25 countries were represented at the 43rd Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Birmingham after Katrina & The Waves took victory for the United Kingdom in 1997. The show was presented by Ulrika Johnsson and Terry Wogan, who also managed to provide commentary for the BBC viewers. Geoff Posner directed the show live from Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.
The voting of the 1998 contest was one of the most exciting ones ever. Israel, Malta, and the UK fought for the grand prix, but it was Israel's Dana International who remained in the lead until the end of the voting by a few points. FYR Macedonia awarded Israel with 8 points, the United Kingdom with 10, and Croatia with 12, giving nothing at all to Malta, which left Chiara third after being second throughout the entire voting. Dutch representative Edsilia Rombley, who finished fourth with 150 points, brought the best result for the Netherlands since their win in 1975. To date, no other Dutch Eurovision Song Contest representative would do so well.
Five photos of the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest were available in the official archive. The name of the photographer is unknown.
Facts and figures
- Switzerland's representative Gunvor was the only contestant to go home without a single point; German representative Guildo Horn jumped off the stage during his hilarious performance of Guildo Hat Euch Lieb;
- Dana International's victory was a controversial one, both in Israel as well as abroad. For the first - and so far last - time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, a transsexual won the competition. Critics argued that Diva won because of the performer, and not because of the song. Despite that, Diva became a hit in several countries across Europe.
Have your say!
Share your memories of the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest! What was your favorite song? Were you there in Birmingham? Let us know in the comments!