|Anna Oxa and Fausto Leali
||Italy - Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali - Avrei Voluto (Italian)
Music/Lyrics: Franco Fasano/Franco Ciani, Franco Berlincioni
Conductor: Mario Natale
Anna and Fausto won the Sanremo festival in 1989, and three of the writers of that song also wrote Avrei Voluto. It needed a stronger input from the orchestra, who were not yet warmed up, and as a result, it sounded less strong than it is. The argument set to music is a very strong theme which Anna and Fausto got into the spirit of.
| Gili & Galit
||Israel - Gili & Galit - Derech Ha'melech (Hebrew)
Music/Lyrics: Shaike Paikov/Shaike Paikov
Conductor: Shaike Paikov
Despite being surrounded by Galit and a couple of backing singers, Gili started very nervously but did become more relaxed. The song had potential to be a big belter, but suffered because of Gili’s immature voice.
| Kiev Connolly
||Ireland - Kiev Connolly and the Missing Passengers - The Real Me (English)
Music/Lyrics: Kiev Connolly/Kiev Connolly
Conductor: Noel Kelehan
Kiev’s song is soft rock and moves along smoothly. As well as The Passengers, Kiev was accompanied by a female singer who was never far from his shoulder and was surplus to requirements.
| Justine Pelmelay
||The Netherlands - Justine Pelmelay - Blijf Zoals Je Bent (Dutch)
Music/Lyrics: Jan Kisjes/ Jan Kisjes
Conductor: Harry van Hoof
A week of rehearsals had taken its toll on Justine’s voice, which cracked on the big note right at the end. That didn’t detract from the quality of her big power ballad.
||Turkey - Pan - Bana Bana (Turkish)
Music/Lyrics: Timur Selçuk/ Timur Selçuk
Conductor: Timur Selçuk
Usually, if the most memorable thing about a song is the performance of the conductor, it wouldn’t be saying much about the quality of the song. However, despite Timur’s energetic display with the baton and a repetitive lyric, there is still a very infectious tune and rhythym to make the song stand out on its own.
||Belgium - Ingeborg - Door De Wind (Flemish)
Music/Lyrics: Stef Bos/Stef Bos
Conductor: Freddy Sunder
Door De Wind starts modestly staying within itself, but by the end, it comes out of its shell by picking up the pace and power.
| Live Report
||United Kingdom - Live Report - Why Do I Always Get It Wrong (English)
Music/Lyrics: John Beeby/Brian Hodgson
Conductor: Ronnie Hazlehurst
As usual, the United Kingdom was near the top of the bookmakers list. This year, it was fully justified. Why Do I Always Get It Wrong is a quiet, yet emotive ballad that leaves its mark.
| Britt Synnøve Johansen
||Norway - Britt Synnøve Johansen - Venners Nærhet (Norwegian)
Music/Lyrics: Inge Enoksen/Leiv Grotte
Conductor: Pete Knutsen
Heard on its own, Venners Nærhet is an appealing song; a sincere and gentle ballad. However, it doesn’t quite have the strength to pull itself above the competition.
| Da Vinci
||Portugal - Da Vinci - Conquistador (Portuguese)
Music/Lyrics: Ricardo/Pedro Luis
Conductor: Luis Duarte
Portugal tried a rock song for the first time. The final position on the scoreboard doesn’t reflect how good the song is. The downfall comes when the lyrics go all geographic.
| Tommy Nilsson
||Sweden - Tommy Nilsson - En Dag (Swedish)
Music/Lyrics: Tim Norell, Ola Hakansson/Tim Norell, Ola Hakansson
Conductor: Anders Berglund
Sporting a hairstyle that any lead singer of a rock band would be proud of, Tommy gave everything as he delivered his uplifting piece of rock. Time has not diminished its quality.
