Doris Dragovic

Croatia reveals details of song for Malmö

HRT (c) HRT

Croatian broadcaster HRT has released more information of the song it will send to Malmö for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.  Goran Topolovec has been appointed to write a song that will hopefully bring success to the Adriatic nation.

Pastora Soler and Doris Dragovic on a Christmas tour around Croatia

Ivo Gamulin Gianni and Friends © IvoGamulin

Pastora Soler and Doris Dragovic will be the special guests at a Christmas concert tour in Croatia. They were invited by the tenor Ivo Gamulin Gianni to share the stage with him at these charity shows that takes place in Split, Zagreb and Osijej on the 14th, 16th and 20th of December respectively.

1999

1999 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
Date: 
29 May 1999
Venue: 
Israeli Congress Centre, Jerusalem, Israel
Broadcaster: 
IBA
Presenter(s): 
Yigal Ravid, Dafna Dekel and Sigal Shachmon
About the contest: 

Following the introduction of televoting a couple of years earlier, 1999 saw another of the biggest changes in the history of the contest. For the first time since the contest begun 43 years before, an orchestra was not used, with all artists having to rely on a backing track. This would be to the benefit the songs following contemporary trends, whose production values don’t seem to require real instruments, but to the detriment of ballads and other songs whose arrangements add another dimension when the power of an orchestra is utilised.   

Another major rule change was to allow entries to be sung in any language. Previously, all countries had to sing in one of its national languages. The reason for the rule change was to create a more even playing field in recognition of the belief that Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom were at an unfair advantage singing in the international language of English. This would lead to some unexpected choices in years to come, but most of all to the annoying habit of some songs being sung in two (or sometimes even more) languages as a singer would switch between his/her own language and English.

The only time that Israel had hosted the contest was twenty years earlier. One could be forgiven for thinking that IBA had just used an updated version of the same set from that year. The design of a predominant semi circular structure and idea of the movable parts were very similar.

Since the middle of the decade, the EBU had used a system of relegation to select which countries would compete in the contest the following year as so many now wanted to participate, mostly due to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Rather than simply relegate the bottom seven countries as had been happening, each country's five year average score was used instead. An exception was made for France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. As the four biggest contributors to the EBU bank account, and therefore to the cost of the contest each year, they would be allowed to compete every year regardless of their average score.

Controversy stalked the Bosnian entry. Dino and Beatrice only travelled to Jerusalem because the winner of the Bosnian final, Hari Mata Hari, was disqualified. His song, Starc I More, was found to be a cover of a song that he co-wrote and had been released as Sydänveri on an album by Finnish singer Janne Hurme.

Selma made her first of two appearances in the contest, while Doris Dragovic and Darja Svajger had seen it all before.

Latvia had expressed an interest in participating for the first time but decided not to. Hungary declined the offer of the free place, so Portugal made an earlier than expected return to action, along with Austria, Bosnia, Denmark, Iceland and Lithuania. Forced to sit out were Finland, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Trivia: 
So much for peace and unity in Eurovision! The Irish sisters, The Mullans, criticised Sweden’s Charlotte Nilsson, saying she looked like a porn star. The Swedes hit back, describing The Mullans as resembling pregnant nuns.
About the songs: 
Aiste SmilgeviciuteAiste Smilgeviciute Lithuania - Aiste Smilgeviciute - Strazdas (Lithuanian)

Music/Lyrics: Linas Rimsa, Sigitas Geda/Linas Rimsa, Sigitas Geda

The first entry of the night is more like a pagan chant than a song at times. Drums are used effectively to add a bit of bite.

 Vanessa ChinitorVanessa Chinitor Belgium - Vanessa Chinitor - Like the Wind (English)

Music/Lyrics: Wim Claes, Emma Philippa/Wim Claes, Emma Philippa

Two songs in and already we hear the first of the possible winners. The sweeping pan pipes sound beautiful in combination with the strings and the whole thing has impact.

 LydiaLydia Spain - Lydia - No Quiero Escuchar (Spanish)

Music/Lyrics: Alejandro Carmona, Carlos Lopéz/Fernando Rodriguez, Alejandro Piqueras

When the first impression the audience has is what the singer is wearing, it pays to leave positive or even neutral thoughts. Lydia’s choice of dress fails on both counts! The song she is charged with singing is, by Spanish standards, a rather lacklustre ballad. 

