Editorials & Opinion

Xtra’s pick of the 50s & 60s

Going back more than 50 years here, remembering one of the least deserved nul points of the history of the contest. Matteo introduces us to a special jazzy song.

Sweden 1963: Monica Zetterlund – En Gång i Stockholm (joint 13th place)

There was a time where the 12 points didn’t exist. For almost 20 years the contest tried to find a unique way to awarding points. And in 1963 the procedure requested every nation to award points from 1 to 5 to all the other contestants.
France passed on the organisation of the contest, having it already done not many years before, so the BBC stepped in – appointing Katie Boyle as the host.
Sixteen countries showed up in White City, at the BBC Television Centre – no debuting, no returning, no withdrawing for that year – and Denmark won for the first time, with Switzerland and Italy in the running.
Four countries had to taste the nul points medicine, with Sweden being one of them.
Monica Zetterlund had already participated in Melodifestivalen in 1962 coming 2nd, winning Melodifestivalen in 1963 was just the beginning of a big career.
As described by the commentator on the YouTube video available: she already had an international career and was already known even in the UK.
Sweden came last and in 1964 the artist decided to boycott the contest, making the public broadcaster withdraw from Eurovision.
“En gång i Stockholm” is still one of the most beautiful and elegant composition to have been on stage, with the poor result blamed on the “different” style, too much jazzy for the contest.
Monica passed away in 2005 and was remembered in the 2015 Melodifestivalen in a black and white rendition of the song by Sanna Nielsen.

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