Eurovision Song Contest 1998

Theme art

The 1998 Eurovision Song Contest from Birmingham resulted in a thrilling voting with the most controversial winner in the history of the contest: Dana International from Israel.

Taboo breaking year

In 1998, for the 43rd edition of the Eurovision Contest, 25 countries participated in the event. All countries that were relegated in the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest came back plus FYR Macedonia entered the contest for the first time. Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Denmark, Russia and Iceland were relegated in 1998 as their 5-year-average points were worse than those of all the other countries.

Italian broadcaster RAI decided to withdraw permanently. Mass televoting took part for the first time and only countries which did not have a properly functioning telephone system were still allowed to vote through the national juries. There was a problem with the Spanish televote as Spanish televoters had awarded 12 points to Germany, but while announcing the points, the 12 points went to Israel! However, the mistake was quickly unearthed after the show and you have the correct rankings and points on our scoreboard here.

Extravagant winner

It was a taboo-breaking year for the contest which saw the performances of Israeli transsexual Dana International, whereas Germany brought balding singer, Guido Horn to the contest. Dana sang the fitting Diva while Horn climbed all over the stage during his crazy performance.

The composer of the German song, TV star Stefan Raab, made a joke by using the pseudonym Alf Igel to mock another German Eurovision composer, Ralph Siegel, who had written more than 10 former Eurovision entry and who had already won the contest with Nicole's Ein Bisschen Frieden in 1982. Guildo Horn's extravagant performance resulted in record-breaking viewing figures in Germany. Fans even travelled abroad to be able to vote for the German entry. However, Guildo Hat Euch Lieb only ended up 7th.

The trophy of the 1998 Eurovision Song Conest went to the equally extravagant Dana International from Israel who got the largest part of media attention both before and after the show. During the voting process, it quickly became clear that either Israel, the United Kingdom or Malta were going to win, but the FYR Macedonian vote did not give a single point to Malta's Chiara, giving the victory to Israel. The United Kingdom came in second, and the Netherlands obtained their best result since 1975 - finishing at fourth place.

Dana International was crowned with a gold and silver trophy which was made by the Birmingham School of Jewellery. For her reprise performance, Dana chose to wear a stunning designer feather dress which resulted in her being on the front side of almost all the European newspapers the following day.

Facts & Figures

Date

Saturday 9 May 1998

Location

National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Winner

Dana International from Israel

Broadcaster

BBC

Hosts

Terry Wogan & Ulrika Jonsson

Interval Act

Lesley Garrett and Vanessa Mae

The Participants

# Representing country Performer(s) Song title, writer(s) and composer(s) Points Place
01 Croatia
Flag of CroatiaHRT
Danijela Neka Mi Ne Svane 131 05
02 Greece
Flag of GreeceERT
Dionysia and Thalassa group Mia Krifi Evaisthissia 012 20
03 France
Flag of FranceFT2
Marie-Line Où Aller 003 24
04 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
Mikel Herzog ¿Qué Voy A Hacer Sin Ti? 021 16
05 Switzerland
Flag of SwitzerlandSSR SRG
Gunvor Lass Ihn 000 25
06 Slovakia
Flag of SlovakiaSTV
Katarína Hasprová Modlitba 008 21
07 Poland
Flag of PolandTVP
Sixteen To Takie Proste 019 17
08 Israel
Flag of IsraelIBA
Dana International Diva 172 01
09 Germany
Flag of GermanyARD
Guildo Horn Guildo Hat Euch Lieb 086 07
10 Malta
Flag of MaltaPBS
Chiara The One That I Love 165 03
11 Hungary
Flag of HungaryMTV
Charlie A Holnap Már Ném Lesz Szomorú 004 23
12 Slovenia
Flag of SloveniaRTVSLO
Vili Resnik Naj Bogovi Slišijo 017 18
13 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
Dawn Is Always Over Now? 064 09
14 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Alma Lusa Se Eu Te Pudesse Abraçar 036 12
15 Romania
Flag of RomaniaTVR
Malina Olinescu Eu Cred 006 22
16 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Imaani Where Are You? 166 02
17 Cyprus
Flag of CyprusCyBC
Michael Hajiyanni Genesis 037 11
18 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Edsilia Rombley Hemel En Aarde 150 04
19 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
Jill Johnson Kärleken är 053 10
20 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumRTBF
Mélanie Cohl Dis Oui 122 06
21 Finland
Flag of FinlandYLE
Edea Aava 022 15
22 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Lars A. Fredriksen Alltid Sommer 079 08
23 Estonia
Flag of EstoniaERR
Koit Toome Mere Lapsed 036 12
24 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
Tüzmen Unutamazsin 025 14
25 F.Y.R. Macedonia
Flag of F.Y.R. MacedoniaMKRTV
Vlado Janevski Ne Zori, Zoro 016 19

Scoreboard

Participant Belgium Croatia Cyprus Estonia F.Y.R. Macedonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Israel Malta Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands Turkey United Kingdom Points Place
Croatia Croatia
5731238105310106621012135442 131 5
Greece Greece
12 12 20
France France
12 3 24
Spain Spain
314436 21 16
Switzerland Switzerland
- 25
Slovakia Slovakia
8 8 21
Poland Poland
25210 19 17
Israel Israel
1010781012710612310127710510655 172 1
Germany Germany
7113810681212126 86 7
Malta Malta
875556867127128512356881012 165 3
Hungary Hungary
121 4 23
Slovenia Slovenia
34253 17 18
Ireland Ireland
2272664218411288 64 9
Portugal Portugal
12410122266 36 12
Romania Romania
6 6 22
United Kingdom United Kingdom
612881083171051285761215373712 166 2
Cyprus Cyprus
24121114453 37 11
The Netherlands The Netherlands
1210375681210878576487710 150 4
Sweden Sweden
126824103521 53 10
Belgium Belgium
66674437537128767241017 122 6
Finland Finland
101110 22 15
Norway Norway
4342354454310812134 79 8
Estonia Estonia
1241182242 36 12
Turkey Turkey
551221 25 14
F.Y.R. Macedonia F.Y.R. Macedonia
6334 16 19