A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Runner-up: Iceland 1999

Being brave and modern didn't pay off and Iceland had to sit out for one year and sharpen their swords for the future. In Jerusalem 1999, they had really hit the bull's eye. Everything looked like Iceland was going to win hands down.

The still rather few online fans raved about Cyprus as a potential winner, but not many people outside the fan sphere ever seemed to take that particularly seriously.

Competition was reasonably strong but most journalists on location still seemed to consider Iceland's Selma way out ahead. There was something about her. Star quality, perhaps. She was energetic, her song sounded like a hit and she seemed to really want to win. For most of the voting it looked like she would.

Then - almost like it had been scripted - Sweden's ABBA pastiche caught up, pushed past and won. Who would have thought? Not the live audience - largely made up by members of the various delegations - and Sweden's winning team received a rather cool reception as they entered the stage to retrieve the trophy.

A deserved 2nd place?
Absolutely, but would have made an even better winner. In retrospect, Sweden's victory was one of the most important of recent times as Swedish television was about to lay down production values that would change the look of the ESC dramatically. Could Icelandic tv have pulled off the same trick?

Selma - All Out Of Luck (Iceland 1999)

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