Eurovision Song Contest 1996

The 1996 Eurovision Song Contest moved to a new destination, after it had been in Ireland for the three preceding years. Norway's capital Oslo had the honour of hosting the contest for the first time.

From 29 to 23...

For the 1996 contest the European Broadcasting Union replaced the relegation system with an audio preselection. Apart from the host country of Norway, all other potential participants - 29 countries in total - competed in this audio preselection, in which the national juries solely listened to audio tapes with the recordings of the 29 songs. 22 out of the 29 countries plus the host nation Norway were allowed access into the final on 18th May in Oslo. Germany, Israel, Denmark, Hungary, Russia, FYR Macedonia and Romania all failed to qualify.

The 1996 contest was groundbreaking in many ways. Host broadcaster NRK introduced virtual reality in the voting and digital filters were applied during some of the performances. Each participant received a good luck message from a representative of their respective country. The seniority of these figures varied from presidents and prime ministers to junior government ministers.

The contest was threatened by a conductor's strike after Norwegian TV-station NRK, wanting to save time, said it would cut out the orchestra conductor's appearance. Luckily, the dispute was settled amicably. The show was hosted by Morten Harket, from the group A-ha and Norwegian journalist, Ingvild Bryn.

About the winner

Ireland scored its seventh victory in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song The Voice performed by Eimear Quinn. This was the fourth victory for Ireland in just five years. However, the winner was not the biggest commercial success in record sales this year. The United Kingdom's song Ooh...Aah...Just A Little Bit by Australian Gina G, only reached eighth place in the contest but went on to become a huge international hit and was even nominated for a Grammy Award.

Facts and figures

  • The 1996 contest is the only contest where Germany missed out on a place in the final due to the pre-selection round.
  • The contest was re-branded and referred to throughout the broadcast as Eurosong '96 however the name was dropped the following year.

Facts & Figures


Saturday 18 May 1996


Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway


Eimear Quinn from Ireland




Ingvild Bryn & Morten Harket

Executive Producer

Odd Arvid Strømstad

EBU Scrutineer

Christine Marchal-Ortiz


Pal Veiglum

Interval Act

Nils Gaup & Runar Borge feat. Aamil Paus-Beacon Burning

The Participants

# Representing country Performer(s) Song title, writer(s) and composer(s) Points Place
01 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
Şebnem Paker Besinçi Mevsim
Levent Çoker Selma Çuhaci
057 12
02 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Gina G Ooh...Aah...Just A Little Bit
Steve Rodway Simon Tauber
077 08
03 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
Antonio Carbonell ¡Ay, Qué Deseo!
017 20
04 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Lúcia Moniz O Meu Coração Não Tem Cor
Pedro Osório José Fanha
092 06
05 Cyprus
Flag of CyprusCyBC
Constantinos Móno Gia Más
Andréas Giorgallis Rodoúlla Papalambrianou
072 09
06 Malta
Flag of MaltaPBS
Miriam Christine In A Woman's Heart
Paul Abela Alfred Sant
068 10
07 Croatia
Flag of CroatiaHRT
Maja Blagdan Sveta Ljubav
Zrinko Tutic
098 04
08 Austria
Flag of AustriaORF
George Nußbaumer Weil's Dr Guat Got
Mischa Krausz/George Nußbaumer
068 10
09 Switzerland
Flag of SwitzerlandSSR SRG
Cathy Leander Mon Coeur L'aime
Régis Mounir
022 16
10 Greece
Flag of GreeceERT
Marianna Efstratiou Emis Forame To Himona Anixiatika
Costas Bigalis Iro Trigoni
036 14
11 Estonia
Flag of EstoniaERR
Ivo Linna and Maarja-Liis Ilus Kaelakee Hääl
Priit Pajusaar Kaari Sillamaa
094 05
12 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Elisabeth Andreasson I Evighet
Torhild Nigar
114 02
13 France
Flag of FranceFT2
Dan Ar Braz et l'Héritage des Celtes Diwanit Bugale
Dan Ar Braz
018 19
14 Slovenia
Flag of SloveniaRTVSLO
Regina Dan najlepših sanj
Aleksander Kogoj
016 21
15 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Maxine and Franklin Brown De Eerste Keer
Peter van Asten Peter van Asten/Piet Souer
078 07
16 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumBRTN
Lisa del Bo Liefde Is Een Kaartspel
John Terra/Sarah Brogden Daniel Ditmar
022 16
17 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
Eimear Quinn The Voice
Brendan Graham
162 01
18 Finland
Flag of FinlandYLE
Jasmine Niin Kaunis On Taivas
Timo Niemi
009 23
19 Iceland
Flag of IcelandRÚV
Anna Mjöll Sjúbídú
Anna Mjöll Ólafsdóttir/Óla...
051 13
20 Poland
Flag of PolandTVP
Kasia Kowalska Chce Znac Swój Grzech
Robert Amirian Kasia Kowalska
031 15
21 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Flag of Bosnia & HerzegovinaRTVBIH
Amila Glamocak Za Našu Ljubav
Sinan Alimanovic/Adnan Bajramo...
013 22
22 Slovakia
Flag of SlovakiaSTV
Marcel Palonder Kým Nás Máš
Juraj Burian Jozef Urban
019 18
23 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
One More Time Den Vilda
Peter Grönvall Nanne Grönvall
100 03


Participant Austria Belgium Bosnia & Herzegovina Croatia Cyprus Estonia Finland France Greece Iceland Ireland Malta Norway Poland Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands Turkey United Kingdom Points Place
Turkey Turkey
55154108676 57 12
United Kingdom United Kingdom
3127128436126643 77 8
Spain Spain
4265 17 20
Portugal Portugal
16110123551012410652 92 6
Cyprus Cyprus
2862121231072512 72 9
Malta Malta
1281612410510 68 10
Croatia Croatia
410861567721053511584 98 4
Austria Austria
6712281285314 68 10
Switzerland Switzerland
2434243 22 16
Greece Greece
1013183217 36 14
Estonia Estonia
571211228108412310 94 5
Norway Norway
883535778742101071028 114 2
France France
732411 18 19
Slovenia Slovenia
8611 16 21
The Netherlands The Netherlands
12125410257756831 78 7
Belgium Belgium
211225 22 16
Ireland Ireland
7312612106104101287127121212 162 1
Finland Finland
72 9 23
Iceland Iceland
68310536163 51 13
Poland Poland
474727 31 15
Bosnia & Herzegovina Bosnia & Herzegovina
3136 13 22
Slovakia Slovakia
4852 19 18
Sweden Sweden
101041083612644788 100 3