Eurovision Song Contest 1995 Review

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” thought RTE and decided to hold it in the Point Theatre in Dublin, just as in 1994. The countries that got relegated for 1994 are back (Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Slovenia, Turkey) and the bottom 7 of 1994 has been relegated instead (Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland). If you’re wondering why 7 were relegated, but only 5 returned, it’s because the EBU decided to limit the number of participants to 23 instead of 25 as in 1993 and 1994. If they kept the number of participants at 25, then Switzerland and Slovakia would’ve been allowed to take part.


Yes, for the third time in a row, we’re being received by Ireland and for the second time - by Dublin’s Point Theatre. RTE did a little rejig of the stage to make it darker and more atmospheric, but otherwise, it still has the same professional and smooth feel of the contests hosted by Ireland.

After an opening film showcasing Ireland at first and former contests (we pretty much get a recap of every contest from the 70s - though they completely skip 1983, including the winner. And I get it, Ireland didn’t take part in 1983, though neither did they take part before 1965 and they still showed those contests), we’re greeted by Mary Kennedy, who’s hosting solo this night. As with the Irish hosts before her, she’s confident, warm and funny, which is everything you want from a host. Of course, we start with a welcome in Irish, and she does brag about staging the contest for the 3rd time in a row, but Ireland has deserved to brag a little at this point.

After a little bit more talking about Eurovision and explaining it, introducing the conductor of the orchestra (Noel Kelehan, who else) and wishing the contestants good luck, she leaves and we begin with the songs. So, let’s dive in.


Poland - Sama

Performed by

Usually, I’m not a fan of this, but I actually quite liked it this time. Maybe the repeated exposure to it has made my ears adapt to the sound of this. So instead of being critical of it, as I expected to be, I’ll actually praise it and say that it sounds very ethereal and otherworldly and the dissonance definitely helps to set the mood.

Maybe I should go relisten to Spain’s 1983 entry now.

Ireland - Dreamin'

Performed by
Eddie Friel

This has good vibes and a lovely accordion, but it also has “oh god please no, we don’t want to win again” written all over it. Now, I don’t think this was sent to make sure Ireland doesn’t win, I think the idea that some countries don’t want to win on purpose a bit ridiculous. I fully believe that the juries really thought that this was the best song in the NF (and maybe it really was, I haven’t listened to any other songs from that NF).

Even so, I’m sure RTE was ecstatic not to win for the 4th time in a row, which would’ve probably been too much even for them.

Germany - Verliebt in Dich

Performed by
Stone and Stone

No, Germany, why? You did so well with an upbeat disco banger, why would you go back to ballads? And especially gospel ballads with a singer who’s horribly off-key. I’m about as far from religion as someone can get, so the themes won’t win any bonus points from me, but I can easily ignore religion in music if the music is actually good. But this isn’t good, it’s just aggressively mediocre and uninteresting.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Dvadeset prvi vijek

Performed by
Davor Popović

On the other hand, this is quite interesting. I really like the bass guitar in this, though I wish it was mixed more loudly, since it gets drowned out by the orchestra for most of the song. Even so, it sounds quite interesting and jazzy, which is great. You can see that the Balkans are getting slightly more brave to start mixing their own styles into their Eurovision entries. Even so, just like Russia the year prior, they decided to go with something more straightforward for the chorus, which isn’t as interesting as the verses. Still, it’s a very good effort.

Norway - Nocturne

Performed by
Secret Garden

I’m always stumped about what to say about this. So, let’s ask a question: did this nearly-instrumental piece deserve to win a song contest? I think that’s quite a difficult question. If you ask my mum, she’d say “no”. If you ask me, I’d probably lean towards a “yes”, though with a lot of consideration. It really just barely qualifies as a song, having just 24 words and being mostly instrumental. Granted, that was enough for the EBU to allow it and who am I to argue with the EBU.

Still, this thought has always prevented me from fully enjoying this. It may be gorgeous and a proper masterpiece, but I just can’t get that niggling question out of my mind when I listen to it.

Now, if I try to ignore those thoughts and consider this without any context, it’s simply amazing. It has an amazing wow factor and simply blows every entry that came before it out of the water. Obviously, being almost entirely instrumental makes it stand out a lot in a good way, since every other song is heavy in vocals. It also makes it very accessible, since you don’t need to understand any lyrics, you can just listen to the music and get the feelings it conveys. Obviously, that’s not to discount the singer, who performs her part beautifully as well. I also find the variety of the instruments being played here to be a delight, the complexity really stimulates my brain here.

