As the voting for the OGAE Second Chance Contest is still taking place, a second one will soon start. The OGAE Retro Contest, this year for 1971, is about to begin. 25 songs, 29 juries, including a newcomer, and some good vibes from the only year Monaco won the contest.
What is the Retro Contest?
The “Retro Contest” is officially the “OGAE Retrospective Second Chance Contest”. Indeed, the Second Chance contest started in 1987: national clubs select a song from their national selection (but not its winner, obviously), giving them a second chance in an international contest. However, there had been many national selections before 1987. Don’t their songs deserve a second chance too?
That’s why, in 2003, the OGAE launched the Retrospective Second Chance Contest 1986. National clubs did not only send a song from their 2003 national selections (Sweden’s Alcazar won that, by the way), but also from their 1986 selections (from those who had one). The Netherlands won the first Retro Contest, with Dee Dee’s “Fata Morgana”. Since then, the Retro contest has been held each year, starting a few weeks after the modern Second Chance Contest. And each year, we go one year earlier (1986 Retro in 2003, 1985 Retro in 2004, etc.). This year, it’s 1971.
The Retro Contest has one particular feature: it has two categories. In the main category, songs from national (or sometimes internal) selections compete to take the trophy. But clubs from countries that did not have a national selection, or did not participate in Eurovision, or did not… exist, at the time, can still participate, in the “Guest Jury Hits” category. They only have to send one of their hit songs from 1971. OGAE Rest of the World takes part in this category and won with songs from the USA and even Jamaica.
Of course, participating clubs vote in both categories. It is also possible to vote without sending a song in either category.
The 1971 lineups
This year, 29 countries take part: 12 in the main category, 13 in the Guest Jury Hits, and the rest only vote.
- Norway – “Maxi-Mii-Mini” | Gro Anita Schøn
- Finland – “Rajan Takaa” | Cumulus
- United Kingdom – “Someone To Love Me” | Clodagh Rogers
- Belgium – “Das Vreemder Man” | Ann Christy
- Sweden – “Heja Mamma” | Family Four
- The Netherlands – “Vandaag Begint De Toekomst” | Saskia & Serge
- Austria – “I Hob Di” | Marianne Mendt
- Germany – “Alle Menschen Auf Der Erde” | Katja Ebstein
- Malta – “Dlonk Dlonk” | Enzo Gusman
- Portugal – “Flor Sem Tempo” | Paulo do Carvalho
- Ireland – “Going Away” | Red Hurley
- Italy – “Che Sara” | Ricchi e Poveri
Among those, several artists did represent their country at one point or another: before, after or even during Eurovision 1971. Indeed, artists like Family Four (Sweden), Clodagh Rodgers (UK), Katja Ebstein (Germany) and Saskia & Serge (The Netherlands) were all the unique artists of their National Final. These finals were used to select a song, not an artist.
Melodifestivalen 1971 was an interesting edition in that respect. Three artists (Family Four, Tommy Körberg and Sylvia Vrethammar) performed one song in each of the five semi-finals. Family Four won all of them, and competed alone in the Final, where “Heja Mamma” finished third.
Finally, other artists had participated in previous or participated in “future” editions of the contests. Ann Christy for Belgium in 1975, Red Hurley for Ireland in 1976, Ricchi e Poveri for Italy in 1978, among others.
And those others are two very important Eurovision artists. Paulo do Carvalho sung for Portugal in 1974 and 1977. His 1974 song, “E Depois do Adeus”, was used as a signal to launch the Carnation Revolution against the Portuguese dictatorship, on April 25th (almost three weeks after Eurovision). As for the other artist, it is Katja Ebstein, who represented Germany in 1970 (3rd), 1971 (3rd) and 1980 (2nd), finishing in the Top 3 each year. As such, she is considered the most successful non-winner of Eurovision history.
The Guest Jury Hits
This year, Estonia returns, Australia makes its debut, and OGAE Rest of the World decided to be represented by a song from the USA.
- Hungary – “Gedeon Bacsi” | Pal Szecsi
- Switzerland – “Sheila Baby” | Pepe Lienhard Band
- Spain – “Noellia” | Nino Bravo
- Russia – “Lesnoy Olen” | Aida Vedischeva
- Croatia – “Gazi Dragi Srce Moje” | Gabi Novak
- Poland – “Dni Których Jeszczw Nie Znamy” | Marek Grechuta
- Greece – “San Me Koitas” | Afroditi Manou & Giannis Fertis
- Estonia – “Mis Varvi On Armastus” | Uno Loop
- Australia – “Eagle Rock” | Daddy Cool
- France – “Pour un flirt” | Michel Delpech
- Macedonia – “Chija Si” | Slave Dimitrov
- United States (OGAE Rest of the World) – “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves” | Cher
- Serbia – “Jedan Gros” | Korni Grupa
Once again, there are a few Eurovision faces in the list. Two bands, actually. Pepe Lienhard Band represented Switzerland in 1977 (6th place), and Korni Grupa represented Yugoslavia in 1974 in Brighton, where they finished 12th (a bad result which quickly led them to split, though they shortly reunited in 1987).
The non-participating voters this year are Luxembourg, Albania, Slovenia and Romania.
Voting to open soon
No dates for the voting have yet been revealed. However, it usually takes place in August, OGAE members having the whole month to send their votes. Each national club then establish their national Top 10, and points are awarded in the Eurovision style. Each club votes in both categories, hence why they send two Top 10, and why there will be two winners.
Last year, the results were revealed in October, and the contest was won by Italy (Main Category) and France (Guest Jury).
==> You can listen to the songs on Sechuk.com, the historic specialist of the OGAE Second Chance contests. <==
The 1972 winners are once again in different categories, with two strong songs. Can they both repeat the feat? What are your favorite songs? Would you have chosen a different hit for your country? Tell us more on the comments below or on social media at @escxtra !
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