Hindsight is a wonderful thing, when we look back at things and ask ourselves, what would have happened if we did things differently. So let’s take a look back at the top 5 ‘What Ifs’ of Eurovision, and take a look at how things could have panned out if we did things slightly differently.
1969 was a very strange year for Eurovision, we had for the only time had more than one winner. France, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom all received 18 points. Although using the current rules we would have declared France the winners. The current rules state whichever song get points from the most countries will be the winner, if two or more share the same amount it will go to whoever gets the most 12’s then 10’s etc. Netherlands received points from seven countries putting them in 4th, the United Kingdom received points from eight countries putting them in 3rd, and France and Spain received points from nine countries putting them in joint first, so we would not revert to the highest points. Back in 1969 there were no 12 points, so it would go to the highest points, France’s highest point was 4 points from Ireland, whilst Spain’s highest was 3 points from Monaco and Germany, so under surrent rules France would have been the sole winners.
In 1991, we saw two countries at the top of the scoreboard with the same amount of points, France’s Amina and Sweden’s Carola. The rules stated that if there was a tie at the top of the table, the country who received the most 12’s would win, if they received the same, then it would go to the most 10’s then 8’s etc. In this case Sweden and France received the same amount of 12’s, although Sweden received five 10 points and France only two, so therefore Sweden and Carola were announced the winners, and carols did an audience pleasing jig on a table. Although, under modern day rules, the sort would have been totally different. The current rules state that if there is a tie at the top, the country who received points from the most countries would be declared the winner. in 1991, Amina from France received points from 18 countries, and Sweden from 17 countries, therefore France would have been declared the winner (once again), bringing France its 6th Eurovision win!
In 2002 we saw Latvia’s Marie N take to the stage in Tallinn and fly the flag of her home nation on the Eurovision stage and bring the trophy to a Baltic state for the first time… BUT… This victory almost never happened. The number of participants for 2002 was originally set at 22, until the EBU extended it to 24. According to the rules at the time, the countries near the bottom of the previous year’s scoreboard were unable to participate and would be replaced. Israel and Portugal were granted the option to take part in 2002, Israel agreed and Portugal withdrew, leaving a space for one more country. Latvia took the last remaining place. Had Portugal not refused to participate, we would not be able to look back at Riga 2003, instead, could we have been referring to Valletta 2003, considering Ira Losco for Malta narrowly missed out on a victory at the hands of Marie N.
2003 saw the first time that the, until then, extremely successful, United Kingdom, ended in the last position with a grand total of Nil Points. Although, in A Song For Europe 2003, the BBC decided to make the National Final more exciting and use Regional Voting instead of, as in the previous year, total amount of televotes. According to the regional votes, Jemini won with 68 points, closely followed by Emily Reed (who ended as a backing singer for Daz Sampson in 2006) who ended with 64 points. Emily Reed actually received more televotes than Jemini did, so if the BBC opted for the same voting structure as 2002, Jemini would not have represented the United Kingdom, and would have been replaced with Emily Reed, with her song ‘Help Me’ and the United Kingdom may not have suffered the fate of the dreaded Nil Points.
In the same year, Dutch singer, Esther Hart, represented her home nation, although was originally in the UK line up, to perform ‘Wait for the moment’, who was replaced by United colours of sound who changed the title to ‘Now and Forever’, later to be replaced by Simon Chapman. Should Estehr not have entered teh Dutch selection, could Esther Hart have changed the A Song For Europe 2003 scoreboard?
The dutch selection in 2010, Nationaal SongFestival, took a turn for the worst, when two acts Sineke and Loekz received the same number of points and it was down to the Pierre Kartner to make the deciding vote, his initial reaction was to flip a coin, although after being informed he was unable to do so, he made the decision to send Sineke. Although, id Kartner had been able to flip the coin, the overall result could have been Loekz performing ‘Ik ben verlieft’ in Olso. The song was the same, although two different versions. Could the Netherlands have broken their run of failing to qualify for the final sooner than 2013?