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Dublin's Point Theatre was - yet again - the venue for the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest. To date it is the last contest that has been held in Ireland. For the first ever the public had a say in the outcome of the competition.

To The Point!

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.

Walking on Sunshine

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. 

Facts and figures 

  • Russia's Alla Pugacheva lived up to the title of her entry Primadonna and was so convinced of victory that she demanded a limousine to pick her up when she arrived at the airport.
  • Icelandic singer Paul Oscar, broke new ground with his performance on a white leather sofa, flanked by four women in leather dominatrix outfits. The song scored will with televoters though; Sweden gave the song 8 points meaning that it ranked third in the national vote and the UK gave 6 points as it came fifth in the popular vote.