EuroRevision: Malta Begins their Eurovision Journey (1971)

The Eurovision Song Contest 1971 was the 16th edition of the contest, and after Dana won the year prior, the contest was heading to Ireland. The show was held on Saturday the 3rd of April in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, and was hosted by Bernadette Ní Ghallchóir.

The previous year of the contest saw just 12 participants due to a protest against the four-way tie, however those nations returned to the contest in 1971. Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden returned after their one-year absence, while Austria returned after their two-year absence. Malta made their debut at the contest, which brought the participants number up to 18.

For the first time, each participating broadcaster was required to televise all the songs in ‘previews’ prior to the live final. In the preview for Belgium, the video featured Nicole & Hugo performing the song ‘Goeiemorgen, morgen’ however Nicole was ill a few days before the contest. Instead, Jacques Raymond and Lily Castel stepped in to perform at short notice.

Another change to the contest saw groups of six able to perform, whereas before it was limited to soloists or duets.

The voting system was changed in this edition, with each jury featuring two members. One of the jury members was under 25 years old, and the other over 25 with at least 10 years’ difference between their ages. Both members of each jury would score each country (except their own) a score between one and five points. This voting system revealed some flaws however, with some juries not awarding more than one or two points, possibly for strategic reasons. Under this system, no nations would finish with nul points.

Here is the full list of participants:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Yugoslavia

There were two returning artists in this edition. The first was Katja Ebstein, who represented Germany in 1970, and the second was Jacques Raymond who previously represented Belgium in 1963.

Monaco’s first and only winner at Eurovision
  • Marianne Mendt – Musik (Austria) 🇦🇹
  • Joe Grech – Marija I-Maltija (Malta) 🇲🇹
  • Séverine – Un banc, un arbre, une rue (Monaco) 🇲🇨
  • Peter, Sue and Marc – Les illusions de nos vingt ans (Switzerland) 🇨🇭
  • Katja Ebstein – Diese Welt (Germany) 🇩🇪
  • Karina – En un mundo nuevo (Spain) 🇪🇸
  • Serge Lama – Un Jardin sur la terre (France) 🇫🇷
  • Monique Melsen – pomme, pomme, pomme (Luxembourg) 🇱🇺
  • Clodagh Rodgers – Jack in the Box (United Kingdom) 🇬🇧
  • Lily Castel and Jacques Raymond – Goeiemorgen, morgen (Belgium) 🇧🇪
  • Massimo Ranieri – L’amore è un attimo (Italy) 🇮🇹
  • Family Four – Vita vidder (Sweden) 🇸🇪
  • Angela Farrell – One Day Love (Ireland) 🇮🇪
  • Saskia and Serge – Tijd (Netherlands) 🇳🇱
  • Tonicha – Menina do alto da serra (Portugal) 🇵🇹
  • Krunoslav Slabinac – Tvoj dječak je tužan (Yugoslavia)
  • Markku Aro and Koivistolaiset – Tie uuteen päivään (Finland) 🇫🇮
  • Hanne Krogh – Lykken er (Norway) 🇳🇴

The winner of the contest was Séverine with her song, Un banc, un arbre, une rue. This was Monaco’s first and only win at Eurovision, even until this day. The nation achieved a total of 128 points, with second place Spain achieving 116. In third was Germany.

Malta unfortunately finished in last place in their first Eurovision attempt.

Watch the winning performance below: