30th Anniversary Of Carola’s Victory At Eurovision 1991!

Three decades ago on 4th of May, one of the most exciting Eurovision final took place in Italy. Two countries, Sweden and France had 146 points at the end of the voting so the tie-break procedure was implemented in order to decide the winner. Both countries scored maximum 12 points from four countries, at the end the number of  received 10 points decided the winner and it was Sweden as they received it five times while France got only two 10 points. In her second attempt at representing her country, Carola won the show with “Fångad av en stormvind“, and that was the third Swedish victory and last time they won while singing in Swedish language.  French entry “Le Dernier qui a parlé“, by Amina, ended on second place with the smallest-ever losing margin.

The 36th edition of Eurovision took place at Studio 15 di Cinecittà in Rome, Italy, following their second victory at the contest held in Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb when Toto Cutugno won the contest with “Insieme: 1992“. First idea was to organise the contest in Sanremo but RAI decided to move the show to Rome as it felt safer because of both Gulf War and tensions in Yugoslavia speaking of which this was the last contest in which Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia took part given the fact that the breakup of the country happened the same year. Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia proclaimed independence and they withdrew from the national selection Jugovizija. A year later country took part for the last time at the show under the name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The two Italian Eurovision winners Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno were hosting Eurovision 1991. It is good to note that Germany was represented in their reunited form since the East Germany joined West Germany by the German reunification. Twenty two countries participated in the contest equaling the record previously set at Eurovision 1987, 1989 and 1990. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia were joined by Malta who was allowed to participate for the first time after 16 years, given the fact that The Netherlands withdrew for the same reason they did in 1985 because the contest conflicted with their national holiday, Remembrance of the Dead.

Eurovision 1991 featured songs in 17 languages, 3 songs in English, 2 in French, German and Greek and 1 in Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Norwegian and for the first time Neapolitan – given the fact that Italian entry “Comme è ddoce ‘o mare”  by  Peppino di Capri has been sung in that language. The contest featured 15 solo acts 3 duets and 4 groups. The returning artists included Austrian representative, Thomas Forstner, who didn’t manage to live up to his performance at Eurovision 1989 when he sang “Nur Ein Lied” and ended on 5th place. His entry at the contest two years later, “Venedig im Regen” ended on last place without scoring any points. One half of the Icelandic duet, Stefán Hilmarsson made his previous appearance at the contest in 1988 as the member of Beathoven singing “Þú og þeir (Sókrates)“. Hanne Krogh, member of the Norwegian band Just 4 Fun, made her Eurovision debut back in 1971 as soloist with the song “Lykken er” later on she came back in 1985 as a member of a duo Bobbysocks! together with Elisabeth Andreassen the two of them made the whole Europe dance with “La det swinge“ and won the show. Another member of Norwegian group Just 4 Fun was returning to the show Icelandic singer, Eirikur Hauksson made his second out of three Eurovision appearances at the stage in Rome, after the debut for Iceland with “Gleðibankinn” and then representing Norway with “Mrs. Thompson” Eirikur represented Iceland in 2007 with “Valentine Lost“. The full show of Eurovision 1991 is available below


After the juries of 21 participating countries presented their votes Sweden was leading the scoreboard with 146 points, Israel was second with 139 and France was third with 134 points. Italian jury was the last one to cast their votes and they didn’t gave a single point to Sweden and their 12 points went to France so in the end it was revealed that both Sweden and France received 146 points. This was second time in the Eurovision history that a tie for the first place happened, first time was back in 1969 when The Netherlands, France, Spain and United Kingdom tied and given the fact that there was no tie-break rule all  four countries were announced as winners of the show, Tie-break procedure was implemented in order to decide the winner of Eurovision 1991 given the fact that there was no televoting the tie-break rule consisted out of calculating the points received first the number of 12 points then 10 and so on in case needed. Both Sweden and France scored maximum 12 points from four countries, Sweden from Denmark, Germany, Iceland and United Kingdom while France got their 12 points from Austria, Israel, Norway and Italy. At the end the number of received 10 points decided that Sweden won the show as they received 10 points from Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Israel and Belgium while France got them only from Yugoslavia and Finland. You can check the full voting below.

In her second attempt at representing her country, Carola won the show with “Fångad av en stormvind“, and that was the third Swedish victory and last time they won while singing in Swedish language.  French entry “Le Dernier qui a parlé“, by Amina, ended on second place with the smallest-ever losing margin. Third place went to Israeli entry “Kan” by Duo Datz with 139 points, fourth was Spain with “Bailar pegados” by Sergio Dalma scoring 119 point while Swiss entry “Canzone per te” by Sandra Simó received a point less, 118 and ended on fifth place. You can check out the winning performance of “Fångad av en stormvind” by Carola below

Carola Maria Häggkvist,  better known mononymously as Carola, is a Swedish singer-songwriter born on 8th of  September 1966 in Stockholm. Carola is one of the most popular Swedish singers since the 1980s when she made her Eurovision debut in 1983 with “Främling” which was also her debut album and it was one of the best selling Swedish music albums as it sold in around one million copies. At her Eurovision debut Carola ended on third place, before her second appearance at the show Carola ended as runner up at Melodifestivalen 1990 with “Mitt i ett äventyr” scoring 84 points which was 15 points less than the winning “Som en vind” by Edin-Ådahl. The year after in 1991, Carola won Melodifestivalen by a landslide as “Fångad av en stormvind” scored 78 points which was almost double than the second placed “Ett liv med dig” by Towe Jaarnek, she got the Eurovision ticket and it was the only time she won the contest. Her third and last time taking part at the show was at the Eurovision 2006 with “Invincible” ending on fifth place. In 2003, Carola submitted a song “När löven faller” for Melodifestivalen after performing the demo to the song it was required from her to perform the song when it qualified for the show.  Carola decided no to do so and the song got disqualified from the contest. “När löven faller”  was featured in her next album, Guld, platina & passion, and it became a big hit in Sweden. Carola has been revealed as the Swedish spokesperson at this years contest. Back in 2013 on 30th anniversary of her Eurovision debut Carola performed “Främling” as the interval act of Swedish national selection, Melodifestivalen, you can check that performance below


Do you think Sweden will manage to equal the Eurovision victories record set by Ireland after they won the contest seven times? What are your impressions of Eurovision 1991? Let us know in the comments below and at our social media links!

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