Eurovision Song Contest 1987 Review

Belgium’s long-overdue win finally came and we’re off to Brussels, joined by the record-high 22 countries, since both Italy and Greece came back. Famously, this is the first time a previous winner won again, so let’s see if it was deserved (I already have an opinion about that, but maybe it’ll change)


Sorry for taking an extended break from these reviews, I started a new job and was settling into it. But now we’re back and off to Belgium (for the only time thus far, even though we should’ve visited several times already). The show opens with a pretty cool logo that looks like an ink blot. We also get greeted by some very old CGI, which can be called retro instead of outdated now. And, as usual, an extended film of Belgium (actually Wallonia for the most part, VRT and RTBF had a bit of a falling out). This means that all of this was organised by RTBF, but VRT selected the entry. Also yes, I know, it was still called BRT in those days, but I’ll just call it VRT for continuity’s sake.

Our host tonight is Viktor Lazlo, whose real name is Sonia Dronnier. She opens by singing her 1987 hit Breathless, which is actually a very good song, better than most songs this year, cough, I mean uhhhh, she welcomes us in French and English afterwards, in a very short introduction and we move onto songs.


Norway - Mitt liv

Performed by
Kate Gulbrandsen

This is a decent power ballad. Kate has a good voice (though it’s a bit too high-pitched for me) and the instrumental is alright as well, but its just very plain and unremarkable overall.

Israel - Shir Habatlanim

Performed by
Datner and Kushnir

So, here’s a question for you: is this a joke entry? I honestly don’t think so. It’s crazy and out there, sure, and it definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, but I don’t think it’s a joke entry. It’s a good song though, that’s for sure. It’s humorous, but that adds to the song, not subtracts. It also has a nice sense of progression all throughout. It’s all very competent and fun, though I can’t say I’m as passionate about it as other people.

Austria - Nur noch Gefühl

Performed by
Gary Lux

As far as power ballads go, this is pretty good. Gary doesn’t go too overboard with his vocals, he keeps them soft and warm throughout, which matches pretty well actually. It’s definitely much better than Norway’s power ballad, so it’s surprising to me that this only scored 8 points and came 20th.

Iceland - Hægt og hljótt

Performed by
Halla Margrét

Another ballad, but not a power ballad. It’s very soft and mellow and genuinely quite enjoyable. I suppose it fits well with the title, which translates to Slowly and quietly.

Belgium - Soldiers of Love

Performed by
Liliane Saint-Pierre

Despite having an English title, it’s completely in Dutch, except for the title, which is repeated several times. And let me tell you, this is a banger! I love this a lot, it’s a great, memorable 80s pop song with a very energetic performance and great staging. It’s super catchy as well, I want to sing along to it even though I don’t know Dutch. I have to give special props to the backing singers/“guitar players” who aren’t even pretending to mime their instruments, instead doing some weird dances with it.

I really like that they kept it in minor key all throughout, I feel like shifting to major would’ve ruined it (or, at the very least, made it nowhere near as good).

Sweden - Boogaloo

Performed by
Lotta Engberg

This is honestly alright, I have a feeling this is hated so much because it won against a big fan favourite (Lena Philipsson, who’ll get her chance in slightly under two decades). And yes, her entry would’ve been a much better candidate, but that doesn’t mean this is that bad either. Though it isn’t as good as I would’ve liked either. It has a nice Carribean vibe to it, but it just doesn’t really come together, it feels like some people decided to enter the contest as a joke. It’s a shame too, because Lotta’s entry into the next year’s Melodifestivalen, titled 100% was much better than this one.

Italy - Gente di mare

Performed by
Umberto Tozzi and Raf

And here’s another song from old Eurovision I knew before getting into old Eurovision. And honestly, it’s great. I love this song and I love their performance. The song has a lovely sense of progression and great harmonies between Raf and Umberto. It’s definitely one of the songs I keep coming back to and a big highlight in a mediocre year like this. It may be a ballad, but this is exactly how I think ballads should be executed.

I’m also really in love with the songwriting here. The topic might be a bit abstract at first, as the title says, it’s about people of the sea, who, unlike people of the plains, aren’t scared of freedom. Of course, it’s all a metaphor, though not a very specific one. It can apply to a lot of different situations and it’s up to you to put meaning into this.

