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Eurovision Song Contest 1988

Eurovision Song Contest 1988
Final date 30 April 1988
Venue RDS Simmonscourt Pavilion
Dublin, Ireland
Presenter(s) Pat Kenny
Michelle Rocca
Conductor Noel Kelehan
Director Declan Lowney
Executive supervisor Frank Naef
Host broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
Opening act Johnny Logan performing "Hold Me Now"
Interval act Hothouse Flowers performing "Don't Go"
Number of entries 21
Debuting countries None
Returning countries None
Withdrawing countries  Cyprus
Voting system Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs
Nul points  Austria
Winning song   Switzerland
"Ne partez pas sans moi"
Eurovision Song Contest
◄1987 1988 1989►

The Eurovision Song Contest 1988 was the 33rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. The contest took place on 30 April 1988 in Dublin, Ireland, following the country's win at the previous 1987 edition. The presenters were Pat Kenny and Michelle Rocca. The host broadcaster was Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ) which revamped the show's production style compared to its earlier editions, in order to appeal to a younger audience.

The winner was Switzerland with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi", performed by future international superstar Celine Dion and composed by Atilla Şereftuğ with lyrics in French by Nella Martinetti. Switzerland beat the United Kingdom by just a point in the last vote to win the title. Twenty-one countries took part, after an initial plan of twenty-two, as Cyprus withdrew its already registered entry for breaching the contest's rules by being published few years earlier, in an attempt to represent the country at a prior edition of the contest.


  • Format 1
    • Graphic design 1.1
    • Voting 1.2
  • Participants 2
    • Results 2.1
  • Score sheet 3
    • 12 points 3.1
  • Commentators 4
    • Television 4.1
    • Radio 4.2
  • Spokespersons 5
  • National jury members 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8


Graphic design

Host broadcaster RTÉ employed Declan Lowney, who was notable for being a director of music videos and youth programming, as director for this edition, in order to revamp the contest to attract and sustain a younger audience. The traditional scoreboard was replaced with two giant Vidiwalls located on either side of the stage, which also projected live images of the performers from the green room where the competitors set during the votes announcements, and a new computer-generated scoreboard was used.

The stage itself, conceived by Paula Farrell under chief production designer Michael Grogan, was also the largest and most elaborate ever constructed for the Eurovision Song Contest. To compensate for the fact that the vast stage took up most of the room in what is really an average size exhibition hall, the director deliberately darkened the hall where the audience was located and refused to use wide angled shots of the audience, in order to create the illusion of the venue being bigger than it actually was.

The Postcards featured the participants doing things in Ireland from culture, to tradition, to sports or sightseeing.

Lowney was also the director of the show's interval act, introduced after the competing songs and before the votes announcement. The interval act was a video of the popular Irish rock group Hothouse Flowers, which was filmed in eleven countries around Europe and was the most expensive music video ever produced in Ireland at that time.


Each country had a jury who awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points for its top ten songs.

This edition features one of the closest and fickle-ending votes in the history of the contest. With three countries left to vote, the UK was well in the lead with 133 points against Switzerland's 118. With the third last country, France, only awarding Switzerland one point, the UK looked certain of victory, as even if Switzerland scooped the two final 12s, the UK would only need to gather eleven points from three juries combined to be unbeatable. However, France didn't award the UK any points, and the following country, Portugal, gave the UK a meagre three points while giving the maximum 12 to Switzerland, making the contest blown open between the two countries until the end of the voting.

With the conclusion of voting from the penultimate jury, the UK was holding a five-point lead over Switzerland. As the final jury, that of Yugoslavia, began to award its points in the customary ascending order, a lot of excitement-sighs were heard from the audience to see how the two rivals for victory would fare. Switzerland was the first to be named with six points, edging it into a one-point lead over the UK. After earlier strong votes from most countries to the UK, it seemed highly likely that the UK would be given one of the higher remaining set of points. However, eventually the UK only managed to garner a meagre three points between the last three juries, as after Yugoslavia announced its seven, eight, ten and twelve points, it transpired that it had awarded the UK no points at all,[n 1] and Switzerland was left with its one-point lead to savour a dramatic triumph.


