After the disaster that turned out to be 1969 the Contest found itself in a crisis situation. Things needed to be turned around and measures had to be taken.The number of participating countries fell back dramatically and with a bit of bad luck this would be the last edition. Somebody call the fire department, this thing’s about to explode!
Well, nobody ever died from a bit of drama. The Austrians and their ego put participation on pause for another year while the Scandinavian block decided to skip the festivities to protest against the ridiculous results in ’69. Whether they were referring to the 4 way tie or the fact their entries practically remained unrewarded is food for thought. Ego, such a fragile thing!
The countries that remained/kept faith obviously realised the gravity of the situation and gave us some unusual quality in songs and performers. Meanwhile the production team in Amsterdam did an impeccable job in ensuring the Contest went along with its time and made the atmosphere more personal by putting more focus on the performers. We got the introduction movies for the first time, and the stage provided enough flexibility in set-up and lighting to customize the setting for each individual performance. I personally adore the design of it all, and it’s quite clear this concept has been the benchmark for the visual evolution of the Contest.
With only 12 participants it’s not extremely difficult to come up with a top ten, but it’s nice to see everybody putting in such a good effort.
These ten did best in Dimivisions book:
1 point: Luxembourg – Je suis tombé du ciel
David Alexandre Winter is obviously a very competent performer, belting as if his life depends on it. Despite him selling it well this is simply too old skool for me. Something I imagine folks in a retirement home swaying along to, and alas I’m nowhere near the eligable age.
2 points: Spain – Gwendolyne
Who have we here! Notorious ladykiller Julio Iglesias, using a bright blue suit to bring out his glistening smile whilst seduicing the camera with a look that makes half of female Europe slide off their chairs in heat. It’s all a tad too smooth for me while the song itself is rather uneventful, even though it’s got a nice you-and-I-are-the-only-ones-in-the-world vibe to it. Vocally Iglesias tends to be fragile at times though never irritatingly so, but versus some of his colleagues he comes off as less technical. All in all quite pleasant but never exciting.
3 points: Ireland – All kinds of everything
Dipped in sugar and fluff we get a whiff of ‘My favourite things’ from the very competent Dana. It’s all so sweet I’m going diabetic in an instant. She sings it, dare I use the word, perfectly though. Hate the fact she’s sitting because she looks like Quasimodo’s sister with her bent back. As this took charts all over Europe by storm I’m not opposed to her victory, and I can see why this would be popular but i’m afraid my taste is simply more…peculiar.
4 points: United Kingdom – Knock, knock (who’s there?)
Contrary to what many others might think I don’t catalogue this in the same category as the likes of Cliff, Sandie and Lulu. Sure, the title might be misleading but this leans more towards charming country than irritating kiddy for me. If I were Mary Hopkin I’d get my teeth fixed before performing for an audience of millions, though I’d rather have her chipped tooth than Julio’s porcelain shop. She’s slightly nervous, gives us the odd tremble, and keeps clutching her skirt but I’m quite fond of this I have to admit.
5 points: Belgium – Viens l’oublier
Sounding much older than he is Jean Vallée is clearly determined to establish his showmanship in this somewhat bombastic rendition of a song that is almost interrupted every time the title passes. I love his sway but I dislike his focus on the sound of his R, which makes it almost dated. The atmosphere is very engaging though, and keeps me interested. Nicely done.
6 points: France – Marie Blanche
Looking positively lesbian Guy Bonnet nails this. The lovechild of Tom Cruise and Woody Allen doesn’t appear to be the most optimistic of chaps, with this loaded piece of music that’s just a bit too sad to completely grab me. I love a pinch (or bucket) of melancholy but this is straight up funeralesque. Yet beautiful.
7 points: Italy – Occhi di ragazza
While typing my reviews I like to replay the songs to relive the feeling I got when first watching it and this is simply lovely without having to look at Gianni Morandi, whose cocky attitude was definitely NOT the right approach. Was he drunk? He looks shifty anyway and he ought to have toned it down a notch. He sings it well though, and I adore the melody and the strings. Very Italian all in all.
8 points: Germany – Wunder gibt es immer wieder
Fine, I’ll say it out loud and proud: I’m a sucker for Ebstein. She delivers this flawlessly, though she could have been a bit more involved in her performance but perhaps she was as disgusted with the hippie lyrics as I am. I absolutely love the flow of the chorus which is very dreamy, and I want her silver boots. Hm, perhaps I shouldn’t blog every single thought I have…
10 points: Yugoslavia – Pridi, dala ti bom cvet
Sounding like the soundtrack for a Japanese animated tv show this charming littly ditty sounds extremely dreamy. Eva Sršen only enforces the slightly bizarre atmosphere. Is she high? Or is she the crazy daughter of a farmer, taking the world by storm as if she was a Susan Boyle avant la lettre? The odd nodds make her a bit of a dollop head, but I simply adore the daftness of this. Very Dimi yet again!
12 points: Netherlands – Waterman
Well we could have ended the Contest after the first song, right? It’s as if The Supremes have taken on the theme for a non-existing James Bond movie. The ending is a bit weird but works, giving it the contemporary touch for that time. I love the way their voices blend, and the two sisters in the back are fantastic. Patricia is thé star for me however, giving a sensuous performance only perhaps miss Ross could have topped. Fantastic.
The wooden spoon goes to the insufferable circus act that was Switzerland. The only country not to have been mentionned then is Monaco, but with good reason.
In the overall top ten, Netherlands finally get a Douze Points behind their name to ‘justify’ their first place in the ranking leaving Switzerland the only country of the Original Six to score a win.
1 Netherlands 90 (1970)
2 United Kingdom 73 (1961 – 1965)
3 France 71 (1960)
4 Italy 68 (1958 – 1964)
5 Belgium 65 (1968)
6 Luxembourg 57 (1956 – 1967)
7 Germany 55 (1959)
8 Finland 54 (1962)
9 Sweden 48
10 Spain 44
Got a curious feeling we’re not done yet with the Dutch!