The curve of Eurovision seems to hold a lot of ups and downs, because after the up that was 1961 we were sadly disappointed by the 1962 contest. Even though a couple of trademark Eurovision trends start to pop up to never leave again there is very little to set our spirits on fire. Except for a couple of delightfully crazy women from the dark, cold north that is.
I had forgotten that in those first years the French language dominated the contest and one really has to wonder: why? Why on earth did the juries prefer la langue de Molière above all else? It certainly did not make any of the songs more exciting, which would have been a nice plus as they often end up being boring and substitutable. Especially when being sung by a man who looks and sounds pompous. I’m looking at you Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium! Not that it’s necessarily limited to French, right Italy? Monaco on the other hand had a nice swing to it, with a couple of bars that seem to have inspired the writers for Sinatra‘s ‘Theme from New York, New York‘. Better to have taken an example from your Spanish colleague, gentlemen, because next to a healthy dose of drama he actually packed a melody to his song.
The women did slightly better than their male counterparts (as you’ll see by my top three) even though a couple of them did feel the need to either sing us to sleep or address us as toddlers. Denmark and Norway went straight for the first category with rather uneventful songs while Germany clearly thought all juries consisted of five year olds and can be found in the bottom of my all time ESC list. Yugoslavia didn’t do much better than Denmark & Norway but had a rather interesting perspective, singing about love with two burning cigarettes as the main hook in their song.
And then there are the first signs of some trademark Eurovision trends. The UK and Finland treated us to the imitation of sounds, with the first going for a ring-a-ding while the latter imitated a bird through tipi-tii-ing. I blame them both for the years to come. Another very remarkable trend would be the copying of succesful songs from the previous year. Perhaps it had been done in the years before as well, but because all songs are so interchangeable it only now got my attention: The Netherlands went for a rather upbeat song, brought to us by two men in vocal harmony. Ring any bells? Contrary to The Allisons the year before though the Dutch pair looked like a couple of serial killers stalking poor Katinka instead of singing an ode to their muze…
Anyway, not the most exciting year by far but with a top three like mine it’s not the disaster it’s made up to be in some historic writings.
Here it goes:
1 point: Norway
2 points: Denmark
3 points: Netherlands
4 points: United Kingdom
5 points: Belgium
6 points: Monaco
7 points: Spain
8 points: France – Un premier amour
Isabelle Aubret manages to wield the French language in a completely different manner than her male colleagues and goes for a soft, melancholic feel. The steady shot on her face with a dreamy expression works, though she could have looked in the camera a bit more to give it even more effect. Simple but effective, this. One of the better winners in the Contest.
10 points: Sweden – Sol och Vår
Again competing with a quirky little woman, Sweden manages to differentiate by adding a couple of winks and nudges and delivering something which just makes me quite happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
12 points: Finland – Tipi-tii
Much like their Swedish neighbours the Fins came up with something quite out of the box yet very simple. A combination of the strong points in the French and the Swedish entry basically and a logical number one. In a Dimivision logic. Love this.
Which leads to this overall top ten – I decided to add the number of wins between bracketts, it’s time.
1 Netherlands 44
2 France 38 (1)
3 United Kingdom 37 (1)
4 Italy 35 (1)
5 Sweden 34
6 Luxembourg 30 (1)
7 Denmark 28 (1)
8 Germany 27 (1)
9 Switzerland 26
10 Monaco 24
When are we going to get colour tv by the way? *sigh*