42º Eurovision Song Contest
Love Shine A Light (Katrina + The Waves) United Kingdom
The 42nd Eurovision Song Contest was held on May 3, 1997 in Dublin. The presenters were Ronan Keating and Carrie Crowley. Katrina and the Waves, representing the United Kingdom, were the winners of this Eurovision with the song Love Shine A Light. The track scored an unprecedented 227 points; it received points from all participating countries, including five sets of 10 points and a record-breaking ten sets of the maximum 12 points. This record was equalled by Greece when Elena Paparizou won the 2005 event. Her song My Number One scored a winning total of 230 points, three points more than Katrina and the Waves did, but with far more countries voting (39 compared to 25 in 1997). Because of this Love Shine a Light is still regarded as one of the most successful Eurovision winners ever.
After the controversy over the pre-selection in 1996, the European Broadcasting Union introduced a new system for 1997: There would be only 25 countries in the final. To achieve this, the countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years would be excluded from the 1997's contest, and those with the lowest averages over the previous five years would be excluded from future contests. The number of countries ommited would be as large as neccessary to reduce the number of participants each year to 25. Every country excluded for one year would automatically be allowed to participate the following year. Don't ask me who the hell was the genious who came up with this idea but it was not Italian, of that I'm sure, for the RAI still aggrieved by all criticisms received after their chaotic show in Rome and very unhappy with the pre-selection system which left Germany out the previous year and would sooner or later leave them or any of the ESC biggest contributors out, decided that Italy would not participate again after this edition.