1998: I ♥ The Eurovision Song Contest

After last year’s fantastic win by the UK, this year the contest was held in Birmingham and who else would be chosen to host it but none other than the sarcastic commentator – Terry Wogan.

Terry, who also provided commentary as well, was joined by Gladiators presenter Ulrika Jonsson. Ulrika is from Sweden and Terry is from Ireland and they are hosting the Eurovision on behalf of the UK – whoever said the UK didn’t integrate into Europe?

I can’t really remember that much of the 1998 Eurovision but I think it was a pivotal turning point for the contest and things just got a little bit more crazy from here on in.

The entry from the United Kingdom this year was “Where Are You?” performed by Imaani. I don’t really rate this entry probably because I don’t know much about it and who Imaani actually is. It was an ok performance of an ok song from an ok singer but she provided nothing memorable for me and I’m really surprised it came 2nd.

Croatia decided to dress Absolutely Fabulous actress, Jane Horrocks up as a Scottish Widow and make her sing about her neck or something. I quite like this song, it’s catchy, she sings it well and there’s a key change and a wardrobe change towards the end so what else could you ask for?

The entry from Germany, in my opinion, is what paved the way for all the crazy entries in the future. This little long-haired, Danny Devito lookalike called Guildo Horn sang a song called “Guildo Loves You” and took audience interaction to a whole new level. He also played the cowbells for a few seconds and then climbed up the set. Nice one Guildo – look what you started.

Malta entered the older sister of Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus dressed in only a blouse. Don’t panic though, the blouse goes right down to her ankles. It’s a nice song and she looks like she had fun singing it.

It always seems to me that Hungary wait until the very moment that they need to send their entry on stage to decide who to put on. This year it looks like the just picked up a person from a bar just around the corner from the arena.

Portugal never fail to impress me with their entries and I am so surprised that they have never won yet. Their songs are always so cheery with a subtle hint of tradition.

I don’t particularly like the Cyprus song but I do like looking at the singer.

For the Norwegian entry in this year please refer back to my comment on Cyprus.

So, that was it and time for the interval act. It was kind of mash up of different styles of music in the UK – was good to see the Scottish bagpipes in there.

Before I look at the winning song and in honour of Terry Wogan, Ulrika Jonsson and all other Eurovision hosts this is a funny compilation.

Stopped laughing yet? Okay, the winner in 1998 was from Israel with the song “Diva” performed by Dana International. What is there to say? This is a classic Eurovision winner and both the performer and the song are the essence of what Eurovision is all about. Go Dana.

Until next time, stay Diva-ish!

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