In full flower power force one expects to see some radical changes on the Eurovision stage and 1966 seems to open the door for more than one extreme make over. The ratio men-women isn’t entirely how it used to be, but other and more important things will never be the same again. Exciting, eller hur?!
Miss Cinquetti and miss Gall certainly left their marks and by 1966 eleven out of the 18 performers are young women, not even counting one half of the Swedish duo – a change we can only applaude as they usually carry a fresh sound with them as well.
Of course there’s the usual copycat (Switzerland aka the lesser version of France Gall) but the likes of Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia and Monaco put a smile on my face? Thanks girls!
The men came up with the same old formula, although some tried to take it up a notch. Failing miserably was the United Kingdom with on of the most boring songs EVER, interpreted by an equally awful singer in a horrendous outfit. Domenico Modugno was back for Italy but his composition made no sense at all, the French singer looked almost (excusez le mot) retarded and the Irish made the same mistake many countries before them did by choosing a childish song. Sigh. Udo Jürgens is by no means any better in my book, although he’s a very competent performer. His song is plain flat, and I bet if he hadn’t come after 8 joyful songs sung by young females he wouldn’t have stood out as he did and he’d even would not have won. I know I know, that if’s too big but I wanted to make a point. I don’t like the winner of this year by a long shot.
That doesn’t make the year not interesting though, plenty of new stuff was to be discovered. Denmark brought along the first dancers, even though they looked extremely silly doing their version of the jive. The Netherlands, a country with a lot of diversity among its inhabitants, sent the first black singer and that was about bloody time. Milly Scott showed us some black fire power and gave us a double premiere by being the first singer to use a hand microphone which allowed her to be more dynamic. A tad too dynamic if you ask me, but hey: she looked like she was having a ball. And the fabulous Åse Kleveland said farewell to the traditional dress and walked on stage in a pantsuit. Gotta love her.
Get ready for a women infested top ten, here are the votes of the Dimivision jury:
1 point: Monaco
2 points: Austria
3 points: Yugoslavia
4 points: Luxembourg
5 points: Spain
6 points: Germany
8 points: Belgium – Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel
Perhaps a bit too childish to convince me entirely but it has a nice twist to it, mainly thanks to the brilliant performance by the cheeky Tonia. It took a while, but finally I’ve got my home country in my top three! Huzzah!
10 points: Finland – Playboy
How can anyone not love this? Silly to the max, both her and the song so it is inevitable to grant this a huge amount of points! A nifty way to sail around the newly installed language rule without having it seem too artificial (are you listening, Netherlands?). Love!
12 points: Norway – Intet er nytt under solen
Resembling the Danish winner of 1963, Dansevise, this is a haunting and interesting piece of music. Åse Kleveland is simply brilliant, singing flawless while staring frank into the camera and playing her guitar wearing her pantsuit. Impressive just begins to describe this. Kleveland for president! Wait a minute…
This means my top ten doesn’t change radically as all points go to the ones who are low or even outside of the top ten. For now…
Say goodbye to Denmark, as they will only return to the Contest in 1978 and thus will disappear from the top ten shortly!
1 Netherlands 66
2 United Kingdom 64 (1961 – 1965)
3 Italy 56 (1958 – 1964)
4 France 52 (1960)
5 Luxembourg 44 (1956)
6 Germany 42 (1959)
7 Denmark 40 (1957 – 1963)
8 Finland 40 (1962)
9 Switzerland 37
10 Sweden 34
T minus one!!