Eurovision Song Contest 1991

36th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eurovision Song Contest 1991
ESC 1991 logo.png
Final4 May 1991
VenueStudio 15 di Cinecittà
Rome, Italy
Presenter(s)Gigliola Cinquetti
Toto Cutugno
Musical directorBruno Canfora
Directed byRiccardo Donna
Executive supervisorFrank Naef
Executive producerSilvia Salvetti
Host broadcasterRadiotelevisione Italiana (RAI)
Opening act
Interval actArturo Brachetti Edit this at Wikidata
Number of entries22
Debuting countriesNone
Returning countries Malta
Non-returning countries Netherlands
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Netherlands in the Eurovision Song ContestSwitzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Monaco in the Eurovision Song ContestLuxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991France in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Morocco in the Eurovision Song ContestCyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991A coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries     Countries that participated in the past but not in 1991
Voting systemEach country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 point(s) to their 10 favourite songs
Nul points in final Austria
Winning song Sweden
"Fångad av en stormvind"
1990 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 1992

The Eurovision Song Contest 1991 was the 36th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Rome, Italy, following the country's victory at the 1990 contest with the song "Insieme: 1992" by Toto Cutugno and was organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI). The contest was held at Studio 15 di Cinecittà on Saturday 4 May 1991 and was hosted by former Italian winners Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno.

Twenty-two countries took part in the contest with Malta participating for the first time since 1975, and the Netherlands deciding not to participate. This contest was also the last time that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia participated, the country would soon be split up opening up new countries to participate in the coming years. It was also the first time that Germany was represented in their reunited form since East Germany joined West Germany by the German reunification.

The winner this year was Sweden with the song "Fångad av en stormvind" by Carola. There was a tie between Sweden and France with "C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison" by Amina, as both songs had received 146 points. This necessitated a 'count-back', a tie-breaking measure introduced after the four-way tie in 1969. Both Sweden and France had received four sets of 12 points, but Sweden had received five sets of 10 points to France's two, so Carola was declared the winner.


Location of Sanremo (the original host city) and the capital, Rome (the eventual host city).
Cinecittà, Rome – host venue of the 1991 contest.

The contest was originally scheduled to be held at Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, where the Sanremo Music Festival takes place annually. This was meant for the organisers to pay tribute to the Italian festival that had inspired the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest. However, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the outbreak of the Gulf War, the host broadcaster RAI decided in January 1991 that to better ensure the security of foreign delegations it would move the contest to Rome. This caused serious organisational problems and delays.[1]

Rome is the capital of Italy and a special comune (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. Studio 15 of Cinecittà, a large film studio in Rome, was later confirmed as the new venue. With an area of 400,000 square metres, it is the largest film studio in Europe, and is considered the hub of Italian cinema. The studios were constructed during the fascist era as part of a scheme to revive the Italian film industry.

Contest overview

The presenters were Gigliola Cinquetti and Toto Cutugno, who represented Italy when they won Eurovision in 1964 and 1990 respectively. Cutugno opened the contest singing Insieme: 1992, and Cinquetti performed Non ho l'età. Cutugno had some difficulty with the pronunciation of the song titles and names of the artists and conductors. Despite this, in Italy almost seven million people watched the show. In addition to tallying the vote numbers in English and French, Cinquetti and Cutugno gave each of the jury allotments in Italian as well.

Nearly the entire contest was hosted in Italian, which is not an official language of the European Broadcasting Union (English and French are, and in the Eurovision Song Contest it is mandatory to provide presentation in at least one of those languages). The overall staging and production standard received considerable criticism afterwards, including for wasting time which saw the broadcast overshoot its scheduled time allotment and for the haphazard and casual approach of the two presenters throughout but particularly during the voting, which saw Frank Naef, the independent scrutineer of the European Broadcasting Union, often being required to intervene in the process.[2][3]

Sara Carlson gave the opening ceremony performance, titled "New Day (Celebrate)", a mixture of modern dance in ancient settings of Ancient Rome. The performance featured Carlson singing, and a mixture of street dance and classical dance choreographed to popular sounding music of the time. At the time, Carlson had appeared numerous times on Italian TV, and this was seen as one of her largest audiences.

This was the last contest where the official logo was in a language other than English (Italian in this case). Since 1992, the official logo of the Eurovision Song Contest has remained in English.

Voting structure

Each country had a jury who awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 point(s) for their top ten songs.

During the final vote (Italy) none of the top three contenders - Sweden, Israel and France - had received any points up until the last 12-point vote. This vote went to France and for the first time in twenty-two years, there was a tie for first place, with France overcoming a large deficit to catch up with Sweden. However, since the four-way tie of 1969, the rules had been altered to ensure a single outright winner. The first step in the procedure was to check the number of 12-point votes awarded to each country. Sweden and France were still tied. But when counting the number of 10-point votes, Sweden had more and was finally declared the winner.

