- Venue: Dublin Point Theatre
- Date: April 30, 1994
- Hosts: Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and Gerry Ryan
- Conductor: Noel Kelehan
- Participating countries: 25, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, Poland and Romania participated for their first time
Ireland once again hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, this time in Dublin. Unlike in the previous years, the 1994 contest was held in April instead of May. Show was hosted by a journalist Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and a popular radio presenter Gerry Ryan, who unfortunately passed away in 2010 at the age of 53.
The EBU had to make radical changes to the rules of the contest because several new European countries wanted to participate. Bottom five from 1993 contest weren’t allowed to participate, those countries were Turkey, Israel, Belgium, Denmark and Slovenia. In addition Italy and Luxembourg withdrew spontaneously. This allowed seven new countries to enter the contest.
Three-hour show was opened with a mystical video before heading to Dublin Point Theatre where the hosts made an impressive entrance from the roof with pyrotechnics. Noel Kelehan once again conducted the orchestra.
01. SWEDEN Marie Bergman, Roger Pontare – Sjärnorna
Evening’s first performance came from Sweden. Marie Begman had represented the country in 1971 and 1972 as part of ‘Family Four’ group. Now she was back with Roger Pontare whom you might recognize from Eurovision 2000 when he competed for Sweden with “When Spirits Are Calling My Name”. Romantic ballad wasn’t juries’ favorite and placed it 13th with 48 points.
02. FINLAND CatCat – Bye Bye Baby
Two sisters performing under name ‘CatCat’, which comes from their surname, represented Finland with a song that is well remembered in Finland, mostly because of their outfits. Bye Bye Baby is a catchy song which is about woman finally leaving her husband. Despite the English title it is sung in Finnish because of the EBU rules. 11 points, 10 of them coming from Greece and one from Bosnia-Herzegovina, were just enough for 22nd place.
03. IRELAND Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan – Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids
Ireland broke several records on this specific night. Not only they won the contest third time in a row and sixth time for Ireland, they also broke the point record. This was the first time when any song in Eurovision Song Contest received more than 200 points, a total of 226 points. RTÉ held a national final in March where eight songs were competing. The winner, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids’, performed by musicians Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan took the victory and were en route to Dublin. Despite the overwhelming and surprising victory, the song failed to be successful after Eurovision.
04. CYPRUS Evridiki – Íme ánthropos ki egó
Evridiki was back after finishing 11th just couple of years earlier. This time she had a powerful song which referred to the Cyprus dispute. It was composed by the same person as her previous entry, Giorgos Theofanous, whom she married in 1993. They however divorced in 2000. Evridiki again achieved 11th place with 57 points. Her return in 2007 was much worse when she didn’t qualify to the final.
05. ICELAND Sigga – Nætur
More returning artists, now from Iceland. Sigga had represented Iceland twice as part of different groups but in 1994 she returned on her own, or not really, she had five backing vocalists with her. 30-year-old singer actually replaced her sister who originally won the national final but the broadcaster thought she wasn’t good enough and decided to send Sigga instead of her sister, Sigrun. Impossible to say if her sister would’ve brought better placing for Iceland but we know that Sigga finished 12th.
06. UNITED KINGDOM Frances Ruffelle – We Will Be Free (Lonely Symphony)
Frances Ruffelle was invited to be the UK representative in Dublin. Her song was chosen in a national final where she had eight songs in total. The Brits selected ‘We Will Be Free’ (or ‘Lonely Symphony’ as often used) for her. In Dublin she finished 10th which was at least variation to finishing second again…
07. CROATIA Tony Cetinski – Nek’ ti bude ljubav sva
Tony Cetinski was a rapidly rising star in Croatia and neighbouring countries in early 1990′s and nowadays is still very popular pop singer in Balkans. After releasing his third studio album, he decided to enter Dora 1994 which was used to choose the Croatian representative. He won it and left 20 others behind. At Eurovision he couldn’t do the same and finished 16th, after receiving full 12 points from Slovakia and 10 from Malta.
08. PORTUGAL Sara Tavares – Chamar a música
Sara Tavares has Cape Verdean ancestry and her music often mixes gospel and funk music with Portuguese elements. She won the Portuguese pre-selection for Eurovision 1994 and represented the country with a song which was written by Rosa Lobato Faria who later wrote lyrics for many other Portuguese entries. She gathered steadily points from all over Europe and finished 8th with 73 points.
09. SWITZERLAND Duilio – Sto pregando
Of the four official languages of Switzerland, they used Italian in 1994. Lorenzo di Ciccio aka Duilio was 21 years old when he interpreted the love ballad, ‘Sto pregando’. Duilio moved to Italy when he was 7 years old and participated several talent competitions. He was unknown in Switzerland before the Swiss broadcaster selected him internally to represent the country in Dublin. He finished 19th out of 25 entries in Dublin which meant that Switzerland had to stay out of the 1995 contest. Duilio released his first and to date last album soon after the contest and disappeared from the public.
10. ESTONIA Silvi Vrait – Nagu merelaine
One of the many first timers at Eurovision Song Contest was Estonia, this smallish country on the Baltic Sea. Their first representative was chosen through the national final, held in Tallinn in February. 10 songs were competing and the winner was decided by the juries. Silvi Vrait has a long career with music, she has starred several musicals, teached music and performed all around Estonia. Despite being popular and well known in Estonia, European juries weren’t impressed and left her on 24th place with only two points, both from Greece.
11. ROMANIA Dan Bittman – Dincolo de nori
Also Romania had to skip the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest due to the fact that they finished 21st out of 25 participants. Dan Bittman won the national final with ‘Dincolo de nori’ which was of course sung in Romanian. 1994 was filled with ballads and Romania joined the group. Dan Bittman had previously been the lead singer for a hard rock band and later for Holograf which is still active.
12. MALTA Chris and Moira – More Than Love
Malta ends the first part of ESC Webs’ article about the 1994 song contest. Chris & Moira were a couple who together represented this island in Dublin. For the fourth time in row Malta finished in Top 10, this time on fifth place with 97 points, including the full 12 points from Bosnia-Herzegovina.