- Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 29 May 1999 – 21:00 CEST
- Host – Venue & Location: Usshishkin Hall of the International Convention Centre / International Convention Centre (מרכז הקונגרסים הבינלאומי, Merkaz HaKongresim HaBeinLeumi; Binyenei HaUma, בנייני האומה, Buildings of the nation), Jerusalem, 🇮🇱 Israel
- Presenter (s): Yigal Ravid, Dafna Dekel & Sigal Shahamon
- Musical Director: —
- Director: Hagai Mautner
- Executive Producer: Amnon Barkai
- Executive Supervisor: Christine Marchal-Ortiz
- Multicamera Director: Hagai Mautner
- Host broadcaster: Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA)
- Opening Act: Digital animation “From Birmingham to Jerusalem” transitioning into footage of Jerusalem.
- Interval Act: “To Life” by Dafna Dekel and Sigal Shachmon; “Freedom Calls” featuring Dana International.
- Reprise Act: English version of 1979 winning song “Hallelujah” performed by all competing artists.
- Participants – Number of entries: 23 [🇬🇧 United Kindom (39ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (36ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (36ª), 🇵🇹 Portugal (32ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (37ª), 🇫🇷 France (40ª), 🇮🇪 Ireland (31ª), 🇨🇾 Cyprus (18ª), 🇲🇹 Malta (12ª), 🇭🇷 Croatia (7ª), 🇵🇱 Poland (6ª), 🇸🇮 Slovenia (6ª), 🇹🇷 Turkey (21ª), 🇪🇪 Estonia (5ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (38ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (40ª), 🇧🇪 Belgium (39ª), 🇮🇱 Israel (20ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (36ª), 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina (6ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (29ª), 🇮🇸 Iceland (13ª), 🇱🇹 Lithuania (2ª)]
- Debuting countries: —
- Return: 🇦🇹 Austria (36ª), 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina (6ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (29ª), 🇮🇸 Iceland (13ª), 🇱🇹 Lithuania (2ª)
- Non-returning countries: 🇫🇮 Finland (32ª), 🇬🇷 Greece (20ª), 🇭🇺 Hungary (4ª), 🇲🇰 FYRO Macedonia (1ª), 🇷🇴 Romania (2ª), 🇸🇰 Slovakia (3ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (39ª)
- Vote – Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8–1 points to their ten favourite songs.
- Nil Points: —
- Winning song: “Take Me To Your Heaven” – Charlotte Nilsson – 🇸🇪 Sweden (4°)
About. The 1999 Eurovision Song Contest took place in Jerusalem for the first time since 1979. Free language rules were introduced meaning that participating countries could choose which language they performed in.
Goodbye to the orchestra. In 1999 it was also decided that France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, as the highest-paying European Broadcasting Union members, would automatically be allowed to participate every year, irrespective of their five-year point average. For the first time since the 1970s participants were free to choose which language they performed in. In a controversial move, the orchestra became an optional requirement in 1999 meaning that for the first time in the history of the contest, all entries would perform using a backing track. Latvia intended to take part this year but the country withdrew at a late stage, giving the opportunity to Hungary, but Hungarian TV didn’t accept the offer either. As a result, the 23rd spot was given to Portugal. Due to their lower average scores over the previous five contests, Finland, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Switzerland stayed at home. The Cypriot entry performed by Marlain had been one of the favourites to win the contest but the song received only two points in total. The Croatian entry Maria Magdalena was sanctioned after the contest, as it used synthesized male backing vocals despite the rule stating that all vocals would have to be performed live on stage. Croatia lost 33% of their points, giving it a lower five-year average.
About the winner. Sweden’s Charlotte Nilsson won the contest with “Take Me To Your Heaven”. The song had been seen as rather old-fashioned in Sweden but the audience thought differently. “Take Me To Your Heaven” won at a time when ABBA were enjoying a revival in the European charts and the similarities in musical style were noted by the media. Sweden beat off strong competition from Iceland which achieved its best ever placing in 1999.
