Eurovision Song Contest 1997

The Eurovision Song Contest 1997, was the 42nd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Dublin, Ireland, following Eimear Quinn's win at the 1996 contest in Oslo, Norway with the song "The Voice". This was the seventh time that Ireland hosted the event, and the fourth in five years.

Eurovision Song Contest 1997
Final3 May 1997
VenuePoint Theatre
Dublin, Ireland
ConductorFrank McNamara
Directed byIan McGarry
Executive supervisorMarie-Claire Vionnet
Executive producerNoel Curran
Host broadcasterRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Interval act"Let The Message Run Free" performed by Ronan Keating & Boyzone
Number of entries25
Debuting countriesNone
Returning countries
Withdrawing countries
Voting systemEach country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs
Nul points
Winning song

The contest was held at the Point Theatre on 3 May 1997. Carrie Crowley and Boyzone member Ronan Keating were the presenters of the show.[1] Twenty-five countries took part in the 1997 Contest, which saw Italy return after a three-year absence - the last participation being in 1993,[2] along with Denmark, Germany, Hungary, and Russia, who last took part in 1995, despite having taken part in the non-televised 1996 pre-qualifying round in which they failed to qualify and therefore were absent.[3] Belgium, Finland, and Slovakia had to withdraw from the contest due to the relegation rule.[1]

The United Kingdom won the competition, thanks to Katrina and the Waves, led by American-born Katrina Leskanich, making it the second time that the British won the Eurovision on Irish soil (after 1981).[1] It also remains the last time the United Kingdom won the contest (as of 2019).


Ireland hosted the contest for the fourth time in five years after winning the 1996 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.[1]


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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[1]

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).[1] 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.[1]

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, the duty being fulfilled by Frank McNamara.

Returning artists

Artist Country Previous Year(s)
Alma Čardžić  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1994
Maarja-Liis Ilus  Estonia 1996
Şebnem Paker  Turkey

Alma Čardžić returned for Bosnia and Herzegovina after last representing the nation in 1994.[4] Maarja-Liis Ilus and Şebnem Paker both returned for a 1996 representing Estonia and Turkey respectively.[5][6]


Most performances had a conductor who maestro the orchestra.


Draw Country Artist Song Language[7] Place[1] Points[1]
01  Cyprus Hara & Andreas Konstantinou "Mana mou" (Μάνα μου) Greek 5 98
02  Turkey Şebnem Paker & Grup Ethnic "Dinle" Turkish 3 121
03  Norway Tor Endresen "San Francisco" Norwegian1 24 0
04  Austria Bettina Soriat "One Step" German1 21 12
05  Ireland Marc Roberts "Mysterious Woman" English 2 157
06  Slovenia Tanja Ribič "Zbudi se" Slovene 10 60
07   Switzerland Barbara Berta "Dentro di me" Italian 22 5
08  Netherlands Mrs. Einstein "Niemand heeft nog tijd" Dutch 22 5
09  Italy Jalisse "Fiumi di parole" Italian 4 114
10  Spain Marcos Llunas "Sin rencor" Spanish 6 96
11  Germany Bianca Shomburg "Zeit" German 18 22
12  Poland Anna Maria Jopek "Ale jestem" Polish 11 54
13  Estonia Maarja-Liis Ilus "Keelatud maa" Estonian 8 82
14  Bosnia and Herzegovina Alma Čardžić "Goodbye" Bosnian 18 22
15  Portugal Célia Lawson "Antes do adeus" Portuguese 24 0
16  Sweden Blond "Bara hon älskar mig" Swedish 14 36
17  Greece Marianna Zorba "Horepse" (Χόρεψε) Greek 12 39
18  Malta Debbie Scerri "Let Me Fly" English 9 66
19  Hungary V.I.P. "Miért kell, hogy elmenj?" Hungarian 12 39
20  Russia Alla Pugacheva "Primadonna" (Примадонна) Russian 15 33
21  Denmark Kølig Kaj "Stemmen i mit liv" Danish 16 25
22  France Fanny "Sentiments songes" French 7 95
23  Croatia E.N.I. "Probudi me" Croatian 17 24
24  United Kingdom Katrina and the Waves "Love Shine a Light" English 1 227
25  Iceland Paul Oscar "Minn hinsti dans" Icelandic 20 18
1.^ ^ Contained some lyrics in English.


