|Eurovision Song Contest 1968|
|Final||6 April 1968|
|Venue||Royal Albert Hall|
London, United Kingdom
|Directed by||Stewart Morris|
|Executive supervisor||Clifford Brown|
|Executive producer||Tom Sloan|
|Host broadcaster||British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
|Interval act||Impressions from London|
|Number of entries||17|
|Voting system||Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.|
|Winning song|| Spain|
"La, la, la"
The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the 13th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in London, United Kingdom, following Sandie Shaw's win at the 1967 contest in Vienna, Austria with the song "Puppet on a String". It was the third time the event took place in the UK; after the 1960 and 1963 editions, both of which also took place in London. The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 6 April 1968, and was hosted by Katie Boyle (for the third time).
Seventeen countries participated in the contest. No countries débuted, returned or withdrew in this edition.
The winner was Spain with the song "La, la, la", performed by Massiel, and written/composed by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa. This was Spain's first victory - and their first ever top five placing - in the contest.
Prior to the contest, the United Kingdom's entry, Cliff Richard with the song "Congratulations", was hotly tipped as the favourite to win, but lost out to Spain's Massiel by a margin of just one point. Originally Spain entered Joan Manuel Serrat to sing "La La La", but his demand to sing in Catalan was an affront to the Francoist State dictatorship. Serrat was withdrawn and replaced by Massiel, who sang the same song in Spanish.
The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Royal Albert Hall is known for hosting the world's leading artists from several performance genres, sports, award ceremonies, the annual summer Proms concerts and other events since its opening in 1871, and has become one of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive buildings.
1968 was the first time that the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour. The countries that broadcast it in colour were France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, although in the UK it was broadcast as an encore presentation in colour on BBC Two the next day. Also all of Eastern Europe and Tunisia broadcast the contest. Katie Boyle hosted the contest for a third time.
Vote rigging allegations
In May 2008, a documentary by Spanish film-maker Montse Fernández Villa, 1968. Yo viví el mayo español, centred on the effects of May 1968 in Francoist Spain, and alleged that the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was rigged by the Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco, who would have sent state television officials across Europe offering cash and promising to buy television series and contract unknown artists. The allegation was based on a testimony by journalist José María Íñigo, a TVE employee at the time, who claimed the rigging was common knowledge and suggested that Spanish record label representatives offered to release albums by Bulgarian and Czech artists (neither Bulgaria nor Czechoslovakia were members of the European Broadcasting Union at the time, though in the 1968 Contest, Austria was represented by Karel Gott, who was from Czechoslovakia.).
The documentary claimed that the contest should in fact have been won by the United Kingdom's entry – "Congratulations" performed by Cliff Richard – which finished second by one vote. Massiel, the performer of the winning entry, was outraged by the allegations, and claimed that if there had been fixes, "other singers, who were more keen on Francoist Spain, would have benefited". José María Iñigo, author of the statement in the documentary, personally apologized to Massiel and said that he had repeated a widespread rumour. Both Massiel and Iñigo accused television channel La Sexta, broadcaster of the documentary, of manufacturing the scandal.
There were no withdrawing, returning, or débutant nations in the 1968 contest.
- Portugal - Joaquim Luís Gomes
- Netherlands - Dolf van der Linden
- Belgium - Henri Segers
- Austria - Robert Opratko
- Luxembourg - André Borly
- Switzerland - Mario Robbiani
- Monaco - Michel Colombier
- Sweden - Mats Olsson
- Finland - Ossi Runne
- France - Alain Goraguer
- Italy - Giancarlo Chiaramello
- United Kingdom - Norrie Paramor
- Norway - Øivind Bergh
- Ireland - Noel Kelehan
- Spain - Rafael Ibarbia
- Germany - Horst Jankowski
- Yugoslavia - Miljenko Prohaska
International broadcasts and voting
The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1968 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are also included in the table below.
Several non-participating countries also decided to broadcast the contest on their respective television stations.
- "Eurovision Song Contest 1968". EBU. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- "Massiel sí, Madelman no: así fue el Mayo del 68 en España". Público (in Spanish). 3 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "TVE 'compró' los votos para que Massiel ganará Eurovisión". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Vea el vídeo donde José Maríá Iñigo 'descubre' a Massiel". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- Govan, Fiona (4 May 2008). "How Franco cheated Cliff out of Eurovision title". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Massiel e Iñigo acusan a La Sexta de "urdir todo para favorecer a Chiquilicuatre"". El Mundo (in Spanish). 6 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Conductors 1968". 4Lyrics.com. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- "Eurovision Song Contest 1968". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "Songfestival eindigde in mineur bij BBC", het Parool, 8 April 1968
- "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch).
- Infosajten.com Archived 18 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Leif Thorsson. Melodifestivalen genom tiderna ["Melodifestivalen through time"] (2006), p. 74. Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB. ISBN 91-89136-29-2
- Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? (in Finnish) Viisukuppila, 18 April 2005
- The Eurovision Song Contest (1968) - Full cast and crew IMDb
- Tchernia, Pierre et al. (6 April 1968). 13ème Concours Eurovision de la Chanson 1969 [13th Eurovision Song Contest 1968] (Television production). United Kingdom: BBC, ORTF (commentary).
- CONCOURS EUROVISION DE LA CHANSON 1968 (in French) SongContest
- Eurovision Song Contest 1968 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Songs4Europe.com
- Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
- NRK.no[dead link]
- Spanish Eurovision commentator José María Iñigo passed away Eurovision.tv
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