Facts & figures. When the winner of the 1998 contest, Dana International, was about to hand over the trophy to the winner, she fell down on stage in her stilettos causing a security alert in the hall; At the end of the show all the participating artists gathered on-stage to perform the winning song from 1979, “Hallelujah”, as a tribute to the victims of the war in the Balkans which was on-going at the time.
|o/r||country||PaRticipan(s)||SONG – TRANSLATE – LANGUAGE||Points||rank|
|01||🇱🇹 Lithuania LRT||Aistė (Aistė Smilgevičiūtė)||Strazdas (The song thrush) Samogitian||013||20|
|02||🇧🇪 Belgium VRT||Vanessa Chinitor||Like the wind (Comme le vent) English||038||12|
|03||🇪🇸 Spain TVE||Lydia||No quiero escuchar (I don’t want to listen) Spanish||001||23|
|04||🇭🇷 Croatia HRT||Doris (Doris Dragović, Дорис Драговић)||Marija Magdalena (Марија Магдалена, Mary Magdalene) Croatian||118||04|
|05||🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC||Precious||Say it again English||038||12|
|06||🇸🇮 Slovenia RTVSLO||Darja Švajger (Дарја Швајгер)||For a thousand years English||050||11|
|07||🇹🇷 Turkey TRT||Tuğba Önal & Grup Mistik||Dön artik (Dön Artık, Come back) Turkish||021||16|
|08||🇳🇴 Norway NRK||Van Eijk (Stig André Van Eijk)||Living my life without you English||035||14|
|09||🇩🇰 Denmark DR||Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl||This time (I mean it) (Denne gang) English||071||08|
|10||🇫🇷 France France 3||Nayah||Je veux donner ma voix (I want to give my voice) French||014||19|
|11||🇳🇱 The Netherlands NOS||Marlayne||One good reason English||071||08|
|13||🇵🇱 Poland TVP||Mietek Szczésniak (Mietek ‘Mieczysław’ Szczésniak)||Przytul mnie mocno (Hug me tight) Polish||017||18|
|14||🇮🇸 Iceland RÚV||Selma (Selma Björnsdóttir)||All out of luck (Allur af heppni) English||146||02|
|15||🇨🇾 Cyprus CyBC||Marlain (Marlain Angelidou, Μαρλαίν Αγγελίδου)||Tha ‘ne erotas (Θα ‘ναι έρωτας, Tha’nai Erotas, It will be love) Greek||002||22|
|16||🇸🇪 Sweden SVT||Charlotte Nilsson||Take me to your heaven English||163||01|
|17||🇵🇹 Portugal RTP||Rui Bandeira||Como tudo começou (How everything began) Portuguese||012||21|
|18||🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ||The Mullans (The Mullan’s)||When you need me English||018||17|
|19||🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF||Bobby Singer||Reflection (Spiegelung) English||065||10|
|20||🇮🇱 Israel IBA||Eden (עדן)||Yom huledet (Happy birthday) (יום הולדת, Birthday) English, Hebrew||093||05|
|21||🇲🇹 Malta PBS||Times Three (Times 3)||Believe ‘n peace English||032||15|
|22||🇩🇪 Germany ARD||Sürpriz||Reise nach Jerusalem – kudüs’e seyahat (Journey to Jerusalem – Kudüse Seyahat) German, Turkish, English[f]||140||03|
|23||🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina RTVBIH||Dino & Beatrice (Дино & Беатрис, Dino Merlin & Beatrice Poulot, Дино и Béatrice Poulot)||Putnici (Путници, Travelers) Bosnian, French||086||22|
|24||🇪🇪 Estonia ERR||Evelin Samuel & Camille||Diamond of night [Langevate tähtede aeg (Time of shooting stars)] English||090||06|
• 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Starac I More” (The old man and the sea) (Bosnian) – Hari Mata Hari. The original winner was of the Bosnian national final declared to be Hari Mata Hari, however was disqualified one month after their entry was discovered to have been released in Finland two years previously by a different singer. The singer would later represent the country in 2006. Consequently, the runner-up, Dino & Béatrice with “Putnici”, was declared the new winner and represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest 1999.
• 🇩🇪 Germany: “Hör’ Den Kindern Einfach Zu” (Just listen to the children) (German) – Corinna May. On March 16, it was announced that the Corinna May’s winning song was also disqualified after her song was revealed to have been released in 1997 by a different singer since entering a cover song was (and still is) contrary to the rules. The original version was called “Where Have All The Good Times Gone?” by a group called Number 9. She would later represent the country in 2002.
Participating countries Countries that participated in the past but not in 1999
The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was the 44th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, held on 29 May 1999 at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, and presented by singer Dafna Dekel, radio and television presenter Yigal Ravid and model and television presenter Sigal Shachmon. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the contest was held in Israel following the country’s victory at the 1998 contest with the song “Diva” by Dana International.
Twenty-three countries participated in the contest. Finland, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland, having participated in the 1998 contest, were absent due to being relegated after achieving the lowest average points totals over the past five contests or by actively choosing not to return. Meanwhile Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark and Iceland returned to the contest, having last participated in 1997, while Lithuania made its first contest appearance since 1994.