Portugal - Neste barco à vela

Performed by

Now here we go, another pretty nice song. This time we get a blend of 80s rock music with traditional Portuguese music. I really enjoy the verses, but the chorus lets it down - and being repeated four times at the end does it no favours. I’m always more lenient towards songs with mediocre verses and a strong chorus than vice versa because the chorus is supposed to be the more memorable part. Still, this isn’t bad at all and should’ve scored better.

Spain - No estás solo

Performed by
Patricia Kraus

This starts out pretty bad and only gets worse. The quiet parts are at least bearable because I can tune them out, but the loud parts are absolutely insufferable. She hits every possible note except for ones actually in the song. It’s a big shame because the instrumental is actually great, but it’s a shame about the song itself.

Also, this gets my Barbara Dex of the year. That outfit is terrible in every way possible.

Turkey - Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne

Performed by
Seyyal Taner and Grup Lokomotif

Ok, this isn’t good, and I completely understand why this got 0 points. The vocals performance isn’t just weak, it’s practically nonexistent. The singers spend a lot of time dancing around and practically no time singing. Once again, they hit every possible note except for the right one.

But, unlike the Spanish entry, this is actually fun and charming. The melody is addictive and the performers seem very likeable. I like it enough to say that it was underrated, even if I understand the reasons for that.

Greece - Stop

Performed by

It’s a pretty nice 80s pp song, there’s nothing really to criticise here, but not a lot to praise either. It’s just fine. It’s very difficult to come up with reviews for songs where nothing jumps out as either too good or too bad.

Netherlands - Rechtop in de wind

Performed by

Well, I actually really like this. It starts out as a gloomy downtempo ballad in minor key and shifts to an upbeat pop song in the verses. Afterwards, it only shifts halfway to its previous state, becoming a slow-ish minor key pop song. That’s also my favourite part, the beginning is a bit too gloomy for me and the chorus is a bit too repetitive and uninteresting. If only they could’ve maintained that style the whole time. Alas, they didn’t and the song is worse for it. Still, the place was deserved.

Luxembourg - Amour amour

Performed by
Plastic Bertrand

And here’s everyone (ok, some people’s) favourite one-hit wonder - Plastic Bertrand, singing for Luxembourg a decade after his only hit (and, for the first time, actually singing live and not pretending). But hey, at least it’s quite energetic and fun, even if not particularly good.

United Kingdom - Only the Light

Performed by

Rikki has no charisma at all in my opinion. He has the stage presence of a brick and the backing singers/dancers completely outsell him. His vocals at the start remind me of myself when I sing along to a song and forget the lyrics and they aren’t much better in the following verses. The choruses are marginally better, probably because they consist of about 8 different words. It’s all just very repetitive and uninteresting, generic and bland and a lot of other negative adjectives. I didn’t enjoy this at all. At least the UK will start taking the contest more seriously next year.

France - Les mots d’amour n’ont pas de dimanche

Performed by
Christine Minier

Honestly, this is a strong effort from France. It’s a bit anonymous, but I actually really enjoy it. All parts of this just come together, the verses are strong, the choruses are catchy, the bridge is excellent. Also, thank you for not changing the key after the bridge, that would’ve been so excessive. Well done, France, this is a really good entry. Shame on you, juries, this should’ve scored higher.

Germany - Laß die Sonne in dein Herz

Performed by

I don’t know about this. It’s fine, there’s nothing wrong about this, it’s some nice, catchy, boppy, feel-good reggae.The vocals are good, the harmonies are nice, but my god, it’s just so uninteresting to me. I can’t put my finger on why, but I just don’t feel anything about this.

Cyprus - Aspro mavro

Performed by

Another 80s pop song, but not a bad one at all. It has a nice performance and nice vocals, as well as a pretty good instrumental. It’s good. Again, struggling to say more, sorry.

Finland - Sata salamaa

Performed by
Vicky Rosti

Now this is the kind of songs I like. While it’s quite similar to the Dutch entry this year, I think it executes the same idea way better since the song feels less disjointed. It’s very harmonious and enjoyable, but I’m once again struggling to describe it. It’s just really good, well-sung and well-executed.

The title translates to “One hundred lightnings” and the lyrics paint a very appropriate picture of a storm and love and how it’ll survive through it.

