EuroRevision: Israel Enters the Top 5 on Debut (1973)

The Eurovision Song Contest 1973 was the 18th edition of the contest. It took place in Luxembourg, as Vicky Leandros won the previous edition. The contest was held in the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg City on Saturday the 7th of April. Helga Guitton hosted the show which saw a total of 17 nations compete. Malta and Austria withdrew from the contest, while Israel made their debut.

The previously enforced language rule was dropped in 1973, meaning nations could enter songs in any language. This led to more songs in English, primarily from Scandinavian nations. During the broadcast, there were no introductions made for the artists. Instead, the commentators provided details of the songs and singers while a still photo was shown on screen.

Due to the tragedy at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, security was tight at the contest. There were fears of a terrorist threat, particularly aimed at Israel’s debut entrant. UK commentator Terry Wogan often recounted the events at this contest. He recalled the floor manager advising the audience to remain seated during the applause, otherwise they risked being shot by security forces.

On a lighter note, Eurovision 1973 was one of the most watched editions of the contest in the United Kingdom. An estimated 21.54 million tuned in to see Cliff Richard represent the nation with ‘Power to All Our Friends’. Furthermore, this contest marked the first time that the orchestra was led by a female conductor. Monica Dominique conducted the Swedish entry, while Nurit Hirsh conducted the Israeli entry.

The voting process was still based around a two-person jury, with one of the members aged between 16-25 one aged between 26-55. They awarded 1 to 5 points for each song other than from their own country.

Here is the full list of participants:

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

Three artists made their return to the contest in 1973. Marion Rung returned for Finland, previously representing the nation back in 1962. Cliff Richard returned for the UK, having participated back in 1968. Massimo Ranieri returned for Italy, previously participating in 1971.

Mocedades represented Spain and finished in 2nd place

Here are the competitors:

  • Marion Rung – Tom Tom Tom (Finland) 🇫🇮
  • Nicole and Hugo – Baby, Baby (Belgium) 🇧🇪
  • Fernando Tordo – Tourada (Portugal) 🇵🇹
  • Gitte – Junger Tag (Germany) 🇩🇪
  • Bendik Singers – It’s Just A Game (Norway) 🇳🇴
  • Marie – Un train qui part (Monaco) 🇲🇨
  • Mocedades – Eres tú (Spain) 🇪🇸
  • Patrik Juvet – Je vais me marier, Marie (Switzerland) 🇨🇭
  • Zdravko Čolić – Gori Vatra (Yugoslavia)
  • Massimo Ranieri – Chi sarà con te (Italy) 🇮🇹
  • Anne-Marie David – Tu te reconnaîtras (Luxembourg) 🇱🇺
  • The Nova and The Dolls – You’re Summer (Sweden) 🇸🇪
  • Ben Cramer – De oude muzikant (Netherlands) 🇳🇱
  • Maxi – Do I Dream (Ireland) 🇮🇪
  • Cliff Richard – Power to All Our Friends (United Kingdom)
  • Martine Clémenceau – Sans toi (France) 🇫🇷
  • Ilanit – Ey Sham (Israel) 🇮🇱

On home soil, Luxembourg won for the second year in a row. This marked the nation’s fourth win at Eurovision; however, the voting was close. Spain finished in second place with 125 points, and Luxembourg finishing with 129 points. The United Kingdom was only 6 points away from victory with Cliff Richard.

On debut, Israel finished in 4th place. Finishing in last place was Belgium.

Watch the winning performance below: