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The Eurovision Song Contest 1997, the 42nd in the series, was held in Dublin, Ireland, on 3 May 1997. The presenters were Ronan Keating and Carrie Crowley. The winning song 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.
After the controversy over the pre-selection in 1996, the European Broadcasting Union introduced a new system for 1997: the countries with the lowest average scores over the previous four years would be excluded from the 1997 contest, and those with the lowest averages over the previous five years would be excluded from future contests (save that every country so excluded for one year would automatically be allowed to participate the following year), with so many countries being omitted as would reduce the number of participants each year to 25.
The Italian national broadcaster RAI declared that this year was their last year of participating at the Eurovision Song Contest. Israel declined to participate as the Contest was held on its Holocaust Remembrance Day, granting a reprieve to Bosnia and Herzegovina which would otherwise have been excluded due to its low point average over the last four years.
RTÉ once again produced a highly spectacular show with a stage which had a smaller performance space for the artists than in previous years. This was the third Eurovision set to be designed by Paula Farrell, who had previously been involved with the 1988 and 1994 contests. There was a wide array of different styles this year. Denmark brought a rap song, Croatia came with their version of the Spice Girls and Sweden brought a mid '1980s style boy band. The music was in general more modern than before, and for the first time in six years, an up-tempo song won.
This year, televoting was tested in five countries: Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The results of the televoting countries were in some cases pretty different from those which used a jury. Iceland received 16 of its 18 points from these five countries. Long-time Irish conductor Noel Kelehan was not the host conductor this year, the duty being fulfilled by Frank McNamara. However, from this year entrants were allowed to use playback, and in 1999, the orchestra was completely abolished.
Commentary as ever with Terry Wogan, enjoy!
File: The Eurovision Song Contest - 1997 (3rd May 1997) [VHSRip (DivX)] DW Staff Approved.avi
Filesize: 2227.66 Mb ( 2,335,875,072 bytes )
Play length: 03:10:17.280 (285432 frames)
Subtitles: Not Present
Video: 528x400 (1.32:1), 25 fps, DivX Codec 5.x or 6.x ~1513 kbps avg, 0.29 bit/pixel
Audio: 48 kHz, MPEG Layer 3, 2 ch, ~116.02 kbps avg
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