Present-day tiebreaking rules establish that the entry which has received points from the most countries wins; this means that France would have won the 1991 contest under those rules (having received points from 18 out of 22 countries, vs. 17 for Sweden).


The competing artists were asked to sing a known Italian song which would then be used as a short clip for the postcard. The songs were in order:

Draw Country Competing artist Song Original artist
01  Yugoslavia Baby Doll "Non ho l'età" Gigliola Cinquetti
02  Iceland Stefán and Eyfi "Se bastasse una canzone" Eros Ramazzotti
03  Malta Paul Giordimaina and Georgina "Questo piccolo grande amore [it]" Claudio Baglioni
04  Greece Sophia Vossou "Caruso" Lucio Dalla
05   Switzerland Sandra Simó "Un'estate italiana" Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini
06  Austria Thomas Forstner "Adesso tu" Eros Ramazzotti
07  Luxembourg Sarah Bray "Sarà perché ti amo" Ricchi e Poveri
08  Sweden Carola "Non voglio mica la luna [it]" Fiordaliso
09  France Amina "La partita di Pallone [it]" Rita Pavone
10  Turkey İzel Çeliköz, Reyhan Karaca and Can Uğurluer "Amore scusami" John Foster
11  Ireland Kim Jackson "Nel blu, dipinto di blu" Domenico Modugno
12  Portugal Dulce "Dio, come ti amo" Domenico Modugno / Gigliola Cinquetti
13  Denmark Anders Frandsen "Nessun dorma" Giacomo Puccini
14  Norway Just 4 Fun "Santa Lucia" Traditional
15  Israel Duo Datz "Lontano dagli occhi [it]" Sergio Endrigo / Mary Hopkin
16  Finland Kaija "Maruzzella [it]" Renato Carosone
17  Germany Atlantis 2000 "L'Italiano" Toto Cutugno
18  Belgium Clouseau "Musica è" Eros Ramazzotti
19  Spain Sergio Dalma "Sono tremendo" Rocky Roberts
20  United Kingdom Samantha Janus "Ricordati di me" Antonello Venditti
21  Cyprus Elena Patroklou "Io che amo solo te" Sergio Endrigo
22  Italy Peppino di Capri "Champagne [it]" Peppino di Capri

Participating countries

Twenty-two countries competed this year. The Netherlands did not participate as it conflicted with the Remembrance of the Dead national holiday, and so Malta was allowed to participate in the contest for the first time in 16 years, unable to before due to restrictions on the number of countries allowed to participate.


Each performance had a conductor who directed the orchestra.[4][5]

Returning artists

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Thomas Forstner  Austria 1989
Alexandros Panayi (backing singer)  Cyprus 1989 (as backing singer for Fani Polymeri and Yiannis Savvidakis)
Stefán Hilmarsson (part of Stefán and Eyfi)  Iceland 1988 (part of Beathoven)
Eiríkur Hauksson (part of Just 4 Fun)  Norway 1986 (for  Iceland, as part of ICY)
Hanne Krogh (part of Just 4 Fun) 1971, 1985 (part of Bobbysocks!)
Carola  Sweden 1983


Draw Country Artist Song Language[6][7] Place[8] Points
01  Yugoslavia Baby Doll "Brazil" (Бразил) Serbo-Croatian 21 1
02  Iceland Stefán and Eyfi "Nína" Icelandic 15 26
03  Malta Paul Giordimaina and Georgina "Could It Be" English 6 106
04  Greece Sophia Vossou "I anixi" (Η άνοιξη) Greek 13 36
05   Switzerland Sandra Simó "Canzone per te" Italian 5 118
06  Austria Thomas Forstner "Venedig im Regen" German 22 0
07  Luxembourg Sarah Bray "Un baiser volé" French 14 29
08  Sweden Carola "Fångad av en stormvind" Swedish 1 146
09  France Amina "C'est le dernier qui a parlé qui a raison" French 2 146
10  Turkey İzel Çeliköz, Reyhan Karaca and Can Uğurluer "İki Dakika" Turkish 12 44
11  Ireland Kim Jackson "Could It Be That I'm in Love" English 10 47
12  Portugal Dulce "Lusitana paixão" Portuguese 8 62
13  Denmark Anders Frandsen "Lige der hvor hjertet slår" Danish 19 8
14  Norway Just 4 Fun "Mrs. Thompson" Norwegian 17 14
15  Israel Duo Datz "Kan" (כאן) Hebrew 3 139
16  Finland Kaija "Hullu yö" Finnish 20 6
17  Germany Atlantis 2000 "Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben" German 18 10
18  Belgium Clouseau "Geef het op" Dutch 16 23
19  Spain Sergio Dalma "Bailar pegados" Spanish 4 119
20  United Kingdom Samantha Janus "A Message to Your Heart" English 10 47
21  Cyprus Elena Patroklou "SOS" Greek 9 60
22  Italy Peppino di Capri "Comme è ddoce 'o mare" Neapolitan 7 89


