April Fools' Day: EBU to decide the outright winner of 1969
At the recent Reference Group meeting in Baku, it was pointed out that this year, even though it is 57th edition of Europe’s Favourite TV Show, the winning song is scheduled to be the 60th song to hold the title of Eurovision Song Contest winner. The discrepancy between the number of winners and contests is all down to the four-way tie that occurred in the 1969 contest. Now that is all set to change, as the EBU is set to decide once and for all an outright winner of the 14th contest that took place in Madrid.
Sietse Bakker, Event Supervisor explained to Eurovision.tv why the Reference Group will determine an outright winner of the 1969 contest.
“With the diamond jubilee contest coming up the EBU wants to make the 60th contest a special event. It was felt that if we had the 60th winning song actually taking place in 2012 that it would detract somewhat from the celebrations in 2015. With the large number of countries currently participating in the contest, and with mechanisms in place to determine any future ties, it is almost impossible for there ever to be a dead heat again. "
"The 1969 contest is an anomaly in the history of the contest. Therefore at the next Reference Group meeting the proposal will be to rectify the situation retrospectively once and for all.” he added.
The four countries who will vie for that honour are Spain, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and France.
There has only been one dead heat at the top of the scoreboard since 1969, in 1991, involving Sweden and France. The solution was to firstly count the number of 12 points each country had received, (both had four sets of 12 points) and secondly onto the number of 10 points, (Sweden received five sets of 10 points, whereas France had only two sets of 10 points) and Sweden was declared the outright winner of the 36th edition of the contest.
Several proposals are under consideration to decide which song will be declared the 1969 winner, though a public televote has already been ruled out, and the decision will be made behind closed doors by a specially formed jury.
The decision as to which one will be the winner will no doubt be controversial. In a series of accompanying articles, Eurovision.tv looks at the case for each of the four countries concerned.