Eurovision Song Contest 1982 Review

Welcome to Harrogate, one of the most random Eurovision host places. France left this year because Eurovision was a “monument to insanity” (I love pointing that out to people who go on about the good old days and such) as well as Greece, who thought their entry was too “low-quality”. This leaves us with 18 countries in the contest since nobody joined or rejoined.


The BBC had foreseen everyone being curious about Harrogate and where it is, so the opening film zooms in on it from a full map of Europe. That’s a pretty good idea, not that hosting it in Harrogate was a particularly great one, but I digress.

Our host for this contest is Jan Leeming, who, as usual, welcomes us to the contest in both English and French. For once, the commentator talks over the English intro instead of the French one as I’m watching it with francophone commentary from Luxembourg.


Portugal - Bem bom

Performed by

Sorry, but this just kinda annoys me. I see what they were going for, the choreography is pretty nice, it’s upbeat and energetic (though pretty childish - I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this at one of those dances for children), but I just can’t get over their vocals. There will be some more songs with very annoying vocals soon, but just know that there’s something about this that gets on my nerves. I never revisit this one and I doubt I’ll revisit it again until I start reranking all of the years again.

Luxembourg - Cours après le temps

Performed by

This entry is very overhated by the fandom. It’s a very sweet love song, but not saccharine or annoying. It has a nice dreamy mood and a nice sense of progression all throughout. And, unlike in a lot of entries, the high notes during the chorus don’t annoy me, since there are strong backing vocals to ground them in reality - plus they’re still pretty reserved, she doesn’t use them as an excuse to flex her vocals, they actually add something to the song. It’s a very nice entry entry, which is sadly overlooked.

Norway - Adieu

Performed by
Jahn Teigen and Anita Skorgan

Hi Jahn, hi Anita, lovely to see you back, especially with something great like this. Both get to show off their true range, now that Jahn isn’t protest-singing. In a way, it reminds me of a duet version of Udo Jürgens’s entries.

You can definitely tell that Jahn and Anita actually have feelings for each other and weren’t assembed for the contest. This sort of chemistry is very hard to replicate, you can just feel it. They especially get to shine because the song is so simple. It’s a major key piano ballad with no key changes, you can’t get simpler than this.

While it’s a breakup song about saying goodbye, it doesn’t feel bitter at all, it avoids placing blame on anyone and actually puts a bit of a positive spin on it (well, positive is a stretch, but it doesn’t make it seem like the end of the world).

Also, while this song is one of those “90% chorus” songs that usually annoy me, it’s actually executed quite nicely here. The first time through, it’s only Jahn singing, but Anita joins him for the second repetition. So while lyrics stay the same, their feel changes a lot.

It’s also quite short, just 2 minutes and 10 seconds, though I have to say, I’m glad it is. It explores all of its ideas and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

United Kingdom - One Step Further

Performed by

This is an all-around mess. First of all, yes, it’s 80s synth-pop that wasn’t adapted to the orchestra well at all. The insrumental is rather unenergetic and uninteresting (though the percussion is actually really good - makes sense as it’s probably the only part that didn’t need to get adapted). This was right around the time when my grandmother began to question the necessity of the orchestra - maybe allowing backing tracks would be a good idea, she thought. Of course, she didn’t know that the performers were allowed to mime their instruments to a backing track, but still.

Secondly, the choreography. Why? It’s just so weird and cringy and definitely was the major cause for the entry’s underperformance in the contest (8th! Unthinkable!). From the weird air humping at the start to a weird waltz-like part, it just doesn’t work, plain and simple.

Vocally, it’s also a bit of a mess. Now, I won’t blame the performers themselves here, but rather the technology. It’s clear that wired microphones were a huge limitation as elaborate choreography would crease and bend the wires, making it necessary to compromise on something. It’s also quite difficult to keep a wired microphone a proper distance from your mouth, further distorting the vocal performance. I have no doubt that it’s this performance specifically that encouraged the Germans to trial wireless microphones next year.

Turkey - Hani?

