After a quarter of a century as ESC participants, little Norway finally managed to win the competition in 1985, and that meant that in the year 1986, the event of the year for us fans would take place on Norwegian soil.

In good Norwegian social democratic spirit, each city with sufficient stage space and self-confidence believed that they should be given the honor of hosting this competition.

It turned out that there was a battle between the largest cities in the country, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, and already in the summer of 1985, NRK told the Norwegian people that Bergen was the city with a capital B in the ESC context.

The rumors say that Stavanger was a good second in this race and as a plaster on the wound they were thus able to organize the Norwegian final in 1986.

So for the first time, Oslo was cheated of everything and District Norway could rub its hands in great joy over this I should think and this year was basically a bit of a debut year for so many.

With 4,000 spectators in the hall, this was the most visited final before large halls were used in Oslo and Trondheim a few years later, and things like smoke and pyro, which we often see nowadays, also made their debut in the MGP context.

As if these weren’t enough debuts, the winning song “Romeo” had drag artists on stage with them, and we had never seen that in this context before, and in many ways, drag as entertainment also got a bit of a stamp of approval on this particular evening.

The Norwegian final took place on 22 March and already on 3 May was the international final, and you can probably say that both Bergen and perhaps the whole of Norway went a little off the hinges, especially if you remember perhaps the speculations about what the presenter Åse Kleveland was going to wear, all 89 % of the Norwegian population turned on the TV this Saturday evening and found out exactly that.

For someone who lived in Northern Norway at this time, going to Bergen to experience it all live was probably not entirely relevant, but since Posten was one of the sponsors, they sold the official program at the post offices and of course you had to get a copy of it.

And a whole new world opened up inside the booklet, in addition to pictures of all the artists, there were also the lyrics to all the songs, so you could finally learn the songs properly.

My favorite this year was Yugoslavia, Doris Dragovic who sang the song “Zeljo Moja”, and believe me I still know this song by heart and when I sang it to someone in the Croatian delegation the year I met them they claimed I sang in perfect Croatian .

When it comes to various records, the international final this year has a record that will forever stand, Sandra Kim who won was 13 years old and will forever be able to boast that she is the youngest winning artist ever.

I have never met her, but I met Doris in Jerusalem in 1999 and then I told her that she had my favorite song back in 1986, unfortunately I was too shy to sing a bit of her song, just as well to hear her sing it instead.

Unlike Morten I do not have good memories of Eurovision 1986. The first is that I was unable to get a visa for Norway. I had visas for Norway in 1983 and 1984 but then I just toured there. Unfortunately this time I wrote on my application that I want to attend the Eurovision song contest and due to the political situation, I did not get the visa. The songs were also not good and I love just one, Ireland. Actually 1986 is for me the worst year of the 80’s which I  regard as the  best decade of Eurovision.

Featured image – Youtube

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