Just like in 1993, 1994 and 1995, Ireland hosted the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. Despite initial discussions that state broadcaster RTE were to team up with the BBC in Northern Ireland, they decided to go it alone. It was fourth time in five years at that the same country had hosted the event, a record that RTE were said to be extremely proud of.
25 countries participated in 1997 and the audio preselection that was in place the year before was replaced with a new system. From 1997 the average results of all countries in the last give song contests would be measured. Israel withdrew voluntarily, and Bosnia & Herzegovina took their place. Belgium, Finland, Romania and Slovakia were all absent in Dublin that year.
Televoting was introduced for the first time in 1997 in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Germany and it would be extended to almost all participating countries in the following 1998 contest.
It was the year the Eurovision Song Contest tried to appeal to the younger generation. Irish boy band Boyzone were the interval act and their lead singer Ronan Keating co-hosted the evening. The opening sequence included messages from former contest stars, including Céline Dion and Morten Harket, beamed onto a massive video wall.
The United Kingdom won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. Katrina & the Waves scored an unprecedented 227 points with their song Love Shine A Light. The winning song gave the band their biggest hit since Walking on Sunshine.