Eurovision Song Contest 1974
For the second year in three, the United Kingdom and its national broadcaster BBC held the Eurovision Song Contest without having won in the preceding year. Due to the fact that the Luxembourg broadcaster RTL did not wish to host the song contest again because of financial reasons, British BBC embraced the possibility once more. This year, the Eurovision Song Contest was held at The Dome, in the seaside resort of Brighton.
Winners become legends
1974 saw the first participation of Greece who sent their national star Marinella. France was to enter the song contest with the entry La Vie A Vingt-cinq Ans by Dani, but the French singer never got the chance to perform though as the French president, Georges Pompidou, died in the week of the contest and France withdrew.
The voting system changed once more: 10 jury members in every country each awarded one point to their favorite song. For the first time, a draw of lots was used to decide the order in which countries would give the results of their juries. However, it was the last time this method was used to cast the votes - from 1975 onwards, a new voting system would be implemented which basically is still in use today.
About the winner
Sweden won the song contest for the first time with the entry Waterloo, performed by pop legends ABBA. The song became a huge international hit and was the starting point of the outstanding career of the Swedish four. Over 30 years after it won, Waterloo was even voted the best Eurovision Song Contest song ever at the 50-year anniversary show Congratulations, in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2005. ABBA had actually tried to enter the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest already with the song Ring Ring, which later became a hit for them in many European countries - but they only reached the third place in the Swedish national selection. For their 1974 entry, the group hesitated a while before choosing Waterloo as they thought their other option Hasta Mañana would also be a suitable song for the contest. However, Hasta Mañana was basically sung by only one of the girls, Agnetha Fältskog, but ABBA wanted a song where all four members could give their vocals to.
Facts & figures
- Some years before she starred in the American movie Grease, the Australian popsinger Olivia Newton-John sang Long Live Love, representing the United Kingdom. Olivia Newton-John actually wanted to sing a different song, but Long Live Love was chosen by a public postal vote.