 2 Unknown [73][99]
 Norway NRK NRK1 Jostein Pedersen [101][102]
NRK P1 Stein Dag Jensen [no] [101][102][103]
 Poland TVP Unknown Artur Orzech [104][105]
 Portugal RTP RTP1 Rui Unas [pt] [86][106][107]
 Romania TVR Unknown Leonard Miron [108][109]
 Slovakia STV Unknown Unknown [110]
 Slovenia RTV SLO SLO 1 [sl] Unknown [77][111]
 Spain TVE La Primera José Luis Uribarri [112][113][114]
 Sweden SVT SVT2 Pernilla Månsson and Christer Björkman [69][102][115]
SR P4 Anna Hötzel and Claes-Johan Larsson [69][115]
  Switzerland SRG SSR SF 2 Unknown [86][116]
TSR 1 Jean-Marc Richard [85][86][116]
TSI 1 Unknown [86][116]
 Turkey TRT Unknown Unknown [117]
 United Kingdom BBC BBC One Terry Wogan [67][118][119]
BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce [67][118][120]
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster Channel Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Austria ORF ORF 1 Ernst Grissemann [de] [86][121][122]
FM4 Stermann & Grissemann [121][123]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina RTVBiH Unknown Unknown [124]
 Denmark DR DR1 Jørgen de Mylius [102][125][126]
 Iceland RÚV Sjónvarpið Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson [127][128]
 Latvia LTV Unknown Unknown [129]
 Lithuania LRT LTV Unknown [130][131]

Incidents[edit]

Dana International[edit]

The selection of Dana International as the Israeli representative for the contest by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) created uproar among members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel. Taking issue with the singer's trans status, groups mounted street protests against her selection, and she also received death threats ahead of the contest.[132][133][134] Her selection was also opposed by some politicians, with deputy minister Shlomo Benizri demanding her removal, referring to the singer as "an abomination" and her selection as "sending a message of darkness".[135][136] On arriving at the contest Dana International was accommodated in the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, the only hotel in Birmingham with bulletproof windows, and was accompanied in public by armed guards.[36][137]

Following her victory Dana International also caused a delay in the production when, following the conclusion of the voting, she changed outfits into one specially designed for the contest by Jean Paul Gaultier but which was ultimately not used for the original performance.[138] This led to scenes towards the end of the broadcast of hosts Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson, and last year's winning vocalist Katrina Leskanich, looking perturbed and confused as to the delay and location of Dana International.[36][65]

Greece staging conflict[edit]

During rehearsals conflict occurred between the contest organisers and the Greek delegation, with the Greeks unhappy with the way that their entry was being presented on screen. Aggressive behaviour by the Greek composer, Yiannis Valvis, during the dress rehearsals led to his accreditation being rescinded, and on the day of the contest the Greek broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) withdrew from the contest, a decision which was ultimately reversed minutes later.[33][36][139]

Turkey timing issues[edit]

Issues arose during the rehearsals for the Turkish entry, when their conductor Ümit Eroğlu was found to be leading the orchestra at too slow a tempo, resulting in the performance running over the three minute limit and thus breaking the rules of the contest. Speculation arose that the country could be disqualified if the performance exceeded the time limit during the final, but ultimately the final performance lasted two minutes and fifty-nine seconds, ensuring that Turkey would remain in the competition.[139][140]

Other awards[edit]

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

The Barbara Dex Award, created in 1997 by fansite House of Eurovision, was awarded to the performer deemed to have been the "worst dressed" among the participants.[141][142] The winner in 1998 was Germany's representative Guildo Horn, as determined by the founders of the House of Eurovision site Edwin van Thillo and Rob Paardekam.[143][144][145]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Determined by totalling all points awarded in the past five contests and dividing by the number of times that country had participated[24]
  2. ^ a b As Italy decided not to participate the eliminated country with the next highest average points total, Germany, was awarded their place.
  3. ^ a b Despite having the same average score Slovenia ranked higher than Germany by virtue of receiving more points in the most recent contest.[24]
  4. ^ a b The below table reflects the official results as published by the EBU following the contest. Due to a calculation error the Spanish points were incorrectly awarded, and Germany, which should have been awarded 12 points as the highest voted song by the Spanish public, received zero points during the original broadcast. As a result of the correction, the points total of the remaining countries in the Spanish top ten were modified, with Israel and Norway being reduced by two points and Belgium, Portugal, Malta, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Croatia and Turkey being reduced by one point.[16][26]

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Bibliography[edit]

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