The winner was Sweden with the song “Take Me to Your Heaven”, performed by Charlotte Nilsson, composed by Lars Diedricson and written by Gert Lengstrand. Iceland, Germany, Croatia and Israel rounded out the top five, with Iceland achieving its best ever result and Croatia equalling its previous best. It was the first contest since 1976 that countries were allowed to perform in the language of their choice, and not necessary the language of their country, and also the first ever contest to not feature an orchestra or live music accompanying the competing entries.
1.Location. The 1999 contest took place in Jerusalem, Israel, following the country’s victory at the 1998 edition with the song “Diva”, performed by Dana International. It was the second time that Israel had staged the contest, following the 1979 contest also held in Jerusalem. The selected venue was the Ussishkin Auditorium of the International Convention Centre, commonly known in Hebrew as Binyenei HaUma (Hebrew: בנייני האומה), which also served as the host venue for Israel’s previous staging of the event.
The prospect of Israel staging the contest resulted in protest by members of the Orthodox Jewish community in the country, including opposition by the deputy mayor of Jerusalem Haim Miller to the contest being staged in the city. Additional concerns over funding for the event also contributed to speculation that the contest could be moved to Malta or the United Kingdom, the nations which had finished in the top three alongside Israel the previous year. Financial guarantees by the Israeli government however helped to ensure that the contest would take place in Israel. The possibility of holding the event in an open air venue was discussed, however concerns over security led to the choice of an indoor venue for the event.
2.Production. The Eurovision Song Contest 1999 was produced by the Israeli public broadcaster Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Amnon Barkai served as executive producer, Aharon Goldfinger-Eldar served as producer, Hagai Mautner served as director and Maya Hanoch, Mia Raveh and Ronen Levin served as designers. Usually able to hold a maximum of 3,000 people, modifications made to the Ussishkin Auditorium reduced the capacity to around 2,000 for the contest, with rows of seats removed from the floor to make room for the stage and from the balcony to allow for the construction of boxes for use by various commentators.
Rehearsals in the venue for the competing acts began on 24 May 1999. Each country had two technical rehearsals in the week approaching the contest: the first rehearsals took place on 24 and 25 May, with each country allowed 40 minutes total on stage followed by a 20 minute press conference; the second rehearsals subsequently took place on 26 and 27 May, with each country allocated 30 minutes on stage. Each country took to the stage in the order in which they would perform, however due to budget concerns the Lithuanian delegation was permitted to arrive in Israel one day later than the other delegations. Subsequently the first day’s rehearsals began with Belgium as the second country to be performed in the contest, with Lithuania being the last country to complete their first rehearsal on the second day; for the second rehearsals the order was corrected and Lithuania was scheduled first on stage. Additional rehearsals took place on 26 May for the contest’s concluding performance with all artists, and on 27 May for the contest’s presenters and to test the voting scoreboard’s computer graphics. Two dress rehearsals held on 28 May were held with an audience, the latter of which was also recorded for use as a production stand-by in case of problems during the live contest. A further dress rehearsal took place on the afternoon of 29 May ahead of the live contest, followed by security and technical checks.
Singer Dafna Dekel, radio and television presenter Yigal Ravid and model and television presenter Sigal Shachmon were the presenters of the 1999 contest, the first time that three presenters had been involved in a single edition. Dekel had previously represented Israel in the 1992 contest and placed sixth with the song “Ze Rak Sport“. The writers of the winning song were awarded with a trophy designed by Yaacov Agam, which was presented by the previous year’s winning artist Dana International.
The show began with a computer animation entitled “From Birmingham to Jerusalem”, highlighting the contest’s journey from last year’s host country the United Kingdom to Israel and containing notable landmarks and features of the competing countries; the animation then transitioned into recorded footage of Jerusalem including dancers and hosts Dekel and Shachmon. The contest’s opening segment also featured Izhar Cohen and Gali Atari, Israel’s previous winning artists from the 1978 and 1979 contests attending as special guests, and the previous year’s co-presenter Terry Wogan in attendance as the United Kingdom’s television commentator. A pause between entries was included for the first time to allow broadcasters to provide advertisements during the show; placed between the Polish and Icelandic entries, entertainment was provided during the break for the benefit of the audience in the arena and for non-commercial broadcasters featuring co-presenters Dekel and Shachmon and a performance of the song “To Life” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. The contest’s pre-recorded interval act entitled “Freedom Calls”, shown following the final competing entry and during the voting window, was staged outside the Walls of Jerusalem and the Tower of David and featured performances by a troupe of dancers, a chorus and Dana International singing the D’ror Yikra and a cover of “Free”, originally recorded by Stevie Wonder. Following the traditional reprise performance of the winning song, the show finished with a performance of the English version of Israel’s 1979 contest winning song “Hallelujah” involving all the competing artists as a tribute to the victims of the then-ongoing Kosovo War and to the people of the Balkans who were unable to watch the contest following the bombing of television services in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
A compilation album featuring many of the competing entries was released in Israel following the contest, commissioned by IBA and released through the Israeli record label IMP Records. The release contained nineteen of the twenty-three competing acts on CD and an additional video CD with clips from the televised broadcast and footage from backstage. The entries from Cyprus, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom were absent due to the record label failing to secure the necessary rights for these songs.
