History: Eurovision Song Contest 1991 in Rome (Part 1/2)

36th Eurovision Song Contest was held in Rome, Italy. Originally the contest was supposed to take place in San Remo but the host broadcaster wanted to ensure delegations security and the contest was held in Rome.

  • Venue: Studio 15 di Cinecittà
  • Date: May 4, 1991
  • Hosts: Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno
  • Conductor: Bruno Canfora
  • Participating countries: 22, no new countries, Malta returned and Netherlands didn’t participate due to Memorial Day

Italy surprisingly won the 1990 contest  in Yugoslavia and the winner, Toto Cutugno, was this year’s host together with another winner from 1964, Gigliola Cinquetti. Hosts were highly criticised afterwards and the 1991 contest was confusing and unprofessional. Only language the hosts spoken seemed to be Italian and scoreboard was rarely shown while the points were announced.

1. YUGOSLAVIA Baby Doll – Brazil

Previous year’s host opened the show. Yugoslavia was represented by 29-year-old female pop singer who won the national selection two months earlier with a song “Brazil”. This humoristic and off-the-wall performance got only one point, from Malta, and came second last. Despite that, the song became a hit in various countries afterwards.

2. ICELAND Stefan & Eyfi – Nina

Icelandic entry this year was a love ballad for Nina, performed by “Stefan & Eyfi”. The latter had also composed the song. Country got 26 points, 10 of them from Sweden which was enough for 15th place.

3. MALTA Georgina & Paul Giordimaina – Could it be

Malta wanted eagerly to make a comeback already in 1990 but because Netherlands withdrawn from 1991 contest, Malta was accepted to the contest. Predictable, calm love ballad was performed by Georgina & Paul Giordimaina. Georgina also returned to Eurovision three times as a backing vocalist in 1996 and composer in 1992 and 2001.

4. GREECE Sofia Vossou – I Anixi

“I anixi”, which means Spring, was Greece’s 14th Eurovision entry. Sofia Vossou was in a good shape vocally, unfortunately the saxophonist did ruin the performance with his off-key solo. Sofia mostly got some small points and eventually came 13th.

5. SWITZERLAND Sandra Simo – Canzone per te

Switzerland did quite nicely that year when they finished fifth after receiving points from all the participating countries except Spain and Malta. “Canzone per te” or “Song for you” in English, was performed by Sandra Simo whose mother was Spanish. Today, Sandra works on television and has four children.

6. AUSTRIA Thomas Forstner – Venedig im Regen

Austria had won the contest once and this year they were far from their second victory. Thomas Forstner had represented Austria already in 1989 when he came fifth but this year he didn’t receive any points at all and came last.

7. LUXEMBOURG Sarah Bray – Un baiser volé

Luxembourg seemed to get lost after victorious years in the contest which was the reason for leaving in 1993. Sarah Bray represented the country with “Un baiser volé” which was also recorded in English, named as “One Stolen Kiss”. Even France didn’t gave Luxembourg any points and the country finished 14th.

8. SWEDEN Carola – Fångad Av En Stormvind

History repeats itself, Sweden took their third victory this year with Carola, who had represented the country in 1983. Back then, Carola came third with “Främling” and in 1991 she returned with rather similar song “Fångad Av En Stormvind”. Carola was full of energy and her stage performance was one of the best of the evening. And as we can all remember, she returned to Eurovision in 2006 with more powerful wind machine.

9. FRANCE Amina – C’est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison

Another hot favorite to win performed right after Sweden. French entry wasn’t a typical Eurovision song but it did impress the juries. Amina received the exactly same amount of votes as Carola, 146 points. The winner was then the one who received more 12 points, however they both got four 12 points but because Carola got more 10 points, she was the winner. This meant that France came second again after losing to Toto Cutugno in 1990.

10. TURKEY Izel Çeliköz, Rayhan Soykarçi and Can Ugurluér – Iki Dakika

The three singers, two female and one male, were selected to represent Turkey in Rome. Song title actually means “two minutes” and the choreography was indeed entertaining.  They came 12th which was slightly better than previous year’s 17th place. Group broke up two years later.

11. IRELAND Kim Jackson – Could It Be That I’m In Love

Kim Jackson wasn’t used to sing on her own as she started her career as a backing vocalist. Could It Be That I’m In Love was penned by Liam Reilly who represented Ireland an year earlier, finishing  joint second. Kim Jackson received 47 points and came 10th together with United Kingdom.

That’s not all, stay tuned for the second part which will be published on Wednesday at www.escwebs.net. Who are your favorites, comment below and share your thoughts.


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