Voting results[9][10]
Total score
United Kingdom
Yugoslavia 1 1
Iceland 26 4 10 5 7
Malta 106 1 2 6 4 10 12 2 7 12 7 6 10 4 6 7 10
Greece 36 4 5 2 1 1 4 1 1 5 10 2
Switzerland 118 5 5 7 8 12 8 4 2 2 6 5 3 8 5 6 12 8 8 4
Austria 0
Luxembourg 29 4 5 1 3 2 4 3 2 3 2
Sweden 146 6 12 10 10 7 6 3 10 12 8 10 8 12 10 4 12 6
France 146 10 7 3 8 7 12 5 7 5 12 12 10 8 7 8 6 7 12
Turkey 44 7 7 8 7 2 5 8
Ireland 47 3 4 3 1 8 4 7 1 2 2 5 4 3
Portugal 62 8 4 1 2 7 10 5 1 2 7 10 4 1
Denmark 8 3 5
Norway 14 6 1 1 2 4
Israel 139 12 10 8 5 8 5 6 3 12 8 4 10 7 6 8 12 10 5
Finland 6 1 1 4
Germany 10 6 1 3
Belgium 23 3 2 5 3 3 2 5
Spain 119 8 2 6 10 12 7 6 4 6 8 6 8 4 2 4 7 6 1 12
United Kingdom 47 10 3 5 6 3 1 1 3 5 3 1 6
Cyprus 60 2 3 12 12 4 12 5 3 6 1
Italy 89 7 2 6 2 8 10 10 12 10 3 12 7

Tiebreak results

Place Country Artist Points 12 points 10 points
1  Sweden Carola 146 4 5
2  France Amina 146 4 2

12 points

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

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
4  France  Austria,  Israel,  Italy,  Norway
 Sweden  Denmark,  Germany,  Iceland,  United Kingdom
3  Cyprus  France,  Greece,  Malta
 Israel  Spain,  Turkey,  Yugoslavia
2  Italy  Finland,  Portugal
 Malta  Ireland,  Sweden
 Spain  Cyprus,   Switzerland
  Switzerland  Belgium,  Luxembourg


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.


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.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Austria FS1 Herbert Dobrovolny [23]
Hitradio Ö3 Walter Richard Langer [de]
 Belgium BRTN TV1 Dutch: André Vermeulen [24]
RTBF1 French: Claude Delacroix [25]
BRTN Radio 2 Dutch: Julien Put [nl] and Marc Brillouet [nl]
RTBF La Première French: Stéphane Dupont
 Cyprus RIK Evi Papamichail [22]
RIK Deftero Pavlos Pavlou
 Denmark DR TV Camilla Miehe-Renard [dk] [26]
DR P3 Camilla Miehe-Renard [dk], Jesper Bæhrenz and Andrew Jensen [dk]
 Finland YLE TV1 Erkki Pohjanheimo [27]
Radiomafia Kai Ristola
 France Antenne 2 Léon Zitrone [25]
France Inter Évelyne Dhéliat
 Germany Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen Max Schautzer [28]
Deutschlandfunk/hr3 Ado Schlier [de]
 Greece ET1 Dafni Bokota [29]
ERA 1 Giorgos Mitropoulos
 Iceland Sjónvarpið Arthúr Björgvin Bollason [30]
 Ireland RTÉ 1 Pat Kenny
RTÉ Radio 1 Larry Gogan
 Israel Israeli Television No commentator [18]
Reshet Gimel Yigal Ravid
 Italy Rai Uno No commentator [31]
Rai Radio 2 Antonio De Robertis and Peppi Franzelin [it]
 Luxembourg RTL Télévision Valérie Sarn [fr] [25]
RTL André Torrent [fr]
 Malta TVM Toni Sant
 Norway NRK John Andreassen and Jahn Teigen [32]
 Portugal RTP Canal 1 Ana do Carmo [16]
Antena 2 TBC
 Spain TVE 2 Tomás Fernando Flores [es] [33]
 Sweden TV2 Harald Treutiger [14]
SR P3 Kalle Oldby and Rune Hallberg [sv]
  Switzerland TV DRS German: Bernard Thurnheer [de]
TSR French: Lolita Morena
TSI Italian: Emanuela Gaggini
 Turkey TV1 Başak Doğru
TRT Radyo 3 Erhan Konuk
 United Kingdom BBC1 Terry Wogan [5]
BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce [5]
 Yugoslavia TVB 1 Serbo:Croatian: Mladen Popović
HTV 2[34] Serbo-Croatian: Ksenija Urličić
SLO 1 Slovene: Miša Molk
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Australia SBS TV Unknown [5]
 Bulgaria BNT Unknown [5]
 Czechoslovakia ČST Unknown [5]
 Hungary MTV Unknown [5]
 Poland TP1 Ryszard Rembiszewski [pl] [5]
 Romania TVR Unknown [5]
 South Korea KBS Unknown [5]
 Soviet Union CT USSR Vladimir Stefanov [5][35]


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External links

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