|Eurovision Song Contest 1978|
|Final||22 April 1978|
|Venue||Palais des Congrès|
|Executive supervisor||Frank Naef|
|Host broadcaster||Télévision Française 1 (TF1)|
|Interval act||Stéphane Grappelli and Oscar Peterson,|
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
|Number of entries||20|
|Returning countries|| Denmark|
|Voting system||Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs|
|Winning song|| Israel|
The Eurovision Song Contest 1978 was the 23rd ion of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It was held on 22 April 1978 in Paris. The contest was won by Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta who represented Israel with the song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi". Although 'A-Ba-Ni-Bi' is the correct title, French television mistakenly captioned on screen the song title as 'Ah-Bah-Nee-Bee'. The presenters were Denise Fabre and Léon Zitrone, and this was the first time more than one presenter hosted an ion of the Contest. In addition, the two presenters served as commentators for France. Twenty countries participated, a record at the time.
The winning entry was a love song sung in the Hebrew equivalent of Ubbi dubbi (the title is an expansion of the Hebrew word ani אני, meaning "I"). This was Israel's first Eurovision win. The win caused problems for several North African and Middle-Eastern nations that were televising the contest, even though they were not participating. According to author and political commentator John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History, when Israel became the clear winners during the voting, most of the Arabic stations ended their transmission of the contest. Jordanian TV finished the show with a photo of a bunch of daffodils on screen, later announcing that the Belgian entry (which finished second) was the winner. Television of the USSR for the first time showed a competition, and until 1988 only performances of several participants, each time with the exception of representatives of Israel. Norway finished last for the fifth time, gaining the first nul points during the current voting system was implemented in 1975.
The event took place in Paris, the capital and largest city of France, with the host venue being the Palais des congrès de Paris which is a concert venue, convention centre and shopping mall in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. The venue was built by French architect Guillaume Gillet, and was inaugurated in 1974.
Björn Skifs was unhappy with the rule that every country would have to perform in their native language. He planned to sing in English anyway, but changed his mind at the very last moment, causing him to completely forget the lyrics. He therefore sang the first few lines in gibberish before finding the words again. Along with the 20 participating countries, the show was also broadcast live in Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Dubai, Hong Kong, the Soviet Union and Japan.
This was the first Contest in which both Greece and Turkey participated; Greece made its debut in the Contest in 1974 in Brighton, but the following year they withdrew in response to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in protest of Turkey's participation in Stockholm. Greece subsequently returned in 1976 in The Hague with a song about the Cyprus crisis, "Panayia Mou, Panayia Mou", the English version of which was entitled "The death of Cyprus", and they also participated in 1977 in London with "Mathima Solfege", Turkey then in turn pulled out from the Contest in protest of the Greek participations. This pattern would repeat over the following years; in 1979 Greece took part in the Contest with "Sokrati" in Jerusalem – but Turkey withdrew. In 1980 both countries returned, with "Autostop" and "Pet'r Oil" respectively. Despite Turkey's failure to recognize the Greek government in Cyprus, all three countries performed together when Cyprus debuted in 1981 and it continued until 2012.
Denmark returned to the contest this year, for the first time since 1966. The Greek entry this year was a song called "Charlie Chaplin", in reference to the comedian who died the previous year. In a curious twist, however, regular entrants Peter, Sue and Marc had entered the German national final with a song also called "Charlie Chaplin". They lost out at third place however. The song from Monaco also made reference to Charlie Chaplin, but not as the main theme.
Several artists returned to the 1978 Contest. Ireen Sheer had previously represented Luxembourg in 1974, and finished in equal fourth place. Jean Vallée also returned, eight years after representing Belgium in 1970, while Norbert Niedermeyer, who had represented Austria in 1972 as part of the band The Milestones, was back as a member of the Austrian band Springtime.
|01||Ireland||Colm C. T. Wilkinson||"Born to Sing"||English||5||86|
|02||Norway||Jahn Teigen||"Mil etter mil"||Norwegian||20||0|
|03||Italy||Ricchi e Poveri||"Questo amore"||Italian||12||53|
|04||Finland||Seija Simola||"Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus"||Finnish||18||2|
|05||Portugal||Gemini||"Dai li dou"||Portuguese||17||5|
|06||France||Joël Prévost||"Il y aura toujours des violons"||French||3||119|
|07||Spain||José Vélez||"Bailemos un vals"||Spanisha||9||65|
|08||United Kingdom||Co-Co||"The Bad Old Days"||English||11||61|
|10||Belgium||Jean Vallée||"L'amour ça fait chanter la vie"||French||2||125|
|11||Netherlands||Harmony||"'t Is OK"||Dutch||13||37|
|12||Turkey||Nilüfer & Nazar||"Sevince"||Turkish||18||2|
|14||Monaco||Caline & Olivier Toussaint||"Les jardins de Monaco"||French||4||107|
|15||Greece||Tania Tsanaklidou||"Charlie Chaplin" (Τσάρλυ Τσάπλιν)||Greek||8||66|
|18||Israel||Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta||"A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (א-ב-ני-בי)||Hebrew||1||157|
|19||Austria||Springtime||"Mrs. Caroline Robinson"||Germanb||15||14|
|20||Sweden||Björn Skifs||"Det blir alltid värre framåt natten"||Swedish||14||26|
|The table is ordered by appearance|
Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:
|6||Israel||Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey|
|5||Belgium||France, Greece, Ireland, Monaco, United Kingdom|
|3||Luxembourg||Italy, Portugal, Spain|
The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1978 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each country had a jury who awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for their top ten songs.
Each national broadcaster [with the exception of Israel] also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.
In 1978 Jordan showed some flowers instead of the Israeli entry on their screening of the show. When Israel went on to win they pretended it was Belgium
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