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Grand Final: 1999

The forty-fourth annual Eurovision Song Contest broadcast from International Convention Center, Jerusalem, Israel.Sweden cruised to a fourth win with Charlotte Nilsson singing "Take Me to Your Heaven."There was speculation that Israel would not be able to host the event due to funding issues and because of protests by Orthodox Jews over last year's transgender winner Dana International, however the contest went ahead as planned.One first for this contest was the abolition of the rule stating that countries could only sing in one of their national languages. Eight still chose to do so with thirteen singing entirely or partly in English.Another huge change was the absence of the Eurovision orchestra which had been used by fewer countries in the past year or so and was seen as a money saving opportunity by the Israelis, although it was a blow to Eurovision traditionalists who argued that the event was becoming more like karaoke.It was also announced that the "Big Four", the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France, so called because they are the biggest financial contributors to the contest, would be granted automatic entry to the final regardless of their scores over the last five years.Lithuania returned to the contest after five years. Russia were hoping to join them after being relegated from the previous year's contest, however because they had not broadcast that contest in anticipation of a big come back this year they were disallowed from competing and had to miss another year.

Release date:

3 hours, 15 minutes

Last on

Sat 29 May 1999 20:00

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