- Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 05 May 1990 – 21:00 CEST
- Host – Venue & Location: Koncertna Dvorana Vatroslav Lisinski (Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, Koncertna dvorana Vatroslava Lisinskog), Zagreb, Yugoslavia / SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
- Presenter (s): Helga Vlahović Brnobić & Oliver Vlacar (Oliver Mlakar)
- Musical Director: Igor Kuljerić, Stanko Selak (assistant)
- Director: Nenad Puhovski
- Executive Producer: Goran Radman
- Executive Supervisor: Frank Naef
- Multicamera Director: Nenad Puhovski
- Host broadcaster: Yugoslav Radio Television (JRT), Radiotelevision Zagreb (RTZ)
- Opening Act: A short film “Zagreb: City of Music”
- Interval Act: Yugoslav Changes – a film about tourism in the country
- Participants – Number of entries: 22 [🇧🇪 Belgium (32ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (32ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (32ª), 🇬🇧 United Kindom (30ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (27ª), 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (31ª), 🇫🇮 Finland (26ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (27ª), 🇵🇹 Portugal (23ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (28ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (28ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (23ª), 🇹🇷 Turkey (13ª), 🇫🇷 France (31ª), 🇮🇪 Ireland (22ª), 🇮🇱 Israel (14ª), 🇮🇸 Iceland (5ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (31ª), Yugoslavia (24ª), 🇬🇷 Greece (12ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (29ª), 🇨🇾 Cyprus (9ª)]
- Debuting countries: —
- Return: —
- Non-returning countries: —
- Vote – Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 point(s) to their 10 favourite songs.
- Nil Points: —
- Winning song: “Insieme: 1992” – Toto Cutugno – 🇮🇹 Italy (2ª)
About. The 1990 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Zagreb following Yugoslavia’s win the previous year. As communism fell in Europe, many of the songs reflected the wider political context. 22 countries participated in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest, the same line up as in 1989. Many of the songs reflected the wider political developments that were taking place in Europe. The Spanish performance was beset by technical problems. First the backing track failed to play, then it started too early. The delegation’s conductor completely lost control and the Spanish duo, Azúcar Moreno, left the stage. The second attempt was successful and the duo ended up in fifth place. Eurovision veteran, Serge Gainsbourg, wrote the French entry “White And Black Blues” performed by Joelle Ursull which finished in second place along with Ireland’s song “Somewhere in Europe”.
United for Italy. The well-known Italian singer Toto Cutugno won this year’s song contest with the song “Insieme: 1992” which was about a united Europe.
Facts and figures. The postcards featured travelogues of each of the participating countries to mark the European Year of Tourism 1990; The UK sent its youngest ever representative, Emma Booth, who was fifteen at the time of the contest. She was allowed to compete however since she turned 16 in the year of that particular competition; At the end of the voting Toto Cutugno splashed water on his face and hair which caused his hair dye to run. He covered this up with a jacket that he wore for the winning reprise.
|o/R||COUNTRY||PaRTicipant(s)||song – translatE – LANGUAGE||Points||rank|
|01||🇪🇸 Spain TVE||Azúcar Moreno||Bandido (Bandit) Spanish||096||05|
|02||🇬🇷 Greece ERT||Christos Callow & Wave (Χρήστος Κάλοου & Wave)||Horis skopo (Χωρίς σκοπό, Without a purpose) Greek||011||19|
|03||🇧🇪 Belgium RTBF||Philippe Lafontaine||Macédomienne (My Macedonian woman) French||046||12|
|04||🇹🇷 Turkey TRT||Kayahan (Kayahan Açar)||Gözlerinin hapsindeyim (I’m caught in your eyes) Turkish||021||17|
|05||🇳🇱 The Netherlands NOS||Maywood||Ik wil alles met je delen (I want to share everything with you) Duch||025||15|
|06||🇱🇺 Luxembourg CLT||Céline Carzo||Quand je te rêve (When I dream of you) French||038||13|
|07||🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC||Emma||Give a little love back to the world English||087||06|
|08||🇮🇸 Iceland RÚV||Stjórnin||Eitt lag enn (One more song) Icelandic||124||04|
|09||🇳🇴 Norway NRK||Ketil Stokkan||Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) Norwegian||008||21|