3.1.Entries. Each participating broadcaster was represented in the contest by one song, which was required to be no longer than three minutes in duration. A maximum of six performers were allowed on stage during each country’s performance, and all performers must have reached the age of 16 in the year of the contest. Selected entries were not permitted to be released commercially before 1 January 1999, and were then only allowed to be released in the country they represented until after the contest was held. Entries were required to be selected by each country’s participating broadcaster by 15 March, and the final submission date for all selected entries to be received by the contest organisers was set for 29 March. This submission was required to include a sound recording of the entry and backing track for use during the contest, a video presentation of the song on stage being performed by the artists, and the text of the song lyrics in its original language and translations in French and English for distribution to the participating broadcasters, their commentators and juries.
For the first time since the 1976 contest the participants had full freedom to perform in any language, and not simply that of the country they represented.[a] Additionally the rules were modified to make the orchestra a non-obligatory feature of the contest of which organising broadcasters were free to opt out. IBA chose not to provide an orchestra, resulting in all entries being performed via backing tracks and no live music featuring for the first time in the contest’s history. No orchestra has been included as part of the competition since, and in subsequent years the rules were modified again to entirely remove the option for entries to be accompanied by live music.
Following the confirmation of the twenty-three competing countries the draw to determine the running order was held on 17 November 1998.
3.2.Voting procedure. The results of the 1999 contest were determined through the same scoring system as had first been introduced in 1975: each country awarded twelve points to its favourite entry, followed by ten points to its second favourite, and then awarded points in decreasing value from eight to one for the remaining songs which featured in the country’s top ten, with countries unable to vote for their own entry. Each participating country was required to use televoting to determine their points. Viewers had a total of five minutes to register their vote by calling one of twenty-two different telephone numbers to represent the twenty-three competing entries except that which represented their own country, with voting lines opening following the performance of the last competing entry. Once phone lines were opened a video recap containing short clips of each competing entry with the accompanying phone number for voting was shown in order to aid viewers during the voting window. Systems were also put in place to prevent lobby groups from one country voting for their song by travelling to other countries.
Countries which were unable to hold a televote due to technological limitations were granted an exception, and their points were determined by an assembled jury of eight individuals, which was required to be split evenly between members of the public and music professionals, comprised additionally of an equal number of men and women, and below and above 30 years of age. Countries using televoting were also required to appoint a back-up jury of the same composition which would be called into action upon technical failure preventing the televote results from being used. Each jury member voted in secret and awarded between one and ten votes to each participating song, excluding that from their own country and with no abstentions permitted. The votes of each member were collected following the country’s performance and then tallied by the non-voting jury chairperson to determine the points to be awarded. In any cases where two or more songs in the top ten received the same number of votes, a show of hands by all jury members was used to determine the final placing; if a tie still remained, the youngest jury member would have the deciding vote.