 Doris Dragovic 1999Doris Dragovic Croatia - Doris Dragovic - Marija Magdalena (Croatian)

Music/Lyrics: Tonci Huljic/Vjekoslava/Huljic

Doris’ second tilt at the title is completely different to her first. 13 years earlier. She went up-tempo and much more dramatic. A vocal was included in the backing track, which was against the rules as all vocals have to be sung live on stage. As a result, the EBU deducted 33% of Croatia’s score from the contest. This gave them a lower five year point average, potentially relegating them from future contests. 

 PreciousPrecious United Kingdom - Precious - Say It Again (English)

Music/Lyrics: Paul Varney/Paul Varney

Precious started the decline of the United Kingdom in the contest. Twelfth was the lowest finish for the UK at the time by one of the contests most successful countries. Say It Again is an empty lifeless mixture of soul and pop. Band member, Jenny Frost, went on to be part of successful girl group, Atomic Kitten

 Darja Svajger 1999Darja Svajger Slovenia - Darja Svajger - For A Thousand Years (English)

Music/Lyrics: Primoz Peterca/Primoz Peterca

Here is one of the problems with the free language rule! Darja’s pronunciation isn’t always exact, resulting in ‘eyes’ sounding like ‘arse’. That aside, her second Eurovision song is not unlike her first, a classy but standard ballad that you just know is going to build long before it does. .

 Tugba ÖnalTugba Önal Turkey - Tugba Önal & Grup Mystik - Dön Artik (Turkish)

Music/Lyrics: Erdin Tunc/Erdin Tunc, Canan Tunc

In a contest in which a lot of the entries are uninspiring, Dön Artik is a very welcome inclusion. Its pace and infectious rhythm inject the contest with vitality. 

 Stig André Van EijkStig André Van Eijk Norway - Stig André Van Eijk - Living My Life Without You (English)

Music/Lyrics: Stig André Van Eijk Stig/André Van Eijk

While a contemporary R ‘n’ B sound will be considered by some to be a positive, it is how the song sounds that counts. The best description was given by Radio 2 commentator Ken Bruce, who said “he’s wearing a vest with a picture of a bull on the front, and the song is a bit like something the bull might leave behind.”   

 Trine Jepsen & Michael TeschlTrine Jepsen & Michael Teschl Denmark - Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl - This Time (I Mean It) (English)

Music/Lyrics: Ebbe Ravn/Ebbe Ravn

Congratulations should be given to anyone still awake at the end. The Danish ballad meanders its way slowly and limply from the start to the finish.

 NayahNayah France - Nayah - Je Veux Donner Ma Voix (French)

Music/Lyrics: Pascal Grazic Pascal Grazic

Celiné Dion returns! Well, nearly. It is easy to imagine the 1988 winner and international superstar applying her talents to the French entry. Nayah controls the stage in Divaesque fashion. 

 MarlayneMarlayne The Netherlands - Marlayne - One Good Reason (English)

Music/Lyrics: Alan Michael, Tjeerd van Zanen/Alan Michael, Tjeerd van Zanen

If 1999 was the start of the British decline, the same could almost be be said of the Dutch. It would be the last time they would be in the top ten for many years. Marlayne’s performance was top notch, but the song, an up-tempo guitar based MOR effort, left her too much to do to finish too high up the scoreboard. 

 Mietek SzczesniakMietek Szczesniak Poland - Mietek (Mieczyslaw) Szczesniak - Przytul Mnie Mocno (Polish)

Music/Lyrics: Seweryn Krajewski/Wojciech Ziembicki

Poland’s ballad is one of the best of the bunch. Remaining engaging throughout, it has a calm, emotional feel.

 Selma BjörnsdóttirSelma Björnsdóttir Iceland - Selma Björnsdóttir - All Out Of Luck (English)

Music/Lyrics: Porvaldur Bjarni Thorvaldsson/Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson

One last hurrah for europop? After Selma’s second place, this style of song went out of fashion in the contest as the public became more and more involved in the voting. 