|10||🇮🇱 Israel IBA||Rita (ריטה)||Shara barechovot (שרה ברחובות, Shara Barkhovot, Singing in the streets) Hebrew||016||18|
|11||🇩🇰 Denmark DR||Lonnie Devantier||Hallo hallo (Hello hello) Danish||064||08|
|12||🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG||Egon Egemann||Musik klingt in die welt hinaus (Music resounds in the world) German||051||11|
|13||🇩🇪 Germany ARD||Chris Kempers & Daniel Kovac||Frei zu leben (Free to live) German||060||09|
|14||🇫🇷 France A2F||Joëlle Ursull||White and black blues French||132||02|
|15||Yugoslavia JRT||Tajči (Тајчи)||Hajde da ludujemo (Хајде да лудујемо, Let’s go crazy) Serbo-Croatian||081||07|
|16||🇵🇹 Portugal RTP||Nucha||Há sempre alguém (There’s always someone) Portuguese||009||20|
|17||🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ||Liam Reilly||Somewhere in Europe English||132||02|
|18||🇸🇪 Sweden SVT||Edin-Ådahl||Som en vind (Like a wind) Swedish||024||16|
|19||🇮🇹 Italy RAI||Toto Cutugno||Insieme: 1992 (Together: 1992) Italian[b]||149||01|
|20||🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF||Simone||Keine mauern mehr (No walls anymore) German[c]||058||10|
|21||🇨🇾 Cyprus CyBC||Anastasiou (Αναστάζιο, Haris Anastasiou)||Milas poli (Μιλάς πολύ, You talk too much) Greek||036||14|
|22||🇫🇮 Finland YLE||Beat||Fri? (Free?) Swedish||008||21|
• 🇦🇹 Austria: “Das Beste” (German) – Duett. ÖRF used a national final to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 1990, with the winner being decided through a mixture of televoting (50%) and an expert jury (50%). The winner of the final was Duett with the song “Das Beste”, however they were disqualified after it was revealed they had competed with the same song in the 1988 German National semi-final. The winner was then declared as Simone Stelzer with the song “Keine Mauern Mehr”.
Participating countries Countries that participated in the past but not in 1990
The Eurovision Song Contest 1990 was the 35th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It was held in Zagreb, SR Croatia, Yugoslavia,[a] following the country’s victory at the 1989 contest with the song “Rock Me” by Riva. It was the only time Yugoslavia hosted the contest. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcasters Yugoslav Radio Television (JRT) and Radiotelevision Zagreb (RTZ), the contest was held at Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall on 5 May 1990 and was hosted by Croatian television presenters Helga Vlahović and Oliver Mlakar. It was the first Eurovision Song Contest held in the Balkans as well as the first contest held in a communist or socialist state.
Twenty-two countries took part in the contest, the same countries that had participated the previous year.
The winner was Italy with the song “Insieme: 1992” by Toto Cutugno. Cutugno was aged 46 years and 302 days at the time of his victory, making him the oldest winner of the contest to date, the first to be aged in their forties since 1958. He held the record until 2000. The 1990 contest also notably remains the last time that the five countries that would later become known as the “Big Five” – Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany – all placed in the top 10 (Italy won, France tied for second, Spain came fifth, the UK came sixth and Germany came ninth).
1.Location. Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, was the second largest city in Yugoslavia. Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall was chosen to host the contest. The concert hall and convention center is named after Vatroslav Lisinski, a 19th-century Croatian composer. The building has a big hall with 1,841 seats and a small hall with 305 seats.
In order to host the 1990 contest, the venue underwent its first major renovation in 1989. In 1992, the hall’s copper roof cover was completely replaced. Further reconstruction and redecoration work was done in 1999 and 2009.
2.Format. The Eurovision Song Contest 1990 was the first to implement an age rule. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) were forced to bring in a restriction rule after criticism arose over the ages of two performers at 1989 contest, being just 11 and 12 years old. From 1990, no artist under the age of 16 on the day of the contest could perform on stage. This rule meant that the record for the youngest ever winner at Eurovision could never be broken, as Sandra Kim, who won for Belgium at the 1986 competition, was just 13 years old.
