1991 Logo ©  EBU

Basic information

Date: 
4 May 1991
Venue: 
Studio 15 di Cinecitta, Roma, Italy
Broadcaster: 
RAI
Presenter(s): 
Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno
About the contest: 

The producers and presenters of the 1991 contest have come in for a lot of criticism over the years for the way the contest was presented. The complaints have been directed at Toto for speaking to the singers before or after their performance, the apparent lack of organisation and Toto and Gigliola’s lack of English. It is for these reasons that RAI can actually be very proud of its production. Every year, there are presenters who flirt with each other, make jokes they don’t understand and waffle on about how music brings everyone together. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the viewer could be forgiven for not knowing which country the contest is being broadcast from. What was seen in Rome was a very Italian show; presenters and singers converse, there is an element of adlibbing and Toto and Gigliola spoke English with an Italian rather than American accent. The presentation should have a flavour of the host country. Other broadcasters take note.

RAI decided to host the contest in the Teatro Ariston, the annual venue for the Sanremo festival. All was going well until the first Gulf war broke out. Due to the very urban location of the Teatro Ariston, it was decided for security reasons to move the contest to the Cinecitta film studios in Rome.

The Netherlands was the only country from the previous contest to withdraw due to the date clashing with the national remembrance commemorations. Malta returned after a 15 year absence so 22 countries took part.

Thomas Forstner, Stefán, Hanne Krogh (as part of Just 4 Fun) and Carola had taken part in previous contests and their returns saw varying degrees of success.

The scoring system was very familiar by now. Juries awarded points from 1-8, then 10 and finally 12.

Trivia: 
Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, wanted to select the Norwegian entry via a national final. They decided that none of the submitted songs was good enough and so commissioned a song and group. This brought together four singers for a one off collaboration.

Results

Pos.CountryParticipant(s)SongtitlePointsRank
1
Yugoslavia
Baby Doll
Brazil
1
21st
2
Iceland
Stefán and Eyfi
Nina
26
15th
3
Malta
Paul Giordimaina and Georgina
Could It Be
106
6th
4
Greece
Sofia Vossou
I Anixi
36
13th
5
Switzerland
Sandra Simò
Canzone Per Te
118
5th
6
Austria
Thomas Forstner
Venedig Im Regen
-
22nd
7
Luxembourg
Sarah Bray
Un Baiser Volé
29
14th
8
Sweden
Carola
Fångad Av En Stormvind
146
1st
9
France
Amina
C'est Le Dernier Qui A Parlé Qui A Raison
146
2nd
10
Turkey
Izel Çeliköz, Rayhan Soykarçi and Can Ugurluér
Iki Dakika
44
12th
11
Ireland
Kim Jackson
Could It Be That I'm In Love
47
=10th
12
Portugal
Dulce
Lusitana Paixão
62
8th
13
Denmark
Anders Frandsen
Lige Der Hvor Hjertet Slår
8
19th
14
Norway
Just 4 Fun
Mrs. Thompson
14
17th
15
Israel
Duo Datz
Kan
139
3rd
16
Finland
Kaija
Hullu Yö
6
20th
17
Germany
Atlantis 2000
Dieser Traum Darf Niemals Sterben
10
18th
18
Belgium
Clouseau
Geef Het Op
23
16th
19
Spain
Sergio Dalma
Bailar Pegados
119
4th
20
United Kingdom
Samantha Janus
A Message To Your Heart
47
=10th
21
Cyprus
Elena Patroclou
SOS
60
9th
22
Italy
Peppino di Capri
Comme E' Ddoce 'o Mare
89
7th
About the songs: 
 Baby Doll
Baby Doll

Yugoslavia - Baby Doll - Brazil (Serbo-Croat)

Music/Lyrics: Zoran Vracevic/Zoran Vracevic

Conductor: Slobodan Markovic

Getting things going with some eccentricity was the weird and wacky Baby Doll. She was certainly entertaining and the song, if you can look behind the image, is actually very good.

 Stefán and Eyfi
Stefán and Eyfi

Iceland - Stefán and Eyfi - Nina (Icelandic)

Music/Lyrics: Eyjóolfur Kristjánsson/Eyjóolfur Kristjánsson

Conductor: Jorn Olafsson

Eyfi was adorned with a bandana to hide his receding hairline. It’s less quirky than Stefán’s song from the 1988 contest, but the regular ballad is an improvement and considerably easier on the ear.

