Eurovision Song Contest 1998

The 1998 Eurovision Song Contest from Birmingham culminated in one of the most thrilling voting sequences for years and reminded us that Europe is a more open-minded place than we might have thought.

Taboo breaking year

25 countries competed in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest. All countries that were relegated in 1997 Eurovision Song Contest returned and 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 lower than those of the other countries.

Italian broadcaster RAI decided to withdraw from the contest indefinitely. Televoting took place in the majority of participating countries for the first time. Only countries that did not have a fully functional telephone system were still allowed to vote through the national juries. There was a problem with the Spanish televote as Spanish voters 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.

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.

A diva is born

The trophy of the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest went to the Dana International from Israel with her winning song Diva. To date she remains the first and only openly transgendered person to have won the Eurovision Song Contest. 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 for a record 15th time, and the Netherlands obtained their best result since 1975 - finishing in fourth place.

Facts and figures

  • A watermark showing which country was performing appeared on-screen during the performances for the first time. This innovation is still in place today.
  • Presenter Terry Wogan directly addressed the fans of the contest in the audience, the first time that this had happened.
  • Imaani, the UK's representative, was the first ever black singer to represent the country.

Facts & Figures


Saturday 9 May 1998


National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, United Kingdom


Dana International from Israel




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
Petar Grašo/Remi Kasinoti
131 05
02 Greece
Flag of GreeceERT
Dionysia and Thalassa group Mia Krifi Evaisthissia
Yiannis Valvis Yiannis Malachias
012 20
03 France
Flag of FranceFT2
Marie-Line Où Aller
Marie-Line Marolany/Jean-Phili... Marie-Line Marolany
003 24
04 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
Mikel Herzog ¿Qué Voy A Hacer Sin Ti?
Alberto Estébanez Mikel Herzog
021 16
05 Switzerland
Flag of SwitzerlandSSR SRG
Gunvor Lass Ihn
Gunvor Guggisberg/Egon Egemann Gunvor Guggisberg
000 25
06 Slovakia
Flag of SlovakiaSTV
Katarína Hasprová Modlitba
Gabriel Dušík Anna Wepperyová
008 21
07 Poland
Flag of PolandTVP
Sixteen To Takie Proste
Jaroslaw Pruszkowski Olga Pruszkowska
019 17
08 Israel
Flag of IsraelIBA
Dana International Diva
Tzvika Pik Yoav Ginai
172 01
09 Germany
Flag of GermanyARD
Guildo Horn Guildo Hat Euch Lieb
Stefan Raab
086 07
10 Malta
Flag of MaltaPBS
Chiara The One That I Love
Jason Paul Cassar Sunny Aquilina
165 03
11 Hungary
Flag of HungaryMTV
Charlie A Holnap Már Ném Lesz Szomorú
István Lehr Attila Horváth
004 23
12 Slovenia
Flag of SloveniaRTVSLO
Vili Resnik Naj Bogovi Slišijo
Matjaz Vlašic Urša Vlašic
017 18
13 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
Dawn Is Always Over Now?
Gerry Morgan
064 09
14 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Alma Lusa Se Eu Te Pudesse Abraçar
José Cid
036 12
15 Romania
Flag of RomaniaTVR
Malina Olinescu Eu Cred
Adrian Romcescu Liliana Stefan
006 22
16 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Imaani Where Are You?
Scott English/Simon Stirling/P...
166 02
17 Cyprus
Flag of CyprusCyBC
Michael Hajiyanni Genesis
Michael Hajiyanni Zenon Zindilis
037 11
18 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Edsilia Rombley Hemel En Aarde
Eric van Tijn/Jochem Fluitsma
150 04
19 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
Jill Johnson Kärleken är
Bobby Ljunggren/Håkan Almqvist Ingela "Pling" Forsman
053 10
20 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumRTBF
Mélanie Cohl Dis Oui
Philippe Swan
122 06
21 Finland
Flag of FinlandYLE
Edea Aava
Alexi Ahoniemi Tommy Mansikka-Aho
022 15
22 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Lars A. Fredriksen Alltid Sommer
David Eriksen Linda Andernach Johannesen
079 08
23 Estonia
Flag of EstoniaERR
Koit Toome Mere Lapsed
Maria and Tomi Rahula Peeter Pruuli
036 12
24 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
Tüzmen Unutamazsin
Erdinç Tunç Canan Tunç
025 14
25 F.Y.R. Macedonia
Flag of F.Y.R. MacedoniaMKRTV
Vlado Janevski Ne Zori, Zoro
Grigor Koprov Vlado Janevski
016 19


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