The lyrics of several entries celebrated the revolution and democratisation that had occurred in central and eastern Europe in the preceding months, focusing especially on the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, such as in the Norwegian and Austrian entries. However, the winning song was an even more sweeping evocation of European unity, in anticipation of the completion of the European single market, due at the end of 1992.
From a musical perspective both Spain’s “Bandido” and France’s “White and Black Blues” can be said to be the first entries to signal a new trend at Eurovision, with both songs fusing contemporary dance music with ethnic influences, from flamenco and calypso respectively.
The 1990 contest was the first year to feature an official mascot, Eurocat, created by Joško Marušić. This mischievous purple cat popped up during the ‘postcards’ of each of the 22 entries, which also included travelogues of the country about to perform, in conjunction with the European Year of Tourism 1990.
3.1.Conductors. Each performance had a conductor who directed the orchestra.
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Eduardo Leiva
- 🇬🇷 Greece – Michael Rozakis
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Rony Brack
- 🇹🇷 Turkey – Ümit Eroğlu
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Harry van Hoof
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Thierry Durbet
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Alyn Ainsworth
- 🇮🇸 Iceland – Jon Kjell Seljeseth
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Pete Knutsen
- 🇮🇱 Israel – Rami Levin
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – Henrik Krogsgaard
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Bela Balint
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Rainer Pietsch
- 🇫🇷 France – Régis Dupré
- Yugoslavia – Stjepan Mihaljinec
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Carlos Alberto Moniz
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Noel Kelehan
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Curt-Eric Holmquist
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Gianni Madonini
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Richard Oesterreicher
- 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Stanko Selak
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Olli Ahvenlahti
|Ketil Stokkan||🇳🇴 Norway||1986|
|Pepel in kri (backing vocalists)||🇮🇹 Italy||1975 (for Yugoslavia)|
3.3.Participants and results.
3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1990:
• National Selections in 1990:
|🇦🇹 Austria||(Austrian Selection 1990)||Simone / SiSimone Stelzer – “Keine Mauern mehr“|
|🇨🇾 Cyprus||(Cypriot Selection 1990)||Haris Anastasiou – “Milas poli” (Μιλάς πολύ)|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||Melodi Grand Prix 1990||Lonnie Devantier – “Hallo Hallo”|
|🇫🇮 Finland||(Finnish Selection 1990)||Beat – “Fri?“|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Ein Lied für Zagreb||Chris Kempers & Daniel Kovac – “Frei zu leben“|
|🇬🇷 Greece||(Greek Selection 1990)||Christos Callow & Wave – “Horis skopo” (Χωρίς σκοπό)
|🇮🇸 Iceland||Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 1990||Stjórnin / Sigríður Beinteinsdóttir & Grétar Örvarsson) – “Eitt lag enn“|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||(Irish Selection 1990)||Liam Reilly – “Somewhere in Europe”|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nationaal Songfestival 1990||Maywood – “Ik wil alles met je delen“
|🇳🇴 Norway||Melodi Grand Prix 1990||Ketil Stokkan – “Brandenburger Tor“|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||Festival da Canção 1990||Nucha – “Há sempre alguém” / “Sempre, há sempre alguém“|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Melodifestival 1990||Edin-Ådahl – “Som en vind“|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||Concours Eurovision 1990||Egon Egemann – “Musik klingt in die Welt hinaus“|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||Şarkı Yarışması 1990||Kayahan – “Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim“|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||A Song for Europe 1990||Emma – “Give a Little Love Back to the World”|
|Yugoslavia||Jugovizija 1990||Tajči – “Hajde da ludujemo” (Хајде да лудујемо)|
• Internal Selections in 1990:
|🇧🇪 Belgium||Philippe Lafontaine – “Macédomienne“|
|🇫🇷 France||Joëlle Ursull – “White and Black Blues”|
|🇮🇱 Israel||Rita – “Shara Barkhovot” (שרה ברחובות)|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Toto Cutugno – “Insieme: 1992″|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||Céline Carzo – “Quand je te rêve“|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Azúcar Moreno – “Bandido“|
4.Detailed voting results.