3.3.Postcards. Each entry was preceded by a video postcard which served as an introduction to the competing artists from each country, as well as providing an opportunity to showcase the running artistic theme of the event and creating a transition between entries to allow stage crew to make changes on stage. The postcards for the 1999 contest featured animations of paintings of biblical stories which transitioned into footage of modern locations in Israel or clips representing specific themes related to modern Israeli culture and industries. The various locations and themes for each postcard are listed below by order of performance:
- 🇱🇹 Lithuania – Jacob’s Ladder; Israel Museum, Jerusalem
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Pharaoh and his Army; Eilat
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Noah’s Ark; landscapes of Galilee
- 🇭🇷 Croatia – Ruth; Israeli agriculture
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Jonah and the Whale; Jaffa
- 🇸🇮 Slovenia – Adam and Eve; Israeli fashion
- 🇹🇷 Turkey – The Sea of Galilee; Tiberias and surroundings
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Workers of the Tabernacle; Israeli tech and virtual reality
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – Joseph and His Brothers; Haifa
- 🇫🇷 France – The Golden Calf; Israeli jewellery industry
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – The Prophet; Tel Aviv nightlife
- 🇵🇱 Poland – David and Goliath; Israeli sports
- 🇮🇸 Iceland – The Manna from Heaven; Israeli culinary
- 🇨🇾 Cyprus – The Basket of Moses; rafting on the Jordan River
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – David and Bathsheba; music and art on the roofs of Tel Aviv
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Daniel and the Lions; Acre
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Cain and Abel; Judaean Desert
- 🇦🇹 Austria – The Judgement of Solomon; Jerusalem
- 🇮🇱 Israel – The Promised Land; Jezreel Valley
- 🇲🇹 Malta – David and Michal; Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, Tel Aviv
- 🇩🇪 Germany – The Tower of Babel; Israeli beaches
- 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Samson; Caesarea National Park
- 🇪🇪 Estonia – The Zodiac mosaic at the Old Beth Alfa Synagogue; love at the Dead Sea
4.Participating countries. Per the rules of the contest twenty-three countries were allowed to participate in the event, a reduction on the twenty-five which took part in the 1997 and 1998 contests. Lithuania made its first appearance since 1994, and Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark and Iceland returned after being relegated from the previous year’s event.Russia was unable to return from relegation due to failing to broadcast the 1998 contest, as specified in the rules for that edition. 1998 participants Finland, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland were absent from this edition.
4.1.Qualification. Due to the high number of countries wishing to enter the contest a relegation system was introduced in 1993 in order to reduce the number of countries which could compete in each year’s contest. Any relegated countries would be able to return the following year, thus allowing all countries the opportunity to compete in at least one in every two editions. The relegation rules introduced for the 1997 contest were again utilised ahead of the 1999 contest, based on each country’s average points total in previous contests. The twenty-three participants were made up of the previous year’s winning country and host nation, the seventeen countries which had obtained the highest average points total over the preceding five contests, and any eligible countries which did not compete in the 1998 contest. In cases where the average was identical between two or more countries the total number of points scored in the most recent contest determined the final order.
A new addition to the relegation rules specified that for the 2000 contest and future editions the four largest financial contributors to the contest – Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Spain – would automatically qualify each year and be exempt from relegation. This new “Big Four” group of countries was created to ensure the financial viability of the event and was prompted by a number of poor results in previous years for some of the countries, which if occurred again in 1999 could have resulted in those countries being eliminated.
Finland, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland were therefore excluded from participating in the 1999 contest, to make way for the return of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Iceland and Lithuania, and new debuting country Latvia. However Latvia’s Latvijas Televīzija subsequently withdrew its participation at a late stage, and their place in the contest was subsequently offered to Hungary as the excluded country with the highest average points total. Hungarian broadcaster Magyar Televízió declined the offer, which then passed to Portugal’s Rádio e Televisão de Portugal as the next country in line, which accepted the invitation.
The calculations used to determine the countries relegated for the 1999 contest are outlined in the table below.
Table key:  Qualifier,  Automatic qualifier,  Replacement qualifier,  Did not enter
|Rank||Country||Average||Yearly Point Totals|
|1||🇮🇪 Ireland ||130.60||226||44||162||157||64|
|2||🇮🇱 Israel ||126.50||81||172|
|3||🇬🇧 United Kindom ||121.80||63||76||77||227||166|
|4||🇲🇹 Malta ||94.40||97||76||68||66||165|
|5||🇳🇴 Norway 
|6||🇭🇷 Croatia ||74.20||27||91||98||24||131|
|7[c]||🇸🇪 Sweden ||67.40||48||100||100||36||53|
|8[c]||🇨🇾 Cyprus ||67.40||51||79||72||98||37|
|9||🇳🇱 The Netherlands ||59.25||4||78||5||150|
|10||🇩🇪 Germany ||59.25||128||1||22||86|
|11||🇵🇱 Poland ||57.00||166||15||31||54||19|
|12||🇫🇷 France ||56.80||74||94||18||95||3|
|13||🇹🇷 Turkey ||56.00||21||57||121||25|
|14||🇪🇸 Spain ||54.00||17||119||17||96||21|
|15||🇪🇪 Estonia ||53.50||2||94||82||36|
|16||🇧🇪 Belgium ||50.67||8||22||122|
|17||🇸🇮 Slovenia ||44.25||84||16||60||17|
|18||🇭🇺 Hungary[d] ||42.00||122||3||39||4|
|19||🇵🇹 Portugal [d] ||41.20||73||5||92||0||36|
|21||🇲🇰 FYRO Macedonia||16.00||16|
4.2.Returning artists. Several of the artists taking part in the contest had previously performed as lead artists in past editions. Two of this year’s lead artists had previously competed in the contest, with Croatia’s Doris Dragović taking part in 1986 representing Yugoslavia, and Slovenia’s Darja Švajger making a second appearance for her country following the 1995 contest. A number of former competitors also returned to perform as backing vocalists for some of the competing entries: Stefán Hilmarsson, who represented Iceland twice in 1988 and 1991, provided backing vocals for Selma; Kenny Lübcke, who represented Denmark in 1992, returned to provide backing for Trine Jepsen and Michael Teschl; Christopher Scicluna and Moira Stafrace, who represented Malta in 1994, provided backing for Times Three; Gabriel Fors, who represented Sweden in 1997 as a member of the group Blond, was among Charlotte Nilsson’s backing vocalists; and Linda Williams, who represented the Netherlands in 1981, returned as a backing vocalist for Belgium’s Vanessa Chinitor. Additionally Evelin Samuel competed for Estonia in this year’s contest, having previously served as backing vocalist for Estonia’s Maarja-Liis Ilus in 1997.
