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39th Eurovision Song Contest (Dublin 1994)

Video winning song: Rock "n" Roll Kids - Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan - Ireland




The 39th Eurovision Song Contest 1994 was on April 30, 1994 at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. The presenters were Cynthia ní Mhurchú and Gerry Ryan. The pair hosted the evening in French, English and Irish. Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan from Ireland were the winners of this Eurovision with the song, Rock 'N' Roll Kids. This was a record sixth victory for Ireland, the record number of victories at the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest opened with a brief film of stars floating in water, fireworks and caricatures dancing around, drinking coffee and biking. The cameras then went live to the venue itself, where dancers dressed in white and wearing caricatured heads of well-known Irish figures, arrived on stage carrying European countries’ flags.

This year’s video postcards had a literary theme, showing contestants reading, fishing and doing other activities around Ireland. To cope with the increasing number of countries wishing to participate in the contest, for 1994 the European Broadcasting Union ruled that the five lowest-placed countries from the preceding year's contest would not participate. This meant that Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Slovenia and Turkey did not participate this year opening spaces for the overwhelming amount of new countries. This contest also saw Luxembourg withdraw from Eurovision indefinitely. Poland took part for the first time and caused a scandal when Edyta Górniak broke the rules by singing her song in English during the dress rehearsal (which is shown to the juries who selected the winner until 1997). Six countries demanded that Poland should be disqualified, but the rules required 13 countries to complain before Poland could be kicked out, so Poland could participate and they went on to come 2nd in the contest.

When the voting started, Hungary took the lead from the first six juries and was well ahead of all the other countries. However, Ireland started to gather points and ended up winning with a 60 point margin over Poland. This was a surprising result since nobody expected the Irish to win this year’s contest.

The interval act was the first ever performance of the Irish dancing spectacular Riverdance, featuring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler.

See you in Dublin for the 40th Eurovision Song Contest in 1995!

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