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Grand Final: 1996

Coverage of the forty-first annual Eurovision Song Contest broadcast from Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway. One of this year's presenters was famous Norwegian pop star Morton Harket, lead vocalist in the group A-Ha.Despite a year's break in their record-breaking winning streak, this year's trophy went back to Ireland after a performance of "The Voice" by Eimear Quinn.The European Broadcasting Union continued in their attempt to whittle down the number of countries wanting to compete to a manageable level and this year reverted to the pre-qualifier method used in 1993 with everyone at risk of rejection except the host nation. This proved hugely unpopular as the qualifiers were not broadcast live, so after going through the process of a national final to select an entry, some countries were rejected out of hand by a jury panel who didn't even reveal their scores or deliberations.Germany were particularly upset, as one of the biggest financial contributors to the contest, that their entry "Planet of Blue" by Leon did not make the cut. As of 2010 this was the only year in Eurovision history that Germany did not compete.One novelty of this year's event, which failed to catch on, was the recording of a good luck message by a political figure from each competing nation. The rank of these figures varied wildly from country to country although some genuinely important people did appear including Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. Irish Prime Minister John Bruton was rewarded for his message by Ireland's fourth win in five years.Hosts Norway were runners up, and notable for the fact that (as of 2010) they are the only country to reach this position in the current voting system without being awarded a single twelve points.And the UK's act Gina G scored a huge international chart hit with her song "Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit" - even though the song only finished in 8th place.

Release date:

3 hours, 10 minutes

Last on

Sat 18 May 1996 20:00

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