4.3.Participants and results. The contest took place on 29 May 1999 at 22:00 (IST) and lasted around 3 hours and 15 minutes. The table below outlines the participating countries, the order in which they performed, the competing artists and songs, and the results of the voting.
The winner was Sweden represented by the song “Take Me to Your Heaven”, composed by Lars Diedricson, written by Gert Lengstrand and performed by Charlotte Nilsson. This marked Sweden’s fourth victory in the contest, following wins in 1974, 1984 and 1991, and occurred 25 years after ABBA brought Sweden its first victory. Iceland, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina also achieved their best results to date, placing second, fourth and seventh respectively.
During the presentation of the trophy to the contest winners Dana International caused a security alert in the auditorium; while lifting the trophy and feigning difficulty due to its weight the singer lost her balance and fell to the stage along with the winning songwriters before being helped up by security agents.
The Norwegian delegation raised an objection to the use of simulated male vocals during the performance of Croatian entry “Marija Magdalena”. Following the contest this was found to have contravened the contest rules regarding the use of vocals on the backing tracks, and Croatia were sanctioned by the EBU with the loss of 33% of their points for the purpose of calculating their average points total for qualification in following contests. The country’s position and points at this contest however remain unchanged.
4.5.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1999:
• National Selections in 1999:
|🇧🇪 Belgium||Eurosong ’99||Vanessa Chinitor – “Like the Wind”|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||Vaš šlager sezone 1999||Dino & Béatrice – “Putnici“|
|🇭🇷 Croatia||Dora 1999||Doris Dragović – “Marija Magdalena“|
|🇨🇾 Cyprus||(Cypriot Selection 1999)||Marlain / Marlen Angelidou – “Tha’nai erotas” (Θα’ναι έρωτας)|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||Melodi Grand Prix 1999||Trine Jepsen & Michael Teschl – “Denne Gang” / “This Time I Mean It”|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||Eurolaul 1999||Evelin Samuel & Camille – “Diamond of Night”|
|🇫🇷 France||Eurovision 1999 – La Sélection||Nayah – “Je veux donner ma voix“|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Countdown Grand Prix 1999||Sürpriz – “Reise nach Jerusalem – Kudüs’e Seyahat“|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||(Irish Selection 1999)||The Mullans – “When You Need Me”|
|🇮🇱 Israel||(Israeli Selection 1999)||Eden – “Yom Huledet (Happy Birthday)” (יום הולדת)|
|🇱🇹 Lithuania||Eurovizijos Atranka 1999||Aistė / Aistė Smilgevičiūtė – “Strazdas“|
|🇲🇹 Malta||Malta Song for Europe 1999||Times Three – “Believe ‘n Peace”|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nationaal Songfestival 1999||Marlayne – “One Good Reason”|
|🇳🇴 Norway||Melodi Grand Prix 1999||Stig van Eijk – “Living My Life Without You”|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||Festival da Canção 1999||Rui Bandeira – “Como tudo começou“|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||EMA 1999||Darja Švajger – “Še tisoč let” / “For a Thousand Years”|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Melodifestival 1999||Charlotte Nilsson – “Tusen och en natt” / “Take Me to Your Heaven”|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||Şarkı Yarışması 1999||Tuba Önal & Mistik / Tuba Önal and Grup Mistik – “Dön Artık“|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||The Great British Song Contest 1999||Precious – “Say It Again”|
• Internal Selections in 1999:
|🇦🇹 Austria||Bobbie Singer – “Reflection”|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||Selma Björnsdóttir / Selma – “All Out of Luck”|
|🇵🇱 Poland||Mietek Szcześniak – “Przytul mnie mocno“|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Lydia – “No quiero escuchar“|
5.Detailed voting results. Televoting was used to determine the points awarded by all countries, except Lithuania, Turkey, Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ireland had intended to use televoting, however technical failures at Telecom Éireann ahead of the voting window meant that the majority of calls were not registered and the country’s back-up jury was utilised to determine its points.