| Park Café
||Luxembourg - Park Café - Monsieur (French)
Music/Lyrics: Maggie Parke, Gast Waltzing/Maggie Parke, Bernard Loncheval
Conductor: Benoit Kaufman
Fronted by American Maggie Parke, the band representing Luxembourg gave us something different. An obvious bass, brass and plucked strings make Monsieur stand out from the crowd
| Birthe Kjær
||Denmark - Birthe Kjær - Vi Maler Byen Rød (Danish)
Music/Lyrics: Soren Bundgard/Keld Keick
Conductor: Henrik Krogsgaard
Veteran Birthe showed the others how to do it as she lifted this bouncy little number to third place. There was even a chance to Henrik to dash from the orchestra pit to join in the proceedings on stage. How fortunate that the conductor from the previous song was on hand to take over, and seemed to know exactly where to start.
| Thomas Forstner
||Austria - Thomas Forstner - Nur Ein Lied (German)
Music/Lyrics: Dieter Bohlen/Joachim Horn-Bernges
Thomas (a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir) achieved Austria’s highest placing since 1976, and the top five has eluded them ever since. Nur Ein Lied starts in dramatic style and maintains its grandness right to the end.
| Anneli Saaristo
||Finland - Anneli Saaristo - La Dolce Vita (Finnish)
Music/Lyrics: Matti Puurtinen/Turkka Mali
Conductor: Ossi Runne
A song in Finnish with an Italian title and Spanish influences, what more could you ask for?
| Nathalie Pâque
||France - Nathalie Pâque - J'ai Volé La Vie (French)
Music/Lyrics: Guy Matteoni, G. G. Candy/Sylvein Lebel
Conductor: Guy Matteoni
The second of the annoying child singers was much more confident than Gili had been earlier in the evening. She breezed her way through this admittedly good ballad.
||Spain - Nina - Nacida Para Amar (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: Juan Carlos Calderon/Juan Carlos Calderon
Conductor: Juan Carlos Calderon
In a year that contained more than its fair share of big ballads, Spain’s stood apart from the rest. Nina sang with real feeling and could have brought her country its third win.
| Fanny Polymeri and Yiannis Savvidakis
||Cyprus - Fanny Polymeri and Yiannis Savvidakis - Apopse As Vrethoume (Greek)
Music/Lyrics: Marios Meletiou/Efi Meletiou
Conductor: Haris Andreadis
A couple of wobbles with the vocals didn’t help a song already in need of all the assistance it could get. It’s rather empty and unsatisfying.
||Switzerland - Furbaz - Viver Senza Tei (Romanche)
Music/Lyrics: Marie-Louise Werth/Marie-Louise Werth
Conductor: Benoit Kaufman
This is the only song in the history of the contest to be sung in Switzerland’s fourth language, Romanche. It’s a rather subdued effort which passes by almost unnoticed.
||Greece - Marianna - To Diko Sou Asteri (Greek)
Music/Lyrics: Yannis Kyris, Marianna Efstratiou/Villy Saniánou
Conductor: Yiorgos Niachros
Marianna was one of the stronger singers in the contest but had one of the weakest songs. It holds itself together, but seems to drift along aimlessly, never really taking off or achieving its potential.
| Daníel Augúst Haraldsson
||Iceland - Daníel Augúst Haraldsson - Það Sem Enginn Sér (Icelandic)
Music/Lyrics: Valgeir Gudjonsson/Valgeir Gudjonsson
Conductor: Valgeir Gudjonsson
Perhaps a little unlucky to score no points at all, this is a steady rather than strong ballad. It wasn’t the worst song in the contest, but was probably just outside the top ten of most of the juries.
| Nino de Angelo
||Germany - Nino de Angelo - Flieger (German)
Music/Lyrics: Dieter Bohlen/Joachim Horn-Bernges
Had Austria chosen a different song, Germany may well have been fifth instead. The two are very similar in style and presentation. This is not such a big surprise when you consider that the same songwriters were responsible for both songs.
||Yugoslavia - Riva - Rock Me (Serbo-Croat)
Music/Lyrics: Rajko Dujmic/Stevo Cvikic
Conductor: Nikica Kalogjera
Yugoslavia’s 24th entry brought it its first and only win. The often tried Balkan ballad was abandoned in favour of a europop tune of the type so often derided by cynics. It is one of the less musical credible songs Yugoslavia entered, but a win is a win and it is fun. Not only that, but the ‘Rock me baby’ refrain is very memorable.