 Marlain AngelidouMarlain Angelidou Cyprus - Marlain Angelidou - Tha'nai Erotas (Cyprus)

Music/Lyrics: Giorgios Kallis, Andreas Karanicolas/Giorgios Kallis, Andreas Karanicolas

Our second Marlain, although with a different spelling. Every year the contest throws up an astonishing result, and this year was the turn of Cyprus to suffer. Deserving of a much higher placing,  Tha'nai Erotas is fast and very catchy. 

 Charlotte NilssonCharlotte Nilsson Sweden - Charlotte Nilsson - Take Me To Your Heaven (English)

Music/Lyrics: Lars Diedricson/Gert Lengstrand, Marcos Ubeda

Elements of the piano arrangement conjure up memories of Sweden’s most famous winner. Like Waterloo, it is very upbeat, memorable and adds touches of saxophone to provide a little quirkiness.

 Rui BandeiraRui Bandeira Portugal - Rui Bandeira - Como Tudo Começou (Portugal)

Music/Lyrics: Jorge do Carmo/To Andrade

Moving away from a traditional Portuguese sound, Rui’s song is a soft rock, MOR number that quickly becomes uninteresting. 

 The MullansThe Mullans Ireland - The Mullans - When You Need Me (English)

Music/Lyrics: Bronagh Mullan/Bronagh Mullan

Ireland had by now started a run of sending sub-standard, plodding ballads to the contest. A complete lack of charisma from the two sisters didn’t help. 

 Bobbie SingerBobbie Singer Austria - Bobbie Singer - Reflection (English)

Music/Lyrics: Dave Moskin/Dave Moskin

Bobby’s young voice sounds a bit too twee for some, but will probably sound cute to others. As for the song, it is buried in the crowd and has nothing to lift it.

 EdenEden Israel - Eden - Yom Huledeth (Hebrew, English)

Music/Lyrics: Jeki Oved, Yaakov Lymai, Gabriel Butler/Jeki Oved, Yaakov Lymai, Moshe Datz

As it turned out, the hosts had a good draw. Following rather drab entries, Eden’s chirpy song and energetic dancing brought the show back to life. 

 Times 3Times 3 Malta - Times 3 - Believe 'n Peace (English)

Music/Lyrics: Chris Scicluna/Moira Stafrace

The three Maltese starlets posed and smiled a lot. Despite being rather repetitive towards the end, the youthful pop sound of Believe 'n Peace would have already hooked those who like it without winning new fans.

 SürprizSürpriz Germany - Sürpriz - Reise Nach Jerusalem - Kudüs'e Seyahat (German, Turkish, English, Hebrew)

Music/Lyrics: Ralph Siegel/Bernd Meinunger

Cynics could have a field day with this one. A Turkish group representing Germany with Turkish flavoured song whose title includes the name of the host city. There was even room in the lyrics for a burst of Hebrew. Siegel and Meinunger at their most desperate! 

 Dino and BeatriceDino and Beatrice Bosnia & Herzegovina - Dino and Beatrice - Putnici (Bosnian, French)

Music/Lyrics: Dino Dervishalidovic/Dino Dervishalidovic

How the Bosnians must have wished their original choice could have been there! They were left with their hopes in the hands of daft, disorganised sounding ditty whose only saving grace was the occasional interjection by the fiddle. 

 Evelin SamuelEvelin Samuel Estonia - Evelin Samuel and Camille - Diamond Of Night (English)

Music/Lyrics: Priit Paajusaar, Glen Pilvre/Kaari Sillamaa

Rumour has it that Estonia would have won if only juries had been used. Thank the Lord for televoting then! Some of the previous songs seemed to be designed to send viewers to sleep. Anyone still awake would surely have been finished off by Evelin’s dreary lullaby. 

1986

1986 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
Date: 
3 May 1986
Venue: 
Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway
Broadcaster: 
NRK
Presenter(s): 
Ase Kleveland
About the contest: 

NRK turned to former participant and future Minister of Culture, Ase Kleveland, to host the first contest to be held in Norway. She got the contest off to a dubious start by singing “Soon we will know who’ll be the best, in the Eurovision Song Contest” to the theme tune of the contest, Te Deum

Ryder, the band representing the United Kingdom, courted controversy by not using the orchestra, relying completely on a backing track.