The announcement of the results from each country was conducted in the order in which they performed, with the spokespersons announcing their country’s points in English or French in ascending order. The detailed breakdown of the points awarded by each country is listed in the tables below.
|Voting procedure used:  100% televoting,  100% jury vote||
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||38||5||4||5||2||4||1||4||4||8||1|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||71||4||12||3||8||3||5||7||6||4||2||1||4||6||2||4|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||86||1||10||10||7||7||8||6||3||5||3||6||12||8|
5.1.12 points. The below table summarises how the maximum 12 points were awarded from one country to another.
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|5||🇩🇪 Germany||🇮🇱 Israel, 🇳🇱 The Netherlands, 🇵🇱 Poland, 🇵🇹 Portugal, 🇹🇷 Turkey|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina, 🇪🇪 Estonia, 🇲🇹 Malta, 🇳🇴 Norway, 🇬🇧 United Kindom|
|3||🇮🇸 Iceland||🇨🇾 Cyprus, 🇩🇰 Denmark, 🇸🇪 Sweden|
|2||🇭🇷 Croatia||🇸🇮 Slovenia, 🇪🇸 Spain|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||Croatia, 🇮🇪 Ireland|
|1||🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||🇦🇹 Austria|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||🇮🇸 Iceland|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||🇱🇹 Lithuania|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||🇧🇪 Belgium|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||🇫🇷 France|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||🇩🇪 Germany|
5.2.Spokespersons. Each country nominated a spokesperson who was responsible for announcing, in English or French, the votes for their respective country. As had been the case since the 1994 contest, the spokespersons were connected via satellite and appeared in vision during the broadcast. Spokespersons at the 1999 contest are listed below.
- 🇱🇹 Lithuania – Andrius Tapinas
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Sabine De Vos
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Hugo de Campos
- 🇭🇷 Croatia – Marko Rašica
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Colin Berry
- 🇸🇮 Slovenia – Mira Berginc
- 🇹🇷 Turkey – Osman Erkan
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Ragnhild Sælthun Fjørtoft
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – Kirsten Siggaard
- 🇫🇷 France – Marie Myriam
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Edsilia Rombley
- 🇵🇱 Poland – Jan Chojnacki
- 🇮🇸 Iceland – Áslaug Dóra Eyjólfsdóttir
- 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Marina Maleni
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Pontus Gårdinger
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Manuel Luís Goucha
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Clare McNamara
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Dodo Roscic
- 🇮🇱 Israel – Yoav Ginai
- 🇲🇹 Malta – Nirvana Azzopardi
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Renan Demirkan
- 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Segmedina Srna
- 🇪🇪 Estonia – Mart Sander
6.Broadcasts. Each participating broadcaster was required to relay live and in full the contest via television. Non-participating EBU member broadcasters were also able to relay the contest as “passive participants”; any passive countries wishing to participate in the following year’s event were also required to provide a live broadcast of the contest or a deferred broadcast within 24 hours. Broadcasters were able to send commentators to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language and to relay information about the artists and songs to their viewers. Known details on the broadcasts in each country, including the specific broadcasting stations and commentators, are shown in the tables below.
