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Museum Monday Week Seven: Voting thrillers

11 July 2016 at 21:00 CEST
The voting is one of the most exciting parts of the Eurovision Song Contest and over the years the show has produced some thrilling television moments. In part seven of our Museum Monday series we take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the voting cliffhangers that the Eurovision Song Contest has provided us with over the years. 

The voting during the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest injected a level of excitement that had not been seen in the contest for a number of years, largely thanks to the new voting format introduced this year. The winner was not known until the last minutes of the show, something that had not happened since 2003. Over the decades there have been some truly nail-biting moments and as our Museum Monday video shows, when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, every point really does count. 

In the early days of the Eurovision Song Contest the voting was already proving to be a highlight and a source of tension and drama. In 1963 Norway had the decisive vote, handing victory to Denmark in the last moments of the show. In 1968 Germany put Spain one point ahead of the United Kingdom. When Yugoslavia was called to give their votes, they awarded neither Spain or the UK any points meaning that Spain's entry, La La La, took the title. The drama would continue in Madrid the following year when four countries tied for first place, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. With no tiebreaker rule in place, all four countries were declared winners.  

Towards the end of the voting in 1979, Spain was leading by one point over Israel. Only the Spanish jury had yet to award their votes. Spain handed the victory to Israel after awarding them ten points.

In 1988, with only two juries to vote, the United Kingdom's entry performed by Scott Fitzgerald was in the lead over nearest rival Switzerland, performed by the then unknown singer Céline Dion. When the final jury, Yugoslavia, was called in, they gave six points to Switzerland and nothing to the UK meaning that Céline Dion won the 1988 contest by just a single point in one of the most thrilling voting sequences ever seen in the Eurovision Song Contest. In an interview with the BBC Scott Fitzgerald recalled that momentous moment, "I can laugh about it now, I have no animosity or anything like that. I never did. After Céline Dion won I went over to her and gave her a big hug and kiss". 

The 1991 contest saw France and Sweden tie with 146 points each. Both countries received four sets of 12 points however Sweden had received five sets of 10 points to France's two and so was declared the winner. 

Who knows what exciting moments will emerge during the voting in the years to come?