OSLO 1996

The 1996 Eurovision Song Contest moved to a new destination, after it had been in Ireland for the three preceding years. Norway’s capital Oslo had the honour of hosting the contest, it’s 41st running, for the first time.

For the 1996 contest, the European Broadcasting Union replaced the relegation system with an audio preselection. This new system was tried out in order to find a more acceptable method of whittling down the large number of potentially participating countries. Apart from the host country of Norway, all other potential participants – 29 countries in total – competed in this audio preselection, in which the national juries solely listened to audio tapes with the recordings of the 29 songs. 22 out of the 29 countries plus the host nation Norway were allowed access into the final on 18th May in Oslo. Germany, Israel, Denmark, Hungary, Russia, FYR Macedonia and Romania all failed to qualify. This type of pre-qualifier round was conceived by many broadcasters and the European audience as rather peculiar, because the pre-selection was not broadcast in any way and the full results of the voting were not made public either. With Germany not qualifying – the first time ever Germany couldn’t participate – the organisers were also confronted with much less financial means than expected.

However, the Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, tried to modernize the contest this year. For example, virtual reality was used to visualize the voting. In the introduction video postcards, every participant received the best wishes from a government representative. The contest was threatened by a conductor’s strike after Norwegian TV-station NRK, wanting to save time, said it would cut out the orchestra conductor’s appearance. Luckily, the dispute was settled amicably. The show was hosted by Norwegian popband a-ha front man Morten Harket and Norwegian journalist, Ingvild Bryn. They greeted each country in their national language.

Ireland got its seventh victory with the song The Voice performed by Eimear Quinn. This was the fourth victory for Ireland in just five years. However, the winner was not the biggest commercial success in record sales this year. The United Kingdom’s song Ooh…Aah…Just A Little Bit by Australian Gina G, did not go down too well with more conservative juries, who felt her Paco Rabanne coin-clad dress and fast-paced performance was too racy for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song went on to be a big hit in the UK and in the USA, and Gina G was nominated for a Grammy as Best Dance Act.



Austria George Nussbaumer “Weil’s dr guat got” 06 080
Belgium Lisa Del Bo “Liefde is een kaartspel” 12 045
Bosnia & Herzegovina Amila Glamočak “Za našu ljubav” 21 029
Croatia Maja Blagdan “Sveta ljubav” 19 030
Cyprus Constantinos “Mono Yia Mas” (Μόνο Για Μας) 15 042
Denmark Dorthe Andersen & Martin Loft “Kun med dig” 25 022
Estonia Maarja-Liis Ilus & Ivo Linna “Kaelakee hääl” 05 106
Finland Jasmine “Niin kaunis on taivas” 22 028
France Dan Ar Braz & L’Héritage des Celtes “Diwanit Bugale” 11 055
Germany Leon “Planet of Blue” 24 024
Greece Mariana Efstratiou “Emeis Forame to Himona Anixiatika” 12 045
Hungary Gjon Delhusa “Fortuna” 23 026
Iceland Anna Mjöll “Sjúbídú” 10 059
Ireland Eimear Quinn “The Voice” 02 198
Israel Galit Bell “Shalom Olam” (שלום עולם) 28 012
FYR Macedonia Kaliopi “Samo ti” (Само ти) 26 014
Malta Miriam Christine “In A Woman’s Heart” 04 138
Netherlands Maxine & Franklin Brown “De eerste keer” 09 063
Poland Kasia Kowalska “Chcę znać swój grzech…” 15 042
Portugal Lúcia Moniz “O meu coração não tem cor” 18 032
Romania Monica Anghel & Sincron “Rugă pentru pacea lumii” 29 011
Russia Andrej Kosinskij “Ja eto ja” (Я это я) 26 014
Slovakia Marcel Palonder “Kým nás máš” 17 036
Slovenia Regina “Dan najlepših sanj” 19 030
Spain Antonio Carbonell “¡Ay, qué deseo!” 14 043
Sweden One More Time “Den vilda” 01 227
Switzerland Kathy Leander “Mon coeur l’aime” 08 067
Turkey Şebnem Paker “Beşinci Mevsim” 07 069
Un. Kingdom Gina G “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” 03 153

FINAL – MAY 18, 1996

01 Turkey Şebnem Paker Besinçi Mevsim 057 12
02 Un. Kingdom Gina G Ooh… Aah… Just A Little Bit 077 08
03 Spain Antonio Carbonell ¡Ay, Qué Deseo! 017 20
04 Portugal Lúcia Moniz O Meu Coração Não Tem Cor 092 06
05 Cyprus Constantinos Móno Gia Más 072 09
06 Malta Miriam Christine In A Woman’s Heart 068 10
07 Croatia Maja Blagdan Sveta Ljubav 098 04
08 Austria George Nußbaumer Weil’s Dr Guat Got 068 10
09 Switzerland Cathy Leander Mon Coeur L’aime 022 16
10 Greece Marianna Efstratiou Emis Forame To Himona Anixiatika 036 14
11 Estonia Ivo Linna and Maarja-Liis Ilus Kaelakee Hääl 094 05
12 Norway Elisabeth Andreasson I Evighet 114 02
13 France Dan Ar Braz et l’Héritage des Celtes Diwanit Bugale 018 19
14 Slovenia Regina Dan najlepših sanj 016 21
15 Netherlands Maxine and Franklin Brown De Eerste Keer 078 07
16 Belgium Lisa del Bo Liefde Is Een Kaartspel 022 16
17 Ireland Eimear Quinn The Voice 162 01
18 Finland Jasmine Niin Kaunis On Taivas 009 23
19 Iceland Anna Mjöll Sjúbídú 051 13
20 Poland Kasia Kowalska Chce Znac Swój Grzech 031 15
21 Bosnia & Herzegovina Amila Glamocak Za Našu Ljubav 013 22
22 Slovakia Marcel Palonder Kým Nás Mᚠ019 18
23 Sweden One More Time Den Vilda 100 03

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