|🇦🇹 Austria||ORF||ORF 1||Andi Knoll||–|
|FM4||Stermann & Grissemann||–|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||VRT||Unknown||André Vermeulen and Bart Peeters||–|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||RTVBiH||Unknown||Unknown||–|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||DR||DR1||Keld Heick||–|
|🇪🇪 Estonia||ETV||Marko Reikop||–|
|🇫🇷 France||France Télévision||France 3||Julien Lepers||–|
|🇩🇪 Germany||ARD||Das Erste||Peter Urban||–|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||RÚV||Sjónvarpið||Gísli Marteinn Baldursson||–|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||RTÉ||Unknown||Pat Kenny||–|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||NOS||TV2||Willem van Beusekom||–|
|🇳🇴 Norway||NRK||NRK1||Jostein Pedersen||–|
|NRK P1||Jon Branæs||–|
|🇵🇱 Poland||TVP||Unknown||Artur Orzech||–|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||RTP||RTP1||Rui Unas||–|
|🇸🇮 Slovenia||RTV SLO||Unknown||Unknown||–|
|🇪🇸 Spain||TVE||La Primera||José Luis Uribarri||–|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||SVT||SVT2||Pekka Heino and Anders Berglund||–|
|SR P3||Carolina Norén||–|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||BBC||BBC One||Terry Wogan||–|
|BBC Radio 2||Ken Bruce||–|
|🇫🇮 Finland||YLE||YLE TV1||Jani Juntunen||–|
|🇬🇷 Greece||ERT||Unknown||Dafni Bokota||–|
|🇲🇰 FYRO Macedonia||MRT||Unknown||Unknown||–|
|🇷🇴 Romania||TVR||Unknown||Leonard Miron||–|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||SRG SSR||SF 2||Sandra Studer||–|
|TSR 1||Jean-Marc Richard||–|
- [a] Although for the 1977 contest each participant was required to perform in the language of the country they represented, Germany and Belgium were granted exceptions as their entries had already been chosen when the rule was reintroduced.
- [b] Determined by totalling all points awarded in the past five contests and dividing by the number of times that country had participated.
- [c] Despite having the same average score, Sweden ranked higher than Cyprus by virtue of achieving a higher score in the most recent contest.
- [d] As Latvia withdrew their participation at a late stage the eliminated country with the highest average points total, Hungary, was offered their place. After declining the offer, the place subsequently passed to Portugal as the country with the next highest average points total.
- [e] a b Despite having the same average score, Finland ranked higher than Slovakia by virtue of achieving a higher score in the most recent contest.
- [f] Contains some words in Hebrew.
8.Trivial / Fun facts.
- The winner of 1998, Dana International, was about to hand over the trophy, when she fell down on stage in her stilettos.
- Dana’s fall caused a security alert in the hall.
- Lithuania was trying to keep its costs under control and they were allowed to arrive a day later than everyone else.
← Eurovision Song Contest 1998 • Eurovision Song Contest 1999 • Eurovision Song Contest 2000 →
|Countries (in order of appearance)|
|Final||Lithuania ⦁ Belgium ⦁ Spain ⦁ Croatia ⦁ United Kingdom ⦁ Slovenia ⦁ Turkey ⦁ Norway ⦁ Denmark • France ⦁ The Netherlands ⦁ Poland ⦁ Iceland • Cyprus • Sweden (winner) ⦁ Portugal • Ireland ⦁ Austria ⦁ Israel ⦁ Malta ⦁ Germany ⦁ Bosnia and Herzegovina ⦁ Estonia
|Artists (in order of appearance)|
|Final||Aistė ⦁ Vanessa Chinitor ⦁ Lydia ⦁ Doris Dragović ⦁ Precious ⦁ Darja Švajger ⦁ Tuba Önal and Grup Mistik ⦁ Stig Van Eijk ⦁ Trine Jepsen and Michael Teschl ⦁ Nayah • Marlayne ⦁ Mietek Szcześniak ⦁ Selma • Marlain ⦁ Charlotte Nilsson (winner) ⦁ Rui Bandeira ⦁ The Mullans • Bobbie Singer ⦁ Eden ⦁ Times Three ⦁ Sürpriz • Dino and Béatrice ⦁ Evelin Samuel and Camille|
|Songs (in order of appearance)|
|Final||“Strazdas” ⦁ “Like the Wind” ⦁ “No quiero escuchar” ⦁ “Marija Magdalena” ⦁ “Say It Again” ⦁ “For a Thousand Years” ⦁ “Dön Artık” ⦁ “Living My Life Without You” ⦁ “This Time I Mean It” • “Je veux donner ma voix” • “One Good Reason” • “Przytul mnie mocno” • “All Out of Luck” • “Tha’nai erotas” (Θα’ναι έρωτας) • “Take Me to Your Heaven” (winner) ⦁ “Como tudo começou” ⦁ “When You Need Me” ⦁ “Reflection” ⦁ “Yom Huledet (Happy Birthday)” (יום הולדת) • “Croire” • “Believe ‘n Peace” • “Reise nach Jerusalem – Kudüs’e Seyahat” • “Putnici” • “Diamond of Night”|
|Non-participating entries: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Hari Mata Hari – “Starac I More” (The old man and the sea) • Germany: Corinna May – “Hör’ Den Kindern Einfach Zu” (Just listen to the children)|