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The Eurovision Song Contest 1998 was the 43rd Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 9 May 1998 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, United Kingdom, following Katrina and The Waves' victory in 1997. The presenters were Terry Wogan, the usual UK commentator at the time and Ulrika Jonsson, a Swedish-born ex-weather woman. Despite being one of the presenters, Terry Wogan still managed to provide his trademark comedy commentary to the contest for the BBC. 1998 was also the year where the three chevrons of the EBU logo had to be included in the actual contest logo of the year. This also happened in 1999, but before 1998 in 1994, the colors of the chevrons had to be included.

The chevrons feature on the 2000 - 2003 Eurovision Song Contest CD albums.

Gallery

Notable Participants

For the second year in a row, at least one country went home without points; Switzerland's Gunvor Guggisberg with her composition Lass' ihn failed to score a single point. Other notable participants were Germany's Guildo Horn, whose shocking comedic act resulted in his climbing the scaffold on the side of the stage. Controversially chosen to represent Germany, he was criticized for his lack of seriousness by the German press.

However, after winning by 60% of the vote, the German people were firmly on Horn's side. "Guildo-Fever" spread throughout Germany during the weeks leading up to the contest, with Horn becoming front-page material in Germany. He was also noticed in countries around Europe, and the early criticism that had existed in Germany arose in those countries.

Even though his 7th place was disappointing, to some Germans it was a revival for the contest in Germany, and was the beginning of 4 consecutive top-ten finishes. Greece earned only 12 points, all of which came from Cyprus. After the contest, there was a correction made with the Spanish votes, who mistakenly awarded Germany zero points, rather than the 12 that were rightfully theirs.

In a BBC interview, future Eurovision 2000 entrant Nicki French said that one of her most memorable Eurovision moments was Ulrika's faux pas during the voting. The Dutch lady announcing the Netherlands' votes had previously been a contestant in Eurovision, and to that, Ulrika replied, "A long time ago, was it?" which was followed by much laughter from the audience. In fact Conny Vandenbos who sang for her country in 1965 said that she had gone to the contest many years ago; unfortunately for both Conny and Ulrika this wasn't heard above the noise of the audience. What was heard, however, was Ulrika's seemingly insulting comment.

Despite FYR Macedonia "debuting" at the 1996 contest's Pre Qualifying round, this was the first proper Eurovision final they have participated in.

Participants

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconCroatia.png Croatia Danijela Martinović Neka mi ne svane Croatian May the dawn never rise 5 131
02 IconGreece.png Greece Thalassa Mia krifi evesthisia Greek A secret sensibility 20 12
03 IconFrance.png France Marie Line Marolany Où aller French Where to go? 24 3
04 IconSpain.png Spain Mikel Herzog ¿Qué voy a hacer sin ti? Spanish What am I going to do without you? 16 21
05 IconSwitzerland.png Switzerland Gunvor Guggisberg Lass' ihn German Let him 25 0
06 IconSlovakia.png Slovakia Katarína Hasprová Modlitba Slovak A prayer 21 8
07 IconPoland.png Poland Sixteen To takie proste Polish It's easy 17 19
08 IconIsrael.png Israel Dana International Diva Hebrew -- 1 172
09 IconGermany.png Germany Guildo Horn Guildo hat euch lieb! German Guildo loves you! 7 86
10 IconMalta.png Malta Chiara Siracusa The One That I Love English -- 3 165
11 IconHungary.png Hungary Károly Horváth A holnap már nem lesz szomorú Hungarian Sadness will be over tomorrow 23 4
12 IconSlovenia.png Slovenia Vili Resnik Naj bogovi slišijo Slovene Let the gods hear 18 17
13 IconIreland.png Ireland Dawn Martin Is Always Over Now? English -- 9 64
14 IconPortugal.png Portugal Alma Lusa Se eu te pudesse abraçar Portuguese If I could embrace you 12 36
15 IconRomania.png Romania Mălina Olinescu Eu cred Romanian I believe 22 6
16 IconUnited Kingdom.png United Kingdom Imaani Saleem Where Are You? English -- 2 166
17 IconCyprus.png Cyprus Michalis Hatzigiannis Genesis Greek Genesis 11 37
18 IconThe Netherlands.png The Netherlands Edsilia Rombley Hemel en Aarde Dutch Heaven and Earth 4 150
19 IconSweden.png Sweden Jill Johnson Kärleken är Swedish Love is 10 53
20 IconBelgium.png Belgium Mélanie Cohl Dis Oui French Say yes 6 122
21 IconFinland.png Finland Edea Aava Finnish Open landscape 15 22
22 IconNorway.png Norway Lars Fredriksen Alltid sommer Norwegian Always summer 8 79
23 IconEstonia.png Estonia Koit Toome Mere lapsed Estonian Children of the sea 12 36
24 IconTurkey.png Turkey Tüzmen Unutamazsın Turkish You can't forget 14 25
25 IconNorth Macedonia.png North Macedonia Vlado Janevski Ne zori, zoro Macedonian Dawn, don't rise 19 16

Trivia

  • Terry Wogan did his usual commentary for the BBC from a special offstage booth. As he was also the co-presenter, it saved him the time and effort of having to go from the back of the auditorium where the commentators are usually housed to the stage.
  • This would mark the last contest to use the orchestra, as Israel refused to have one in 1999 because of monetary constraints.
  • As of 2020, this was the last time Slovakia ever appeared in a Eurovision grand final (as all their appearances from 2009-2012 ended in non-qualifications).
  • Slovenia's yearly average was 0.25 points away from the relegation zone at that point. In addition, Germany was only able to participate after Italy withdrew (due to a low average).
  • Both the first and last songs translated to "Dawn, do not rise" in some way. Both songs were also from ex-Yugoslav countries.

Videos

1998_Eurovision_Song_Contest_BBC_Full_Show_(Presenter_and_commentator-_Terry_Wogan)

1998 Eurovision Song Contest BBC Full Show (Presenter and commentator- Terry Wogan)