|Eurovision Song Contest 1987|
|Final||9 May 1987|
|Venue||Palais du Centenaire|
|Musical director||Jo Carlier|
|Directed by||Jacques Bourton|
|Executive supervisor||Frank Naef|
|Executive producer||Michel Gehu|
|Host broadcaster||Radio-télévision belge de la Communauté française (RTBF)|
|Number of entries||22|
|Voting system||Each country awarded 1-12 point(s) to their 10 favourite songs|
|Winning song|| Ireland|
"Hold Me Now"
The Eurovision Song Contest 1987 was the 32nd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Brussels, Belgium, following the country's victory at the 1986 contest with the song "J'aime la vie" by Sandra Kim. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Radio-télévision belge de la Communauté française (RTBF), the contest was held at the Centenary Palace on 9 May 1987 (also Europe Day) and hosted by French-Belgian singer Viktor Lazlo.
Twenty-two countries took part in the contest with Greece and Italy returning to the competition after their absences the previous year. This set the record for the highest number of competing countries up until that point.
The contest took place at the Brussels Exhibition Centre (Brussels Expo) in Brussels, Belgium. These are a set of exhibition halls built from 1930 on the Heysel/Heizel Plateau (Heysel Park) in Laeken (northern part of the City of Brussels) to celebrate the centenary of Belgian Independence. The Centenary Palace (French: Palais du Centenaire, Dutch: Eeuwfeestpaleis), where the main stage was located, is one of the remaining buildings of the Brussels International Exposition of 1935. Currently, it is still being used for trade fairs, as well as concerts, usually for bigger acts and artists.
The 1987 Eurovision was the biggest contest to date, and it was also the first in which 22 countries competed. Only Malta, Monaco and Morocco failed to compete out of all the countries which had entered the contest in the past. The large number of participating countries caused some problems for the EBU, which ranged from the available dates for the rehearsals to the readjustment of the duration of the televised finale. Due to this situation, after the contest, the EBU set the limit of participating countries to 22. This was a problematic question over the next five years as new and returning nations indicated an interest in participating, but they could not be accommodated.
|Austria||ORF||Gary Lux||"Nur noch Gefühl"||German||
|Belgium||BRT||Liliane Saint-Pierre||"Soldiers of Love"||Dutch[a]||
|Cyprus||CyBC||Alexia||"Aspro mavro" (Άσπρο μαύρο)||Greek||
|Denmark||DR||Bandjo with Anne-Cathrine Herdorf||"En lille melodi"||Danish||
|Finland||YLE||Vicky Rosti||"Sata salamaa"||Finnish||
|France||Antenne 2||Christine Minier||"Les Mots d'amour n'ont pas de dimanche"||French||
|Germany||BR[b]||Wind||"Laß die Sonne in dein Herz"||German||Laszlo Bencker|
|Iceland||RÚV||Halla Margrét||"Hægt og hljótt"||Icelandic||Valgeir Guðjónsson||Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson|
|Ireland||RTÉ||Johnny Logan||"Hold Me Now"||English||Séan Sherrard||Noel Kelehan|
|Israel||IBA||Datner and Kushnir||"Shir Habatlanim" (שיר הבטלנים)||Hebrew||Zohar Laskov||Kobi Oshrat|
|Italy||RAI||Umberto Tozzi and Raf||"Gente di mare"||Italian||Gianfranco Lombardi|
|Luxembourg||CLT||Plastic Bertrand||"Amour amour"||French||
|Netherlands||NOS||Marcha||"Rechtop in de wind"||Dutch||Peter Koelewijn||Rogier van Otterloo|
|Norway||NRK||Kate Gulbrandsen||"Mitt liv"||Norwegian||Terje Fjærn|
|Portugal||RTP||Nevada||"Neste barco à vela"||Portuguese||
|Spain||TVE||Patricia Kraus||"No estás solo"||Spanish||
|Switzerland||SRG SSR||Carol Rich||"Moitié moitié"||French||Jean-Jacques Egli||No conductor|
|Turkey||TRT||Seyyal Taner and Grup Lokomotif||"Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne"||Turkish||Olcayto Ahmet Tuğsuz||Garo Mafyan|
|United Kingdom||BBC||Rikki||"Only the Light"||English||Richard Peebles||Ronnie Hazlehurst|
|Yugoslavia||JRT||Novi fosili||"Ja sam za ples" (Ја сам за плес)||Serbo-Croatian[a]||
Bold indicates a previous winner.
|Gary Lux||Austria||1983 (member of Westend), 1984 (as backing singer for Anita), 1985|
|Alexia||Cyprus||1981 (member of Island)|
Host broadcaster rule
By 1986, Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 30 times since making its debut at the first contest in 1956 along 6 other countries. Before Sandra Kim's win, Belgium was the only one of the 7 founding countries to have never won the contest and had only twice finished in the top five (with Tonia's fourth place in 1966 and Jean Vallée's second place in 1978).
