Eurovision Song Contest 1981

Ireland's capital Dublin became the host again of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest after Johnny Logan won the contest in the preceding year with What's Another Year which was a European bestseller, but he would even be outscored by the 1981 winner Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz from the United Kingdom

For the second time, the Eurovision champion winner, Ireland, was the host for the event which took place in Dublin. In 1981, the total amount of participating countries was 20 once again equalling the record set three years earlier in Paris. Morocco withdrew after their first participation, and Italy decided to stay at home as well because the interest in the country had diminished. Yugoslavia returned to the contest after five years of absence, so did Israel after the county had missed out on one contest. Finally, Cyprus made its Eurovision debut. It was also the first year Egypt's television viewers could follow the contest live on television.

The opening sequence of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest showed 'old Ireland' blending into 'modern Ireland' with shots of Celtic ruins, cliffs, castles, edited together with close-ups of art and shots of planes, waterfalls, people in the park, children feeding birds, traditional door knockers, front doors, architecture and horse races. The sequence ended with a map of Europe on a globe which span round to reveal the Eurovision logo.

The United Kingdom's entry Making Your Mind Up by the group Bucks Fizz won the 1981 contest after a close race with Germany's entry Johnny Blue by Lena Valaitis. Bucks Fizz was specially formed for the Eurovision Song Contest and had created a memorable show act when the 2 guys in the group ripped off the skirts of the 2 girls, revealing a shorter skirt underneath. To date, it is seen by many as one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Bucks Fizz continued their career all over Europe with many hitsongs during the 1980s, like The Land Of Make Believe and My Camera Never Lies.

Facts & Figures


Saturday 4 April 1981


Simmonscourt Pavillion, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland


Bucks Fizz from United Kingdom




Doireann Ní Bhríain


Ian McGarry

Interval Act

Planxty with "Timedance"

The Participants

# Representing country Performer(s) Song title, writer(s) and composer(s) Points Place
01 Austria
Flag of AustriaORF
Marty Brem Wenn Du Da Bist 020 17
02 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
Modern Folk Trio and Aysegül Dönme Dolap 009 18
03 Germany
Flag of GermanyARD
Lena Valaitis Johnny Blue 132 02
04 Luxembourg
Flag of LuxembourgCLT
Jean-Claude Pascal C'est Peut-être Pas L'amérique 041 11
05 Israel
Flag of IsraelIBA
Habibi Halaylah 056 07
06 Denmark
Flag of DenmarkDR
Debbie Cameron and Tommy Seebach Krøller Eller Ej 041 11
07 Yugoslavia
Flag of YugoslaviaJRT
Seid-Memic Vajta Leila 035 15
08 Finland
Flag of FinlandYLE
Riki Sorsa Reggae O.k. 027 16
09 France
Flag of FranceTF1
Jean Gabilou Humanahum 125 03
10 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
Bacchelli Y Solo Tú 038 14
11 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Linda Williams Het Is Een Wonder 051 09
12 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
Sheeba Horoscopes 105 05
13 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Finn Kalvik Aldri I Livet 000 20
14 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Bucks Fizz Making Your Mind Up 136 01
15 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Carlos Paião Play-back 009 18
16 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumBRT
Emly Starr Samson 040 13
17 Greece
Flag of GreeceERT
Yiannis Dimitras Feggari Kalokerino 055 08
18 Cyprus
Flag of CyprusCyBC
Island Monika 069 06
19 Switzerland
Flag of SwitzerlandSSR SRG
Peter, Sue and Marc Io Senza Tei 121 04
20 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
Björn Skifs Fångad I En Dröm 050 10


Participant Austria Belgium Cyprus Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Israel Luxembourg Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands Turkey United Kingdom Yugoslavia Points Place
Austria Austria
15626 20 17
Turkey Turkey
513 9 18
Germany Germany
51088785683412121231272 132 2
Luxembourg Luxembourg
1043534156 41 11
Israel Israel
8674853474 56 7
Denmark Denmark
12417234215 41 11
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
538221104 35 15
Finland Finland
15212655 27 16
France France
123721012847125101012614 125 3
Spain Spain
361032410 38 14
The Netherlands The Netherlands
322723347756 51 9
Ireland Ireland
711212661010105711035 105 5
Norway Norway
- 20
United Kingdom United Kingdom
484103746101253688812810 136 1
Portugal Portugal
81 9 18
Belgium Belgium
156271738 40 13
Greece Greece
666216210781 55 8
Cyprus Cyprus
731285738106 69 6
Switzerland Switzerland
210412107412812841121212 121 4
Sweden Sweden
415112102627 50 10