 Paul Giordimaina and Georgina
Paul Giordimaina and Georgina

Malta - Paul Giordimaina and Georgina - Could It Be (English)

Music/Lyrics: Paul Abela/Raymond Mahoney

Conductor: Paul Abela

This proved to be a very successful return for Malta. The arrangement was fuller than the preview video and this gave the ballad more substance.

 Sofia Vossou
Sofia Vossou

Greece - Sofia Vossou - I Anixi (Greek)

Music/Lyrics: Andreas Mikroutsikos/Andreas Mikroutsikos

Conductor: Haris Andreasdis

Pre-contest, the Greek song was seen as a possible winner. All dreams were shattered by the sax solo, which failed to hit almost any note properly. Sofia pretended not to notice, but the juries definitely did. A real shame as the song deserves to be remembered more fondly. 

 Sandra Simò
Sandra Simò

Switzerland - Sandra Simò - Canzone Per Te (Italian)

Music/Lyrics: Renato Mascetti/Renato Mascetti

Conductor: Flaviano Cuffari

The Swiss chose a song in Italian to represent them in Rome. It’s a ballad that builds well and surprised a few when finishing fifth.

 Thomas Forstner
Thomas Forstner

Austria - Thomas Forstner - Venedig Im Regen (German)

Music/Lyrics: Robby Musenbichler, Hunbert Moser/Wolfgang Eltner

Conductor: Richard Österreicher

Things got off to a sartorially bad start when Thomas appeared on stage in a purple suit! As with his 1989 song, it tries to be an epic, unlike Nur Ein Lied, it doesn’t quite do it.

 Sarah Bray
Sarah Bray

Luxembourg - Sarah Bray - Un Baiser Volé (French)

Music/Lyrics: Patrick Hippert/Mick Wersant, Linda Lecomte

Conductor: Francis Goya

After the saxophonist had ruined any chance of winning the contest, it was the turn of the guitarist to play his part. In fairness, one of the strings broke, which wasn’t his fault. Sarah remained unfazed and delivered her ballad well

 Carola
Carola

Sweden - Carola - Fångad Av En Stormvind (Swedish)

Music/Lyrics: Stefan Berg/Stefan Berg

Conductor: Anders Berglund

Carola was the bookies favourite and she didn’t disappoint. She used her experience to good effect and had as much bounce as her winning song. Like it or hate it, it stays in your head.

 Amina
Amina

France - Amina - C'est Le Dernier Qui A Parlé Qui A Raison (French)

Music/Lyrics: Wasis Diop/Amina Annabi

Conductor: Jérome Pillement

Having been influenced by African rhythms the year before, the French chose an Arabic flavoured song. The result was the same, second place, although it took the tie-break rule to separate Amina from Carola. While it might be more musically credible than the Swedish song, it’s not nearly as nice to listen to and that is what counts. Unlucky not to win? No, lucky to be second.

 Izel Çeliköz, Rayhan Soykarçi and Can Ugurluér
Izel Çeliköz, Rayhan Soykarçi and Can Ugurluér

Turkey - Izel Çeliköz, Rayhan Soykarçi and Can Ugurluér - Iki Dakika (Turkish)

Music/Lyrics: Sevket Ugurluer/Aysel Gurel

Conductor: Turan Yukseler

This song moves along at an almost frantic speed, but if you can keep up, it’s good for a toe-tap. The trio gave it their all and were constantly smiling.  

 Kim Jackson
Kim Jackson

Ireland - Kim Jackson - Could It Be That I'm In Love (English)

Music/Lyrics: Liam Reilly/Liam Reilly

Conductor: Noel Kelehan

Kim had been one of Liam’s backing singers in Zagreb the year before. She wasn’t quite up to the task of of giving his ballad the necessary boost it needed and the result was underwhelming. 

 Dulce
Dulce

Portugal - Dulce - Lusitana Paixão (Portuguese)

Music/Lyrics: Fred Micaelo, Jorge Quintela/Fred Micaelo, Jorge Quintela

Conductor: Fernando Correia-Martins

Finally Portugal got close to achieving a deserved high position on the scoreboard. Dulce oozed class, as did her song. It’s not as melancholy as the traditional Fado style it is about, but it is could only be Portuguese. 