Sandra Kim's Eurovision victory in 1986 occurred amidst a complex political situation in Belgium. The country was undergoing massive constitutional reforms in which the Belgian state was transitioning from a centralized to a federal system. This was due to rising tensions between the two major linguistic regions of Belgium, Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia. Both regions had had independent broadcasters since 1960 (BRT in Flanders and RTBF in Wallonia) but had still agreed to jointly host the contest in the event of a Belgian victory. While the triumph of "J'aime la vie" in 1986 – an entry sent by French-speaking RTBF – reignited a sense of national union across all Belgian regions, the two regional broadcasters weren't able to overcome their disagreements and joint host the competition. During the production of the event, BRT eventually withdrew from the project and RTBF organised the contest alone as host broadcaster. BRT remained in charge of the selection of the Belgian entry for the contest. Thirty-three years later, in her academic study "Which Belgium Won Eurovision? European Unity and Belgian Disunity" published in 2019, the scholar Julie Kalman describes how, as a consequence, the host country images in Eurovision 1987 mostly showed footage of Wallonia.
Host city selection process
During the selection process of the host city and venue, a joint committee was created and had members from both broadcasting companies. The committee decided that a potential place for the contest was the Royal Theatre of Antwerp, as both locations proposed by RTBF (the Palais du Centenaire in Brussels and the Patinoire de Coronmeuse in Liege) would have required heavy renovation work to meet the proposed date for the contest. Nevertheless, RTBF demanded the event to be held in Brussels with the argument that the city symbolized more than Belgium itself, in addition to its federal functions as the capital of the country (with almost all governing bodies of the European Union also located there). On 6 October 1986, seven months ahead of the contest, RTBF surprisingly and one-sidedly announced that the Palais du Centenaire was chosen as the host venue for the Eurovision Song Contest 1987. The Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, published that BRT proposed instead to host the contest at the Cirque Royal, near the Royal Palace of Brussels, adding that RTBF would be solely in charge of organizing the contest if BRT's counteroffer was not chosen. However, RTBF moved forward with its plans and confirmed that the Palais du Centenaire was the official contest's host venue. BRT was offended by the choice of Brussels as the host city, and withdrew from the organization, but kept the duties to choose the host's country contestant.
Holding the contest in Belgium caused several legal changes in the country's system and forced the implementation of most of the modern rules and regulations on the monetization of public television. This led to the authorization of advertising, sponsorships and marketing actions in the two public channels in the country. As a consequence, the RTBF was also allowed to sell sponsorship quotas for the event, setting a new precedent for the Eurovision Song Contest.
For RTBF, this decision was a relief as the event was almost entirely funded with private funds. This opened the doors to the commercial potential of the event itself, starting a period of modernization and increased interest for the event. Apart from the latent tensions, after the end of the contest the then-president of the BRT Cas Goossens praised RTBF for their "perfect organization" while at the same time regretting that the two broadcasters weren't able to collaborate. He added that the cost of hosting Eurovision would have been difficult to justify to the Flemish taxpayers.
|1||Norway||Kate Gulbrandsen||"Mitt liv"||65||9|
|2||Israel||Datner and Kushnir||"Shir Habatlanim"||73||8|
|3||Austria||Gary Lux||"Nur noch Gefühl"||8||20|
|4||Iceland||Halla Margrét||"Hægt og hljótt"||28||16|
|5||Belgium||Liliane Saint-Pierre||"Soldiers of Love"||56||11|
|7||Italy||Umberto Tozzi and Raf||"Gente di mare"||103||3|
|8||Portugal||Nevada||"Neste barco à vela"||15||18|
|9||Spain||Patricia Kraus||"No estás solo"||10||19|
|10||Turkey||Seyyal Taner and Grup Lokomotif||"Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne"||0||22|
|12||Netherlands||Marcha||"Rechtop in de wind"||83||5|
|13||Luxembourg||Plastic Bertrand||"Amour amour"||4||21|
|14||United Kingdom||Rikki||"Only the Light"||47||13|
|15||France||Christine Minier||"Les Mots d'amour n'ont pas de dimanche"||44||14|
|16||Germany||Wind||"Laß die Sonne in dein Herz"||141||2|
|18||Finland||Vicky Rosti||"Sata salamaa"||32||15|
|19||Denmark||Bandjo with Anne-Cathrine Herdorf||"En lille melodi"||83||5|
|20||Ireland||Johnny Logan||"Hold Me Now"||172||1|
|21||Yugoslavia||Novi fosili||"Ja sam za ples"||92||4|
|22||Switzerland||Carol Rich||"Moitié moitié"||26||17|
Each country nominated a spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country via telephone. Known spokespersons at the 1987 contest are listed below.
- Belgium – An Ploegaerts
- Iceland – Guðrún Skúladóttir
- Sweden – Jan Ellerås
- United Kingdom – Colin Berry
- Yugoslavia – Ljiljana Tipsarević
Detailed voting results
Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|8||Ireland||Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom|
|5||Italy||Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Yugoslavia|
Each participating broadcaster was required to relay the contest via its networks. Non-participating EBU member broadcasters were also able to relay the contest as "passive participants". Broadcasters were able to send commentators to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language and to relay information about the artists and songs to their television viewers. Known details on the broadcasts in each country, including the specific broadcasting stations and commentators are shown in the tables below.
|Australia||SBS||SBS TV[d]||Terry Wogan|||
|Soviet Union||CT USSR||Programme One[e]|||
- Contains some phrases in English
- On behalf of the German public broadcasting consortium ARD
- Deferred broadcast at 22:45 CEST (20:45 UTC)
- Delayed broadcast on 11 May 1987 at 20:30 AEST (10:30 UTC)
- Delayed broadcast on 4 June 1987 at 23:25 MSD (19:25 UTC)
- Deferred broadcast on 10 May at 20:00 CEST (18:00 UTC)
- Delayed broadcast on 23 May 1987 at 20:00 CEST (18:00 UTC)
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