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BRIGHTON 1974

For the second year in three, the United Kingdom and its national broadcaster BBC held the Eurovision Song Contest without having won in the preceding year. Due to the fact that the Luxembourg broadcaster RTL did not wish to host the song contest again because of financial reasons, British BBC embraced the possibility once more. This year, the Eurovision Song Contest was held at The Dome, in the seaside resort of Brighton.

1974 saw the first participation of Greece who sent their national star Marinella. France was to enter the song contest with the entry La Vie A Vingt-cinq Ans by Dani, but the French singer never got the chance to perform though as the French president, Georges Pompidou, died in the week of the contest and France withdrew.

The voting system changed once more: 10 jury members in every country each awarded one point to their favorite song. For the first time, a draw of lots was used to decide the order in which countries would give the results of their juries. However, it was the last time this method was used to cast the votes – from 1975 onwards, a new voting system would be implemented which basically is still in use today.

Sweden won the song contest for the first time with the entry Waterloo, performed by pop legends ABBA. The song became a huge international hit and was the starting point of the outstanding career of the Swedish four. Over 30 years after it won, Waterloo was even voted the best Eurovision Song Contest song ever at the 50-year anniversary show Congratulations, in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2005. ABBA had actually tried to enter the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest already with the song Ring Ring, which later became a hit for them in many European countries – but they only reached the third place in the Swedish national selection. For their 1974 entry, the group hesitated a while before choosing Waterloo as they thought their other option Hasta Mañana would also be a suitable song for the contest. However, Hasta Mañana was basically sung by only one of the girls, Agnetha Fältskog, but ABBA wanted a song where all four members could give their vocals to.

Some years before she starred in the American movie Grease, the Australian popsinger Olivia Newton-John sang Long Live Love, representing the United Kingdom. Olivia Newton-John actually wanted to sing a different song, but Long Live Love was chosen by a public postal vote.

VOTING GRID: FINAL

COUNTRY PERFORMER(S) SONG TITLE SCORE RANK
01 Finland Carita Äla Mene Pois (keep Me Warm) 004 13
02 Un. Kingdom Olivia Newton-John Long Live Love 014 04
03 Spain Peret Canta Y Se Feliz 010 09
04 Norway Anne-Karine Ström and the Bendik Singers The First Day Of Love 003 14
05 Greece Marinella Krassi, Thalassa Ke T’agori Mou 007 11
06 Israel Poogy Natati La Khaiai 011 07
07 Yugoslavia Korni Generacija 42 006 12
08 Sweden ABBA Waterloo 024 01
09 Luxembourg Ireen Sheer Bye, Bye, I Love You 014 04
10 Monaco Romuald Celui Qui Reste Et Celui Qui S’en Va 014 04
11 Belgium Jacques Hustin Fleur De Liberté 010 09
12 Netherlands Mouth and MacNeal I See A Star 015 03
13 Ireland Tina Cross Your Heart 011 07
14 Germany Cindy und Bert Die Sommermelodie 003 14
15 Switzerland Piera Martell Mein Ruf Nach Dir 003 14
16 Portugal Paulo de Carvalho E Depois Do Adeus 003 14
17 Italy Gigliola Cinquetti Si 018 02
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