 Anders Frandsen
Anders Frandsen

Denmark - Anders Frandsen - Lige Der Hvor Hjertet Slår (Danish)

Music/Lyrics: Michael Elo/Michael Elo

Conductor: Henrik Krogsgaard 

Denmark’s song is an understated ballad. If you want to knock it, you should first listen to the song that it beat into second place in the Danish final, and be grateful it exists.  

 Just 4 Fun
Just 4 Fun

Norway - Just 4 Fun - Mrs. Thompson (Norwegian)

Music/Lyrics: P.G. Roness, Dag Kolsrud/P.G. Roness, Kaare Skevik

Conductor: Pete Knutsen

Without knowing what NRK (the Norwegian broadcaster) had rejected, it seems they made a good choice of song. Mrs Thompson is catchy yet musically credible, with an easy to remember refrain. 

 Duo Datz
Duo Datz

Israel - Duo Datz - Kan (Hebrew)

Music/Lyrics: Uzi Chitman/Uzi Chitman

Conductor: Kobi Oshrat

Husband and wife duo Orna and Moshe Datz had more chemistry than a high street full of pharmacies. The song is a wonderful Israeli sing-along and very memorable. It was always going to be in contention.

 Kaija
Kaija

Finland - Kaija - Hullu Yö (Finnish)

Music/Lyrics: Ile Kallio/Jukka Välimaa

Conductor: Olli Ahvenlahti

Once again, the Finns can count themselves unlucky to score so few points. Hullu Yö is a rock song with a restrained power which Kaija delivered with the required level of feeling.

 Atlantis 2000
Atlantis 2000

Germany - Atlantis 2000 - Dieser Traum Darf Niemals Sterben (German)

Music/Lyrics: Alfons Weindorf/Helmut Frey

Conductor: Hermann Weindorf

Yet again, the Germans had an anthemic song urging peace and love to everyone. Following the fall of the Berlin wall, the group even included an East German woman for good measure.  

 Clouseau
Clouseau

Belgium - Clouseau - Geef Het Op (Flemish)

Music/Lyrics: Kris Wauters, Koen Wauters, Bob Savenburg, Jan Leyers/Kris Wauters, Koen Wauters, Bob Savenburg, Jan Leyers

Conductor: Roland Verlooven

Clouseau were the biggest name in Belgian music at the time they tried to expand their success to the rest of Europe with an uplifting, brassy pop song which deserved better. The performance was very professional.  

 Sergio Dalma
Sergio Dalma

Spain - Sergio Dalma - Bailar Pegados (Spanish)

Music/Lyrics: Julio Seijas/Luis Escolar

Conductor: Eduardo Leiva

Host Toto Cotugno nicknamed Sergio ‘little Toto’. Bailar Pegados was one of the favourites going into the contest and rightly so. It’s a classic Spanish ballad which, if given an additional chorus, could have done better. At two minutes 32 seconds, it ends rather unexpectedly and quickly. 

 Samantha Janus
Samantha Janus

United Kingdom - Samantha Janus - A Message To Your Heart (English)

Music/Lyrics: Paul Curtis/Paul Curtis

Conductor: Ronnie Hazlehurst

The United Kingdom delegation arrived in Rome with hopes high. However, the rock element of the song seemed to have been left behind in London. This, combined with inappropriate outfits (including the backing singers) and Samantha’s nerves on the night combined to scupper any hope of winning. Samantha’s engagement to her Italian boyfriend during the week (an engagement that was soon broken off) may have proved a distraction. A great, great shame as the studio version of the song demonstrates how good it really sounds and it would have been a worthy winner.

 Elena Patroclou
Elena Patroclou

Cyprus - Elena Patroclou - SOS (Greek)

Music/Lyrics: Kypros Charalambous/Andrteas Christou

Conductor: Alexandro Kirou-Zografou

This song is weaker than a shandy without the lager. Songwriters ego overcame common sense and Kypros appeared on stage with his bass guitar when there was absolutely no need for him to be there. The presentation needed only Elena and no-one else to be on the stage.

 Peppino di Capri
Peppino di Capri

Italy - Peppino di Capri - Comme E' Ddoce 'o Mare (Italian)

Music/Lyrics: Marcello Marrocchi/Giampiero Artegiani

Conductor: Bruno Canfora

This song was originally intended for the Sanremo festival, but RAI instead nicked it to represent Italy in the Eurovision. It’s in Peppino’s native Neapolitan dialect, which adds a greater flavour to the Neapolitan style of the song. 

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