Belgium won the contest for the first (and so far only) time with the youngest ever winning singer. This is a record that will not be broken while the current rule restricting participants to the age of 16 and over remains in place. Sandra Kim arrived in Bergen with everyone believing she was 15. After the contest, it was revealed she was just 13.

Greece decided to take the year off, but Yugoslavia returned and Iceland entered for the first time, so 20 countries travelled to Bergen.  Doris Dragovic, Dora and Ketil Stokkan all made their first appearance in the contest. Elpida had represented Greece seven years earlier and now flew the flag for Cyprus. Lasse Holm had written for Sweden in the past, and this year, he also went on to the stage to perform his own song.

The scoring system remained unchanged. Juries awarded points from 1-8, then 10 and finally 12. 

About the songs: 
Sherisse LaurenceSherisse Laurence Luxembourg - Sherisse Laurence - L'amour De Ma Vie (French)

Music/Lyrics: Rolf Soja/Alain Garcia, Frank Dostal

Conductor: Rolf Soja

A cracking opening to the contest! This could well have brought Luxembourg victory number six, a smooth ballad with a backing vocal which does more than simply support the song, it gives it more depth.

 Doris DragovicDoris Dragovic Yugoslavia - Doris Dragovic - Zeljo Moja (Serbo-Croat)

Music/Lyrics: Zrinko Tutic/Zrinko Tutic

Conductor: Nikica Kalogjera

This was Doris’ first Eurovision entry and is a calming Balkan ballad which she delivered with a smile.

 Cocktail ChicCocktail Chic France - Cocktail Chic - Européennes (French)

Music/Lyrics: George Costa, Michel Costa/George Costa, Michel Costa

Conductor: Jean-Claude Petit

Bursting with French chic, the four madams did their best, but it was always going to be an impossible task selling a sub-standard product. The juries were clearly not impressed.

 Ketil StokkanKetil Stokkan Norway - Ketil Stokkan - Romeo (Norwegian)

Music/Lyrics: Ketil Stokkan/Ketil Stokkan

Conductor: Egil-Monn Iversen

Romeo is a rock song which, curiously, was presented with a dance act called The Great Garlic Girls, who were both men! It did distract from a song that is very likeable and, as the home audience proved, very easy to clap along with. The orchestra stopped and Ketil led the clapping as everyone in the auditorium joined in.

 RyderRyder United Kingdom - Ryder - Runner In The Night (English)

Music/Lyrics: Brian Wade/Maureen Darbyshire

Conductor: n/a

Led by the son of actor Bill Maynard, Ryder had been formed especially for the contest. Runner In The Night merges rock with 80’s style synths to produce a song that does linger in the memory.

 IcyIcy Iceland - Icy - Gleðibankinn (Icelandic)

Music/Lyrics: Magnús Eriksson/Magnús Eriksson

Conductor: Gunnar Thórdarsson

Iceland got off to a rather lacklustre start with a trio brought together for the contest. It looked and sounded rather disorganised.

 Frizzle SizzleFrizzle Sizzle The Netherlands - Frizzle Sizzle - Alles Heeft Ritme (Dutch)

Music/Lyrics: Peter Schőn, Rob ten Bokum/Peter Schőn

Conductor: Harry van Hoof

Four young ladies in bare feet made up Frizzle Sizzle. Their song is a very jolly little ditty which raises a smile.

 Klips ve OnlarKlips ve Onlar Turkey - Klips ve Onlar - Halley (Turkish)

Music/Lyrics: Melih Kibar/Ilhan Irem

Conductor: Melih Kibar

Two groups, one all male and one all female, joined forces for a song about Halley’s Comet, which passed over the planet in 1986. The result is ok at best, forgettable at worst. 

 CadillacCadillac Spain - Cadillac - Valentino (Spanish)

Music/Lyrics: José Maria Guzman/ José Maria Guzman

Conductor: Eduardo Leyva

With a lead singer who looked like a young Roy Castle, the three piece Spanish band oozed confidence. It’s a good song in a making up the numbers way.

 Daniela SimonsDaniela Simons Switzerland - Daniela Simons - Pas Pour Moi (French)

Music/Lyrics: Atilla Sereftug/Nella Martinetti

Conductor: Atilla Sereftug

Rightly finishing in the top three, Daniela exuded class with this emotive, piano based ballad. She started at the piano but rose to her feet for the finale.

