July 2009 Archives
Jade Ewen and the UK finished fifth overall, but that's a combination of the juries having My Time in third place out of the 25 songs - but the public only placing it 10th once all the phone votes were added up.
Winners Norway came out top with both the juries and the public, but there are real discrepancies with France (4th with the juries, 17th with the public) and Israel (9th for the juries and 25th/last with the public).
However, big thanks from the UK to the juries in Greece, Portugal, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Spain and Albania. The wise folk in each of these gave Blighty the full 12. Aren't they nice?
The full article on the official Eurovision webpage is here for you to have a closer look at who liked what - and if any politics did indeed come into play.
Spain and Germany, the silver and bronze medallists in Dublin, weren't interested in stepping in, either. Therefore, the baton was passed to fourth-placers, the UK, making this the fourth time the BBC would host.
Possibly in deference to Lulu bringing Britain a tied win in 1969, it was decided the Contest should be held in Scotland. In a move which surely miffed Lulu's home city of Glasgow, it was decided to stage the event in the more genteel surrounds of Scottish capital Edinburgh.
The 3,000(ish) capacity Usher Hall on the Lothian Road was chosen as the venue. Katie Boyle was the stock BBC Eurovision hostess at the time, but having a very English lady acting as announcer would doubtless rub the hometown audience up the wrong way, so actress, dancer and wife of Ludovic Kennedy, Moira Shearer was persuaded to do the job.
Moira (pictured), who died in 2006, gamely took the job on because her daughters wanted some teasing ammo for future use. Prior to her presenting job, Moira was known to ballet afficionados throughout the world for her leading role in Powell and Pressburger's 1948 classic film The Red Shoes, about a pair of enchanted/cursed scarlet ballet slippers which won't stop its wearer from dancing.
The same 18 countries which appeared in Dublin returned for Edinburgh - with the French and Greek reserves pulling a big win out of the bag with an even bigger ballad.
Winner 1972: Vicky Leandros performs Apres Toi for Luxembourg
Hopefully, this sort of story will encourage other British acts to have a go at Eurovision next year, proving it's not a complete waste of time to get your face and voice out there in front of several million people.
Wonder if we can get Usher to write the song?
Everything seemed rosy in the garden of Eurovision in 1971. Following the big huff from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Portugal over the 1969 result which saw them stay at home in 1970, all four of them returned for the Contest held in Dublin's tiny Gaiety Theatre. Austria ended its two-year Euro exile as well in '71 - with all five returnees joined by debutantes Malta - who would go on to be one of the keenest of keen members of the Song Contest family (but they finished last at their first attempt). With 18 countries on board, the event was in far ruder health than it had been at the dawn of the decade.
Winner 1971: Severine performs Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue for Monaco
The result saw one of the best winners ever (in Boom Bang a Blog's opinion) take the title, with victory for a country that stopped entering not long afterwards. And, in a bit of a change from our usual Bluffer's Guides, Irish Eurovision fan and blogger Peter Walsh will be sharing a few of his memories about the excitement felt across the Emerald Isle as they prepared to stage the show for the very first time. Thank you very much, sir.
Sir Terry Wogan, who caused me to laugh far too much than I should whilst behind the wheel of a car with this morning's Janet and John story, has given his Eurovision commentary box successor Graham Norton his full support.
The elder Irishman hung up his mic in 2008 and many thought him irreplacable. What do you think? Was Graham as good as - or even better than - Terry in Moscow this year. BBC News has a report on Wogan's Radio Times interview here.
I grew up in Moreton in Wirral. It had a market called 'Moreton Market'. Imagine my childish glee, therefore, when a band became a global phenomenon in 1985 with a lead singer called 'Morten Harket'. Well, I was only eight years old.
Moreton Market no longer exists (by that name, anyway), but A-Ha and its lead singer most definitely do. Twenty-four years after the still-remarkable Take On Me video, Morten and his two chums are back with a new album, Foot of the Mountain, the title track of which is getting loads of airplay at the moment with its Brit-friendly vibe.
The BBC News website currently carries an interview with the lads. They touch upon the recent success of Alexander Rybak at this year's Eurovision Song Contest - and Morten's own brush with the Concours de la Chanson 13 years ago. You can read all about it right here.
The four countries out of the 16 entrants in 1969 who took the Eurovision Song Contest title were - understandably - all rather pleased to have won.
That wasn't the case for the other twelve. The entire Scandinavian bloc who entered at the time - Sweden, Norway and Finland - refused to participate in 1970 in protest at what was quickly branded a ridiculous result to such a popular event. Joining them in full-on snub mode, for some reason, was Portugal. Austria had refused to enter a Contest staged under the Franco regime in 1969 (despite its jury having no problems giving Massiel a vital two votes in 1968) - and continued its ditty embargo into 1970.
Thus, on March 21, 1970, just 12 countries - the smallest line-up since 1959 - gathered at Amsterdam's Rai Congrescentrum for the first all-singing bun fight of the new decade.
And it was to become a rather one-sided Battle of the Celts.
French and Saunders remember Eurovision 1970's top scoring ladies
Blimey, the withdrawal of the Czech Republic from next year's Eurovision appears to have caught people's imaginations in the months were column inches naturally fall short in the world's press.
As well as Boom Bang a Blog's insightful recording of the news, the story was followed in loads of other places too.
Caroline Westbrook's rather excellent Eurovision Blog.
Also at No Rock'n'Roll Fun.
And even on BBC News.
Who says Eurovision isn't important?
Winners 1969 (clockwise from top left):
Salome performs Vivo Cantando for Spain; Lulu performs Boom Bang a Bang for the United Kingdom; Lenny Kuhr performs De Troubador for the Netherlands; Frida Boccara performs Un Jour, un Enfant for France
In the days running up to the show, Laurita Valenzuela (the Spanish hostess of the 1969 Contest who singlehandedly kept her nation's lace industry going well into the '70s with the outfit she wore on the big night) asked Mr Clifford Brown, the Eurovision scrutineer who ensured everything was tickety-boo with the scoreboard, what would happen if there was a tie for first place at the end of the voting, his answer was emphatic.
He told Ms Valenzuela not to worry - that sort of thing had never happened before - and certainly never would.
As some of you will be aware - and thanks for signing up - Boom Bang a Blog now has its own Twitter service. This means that whenever your favourite Eurovision-related blog is updated, I will have absolutely no way of letting you know about it - but I can tell you when Boom Bang a Blog has been enriched with Eurovisiony goodness.
To sign up. you'll have to be a member of Twitter - which is well worth doing.
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