The Eurovision Song Contest 1988 was the 33rd in the series and was held on 30 April 1988 in Dublin, Ireland after Johnny Logan's second win the previous year with the song Hold Me Now. It was held at the RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion (which previously hosted the 1981 contest) and was presented by Michelle Rocca and Pat Kenny.
All 22 nations from the previous year were set to compete, however, Cyprus had sent a song that had been previously done in their 1984 national selection and was forced to withdraw, leaving 21 nations to vie for the 1988 Grand Prix.
This contest is best known for the exciting climax to the voting sequence in which Canadian singer Celine Dion won for Switzerland with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi, beating the United Kingdom's Scott Fitzgerald by one point. Celine would go on to launch an international career that has spanned more than two decades. Lara Fabian, who finished 4th for Luxembourg, also launched a successful career as a result of her participation.
|01||Iceland||Beathoven||Þú og þeir (Sókrates)||Icelandic||You and they (Socrates)||16||20|
|02||Sweden||Tommy Körberg||Stad i ljus||Swedish||City of light||12||52|
|03||Finland||Boulevard||Nauravat silmät muistetaan||Finnish||Laughing eyes are remembered||20||3|
|04||United Kingdom||Scott Fitzgerald||Go||English||--||2||136|
|06||Spain||La Década Prodigosa||La chica que yo quiero (Made In Spain)||Spanish||The girl that I want (Made In Spain)||11||58|
|07||The Netherlands||Gerard Joling||Shangri-La||Dutch||--||9||70|
|08||Israel||Yardena Arazi||Ben Adam||Hebrew||Human being||7||85|
|09||Switzerland||Celine Dion||Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi||French||Don't leave without me||1||137|
|10||Ireland||Jump The Gun||Take Him Home||English||--||8||79|
|11||Germany||Maxi & Chris Garden||Lied für einen Freund||German||Song for a friend||14||48|
|12||Austria||Wilfried Scheutz||Lisa, Mona Lisa||German||--||21||0|
|13||Denmark||Hot Eyes||Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?||Danish||Don't you see, that's what I told you?||3||92|
|15||Norway||Karoline Krüger||For vår jord||Norwegian||For our earth||5||88|
|16||Belgium||Reynaert||Laissez briller le soleil||French||Let the sun shine||18||5|
|18||Italy||Luca Barbarossa||Vivo (Ti Scrivo)||Italian||Alive (I write you)||12||52|
|19||France||Gérard Lenorman||Chanteur de charme||French||Crooner||10||64|
|20||Portugal||Dora||Voltarei||Portuguese||I will come back||18||5|
- This was the first contest to feature a computer-generated scoreboard.
- It was also the first contest to feature the previous year's winner perform a truncated reprise of their winning entry.
- This was the last contest to use the re-vote tiebreaker rule.
- At the time, this was the closest finish since the infamous 4-way tie of 1969.
- A behind-the-scenes documentary about the 1988 contest was made for RTE called "And finally... France". The title was taken from the announcement of the 12 points from the Yugoslavian jury, who decided the outcome.
- Director Declan Lowney later directed many of the episodes of the comedy series Father Ted, including the popular Eurovision-inspired episode "A Song for Europe".
- 1987 Tour de France champion Stephen Roche made an appearance in the Finnish postcard.
- As of 2020, Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi is the last French-language song to win Eurovision.
- As of 2020, this was the last time Luxembourg finished in the top ten.