The first gimmicks appear
The 1957 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted by the Hessischer Rundfunk on behalf of Deutsches Fernsehen ARD. Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom entered the contest for the first time, joining the other seven participating countries from the previous year. Despite the fact that an increasing number of Europeans had access to television, the contest was still mainly a radio programme at this time.
In a change to the contest the year before, duos were allowed into the competition. Danish duo Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler shocked the audience with their passionate on-screen kiss, the longest in the history of the contest. Germany's entry, performed by Margot Hielscher featured a telephone during the performance, the first gimmick to appear at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Netherlands wins
For the first time the Netherlands won the contest with the song Net Als Toen, performed by Corry Brokken who also represented her country in Lugano the year before. Corry went on to present the contest in 1976 and delivered the Dutch votes at the 1997 contest. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 83.
Facts & figures
The participating countries were represented by one song each, but the duration of the songs varied. The UK entry lasted for only 1:52 minutes, whereas the Italian lasted for 5:09 minutes. Even though the rules suggested that a song should not exceed three minutes, the Italian entry was not disqualified despite heavy protests. The incident lead to the restriction of each song to last a maximum of three minutes.
Unlike the previous year, national juries could not vote for their own song, a rule that still applies today.