Welcome to this week’s 52 Weeks of Eurovision. If you missed last weeks article on Loreen you can find it here.
This week we go back to 1998 when the late Sir Terry Wogan presented the contest with Ulrika Jonsson. In the words of the great man himself;
” Bonsoir mesdames et messieurs, Bienvenue à la quarante troisième concours l’eurovision de la chanson direct de le National Indoor Arena a Birmingham”
The contest was brought back to the UK, its 1st go at hosting in 16 years . This year was the year we changed things up a bit. For the 1st time, the contest saw the faces of the people delivering the votes of each country via satellite, and was also the 1st year of the tele-vote….yes it’s our fault…and we’ve never won since!
Also 1998 was the very last year that a live orchestra was used to accompany each song.
Our entry this year was Imaani with the song ‘Where are you” which came second place, but the winner this year went to Dana International with the song ‘Diva’, the third victory for Israel.
Dana International , real name Sharon Cohen (brilliant), was born Yaron Cohen (male) and underwent gender -reassignment surgery 5 years before the contest in 1993. The entry of a trans-gender singer upset Israeli officials and as a result, Sharon was given full police escort whilst in the UK.
The song is a powerful belter sung in Hebrew about the power of Womanhood and mentions characters such as Aphrodite and Cleopatra. The song went on to win the competition with 172 points narrowly beating the UK by just 6 points… it was all down to the final vote.
Dana International caused a stir after the announcement she had won, when she promptly disappeared to get changed for the reprise causing the show to over-run. It was worth the wait, when she returned in a full Jean-Paul Gaultier gown with plumes of Bird Feathers. Well- a girls gotta look her best!
Here is Dana International with Diva…enjoy