Twenty-one countries took part, after an initial plan of twenty-two, as Cyprus withdrew from the contest after it had already submitted an entry. Cypriot broadcaster CyBC had selected the song 'Thimame' sung by Yiannis Dimitrou, and at a late stage saw that the song was ineligible to represent them as it had been entered into the Cypriot selection for the 1984 Contest, where it had finished in 3rd place. This was classed as a breach of the Cypriot rules of selecting their entry at this time as well as an infringement of the Eurovision Song Contest rules. It was a very late decision as the song was already drawn to perform second in the contest, advertised in the Radio Times information about the preview programme of the contest, and appears as song number two in accordance to its initial performance draw, on the record release “Melodi Grand Prix 1988” – the compilation disc of the contest’s entries.

This was the second victory for Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest after winning its first edition in 1956, and the last time a song in French won the contest, the language having dominated the event in earlier years.

The contest helped launch an international career for two artists, the winner for Switzerland Celine Dion and Luxembourg’s representative Lara Fabian. French-Canadian Celine Dion was only famous in the French-speaking world at the time of the contest, shortly afterwards started recording songs in English with becoming established worldwide and in years to follow gaining international superstar status.[1] Belgian-Canadian Lara Fabian started a successful career after the contest with becoming established in various countries worldwide, with a mainly French-sung repertoire.[1] The UK entry was written and composed by Julie Forsyth, the daughter of the entertainer Bruce Forsyth who was present. When interviewed afterwards he was particularly annoyed at the Dutch jury not having given a vote to the UK, as they had done some work there.

The contest saw the return of seven artists who had participated in its previous editions: Denmark's Kirsten & Søren represented the country in 1984 and 1985, Finland's Boulevard represented the country in 1987, Israel's Re'uven Gvitrz, winner of the contest in 1979 as part of Milk and Honey returned to Eurovision as a backing singer for Yardena Arazi, who represented the country in 1976 as part of the group Chocolat, Menta, Mastik and hosted the contest in 1979,[n 2] Portugal's Dora represented the country in 1986, Sweden's Tommy Körberg represented the country in 1969, and Turkey's MFÖ represented the country in 1985.


Draw Country Language[2] Artist Song English translation Place Points
01  Iceland Icelandic Beathoven "Þú og þeir (Sókrates)" You and they (Socrates) 16 20
02  Sweden Swedish Tommy Körberg "Stad i ljus" City of light 12 52
03  Finland Finnish Boulevard "Nauravat silmät muistetaan" Laughing eyes are remembered 20 3
04  United Kingdom English Scott Fitzgerald "Go" 2 136
05  Turkey Turkish MFÖ "Sufi" 15 37
06  Spain Spanish La Década Prodigiosa "La chica que yo quiero (Made in Spain)" The girl that I want (Made in Spain) 11 58
07  Netherlands Dutch Gerard Joling "Shangri-La" 9 70
08  Israel Hebrew Yardena Arazi "Ben Adam" (בן אדם) Human being 7 85
09   Switzerland French Céline Dion "Ne partez pas sans moi" Do not leave without me 1 137
10  Ireland English Jump The Gun "Take Him Home" 8 79
11  Germany German Maxi & Chris Garden "Lied für einen Freund" Song for a friend 14 48
12  Austria German Wilfried "Lisa Mona Lisa" - 21 0
13  Denmark Danish Hot Eyes "Ka' du se hva' jeg sa'?" Can you see what I said? 3 92
14  Greece Greek Afroditi Frida "Clown" (Κλόουν) - 17 10
15  Norway Norwegian Karoline Krüger "For vår jord" For our earth 5 88
16  Belgium French Reynaert "Laissez briller le soleil" Let the sun shine 18 5
17  Luxembourg French Lara Fabian "Croire" Believing 4 90
18  Italy Italian Luca Barbarossa "Vivo (Ti scrivo)" Alive (I write you) 12 52
19  France French Gérard Lenorman "Chanteur de charme" Crooner 10 64
20  Portugal Portuguese Dora "Voltarei" I will come back 18 5
21  Yugoslavia Croatian Srebrna Krila "Mangup" Rascal 6 87