Denmark - En lille melodi

Performed by
Bandjo with Anne-Cathrine Herdorf

On the other hand, this is significantly less interesting. It’s vaguely sugary and has way too many key changes, but Anne-Catherine manages to elevate this enough for me not to hate it. Good job, I just wish she had a better song since she’s clearly talented.

Ireland - Hold Me Now

Performed by
Johnny Logan

I prefer this over his other winning song, and I actually completely understand why it won: it’s an English, came late in the running order and had a bit of a flashy performance that ensured that it would stick in the jurors’ minds. It has a much more interesting composition than his 1980 entry and the songwriting is much improved. And he doesn’t forget his words this time.

Also, I have to say, the dark stage suits this song much more than the brightly lit stage we had in 1980.

Yugoslavia - Ja sam za ples

Performed by
Novi fosili

I like it when the best entries come late in the running order rather than early, because you can always anticipate something good on a rewatch. This is one of those cases, this song is definitely a highlight of the year for me. It’s just so unashamedly cheereful, upbeat and fun, it really does make me want to dance. It has the perfect composition for this song, which was adapted to the orchestra really well with lots of brass and guitars, as well as a great, pumping beat. It also has an extremely catchy chorus with great English-language hooks that, for once, don’t feel out of place.

The most iconic part of this for me is the “HEEEEE” Sanja Doležal does, it’s been living in my mind ever since hearing this song for the first time. So yeah, I love this and I think everyone should love it too (just kidding, feel free to feel however you want about it). She also had her borthday that day, and I think it would’ve been cool if it won. I can’t imagine a better birthday gift.

Switzerland - Moitié moitié

Performed by
Carol Rich

Yay, final song and it’s alright. I’ve always found it a bit too messy to completely enjoy, the vocals are a bit too high-pitched and shouty and hyperactive on stage, but at least that hyperactivity is inviting and not off-putting. Basically, it could be worse, but also could be better.


  1. Yugoslavia - Ja sam za ples
  2. Belgium - Soldiers of Love
  3. Finland - Sata salamaa
  4. France - Les mots d’amour n’ont pas de dimanche
  5. Italy - Gente di mare
  6. Israel - Shir Habatlanim
  7. Netherlands - Rechtop in de wind
  8. Ireland - Hold Me Now
  9. Portugal - Neste barco à vela
  10. Turkey - Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne
  11. Cyprus - Aspro mavro
  12. Iceland - Hægt og hljótt
  13. Germany - Laß die Sonne in dein Herz
  14. Austria - Nur noch Gefühl
  15. Luxembourg - Amour amour
  16. Sweden - Boogaloo
  17. Greece - Stop
  18. Denmark - En lille melodi
  19. Switzerland - Moitié moitié
  20. Norway - Mitt liv
  21. United Kingdom - Only the Light
  22. Spain - No estás solo


  • Austria - 1 (1965)
  • Belgium - 1 (1961)
  • Denmark - 1 (1963)
  • Finland - 2 (1974, 1985)
  • France - 4 (1969, 1976, 1977, 1979)
  • Germany - 3 (1957, 1972, 1978)
  • Italy - 2 (1958, 1983)
  • Luxembourg - 3 (1956, 1964, 1973)
  • Monaco - 2 (1968, 1970)
  • Netherlands - 1 (1959)
  • Norway - 2 (1966, 1982)
  • Portugal - 2 (1967, 1984)
  • Spain - 1 (1971)
  • Sweden - 2 (1962, 1980)
  • Switzerland - 2 (1981, 1986)
  • Turkey - 1 (1975)
  • United Kingdom - 1 (1960)
  • Yugoslavia - 1 (1987)

Sorry for taking away your 1974 win a couple reviews earlier, you can have 1987 as a consolation. Just kidding, this was great and the win is well-deserved.


This year, just like a few preceding years, was a bit of a slog. There were some good, standout songs, but few songs I truly loved. I do have to say, the postcards were pretty fun, I liked the endings with the participants being greenscreened onto drawings, I thought that was a nice, fun gimmick.

The voting wasn’t that exciting, Ireland began to landslide very early in the voting by receiving four 12s in a row near the start. I have to say, it was decently deserved, even if the song is far from my favourite. I actually don’t have much more to say, the year wasn’t that exciting to have a long outro.

Which is why I’ll see you all in Dublin next year, for some very famous participants and the first use of a computerised scoreboard.