Last summer we looked at Eurovision Song Contests from 1990 to 1995 and this summer it’s time to continue from where we left. This is the second part of 1995 contest, held in Dublin. The first part and more history can be found here.
12. FRANCE Nathalie Santamaria – Il me donne rendez-vous
Early 1990s was successful time for France as the country finished in Top 10 every year, also in 1995. Internal selection was once again used to determine the French representative and this time it was Nathalie Santamaria’s turn. Born in 1973, Nathalie was 22 years old when she performed on the stage in Dublin and despite studying music for many years she hadn’t had a career in music business before Eurovision. Therefore the most famous names could be found behind the song, the composers Didier Barbelivien and François Bernheim have penned many songs to famous French artists such as Patricia Kaas who fourteen years later represented France. Nathalie finished fourth but nevertheless her debut album in 1997 remained her last one.
13. HUNGARY Csaba Szigeti – Új név a régi ház falán
The second Hungarian Eurovision entry was performed next and Csaba Szigeti sand a dramatic ballad while playing the piano on stage. Apparently the message behind the song didn’t quite open to European viewers and therefore Hungary finished 22nd out of 23 countries after receiving a point from Spain and two from Russia.
14. BELGIUM Frédéric Etherlinck – La voix est libre
Born in Brussels, 1968, Frédéric was invited to compete in Belgian pre-selection as he was seen performing in local bars. RTBF was responsible for Eurovision that year and the national final was held in March. Ten acts competed and the winner was chosen by national juries. The voting was extremely close and Frédéric won the show with the difference of only six points to the runner up. In Dublin the performance didn’t manage to amaze the juries and Belgium received one point from Austria and seven from Spain. With a total of eight points the country finished 20th. After Eurovision the singer released an album but it failed to sell sufficiently and remained his last album to date.
15. UNITED KINGDOM Love City Groove – Love City Groove
The UK national final took place on the very last day of March in London, eight acts were competing, including Samantha Fox. However, the winning group gathered more than 140,000 televotes which was 60,000 more than the runner-up got. Therefore Love City Groove was on their way to Dublin with the song of the same name. The song combined rap and pop and did okay as it finished 10th out of 23 participants. The song also peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart, however, the band couldn’t maintain their success and the follow-up singles sold poorly.
16. PORTUGAL Tó Cruz – Baunilha e chocolate
Also Portugal chose their representative through a televised national final. As traditional, Festival da Canção took place and Tó Cruz won the show with his entry ‘Baunilha e chocolate’ which means ‘vanilla and chocolate’ in English. The song itself isn’t about food but about interracial love. The European juries left this song on 21st place with only five points. Tó recorded the song also in Spanish. Nowadays the singer is mainly known for his voice, he has provided voiceover work for many films.
17. CYPRUS Alexandros Panayi – Sti fotia
Cyprus gave Europe a dramatic entry which was worth of 79 points, enough for 9th place. The vocalist Alexandros Panayi wasn’t on Eurovision stage for the first time as he had been one of the backing vocalists twice earlier. He had also participated the Cypriot national final a couple of times and finally in 1995 he had the honor of getting to represent his country with the song he had composed himself. After the 1995 contest he has participated the Cypriot national final many times more, the latest time in 2009. He has also been the backing vocalist for Greece in 2005 and 2009 as well as for Belarus in 2011. In 2000 he represented Cyprus together with Christina Argyri but finished only 21st.
18. SWEDEN Jan Johansen – Se på mig
‘Look at me’ asked Jan Johansen, 29. The singer had won Melodifestivalen and therefore represented Sweden in Dublin. In fact he won Melodifestivalen on his first try and overshadowed many well known artists that night. The song did very well and finished third after receiving the full 12 points from Ireland, Germany and Denmark. The song was a big hit in Sweden and Jan Johansen’s future looked bright. He returned in Melodifestivalen in 2001, 2002 and 2003, always finishing within the Top 10 in the final. His latest album was released in 2010.
19. DENMARK Aud Wilken – Fra Mols til Skagen
1995 was a great for Scandinavia, Norway won, Sweden came third and Denmark fifth. Aud Wilken had won Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in late March with her entry Fra Mols til Skagen (From Mols to Skagen). She was born in East Germany, 1965 and moved to Denmark when she was nine years old. Wilken had cooperated with many artists but was relatively unknown before her Melodi Grand Prix victory. Four years after Eurovision she released her debut solo album which remained her last one to date. In 2007 she entered the Danish pre-selection again but didn’t qualify for the final.
20. SLOVENIA Darja Švajger – Prisluhni mi
Also Slovenia chose its entry through a national final of 12 participants. The winning entry was chosen by a jury. As expeted, Darja Švajger won. Born in Maribor, 1965, she started to study music and later moved to Austria to study classical solo singing and jazz. Meanwhile, she also gained experience when performing in various groups and orchestras. Before Eurovision participation, she had also released her debut album and her second one was released in 1998. Darja was one of the early favorites in Dublin and although she didn’t reach the Top 5, she finished 7th which is still the country’s best result. She was also chosen the Artist of the year in Slovenia twice in 1995 and 1996. Darja returned to Eurovision in 1999 when she came 11th. She also was one of the jury members of Misija Evrovizija which was used in 2012 to choose Slovenian representative.
21. ISRAEL Liora – Amen
Israel returned after skipping the 1994 song contest due to the poor result the previous year. The Israeli pre-selection culminated in Tel Aviv and Liora won the jury voting. It should also be mentioned that also Dana International aimed to get to host the country with ‘Layla Tov, Eropa’. It finished second in the national final but we all know what happened four years later! If Slovenia was one of the pre-favorites, so was Israel. However, the country received the full points only once, from United Kingdom. Therefore Israel finished eighth right behind Slovenia.
22. MALTA Mike Spiteri – Keep Me In Mind
Malta is full of eager singers who participate their national final year after year. And this was the case already in 1990s when Mike Spiteri competed three times before finally winning the pre-selection in 1995. The Maltese national final was held already in early February which was quite early at that time. 18 songs competed and the jury chose ‘Keep Me In Mind’ for Dublin. The song was well received in Balkans and the Bosnian and Croatian juries gave it full marks. A total of 76 points were received which left Malta 10th.
23. GREECE Elina Konstantopoulou – Pia Prosefhi
The very last performance of the evening came from Greece. Elina had released her debut album the previous year and it sold very well. Nikos Terzis had composed some of the songs for the album and ERT asked him to compose their 1995 Eurovision entry as he had composed their entry a couple of years earlier. He asked Elina to perform the song and therefore she went to represent Greece in Dublin. The ethnic sounds didn’t bring success to Greece that year and they finished only 12th with 68 points. Elina’s career continued after Eurovision and her latest album was released in 2010. She also participated the Greek national final in 2002.