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 possible televote points that year; Ireland earned 47 of 60 possible televote points—including their only 12 from the UK.[8]

During the voting the United Kingdom received at least five points from every voting country, the exception is Malta who only gave the United Kingdom one point.

Voting procedure used:
  100% Jury vote
  100% Televoting
Total score
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Kingdom
Cyprus 982344104105131271744512
Turkey 1217262712126125671064647
Norway 0
Austria 123153
Ireland 1578631017410687881010851010612
Slovenia 6021024743510733
Switzerland 523
Netherlands 514
Italy 114651110107848612353741031
Spain 961046586324861210822
Germany 22355315
Poland 5448711263421753
Estonia 82168312476111488102
Bosnia and Herzegovina 22842341
Portugal 0
Sweden 36856674
Greece 391257627
Malta 665121076158318
Hungary 39345525285
Russia 33151287
Denmark 25717226
France 953212102351212362426110
Croatia 244132581
United Kingdom 227776121281212851010101071210112121212128
Iceland 182286

12 points

Below is a summary of all 12-point in the final:[8]

N.ContestantVoting nation
10United KingdomAustria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland
3 FranceEstonia, Norway, Poland
TurkeyBosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Spain
2CyprusGreece, Iceland
1 EstoniaItaly
IrelandUnited Kingdom

Qualification for the 1998 contest

In addition to the host country of the 1998 contest, the United Kingdom, the 18 countries with the highest average scores between 1993 and 1997 were allowed to compete in the 1998 contest.


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 Republic of 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 still regarded as one of the most successful Eurovision winners,[N 1] 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.

Barbara Dex Award

For the first time, the fansite House of Eurovision presented the Barbara Dex Award, a humorous award given to the worst dressed artist each year in the contest. It is named after the Belgian artist, Barbara Dex, who came last in the 1993 contest, in which she wore her own self designed dress. House of Eurovision would continue to provide the Barbara Dex Award until 2016, when another Eurovision fansite,, took the reins of the award and will present it every year starting with the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine.

Debbie Scerri of Malta was the 1997 Barbara Dex Award winner.

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.

  1.  Cyprus - Marios Skordis[9]
  2.  Turkey - Ömer Önder
  3.  Norway - Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
  4.  Austria - Adriana Zartl
  5.  Ireland - Eileen Dunne
  6.  Slovenia - Mojca Mavec
  7.   Switzerland - Sandy Altermatt
  8.  Netherlands - Corry Brokken (Dutch representative in 1956, 1958; winner of the 1957 contest, and presenter of the 1976 contest)
  9.  Italy - Peppi Franzelin
  10.  Spain - Belén Fernández de Henestrosa
  11.  Germany - Christina Mänz
  12.  Poland - Jan Chojnacki
  13.  Estonia - Helene Tedre[10]
  14.  Bosnia and Herzegovina - Segmedina Srna
  15.  Portugal - Cristina Rocha[11]
  16.  Sweden - Gösta Hanson[12]
  17.  Greece - Niki Venega[13]
  18.  Malta - Anna Bonanno
  19.  Hungary - Györgyi Albert
  20.  Russia - Arina Sharapova
  21.  Denmark - Bent Henius
  22.  France - Frédéric Ferrer & Marie Myriam[14]
  23.  Croatia - Davor Meštrović[15]
  24.  United Kingdom - Colin Berry
  25.  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.

Non-participating countries

National jury members


  1. 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%.
  2. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia last participated in 1992. RTS2 broadcast the show, although Yugoslavia did not participate.
  1. After Italy withdrew from the 1998 contest, their place was awarded to Germany.
  2. While Slovenia and Germany had the same average score, Slovenia had achieved a higher score in the most recent contest, 1997.


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