Performed by

On the other hand, here we have a song that manages an upbeat 80s sound with an orchestra. It was probably made with it in mind, which will always be a better approach. Unfortunately, it just isn’t a super-strong song to me. I think the verses are great and the bridge does its best to shake things up, but the chorus is very repetitive and I got quite tired of it by the end. Still, it’s a good contemporary song, so it’s hard to dislike.

Finland - Nuku pommiin

Performed by

I’ve always considered this to be a rather charming entry. It doesn’t really work, not on a Eurovision stage - and especially not orchestrated - but it’s still rather neat. It’s the closest we got to a punk rock song that actually works (Finland 2015 definitely didn’t work for me).

Switzerland - Amour on t’aime

Performed by
Arlette Zola

And of course they show three different commentator booths for Switzerland (even if it should be four - Romansh deserves more recognition).

This feels more 70s than 80s to me, but I have to say, it’s pretty nice. The chorus is very catchy, the performance is nice and expressive, but not cringy. It’s just a nice song all around. Could it have been better? Yeah. Could it have been worse? Oh yes.

Cyprus - Mono i agapi

Performed by
Anna Vissi

To contrast with most previous entries, which were rather upbeat, here we have a slow ballad. But it’s one of those gorgeous ballads that really grips you from the start to the end.

I really like the contrast between simple verses and majestic choruses. I think it’s a very good way of adding variation into your song without unnecessary key changes. You just keep expecting more, so when you do get more, it’s very satisfying.

Of course, Anna Vissi is one of the best singers in the contest. There’s a reason why she’s had a 50-year-long career and dozens of singles and albums that have gone gold or even platinum. It’s simply because she’s so great and versatile.

Sweden - Dag efter dag

Performed by

And here we have it, the first proper Swedish schlager. Interestingly enough, it has quite a different feel compared to the studio version. The live performance is considerably less punchy and energetic and I’d say even a bit jazzy. The studio version is much more upbeat, and I can’t say which version I prefer more. The studio version is more familiar to me, but the live version is pretty good too.

Austria - Sonntag

Performed by

Idk, this is just fine, I guess. There’s nothing terrible here, but nothing to admire either. It’s a fine schlager song, definitely nowhere near as good as Sweden’s. The lyrics are just about how great Sundays are, with no subtext, which I find very funny.

Belgium - Si tu aimes ma musique

Performed by

This was thorouglly underwhelming, especially in the chorus. The verses are of a decent quality, nothing bad about them, but the chorus is very uninteresting to me. Still, Stella is a good performer, so she manages to elevate the whole package to something serviceable.

Spain - Él

Performed by

Wooo, finally, a banger from Spain. Like the commentator said, it’s a mix between flamenco and tango, which is something right up my alley. It also has a strong feminist message about a man who wants the singer to “settle down” and “change”, but not exactly successfully, as the singer takes time to “study and think who she’s interested in”.

This song also has a dance break, which were very uncommon in early Eurovision. It’s very reserved, but I think it adds something to the song. I definitely can’t help but find it charming.

Denmark - Video-Video

Performed by

In all honesty, I adore this. It’s a very 80s synth rock track about a very bizarre topic: the love of television. Coming from an era where television was villified as the cause of everything wrong with society, it’s quite refreshing to see someone not sharing those ideas.

Sadly though, it’s pretty weak musically. There’s no sense of progression here, the song ends in the same way it started. It really could’ve used a bridge to change the pace a little bit.

Yugoslavia - Halo, halo

Performed by

Ok, I know that this is a pretty unpopular song in the fandom, but I just love it. It’s exactly the kind of songs ther Nordics will start sending soon (and Sweden sent this year), and, as you’ll see from my rankings, it’s my genre. I love me some carefree upbeat schlager, so this hits exactly the way it should. I’ll go as far as to say that it’s better than some Swedish schlager.

I really like the use of a vocoder here, it gives it a quintessentially 80s feel. Though I have to say, it definitely lost something when it got adapted to an orchestra, it should’ve been mostly performed to a backing track. Also, it had surprisingly poor mixing, Izolda’s voice is the only one that can be heard at the start. Then there’s some feedback from the microphones and the other members’ voices become audible, so I bet some sound mixing technician got a stern talking to.