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||25||1||3||1||4||2||3||6||1||2||2|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||87||7||5||12||3||10||3||10||1||10||10||6||6||1||3|
4.1.12 points. Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|6||🇫🇷 France||🇫🇮 Finland, 🇮🇸 Iceland, 🇳🇱 The Netherlands, 🇳🇴 Norway, 🇨🇭 Switzerland, Yugoslavia|
|3||🇮🇹 Italy||🇨🇾 Cyprus, 🇮🇪 Ireland, 🇪🇸 Spain|
|2||🇮🇸 Iceland||🇵🇹 Portugal, 🇬🇧 United Kindom|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||🇦🇹 Austria, 🇸🇪 Sweden|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||🇩🇰 Denmark, 🇬🇷 Greece|
|Yugoslavia||🇮🇱 Israel, 🇹🇷 Turkey|
|1||🇦🇹 Austria||🇮🇹 Italy|
|🇩🇪 Germany||🇱🇺 Luxembourg|
|🇪🇸 Spain||🇩🇪 Germany|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||🇧🇪 Belgium|
4.2.Spokespersons. Each country announced their votes in the order of performance. The following is a list of spokespersons who announced the votes for their respective country.
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Matilde Jarrín
- 🇬🇷 Greece – Fotini Giannoulatou
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Jacques Olivier
- 🇹🇷 Turkey – Korhan Abay
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Joop van Os
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Jean-Luc Bertrand
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Colin Berry
- 🇮🇸 Iceland – Árni Snævarr
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Sverre Christophersen
- 🇮🇱 Israel – Yitzhak Shim’oni
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – Bent Henius
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Michel Stocker
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Gabi Schnelle
- 🇫🇷 France – Valérie Maurice
- Yugoslavia – Drago Čulina
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – João Abel Fonseca
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Eileen Dunne
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Jan Ellerås
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Paolo Frajese
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Tilia Herold
- 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Anna Partelidou
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Solveig Herlin
5.Broadcasts. National broadcasters were able to send a commentary team to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. In addition to the participating countries, host Helga Vlahović mentioned several countries as among the non-participants broadcasting the contest (Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Romania, South Korea and the Soviet Union were mentioned by Vlahović); however, no information is known about which broadcasters showed the contest and who, if anyone, provided commentary for each.
|🇦🇹 Austria||FS1||Barbara Stöckl|
|Hitradio Ö3||Walter Richard Langer|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||RTBF1||French: Claude Delacroix||–|
|BRT TV2||Dutch: Luc Appermont||–|
|RTBF La Première||French: Stéphane Dupont and Patrick Duhamel|
|BRT Radio 2||Dutch: Julien Put|
|🇨🇾 Cyprus||RIK||Neophytos Taliotis|
|RIK Deftero||Pavlos Pavlou|
|🇩🇰 Denmark||DR TV||Jørgen de Mylius|
|DR P3||Karlo Staunskær and Kurt Helge Andersen|
|🇫🇮 Finland||YLE TV1||Erkki Pohjanheimo and Ossi Runne|
|YLE 2-verkko||Jake Nyman and Kati Bergman|
|🇫🇷 France||Antenne 2||Richard Adaridi|
|France Inter||Patrick Sabatier|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen||Fritz Egner|
|Deutschlandfunk/NDR Radio 2||Peter Urban|
|🇬🇷 Greece||ET1||Dafni Bokota|
|ERA 1||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|🇮🇸 Iceland||Sjónvarpið||Arthúr Björgvin Bollason||–|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||RTÉ 1||Jimmy Greeley and Clíona Ní Bhuachalla|
|RTÉ Radio 1||Larry Gogan|
|🇮🇱 Israel||Israeli Television||No commentator|
|Reshet Gimel||Yigal Ravid|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Rai Due[d]||Nicoletta Orsomando|
|Rai Radio 2||Antonio De Robertis|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||RTL Télévision||Valérie Sarn|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nederland 3||Willem van Beusekom||–|
|Radio 2||Daniël Dekker||–|
|🇳🇴 Norway||NRK||Leif Erik Forberg|
|NRK P2||Erik Heyerdahl|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||RTP Canal 1||Ana do Carmo|
|🇪🇸 Spain||TVE 2||Luis Cobos|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||TV2||Janne Jingryd|
|SR P3||Kersti Adams-Ray|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||TV DRS||German: Bernard Thurnheer|
|TSR||French: Thierry Masselot|
|TSI||Italian: Emanuela Gaggini|
|🇹🇷 Turkey||TV1||Başak Doğru|
|TRT Radyo 3||Fatih Orbay|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||BBC1||Terry Wogan, Emma (during the interval)||–|
|BBC Radio 2||Ken Bruce||–|
|Yugoslavia||TVB 1, TVZ 1||Serbo-Croatian: Branko Uvodić|
|TVL 1||Slovene: Saša Gerdej|
|🇦🇺 Australia||SBS TV||Unknown|
6.1.Presenter resignations. There was a slightly uncomfortable beginning to the rehearsal week when, offended by press comments concerning their ages (Vlahović being 45 at the time and Mlakar being 54), the two presenters quit the show. They were briefly replaced by Rene Medvešek and Dubravka Marković, who were much younger, but the misunderstandings were eventually allayed and Vlahović and Mlakar returned to the contest.
