12 January 2016

Eurovision 1975: And the UK's 12 Points Go to...The Netherlands!

Teach-In celebrate 1975 Eurovision victory for The Netherlands with Ding A Dong

"And twelve points go to..."

It was 1975 and a new scoring system had just been introduced at the Eurovision Song Contest - one which is still employed today. Those famous words may have since been etched into the cultural landscape, but to whom have the UK's twelve points been awarded over the years? Did the Brits generally agree with the winner or did they often prefer another song?

What was the UK's decision in 1975?

If the 1974 Contest was any kind of barometer of the UK's nose for a winner, then the British had clearly been thrown off the scent. Of course, the much-lauded ABBA were the champs that year, but the UK judges decided the Swedish group deserved nothing - and that's exactly what they gave them!

1975 Eurovision Song Contest Logo
1975 was different, though. Nineteen acts took to the stage in Stockholm with The Shadows from the UK starting out as the competition's favourites. However, as the voting progressed, it became clear that the result was likely between two nations: the Brits and the Dutch.

By the time it was the UK's turn to vote - the 9th country to award points - The Netherlands had collected just one set of maximum votes and had handed The Shadows just a paltry four points. In comparison, the UK had received twelve points from three countries and looked worthy of their pre-Contest status.

As it turned out, the United Kingdom's top mark went to the Dutch, beginning a steady stream of twelve points heading in the direction of The Netherlands in the second half of the voting. It was enough to seal a fourth victory for the Pays Bas (Holland to you and me), this year represented by Teach-In and their naggingly catchy ditty, Ding-A-Dong.

By this time, the band had been around for six years with group members seemingly changing on a regular basis. At home, they had enjoyed moderate success on the Dutch charts during 1974, while one of their singles - In the Summernight - even found favour in South Africa.

But, of course, it was the band's Eurovision victory which really brought them to international attention - if only for a short period. Ding-A-Dong climbed into most European charts - notably topping both the listings in Switzerland and Norway, while even managing a Top 20 placing in the UK. Perhaps more surprising was the song's popularity in the US where it scaled the Adult Contemporary chart to peak at Number 22.

This success brought its own pressures however and, after yet more personnel changes, the band split for good in the early 1980s leaving in its wake one of Eurovision's more memorable, yet lyrically bizarre, winners.

 The UK's Eurovision Top 3 in 1975

The Netherlands: Teach-In: Ding-A-Dong - 12 points
Italy: Wess and Dori Ghezzi: Era - 10 points

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