A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Liechtenstein and Eurovision

As stated in my last post, the song "Un beau matin" by Vetty was a Eurovision parody and not - as stated on the record sleeve - the 1969 Liechtenstein entry for Eurovision. But what do we know about the tiny state and their relationship to the ESC, then?

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It is known that Liechtenstein made a brave attempt to participate at the 1976 Eurovision and that a song - "Little Cowboy" performed by Biggi Bachmann - was selected for the purpose. Reliable sources even claim that the song was selected by the national parliament, supposedly on a day without too heavy items on the political agenda.

However, disappointment hit Vaduz as the EBU rejected their entry. The ESC is a competition not between countries but between EBU member broadcasters and as Liechtenstein didn't even have a national radio station at the time they were hopelessly left out in the cold.

The same reliable sources claim that Switzerland - in a grand gesture - offered to compete under the name of "Switzerland & Liechtenstein" in The Hague. Dutch tv rejected the idea as the long name wouldn't fit on the scoreboard.

Biggi Bachmann continued her career, releasing at least two singles, and participated in the 1979 Swiss final where she ended second last singing "Musik Musik". After that traces of her are scarce, leading me to believe neither one of her singles propelled her into any major grade of stardom. As far as I know, "Little Cowboy" was neither recorded nor ever made public in any way.

In 2008, Liechtenstein became the last european country to have their own tv station. 1FLTV is strictly speaking not a state broadcaster but a private channel, however have they voiced an ambition to join the EBU as well as the Eurovision Song Contest. To date, these plans have come to nothing.

Unlike what is stated here and there online, 1FLTV has never been rejected by the EBU. They have simply never applied to be an active member, for reasons best known to themselves. In these grim times of financial crises, it seems likely that the owners would be reluctant to plunge headlong into any costly projects.

Until they have a change of heart, Liechtenstein remains the only independent and internationally recognised state in Europe not to have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest, alongside the Vatican state.

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