Score sheet

Points allocated to the winning Song from Switzerland
Total Score Iceland Sweden Finland United Kingdom Turkey Spain Netherlands Israel Switzerland Ireland Germany Austria Denmark Greece Norway Belgium Luxembourg Italy France Portugal Yugoslavia
Contestants Iceland 20 1 4 4 1 2 8
Sweden 52 3 2 8 5 8 12 1 3 10
Finland 3 3
United Kingdom 136 1 5 10 12 10 10 5 7 10 10 10 6 5 12 8 12 3
Turkey 37 4 1 5 1 8 8 4 6
Spain 58 2 5 2 6 8 1 8 2 6 6 8 4
Netherlands 70 6 6 7 7 2 6 12 12 5 7
Israel 85 6 6 4 6 3 10 1 5 2 3 10 5 3 10 10 1
Switzerland 137 7 12 5 10 10 8 10 4 10 12 10 8 4 1 7 1 12 6
Ireland 79 7 2 3 2 12 6 4 7 6 7 7 5 4 5 2
Germany 48 8 5 1 3 5 6 6 4 2 8
Austria 0
Denmark 92 10 3 4 1 12 6 1 4 4 12 10 7 12 6
Greece 10 3 7
Norway 88 5 8 7 12 7 1 8 1 3 5 7 3 4 7 10
Belgium 5 5
Luxembourg 90 4 10 12 7 5 12 12 1 2 2 6 8 2 4 3
Italy 52 8 4 7 8 2 5 3 2 8 5
France 64 2 3 8 2 2 3 3 7 3 5 1 2 10 1 12
Portugal 5 4 1
Yugoslavia 87 12 6 1 8 7 12 2 3 4 12 4 7 6 3

12 points

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:

N. Contestant Voting nation
3 Denmark Austria, France, Netherlands
Luxembourg Finland, Ireland, Switzerland
Switzerland Germany, Portugal, Sweden
United Kingdom Belgium, Italy, Turkey
Yugoslavia Denmark, Iceland, Israel
2 Netherlands Greece, Luxembourg
1 France Yugoslavia
Ireland Spain
Norway United Kingdom
Sweden Norway



National jury members

  •  Iceland - Árni Gunnarsson, Ásgeir Guðnason, Davíð Sveinsson, Elín Þóra Stefánsdóttir, Ellý Þorðardóttir, Erla Björk Jónasdóttir, Guðrún Kristmannsdóttir, Hólmfríður Jónsdóttir, Jónas Engilbertsson, Jónína Bachmann, Kjartan Þor Kjartansson, Ólafur Egilsson, Sigrún Kristjánsdóttir, Sigurður Fanndal, Sigurður Ægisson, Þórdís Garðarsdóttir[3]
  •  United Kingdom – Terry Clark
  •  Emma Suárez (actress), Caty Arteaga (dancer), Jaime Andrada (architect)
  •  Netherlands – Hans van den Berg
  •  Greece – Alexandros Roussos


  1. ^ Yugoslavia, as being the last jury to announce its votes, had caused the same situation to happen when after their voting UK lost to Spain by 1 point in the 1968 Contest.
  2. ^ With this, Yardena Arazi became the first person to compete in the contest after hosting an earlier edition of it; before her, there were few competitors that hosted later editions of the contest.


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  5. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  6. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 1988 BBC Archives
  7. ^ "FORO FESTIVAL DE EUROVISIÓN • Ver Tema - Uribarri comentarista Eurovision 2010". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
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  10. ^ [2] Archived October 24, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "Forside". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
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  13. ^ "Hvem kommenterte før Jostein Pedersen? - Debattforum". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  14. ^ a b c Christian Masson. "1988 - Dublin". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  15. ^ Adriaens, Manu & Loeckx-Van Cauwenberge, Joken. Blijven kiken!. Lannoo, Belgium. 2003 ISBN 90-209-5274-9
  16. ^ "Luca Barbarossa Ti scrivo Eurofestival 1988". YouTube. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  17. ^ a b "Comentadores Do ESC - | o forum eurovisivo português". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  18. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  19. ^ "פורום אירוויזיון". 1999-09-13. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  20. ^ Baumann, Peter Ramón (OGAE Switzerland)
  21. ^ "Εκφωνητές της ΕΡΤ για τις ψήφους της Ελλάδας στην EUROVISION - Page 3". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  22. ^ Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  23. ^ "Sumnja od Jugolasvenskog glasanja". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
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