In general, I do like this and I certainly won’t complain that it won, but I just let my doubts get the better of me over time.

Russia - Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana

Performed by
Philipp Kirkorov

Compared to the debut, this isn’t anywhere near as interesting. The melody is fairly straightforward and, while you might expect the lyrics to have some metaphor, which it does. The volcano is a metaphor for war and instability and he’s singing it a lullaby to make it go to sleep.

Musically, it’s a fairly nice ballad with some rock undertones, plus it fits Kirkorov’s voice well. Like I always say “Kirkorov may be a [BAD WORD CENSORED], but he knows what he’s doing”. It brings me a lot of pleasure to know that he got cancelled in Russia anyway.

Also, some fun facts about this: Russia did hold an NF this year, but after hearing all of the songs, the juries refused to vote since they considered all of these songs “unfit for an international competition”. It’s a shame too, because I think the song Monetka (Coin) would’ve been such a great entry for this year. So, in the end, Kirkorov was selected internally.

Iceland - Núna

Performed by
Bo Halldórsson

On the other hand, I really don’t have anything to say about this. It’s competently composed, but evokes no feelings in me at all.

Austria - Die Welt dreht sich verkehrt

Performed by
Stella Jones

In 1993, Austria brought something quite uncharacteristic for German-language entries, while Germany went with something more conventional. In 1994, it was the other way around. Now, we’re back to Austria sending something uncharacteristic. I wonder what 1996 will bring wink.

But yes, this is a lovely jazzy soul song with a lovely saxophone. If my ratings were based purely on cuteness, I would put this first by quite a margin. Have I mentioned that I love the saxophone here? Because I absolutely love the saxophone here, it simply kicks ass. I wish German-speaking countries sent more songs like this, they clearly had the talent. Was it the TV executives who thought “No! Fun songs aren’t appropriate for Eurovision! Call up Ralph Siegel!”.

Spain - Vuelve conmigo

Performed by
Anabel Conde

Sometimes, countries send songs that just couldn’t have come out of any other country and this is one of those times. This just can’t be anything other than Spanish simply based on the passion Anabel exudes while performing this. And also the absolute drama that this song is, because you can only get dramatic songs like this from Southern Europe. And it’s got an absolutely killer hook in “ven, ven, vuelve conmigo”. I don’t think I’ve been able to get it out of my mind since I first heard it.

Plus it’s got a lovely melody. The verses are relatively simple, but the chorus picks up a little bit with heavy percussion hits after every “ven”. It’s just really well though-out, second place was completely deserved for this.

Turkey - Sev!

Performed by
Arzu Ece

Honestly, I really like this! Just like Turkey’s 1975 and 1992 entries, it’s a ballad. Unlike 1992 and like 1975, it still has a lot of Turkish flair that makes me enjoy it a lot. Though it’s mostly in the beginning, as the song progresses, it becomes a fairly average (and quite repetitive) Western-style power ballad.

Croatia - Nostalgija

Performed by
Magazin and Lidija

This is waaaaaaay to operatic for me. I’m sure people that like opera like this, but I don’t like opera, so I don’t like this. But it’s still executed insanely well, so I’m glad this exist for the sake of people who do like operatic performances.

France - Il me donne rendez-vous

Performed by
Nathalie Santamaria

Not this is actually really great. France was totally allergic to sending bad stuff in the 90s (for the most part, but we’ll get there when we get there). Not just that, but they always managed to send different good stuff, while someone might’ve expected them to just stick with a formula that works: ethnic entries. Of course, sticking to a formula usually cheapens your entries, which is why France didn’t. Instead, this feels like a way more accessible version of their 1994 entry (well, mostly thematically, it could be seen as a prequel to the 1994 song, not musically). But she manages to sound like she’s the one in charge and has him all wrapped around her finger instead of sounding like she’s a week damsel in distress.

Musically, it’s a pretty contemporary groovy swing pop song with a lot of interesting progression. It almost feels a bit jazzy. One thing’s for sure, this was made with the orchestra in mind, unlike some of the songs in this era that would like nothing more than to be performed to a pure backing track.

Hungary - Új név egy régi ház falán

Performed by
Csaba Szigeti

While I really enjoy the moody piano ballad start, it’s all completely ruined by a shift into a very standard power ballad. And while his voice doesn’t bother me in the beginning, it always contrasts too sharply with the positive major key section. I wish it could be more like Hungary’s entry from the year before, which had very effective and simple buildup. Basically, it’s one of the song that would be good if it were good.

