Eurovision Song Contest 1988

The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest is best remembered for one of the most thrilling voting moments in the history of the competition and for launching a legend; Céline Dion.

Modernising Eurovision

The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Dublin for the third time, 21 countries competed for the trophy. Host broadcaster RTE introduced a modern set, at that point the largest in the history of the contest. Two giant video walls and a computerised scoreboard were also unveiled. At the time, it was a ground breaking production and set the standard for future editions of the contest.

Denmark was represented the group Hot Eyes who performed in the contest for the third time. Lead singer Kirsten was heavily pregnant at the time and gave birth just three weeks after the contest.

And finally... France!

The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest is best remembered for one most exciting voting sequences in the history of the contest. Switzerland's entry Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi performed by Céline Dion beat the runner-up, the United Kingdom's Scott Fitzgerald by just a single point. Before the last vote, the UK entry was leading with 136 points to Switzerland's 131. Yugoslavia, the last country to vote, gave six points to Switzerland whilst failing to award any points to the UK entry. Yugoslavia's 12 points went to France after one of the tensest moments ever seen in the Eurovision Song Contest.

For Céline Dion, winning the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest was a turning point in her international career. Whilst she was known in Canada and France before 1988, the Eurovision Song Contest gave her the elevate her career to new heights. Shortly after she won the Eurovision Song Contest she began work on her debut English language album, Unison.

Facts and figures

  • The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest also saw another star of the future take to the stage; Lara Fabian who represented Luxembourg. The Belgian-born singer went on to forge a hugely successful career and in 2000 she reached number one on the Billboard charts in the United States with I Will Love Again.
  • Cyprus decided to withdraw as their entry was not in-line with the rules of the contest - it had previously been published.
  • The venue of the 1988 contest was the same as in 1981, but this time RTÉ managed to create a very special stage that created the illusion of depth, making the stage appear bigger than it actually was.
  • For the first time ever a computerised scoreboard was used instead of the mechanical ones used in previous contests.

Facts & Figures


Saturday 30 April 1988


Simmonscourt Pavillion, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland


Céline Dion from Switzerland




Pat Kenny & Michelle Rocca

EBU Scrutineer

Frank Naef


Declan Lowney

Interval Act

Hothouse Flowers

The Participants

# Representing country Performer(s) Song title, writer(s) and composer(s) Points Place
01 Iceland
Flag of IcelandRÚV
Beathoven Sókrates
Sverrir Stormsker
020 16
02 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
Tommy Körberg Stad I Ljus
Py Bäckman
052 12
03 Finland
Flag of FinlandYLE
Boulevard Nauravat Silmät Muistetaan
Pepe Willberg Kirsti Willberg
003 20
04 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Scott Fitzgerald Go
Julie Forsyth
136 02
05 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
MFÖ Sufi (hey Ya Hey)
Mazhar Alanson, Fuat Güner an... Mazhar Alanson
037 15
06 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
La Década La Chica Que Yo Quiero (made In Spain)
Enrique Piero Francisco Dondiego
058 11
07 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Gerard Joling Shangri-la
Peter de Wijn
070 09
08 Israel
Flag of IsraelIBA
Yardena Arazi Ben Adam
Boris Dimitshtein Ehud Manor
085 07
09 Switzerland
Flag of SwitzerlandSSR SRG
Céline Dion Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi
Atilla Sereftug Nella Martinetti
137 01
10 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
Jump the Gun Take Him Home
Peter Eades
079 08
11 Germany
Flag of GermanyARD
Maxi and Chris Garden Lied Für Einen Freund
Ralph Siegel Bernd Meinunger
048 14
12 Austria
Flag of AustriaORF
Wilfried Lisa Mona Lisa
Wilfried Scheutz, Klaus Kofler...
000 21
13 Denmark
Flag of DenmarkDR
Hot Eyes Ka' Du Se Hva' Jeg Sa'
Søren Bundgård Keld Heick
092 03
14 Greece
Flag of GreeceERT
Aphroditi Fryda Kloun
Dimitris Sakislis
010 17
15 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Karoline Krüger For Vår Jord
Anita Skorgan Erik Hillestad
088 05
16 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumRTBF
Reynaert Laissez Briller Le Soleil
Joseph Reynaerts, Dany Willem Joseph Reynaerts, Philippe Anc...
005 18
17 Luxembourg
Flag of LuxembourgCLT
Lara Fabian Croire
Jacques Cardona Alain Garcia
090 04
18 Italy
Flag of ItalyRAI
Luca Barbarossa Ti Scrivo
Luca Barbarossa
052 12
19 France
Flag of FranceA2F
Gérard Lenorman Chanteur De Charme
Gérard Lenorman Gérard Lenorman, Claude Lemesle
064 10
20 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Dora Voltarei
José Calvário, José Niza
005 18
21 Yugoslavia
Flag of YugoslaviaJRT
Srebrna Krila Mangup
Rajko Dujmic Stevo Cvikic, Rajko Dujmic
087 06


Participant Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Luxembourg Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands Turkey United Kingdom Yugoslavia Points Place
Iceland Iceland
421814 20 16
Sweden Sweden
18351031282 52 12
Finland Finland
3 3 20
United Kingdom United Kingdom
10121010106171012853105512 136 2
Turkey Turkey
68845411 37 15
Spain Spain
861822862654 58 11
The Netherlands The Netherlands
612275127667 70 9
Israel Israel
21061053613510610341 85 7
Switzerland Switzerland
45112107104718128121010106 137 1
Ireland Ireland
6572477512746232 79 8
Germany Germany
6865423158 48 14
Austria Austria
- 21
Denmark Denmark
1274124104610613112 92 3
Greece Greece
73 10 17
Norway Norway
33571758147871210 88 5
Belgium Belgium
5 5 18
Luxembourg Luxembourg
1821224122641012573 90 4
Italy Italy
5882237845 52 12
France France
72333510112232812 64 10
Portugal Portugal
14 5 18
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia
41213412312676278 87 6