Also, of course Sweden gave this 12p and I love them for it.

Israel - Hora

Performed by
Avi Toledano

I’m sorry, I know this a big fan fave, but I just don’t like it very much. I know, it’s cultural and folky and represents traditional Israeli music, but I’ve never been able to connect with it. I understand why so many people love it though, it’s well-composed, well-orchestrated and very well-performed. But it has always felt like a bit of a mess to my ears, it doesn’t come together for me.

It definitely has the most elaborate choreography of the night though, though this year has really upped the choreography in general, which won’t last for a while.

Netherlands - Jij en ik

Performed by
Bill van Dijk

I don’t even know what to say here. It’s a very boring and flat song. There’s nothing exactly wrong here, but it doesn’t work for me at all. There’s more weird choreography by Bill near the end, which kills the song for me even more.

Ireland - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Performed by
The Duskeys

This is a very nothing song. It’s very generic in both its instrumentation and lyrics, it’s clear that it was composed specifically to appeal to the international juries. Now, that isn’t a bad strategy, but clearly it didn’t work here as it came 11th, which is very low for an English-language song during the language rule era.

Germany - Ein bißchen Frieden

Performed by

Just like in 1977, it’s immediately obvious why this won. It came after a lot of bad songs with messy and overcomplicated stage shows. On the other hand, this is about as simple as it gets: a solo performer sitting down playing her guitar (though it seems like she’s miming it as the guitar isn’t wired anywhere). It immediately creates a very intimate atmosphere as the camera shots are mostly focused on Nicole, with very few wide shots.

The lyrics also manage to avoid feeling cheesy. Maybe it’s because of Nicole’s performance being so soulful, but I never felt like the lyrics were saccharine or weird. I especially love the third verse with the lyrics “I know my songs won’t help very much / I’m just a girl who says what she feels / Alone I’m helpless, a bird in the wind / That feels that the storm begins” with the last line being accompanied by a flurry of strings that sounds like wind.


  1. Norway - Adieu
  2. Spain - Él
  3. Yugoslavia - Halo, halo
  4. Cyprus - Mono i agapi
  5. Germany - Ein bißchen Frieden
  6. Sweden - Dag efter dag
  7. Luxembourg - Cours après le temps
  8. Turkey - Hani?
  9. Denmark - Video-Video
  10. Switzerland - Amour on t’aime
  11. Austria - Sonntag
  12. Israel - Hora
  13. Belgium - Si tu aimes ma musique
  14. Finland - Nuku pommiin
  15. United Kingdom - One Step Further
  16. Portugal - Bem bom
  17. Ireland - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
  18. Netherlands - Jij en ik


  • Austria - 1 (1965)
  • Belgium - 1 (1961)
  • Denmark - 1 (1963)
  • France - 4 (1969, 1976, 1977, 1979)
  • Germany - 3 (1957, 1972, 1978)
  • Italy - 1 (1958)
  • Luxembourg - 3 (1956, 1964, 1973)
  • Monaco - 2 (1968, 1970)
  • Netherlands - 1 (1959)
  • Norway - 2 (1966, 1982)
  • Portugal - 1 (1967)
  • Spain - 1 (1971)
  • Sweden - 2 (1962, 1980)
  • Switzerland - 1 (1981)
  • Turkey - 1 (1975)
  • United Kingdom - 1 (1960)
  • Yugoslavia - 1 (1974)


This wasn’t a strong year at all in my opinions. Most songs were very confused about what they wanted to be and failed to leave an impression. It’s especially dire in contrast with the previous and next years. But hey, there were still songs worth listening to here.

The interval act was a pre-filmed insert about Harrogate (and Yorkshire in general) accompanied by the orchestra, which I actually found quite charming, if nowhere near as good as Timedance from the previous year. The same can be said about the voting, which started with Germany getting 12 points and then continuing to score well from every country except for Luxembourg (0 points) and Austria (just 1 point).

I have to say, the multilingual reprise was very touching. It’s clear that Nicole put a lot of effort into her peformance and was understandably overjoyed to win. The 12p from Israel to Germany was also a very sweet moment.

I’ll see you all in Munich for 1983, which is a much stronger year.