Belgium - La Voix est libre

Performed by
Frédéric Etherlinck

On the other hand, here’s a song that sets the expectations properly. It already starts out quite energetic and optimistic, so nobody can complain about an unexpected shift. And I actually quite like it! It’s a very anthemic rock ballad, with a fairly straighforward structure and the raspy voice actually fits really well here. Therefore, I actually quite enjoy it. Plus it’s very fun to sing in the shower, you should try it.

United Kingdom - Love City Groove

Performed by
Love City Groove

I don’t really like rap in real life, but rap in Eurovision is usually a bit tamer and more melodic, which makes it more palatable for me. Plus I always appreciate genre diversity. That said, this is literally a 90s rap song, except set to an orchestra (though not as well as a rap song we’ll get a little later).

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that while this might not be for me, I appreciate the attempt to “drag Eurovision into the 90s” as Terry Wogan put it.

Portugal - Baunilha e chocolate

Performed by
Tó Cruz

I always quite enjoy the nice soul vibes of this, but I just wish it was less reserved (I feel like a broken record, repeating that songs are too reserved, but it’s true, it feels like the composers were afraid of going all out). But I actually think that the metaphor of “vanilla and chocolate” is actually well-thought-out, if a little silly on the surface.

Cyprus - Sti fotia

Performed by
Alexandros Panayi

Yessssssss. Hell yes, actually. This is simply great. It’s just insanely Greek-sounding, probably the most Greek-sounding entry we’ve had so far. It’s also insanely dramatic, but, like I said in my review of the Spanish entry, Southern Europe loves going for drama and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Alexandros has a very powerful voice, as well as good looks, which fits this sort of songs like a glove. The lyrics are really cool too (or, at least, the translation, since I don’t know Greek. But the Greek-speaking people I do know love this song as well, so I assume they’re probably even better), being about a man who went through “fire” (most likely a metaphor for war) and came out stronger.

I like that this time, the verses and the choruses are both interesting, but for different reasons. The minor-key verses are very Dramatic (with a capital D) and have a lot of dramatic percussion hits. On the other hand, the choruses are a little more orchestrated, but they also have a very interesting 7/8 beat. I wish more songs weren’t afraid of having non-straightforward choruses, since this is just as singable and memorable as a normal 4/4 chorus. And the “waaaahaaaahahaaaaa"ing actually fits this song really well too and doesn’t sound like the lyricist just ran out of ideas, but just wanted to set a slightly different mood with it.

Sweden - Se på mej

Performed by
Jan Johansen

I’m glad that we have a little bit of a break after the brilliant (but hectic) entry from Cyprus. A classic straightforward ballad is exactly what I need to unwind a little. Plus Jan has a very smooth and lovely voice, though he also breathes very loudly. I suppose the way I’d describe it is “agreeable”. It’s just very nicely made.

Denmark - Fra Mols til Skagen

Performed by
Aud Wilken

And people still say that Danish sounds unmelodic. I’m telling you, it’s all about the presentation and, in my opinion, this presents the Danish language as well as it could. Aud has a very clear pronunciation, definitely helped by the slow pace of the song (Denmark has never been too keen on slow songs, this is the last Danish entry that could be reasonably classified as a ballad, and even then, it’s a bit too bouncy to be a ballad imo).

It’s also definitely not a style characteristic of the Nordics, especially at the time. It sounds a bit Caribbean to me, which definitely isn’t a negative. As I was saying in one of my previous posts, I’ve been getting a bit tired of Nordic dance music, and it seems like everyone else was too. Though I’m always surprised that this won DMGP by a very narrow margin of just 2 points.

I suppose I haven’t made any remarks about the outfits so far, so I’ll make one here: that dress is really unflattering. I won’t call it ugly, but that colour definitely doesn’t look good on her.

Slovenia - Prisluhni mi

Performed by
Darja Švajger

Before this song, Terry Wogan introduced one of the members of Love City Groove. Like I keep saying, I really like these interviews, though I wish they were done after all of the songs like in 1990 so that they could be a bit longer.

After flopping in 1993 with a really good, but perhaps not the most accessible, song, Slovenia decided to go for something a little more straightforward and succeeded. This came 7th and is the best result for Slovenia (together with Energy from 2001, which also achieved 7th place). And honestly, it isn’t hard to see why. Like Terry Wogan said, it’s a typical Eurovision song with swelling strings and a big chorus, although I don’t mean that negatively. After all, I wouldn’t be watching Eurovision if I didn’t like Eurovision songs.

