History: Eurovision Song Contest 1993 in Millstreet (Part 1/2)

  • Venue: Green Glens Arena
  • Date: May 15, 1993
  • Host: Fionnuala Sweeney
  • Conductor: Noel Kelehan
  • Participating countries: 25, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia qualified from the pre-selection round

The 38th Eurovision Song Contest was held in Ireland for the fourth time. Small town in southern Ireland was chosen to host the competition which was a rather weird decision as the town had only 1,500 inhabitants. However, locals were helping to organise the big contest and created Millstreet a suitable venue to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

Many political changes happened in Europe in early 1990’s and they affected the Eurovision Song Contest, too. Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia and Hungary all wanted to enter the contest which caused troubles to EBU. It was clear that they all couldn’t participate because the contest would grow too fast and that was against EBU’s will.

A solution for this was Kvalifikacija za Millstreet -pre-selection round, held in Ljubljana in April. There all those seven countries competed and only three of them eventually made it through to the actual song contest. The decision was made by the juries and Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina qualified.

This time RTÉ decided to hire only one host instead of two, local news reporter Fionnuala Sweeney.

01. ITALY Enrico Ruggeri – Sole D’Europa

Italy was the first country to perform and this time Enrico Ruggeri represented this Mediterranean country. Ruggeri started his career in early 1970’s and he had already won the traditional Sanremo festival twice, in 1987 and 1993. RAI selected him internally but not with his Sanremo entry. ‘Sole d’Europa’ was composed by Ruggeri himself. He received 45 points and finished 12th. Eurovision Song Contest was never popular in Italy and this was the reason why RAI didn’t participate before 1997 and then in 2011.

02. TURKEY Burak Aydos – Esmer Yarim

Esmer Yarim, born in 1972, is a Turkish singer/songwriter who also penned his Eurovision entry 1993. Back then, TRT organised televised national selection where eight artists were competing and the winner was selected by the audience. In Ireland Turkey got only 10 points, most of them from Spain, and finished 21st. Because of their poor result, Turkey wasn’t allowed to compete in the following year but more about that later on this serie.

03. GERMANY Münchener Freiheit – Viel zu weit

Germans sent a band that had released their most well known single “Keeping The Dream Alive” in 1988. At its best it reached #14 in the UK charts which was their best international success. However it didn’t benefit the band at Eurovision where they finished 18th with their tender ballad.

04. SWITZERLAND Annie Cotton – Moi Tout Simplement

The Swiss entry on the other hand was something that juries liked. A confident performance and Annie Cotton’s strong voice achieved third place which was their best result since Celine Dion’s victory in 1988. In fact, also Cotton was Canadian just like Celine Dion. Annie Cotton is also an actress and she hasn’t released new music.

05. DENMARK Tommy Seebach Band – Under stjernerne på himlen

Tommy Seeback wasn’t on Eurovision stage for his first time; he had won the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix two times before and represented the country in 1979 and 1981. His last appearance at the contest was his worse as he finished 22nd with only nine points. Therefore Denmark couldn’t participate in 1994 and Tommy Seebach didn’t participate the Danish pre-selection ever again. He died in 2003. Cause of his death was a heart attack which was caused by his alcoholism.

06. GREECE Katerina Garbi – Ellada, Chora Tou Fotos

The Greek entry was like a 3-minute long tourism ad when Katerina Garbi sang about her country and its cultural heritage. Unfortunately it was in Greek so that not many understood but maybe that was good, a catchy melody put this entry in ninth position. When she participated the Eurovision contest she was just beginning her career which later was very succesful. Last year she released her 17th album.

07. BELGIUM Barbara Dex – Iemand als jij

Ever wondered where the name of the annual ‘Barbara Dex Award’ comes from? You’ll get an answer when you watch the Belgian performance! Barbara Dex made her own dress which she wore during the live performance and some say it was awful. Maybe because of the dress or the song itself she finished last. Barbara returned to Belgian pre-selection in 2004 and again in 2006 but didn’t win the shows.

08. MALTA William Mangion – This Time

This small Island was once again eagerly waiting for the song contest. National final was held in March and William Mangion won it with his self-composed entry ‘This Time’. He decided to sing it in English in Ireland although it was also recorded in Maltese. With his unique voice and three backing singers he came eighth with 69 points.

09. ICELAND Inga – Þá veistu svarið

The juries at the Icelandic pre-selection sent Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir to represent the country in Millstreet. Inga, as was her name during the Eurovision Song Contest, was wearing a yellow dress which revealed her legs at times. Iceland received a total of 42 points from the international juries and finished 13th.

10. AUSTRIA Tony Wegas – Maria Magdalena

Tony Wegas was back to Eurovision after his debut in the previous year in Malmö when he came 10th. This time the local broadcaster invited him to represent the country again and he sang several songs in the national final. ‘Maria Magdalena’ won the final and he performed it in Millstreet with five male backing singers. Wegas was again dissapointed with his 14th place although he received the full 12 points from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11. PORTUGAL Anabela – A cidade (até ser dia)

Once again Portugal was represented by young female soloist. Anabela had experience from several music competitions, mainly when she was a child. She also entered the Sopot International Song Festival which was like a different version of Eurovision Song Contest. Her 1993 Eurovision entry was from her third studio album. It won the traditional pre-selection, Festival da Canção and finished 10th in Millstreet with 60 points, Spain and the Netherlands gave it 12 points.

12. FRANCE Patrick Fiori – Mama Corsica

France didn’t want to send similar songs year after year and in 1993 the French broadcaster chose Patrick Fiori to represent the country with a song sang partly in Corsican. The song itself was indeed different in a good way and juries ranked him fourth.

Part two coming soon with the remaining 13 songs, who is your personal favourite?

One response to “History: Eurovision Song Contest 1993 in Millstreet (Part 1/2)

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