 Moti Galadi and Sarai TzurielMoti Galadi and Sarai Tzuriel Israel - Moti Galadi and Sarai Tzuriel - Yavoh Yom (Hebrew)

Music/Lyrics: Yoram Zadok/Moti Giladi

Conductor: Yoram Zadok

While on its own it’s a decent enough song, Yavoh Yom lacks a bit of the zip usually associated with up-tempo Israeli songs.

 Luv BugLuv Bug Ireland - Luv Bug - You Can Count On Me (English)

Music/Lyrics: Kevin Sheerin/Kevin Sheerin

Conductor: Noel Kelehan

Luv Bug was the first band to represent Ireland, and they were all family. Their song is a rather average, mid-tempo piece of pop.

 Sandra KimSandra Kim Belgium - Sandra Kim - J'aime La Vie (French)

Music/Lyrics: Jean-Pierre Furnémon, Angelo Crisci/Rosario Marino Altri

Conductor: Jo Carlier

Sandra gave a confident performance for such a young girl on such a big stage, no-one knew at that stage exactly how young she was. Her song is feel very good pop and very 1980’s.

 Ingrid PetersIngrid Peters

Germany - Ingrid Peters - Über Die Brücke Geh'n (German)

Music/Lyrics: Hans Blum/Hans Blum

Conductor: Hans Blum

This is one of Germany’s better efforts at this genre; a big ballad with a big brass intro, anthemic and appealing to everyone to get along with everyone else.

 ElpidaElpida Cyprus - Elpida - Tora Zo (Greek)

Music/Lyrics: Petros Yiannaki/Phivos Gavris, Petros Yiannaki

Conductor: Martin Ford

Seven years after representing Greece, Elphida was chosen by its neighbour to sing Cyprus’ sixth entry. It’s more pop than her previous entry and was unlucky to finish last.

 Timna BrauerTimna Brauer Austria - Timna Brauer - Die Zeit Ist Einsam (German)

Music/Lyrics: Peter Janda/Peter Cornelius

Conductor: Richard Österreicher

A very soft and gentle song at the start, Die Zeit Ist Einsam explodes briefly into life before coming to almost a complete stop very suddenly.

 Lasse Holm and Monica TörnellLasse Holm and Monica Törnell Sweden - Lasse Holm and Monica Törnell - E' De' Det Här Du Kallar Kärlek (Swedish)

Music/Lyrics: Lasse Holm/Lasse Holm

Conductor: Anders Berglund

In the preview video, things got very messy with paint flying around everywhere. Fortunately for the stage hands, there wasn’t a pot of emulsion in sight as the Swedes got everyone to their feet and singing with this magnificently fun song. Even the head of Sweden’s SVT stripped to the waist and ‘played’ guitar.

 Lise Haavik and TraxLise Haavik and Trax Denmark - Lise Haavik and Trax - Du Er Fuld Af Løgn (Danish)

Music/Lyrics: John Hatting/John Hatting

Conductor: Egil-Monn Iversen

This is what the Danes do best; fun, unpretentious with no ambition to be anything other than enjoyable. You either love it or hate it.

 Kari KuivalainenKari Kuivalainen Finland - Kari Kuivalainen - Päivä Kahden Ihmisen (Finnish)

Music/Lyrics: Kari Kuivalainen/Kari Kuivalainen

Conductor: Ossi Runne

Some say the Finns were at a disadvantage when singing in their native tongue because their language is so unique. If there is any truth in that, then this is the song that can be highlighted as suffering s a result. It’s a great song; a powerful ballad sung with no lack of feeling by Kari and certainly deserved to be in the top ten at least.

 DoraDora Portugal - Dora - Não Sejas Mau Para Mim (Portuguese)

Music/Lyrics: Guilherme Inês, Zé da Ponte, Luis Oliveira/Guilherme Inês, Zé da Ponte, Luis Oliveira

Conductor: Colin Frechter

The Portuguese song moves along consistently but it’s a bit messy. This description could also be applied to Dora’s outfit, which was a strange mix of colours and styles.

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