Another big positive is Darja’s singing. I don’t always understand spoken Slovenian, it’s a little distant from Ukrainian for that, though the written form is easier. But her vocals are very well-enunciated and clear, so I can mostly get the lyrics without even having to look up the translation. And I have to say, they’re quite beautiful and poetic, painting a quite vivid picture of how the singer feels about her lover.

Israel - Amen

Performed by

Haha, the title card failed and showed some Cyrillic letters instead of Hebrew. This is why I’m so happy we live in the era of Unicode and (most of) these problems are a thing of the past.

Honestly, for a peace ballad, it’s pretty nice. Maybe I would’ve toned down the “haaaahaaahaaaa"ing and not done the second key change, since both of these things make it sound a little cheap, but otherwise it’s actually quite pleasant and anthemic. I can see why it scored well.

Malta - Keep Me in Mind

Performed by
Mike Spiteri

On the other hand, this is quite dull. This just doesn’t really have any progression, but you know what it does have? Ear-piercing synths that kick in at random intervals to make me go deaf.

Greece - Pia prosefhi

Performed by
Elina Konstantopoulou

Aaargh, why does this end so abruptly. Did the composer think that he wouldn’t be able to fit all of his ideas into 3 minutes? Well, I don’t think it manages to explore all of its ideas anyway, I think it could’ve benefitted from having another minute, but rules are rules I suppose.

Anyway, compared to the Cypriot entry, this is a lot more mysterious and esoteric and comparatively less in-your-face, more focused on the progression by adding more instruments to the instrumental. I’m always fond of this sort of progression compared to using key changes to simulate progression or just going louder and louder, so this gets a big thumbs up from me.


Now this is a great year. There was a great variety of songs, most countries tried their best and we had plenty of diversity. The interval act was rather nice too, focused on more modern Irish music. Of course, it doesn’t reach the same heights as Riverdance, but let’s be fair, what does. It’s like Petra said in 2016, the interval act is your one big chance to fail to live up to Riverdance.

As for the voting, it was the year of Scandinavia. For a long time, all three Scandinavian countries were also the top 3 on the scoreboard, although France and Spain have managed to sneak into the mix as well. Sweden was leading the voting for the longest time, although Norway took the lead after the votes from Turkey and firmly held onto it afterwards. Now, I’m really not mad with Norway winning, I love Nocturne as much as other people, it was definitely well-deserved.

Next year, we’ll meet in Oslo and see the biggest showcase of CGI in Eurovision ever as Ireland takes a break from hosting for a year.


  1. Cyprus - Sti fotia
  2. France - Il me donne rendez-vous
  3. Denmark - Fra Mols til Skagen
  4. Norway - Nocturne
  5. Spain - Vuelve conmigo
  6. Austria - Die Welt dreht sich verkehrt
  7. Slovenia - Prisluhni mi
  8. Greece - Pia prosefhi
  9. Belgium - La Voix est libre
  10. Poland - Sama
  11. Bosnia and Herzegovina - Dvadeset prvi vijek
  12. Sweden - Se på mej
  13. United Kingdom - Love City Groove
  14. Russia - Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana
  15. Turkey - Sev!
  16. Israel - Amen
  17. Ireland - Dreamin'
  18. Portugal - Baunilha e chocolate
  19. Malta - Keep Me in Mind
  20. Croatia - Nostalgija
  21. Iceland - Núna
  22. Hungary - Új név egy régi ház falán
  23. Germany - Verliebt in Dich


  • Austria - 1 (1965)
  • Belgium - 1 (1961)
  • Cyprus - 2 (1992, 1995)
  • Denmark - 2 (1963, 1989)
  • Finland - 2 (1974, 1985)
  • France - 4 (1969, 1976, 1977, 1979)
  • Germany - 3 (1957, 1972, 1978)
  • Israel - 1 (1988)
  • Italy - 3 (1958, 1983, 1990)
  • Luxembourg - 3 (1956, 1964, 1973)
  • Malta - 1 (1991)
  • Monaco - 2 (1968, 1970)
  • Netherlands - 1 (1959)
  • Norway - 1 (1966)
  • Portugal - 2 (1967, 1984)
  • Russia - 1 (1994)
  • Slovenia - 1 (1993)
  • Spain - 2 (1971, 1982)
  • Sweden - 2 (1962, 1980)
  • Switzerland - 2 (1981, 1986)
  • Turkey - 1 (1975)
  • United Kingdom - 1 (1960)
  • Yugoslavia - 1 (1987)

And thus, I finally chose a country that has been participating for a while as my winner and disagreed with the actual winner yet again. I’ve counted and I’ve only agreed with 6 winners over the course of my reviews. Will I ever agree with more of them? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading this blog to find out.