6.2.Technical issues. A notorious mishap occurred at the start of the first song, when a noticeably long delay caused by problems with the backing track (the sound engineer having forgotten to switch on the sound on the headphones of Spain’s conductor Eduardo Leiva, who had to count in the orchestra playing the strings and brass along to the backing track) was followed by the Spanish singers Azúcar Moreno missing their cue. They walked off the stage in barely concealed annoyance and the audience was left in confusion for a moment, but the song was then restarted without any further problems.
- [a] Located in present-day Croatia.
- [b] Repeats two words in English.
- [c] Contains some phrases in English, French and Serbo-Croatian.
- [d] The contest was broadcast on delay by 2 hours 20 minutes.
8.Trivial / Fun facts.
- Eurovision veteran, Serge Gainsbourg, wrote the French entry White And Black Blues performed by Joelle Ursull.
- This was a spectacular multicultural song with lots of African drumming. It ended up sharing the second place with Ireland.
← Eurovision Song Contest 1989 • Eurovision Song Contest 1990 • Eurovision Song Contest 1991 →
Countries (in order of appearance)
|Final||Spain ⦁ Greece ⦁ Belgium ⦁ Turkey ⦁ The Netherlands ⦁ Luxembourg ⦁ United Kingdom ⦁ Iceland ⦁ Norway ⦁ Israel • Denmark ⦁ Switzerland ⦁ Germany ⦁ France • Yugoslavia • Portugal ⦁ Ireland ⦁ Sweden ⦁ Italy (winner) ⦁ Austria ⦁ Cyprus ⦁ Finland|
Artists (in order of appearance)
|Final||Azúcar Moreno ⦁ Christos Callow and Wave ⦁ Philippe Lafontaine ⦁ Kayahan ⦁ Maywood ⦁ Céline Carzo ⦁ Emma ⦁ Stjórnin ⦁ Ketil Stokkan ⦁ Rita ⦁ Lonnie Devantier • Egon Egemann ⦁ Chris Kempers and Daniel Kovac ⦁ Joëlle Ursull ⦁ Tajči • Nucha ⦁ Liam Reilly ⦁ Edin-Ådahl • Toto Cutugno (winner) ⦁ Simone • Haris Anastasiou • Beat|
Songs (in order of appearance)
|Final||“Bandido” ⦁ “Horis skopo” (Χωρίς σκοπό) ⦁ “Macédomienne” ⦁ “Gözlerinin Hapsindeyim” ⦁ “Ik wil alles met je delen” ⦁”Quand je te rêve” ⦁ “Give a Little Love Back to the World” ⦁ “Eitt lag enn” ⦁ “Brandenburger Tor” ⦁ “Shara Barkhovot” (שרה ברחובות) ⦁ “Hallo Hallo” • “Musik klingt in die Welt hinaus” ⦁ “Frei zu leben” ⦁ “White and Black Blues” ⦁ “Hajde da ludujemo” (Хајде да лудујемо) • “Há sempre alguém” • “Somewhere in Europe” • “Som en vind” • “Insieme: 1992″ (winner) • “Keine Mauern mehr” • “Milas poli” (Μιλάς πολύ) • “Fri?“|
|Non-participating entries: Austria: Duett – “Das Beste”|