Eurovision Song Contest 1999

The 1999 Eurovision Song Contest was preceded by lots of new rules, which didn't affect the glamorous show in Jerusalem.

Goodbye to the orchestra

In 1999, the long-standing rule that each country had to sing in one of its own national languages was abolished, and it was also decided that France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, as the highest-paying European Broadcasting Union subscribers, would automatically be allowed to participate every year, irrespective of their five-year point average. Also, the requirement of an orchestra was optional.

The Israeli broadcaster chose not to use an orchestra, which meant that for the first time in the history of the contest, all entries would perform using a backing track. This change was criticized by two-time Eurovision Song Contest winner Johnny Logan, who commented that the contest turned into "karaoke". Latvia wanted to take part this year, but the country withdrew at a late stage, giving the opportunity to Hungary, but Hungarian TV didn't except the offer either, so the 23rd spot was given to Portugal. Finland, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Switzerland stayed at home.

The Lithuanian delegation was trying to keep its budget problems under control and they were allowed to arrive at the Eurovision Song Contest venue a day later than everyone else to save costs. The Cypriot song by Marlain had been one of the favorites to win the contest, so many experts were shocked when the song just got 2 points altogether, both from the United Kingdom televote. The Croatian entry Maria Magdalena was sanctioned after the contest, as it used synthesized male backing vocals despite the rule stating that all vocals would have to be performed live on stage. Croatia lost 33% of their points, giving it a lower five-year average.

About the winner

The Swedish delegation was very surprised about their victory of Charlotte Nilsson's Take Me To Your Heaven. Had the song in Sweden been seen as old-fashioned, the European televoters thought differently and saw the song as a charming hommage to the ABBA-sound. Sweden's win was endangered by the Icelandic and German songs during the voting, but when the Bosnian jury gave Sweden its 12 points while ignoring Iceland completely, it was clear that Sweden would be the winner of the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest.

Facts & figures

When the winner of the 1998 contest, Dana International, was about to hand over the trophy to Charlotte, she fell down on stage in her stilettos causing a security alert in the hall.

Facts & Figures


Saturday 29 May 1999


Usshishkin Hall in the International Convention Centre, Jerusalem, Israel


Charlotte Nilsson from Sweden




Yigal Ravid, Dafna Dekel & Sigal Shahamon

Executive Producer

Amnon Barkai

EBU Scrutineer

Christine Marchal-Ortiz


Hagai Mautner

Interval Act

Dana International with Free

The Participants

# Representing country Performer(s) Song title, writer(s) and composer(s) Points Place
01 Lithuania
Flag of LithuaniaLRT
Aiste Smilgeviciute Strazdas 013 20
02 Belgium
Flag of BelgiumVRT
Vanessa Chinitor Like The Wind 038 12
03 Spain
Flag of SpainTVE
Lydia No Quiero Escuchar 001 23
04 Croatia
Flag of CroatiaHRT
Doris Dragovic Marija Magdalena 118 04
05 United Kingdom
Flag of United KingdomBBC
Precious Say It Again 038 12
06 Slovenia
Flag of SloveniaRTVSLO
Darja Svajger For A Thousand Years 050 11
07 Turkey
Flag of TurkeyTRT
Tuba Önal & Grup Mystik Dön Artik 021 16
08 Norway
Flag of NorwayNRK
Stig André Van Eijk Living My Life Without You 035 14
09 Denmark
Flag of DenmarkDR
Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl This Time (i Mean It) 071 08
10 France
Flag of FranceFrance 3
Nayah Je Veux Donner Ma Voix 014 19
11 The Netherlands
Flag of The NetherlandsNOS
Marlayne One Good Reason 071 08
12 Poland
Flag of PolandTVP
Mietek (Mieczyslaw) Szczesniak Przytul Mnie Mocno 017 18
13 Iceland
Flag of IcelandRÚV
Selma Björnsdóttir All Out Of Luck 146 02
14 Cyprus
Flag of CyprusCyBC
Marlain Angelidou Tha'nai Erotas 002 22
15 Sweden
Flag of SwedenSVT
Charlotte Nilsson Take Me To Your Heaven 163 01
16 Portugal
Flag of PortugalRTP
Rui Bandeira Como Tudo Começou 012 21
17 Ireland
Flag of IrelandRTÉ
The Mullan's When You Need Me 018 17
18 Austria
Flag of AustriaORF
Bobbie Singer Reflection 065 10
19 Israel
Flag of IsraelIBA
Eden Yom Huledeth 093 05
20 Malta
Flag of MaltaPBS
Times 3 Believe 'n Peace 032 15
21 Germany
Flag of GermanyARD
Sürpriz Reise Nach Jerusalem - Kudüs'e Seyahat 140 03
22 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Flag of Bosnia & HerzegovinaRTVBIH
Dino and Beatrice Putnici 086 07
23 Estonia
Flag of EstoniaERR
Evelin Samuel and Camille Diamond Of Night 090 06


Participant Austria Belgium Bosnia & Herzegovina Croatia Cyprus Denmark Estonia France Germany Iceland Ireland Israel Lithuania Malta Norway Poland Portugal Slovenia Spain Sweden The Netherlands Turkey United Kingdom Points Place
Lithuania Lithuania
25231 13 20
Belgium Belgium
452105210 38 12
Spain Spain
1 1 23
Croatia Croatia
8582371046765761212118 118 4
United Kingdom United Kingdom
1541458244 38 12
Slovenia Slovenia
25121121026 50 11
Turkey Turkey
5124 21 16
Norway Norway
776735 35 14
Denmark Denmark
58612724135585 71 8
France France
2282 14 19
The Netherlands The Netherlands
4124761642233458 71 8
Poland Poland
647 17 18
Iceland Iceland
2812121034108101044101271010 146 2
Cyprus Cyprus
2 2 22
Sweden Sweden
67126101232105831212610768612 163 1
Portugal Portugal
12 12 21
Ireland Ireland
12114 18 17
Austria Austria
6138586354727 65 10
Israel Israel
1328102410716210818343 93 5
Malta Malta
77631116 32 15
Germany Germany
101010357851233121267212121 140 3
Bosnia & Herzegovina Bosnia & Herzegovina
1211086837510637 86 7
Estonia Estonia
34344628117587811053 90 6