Katrina And The Waves

Love Shine A Light
10.0/10 rating 1 vote

Draw Position 24, Final Position 1, Points (Final) 227

"Love Shine a Light" was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1997, performed by Katrina and the Waves as the 1997 Eurovision entrant by the UK. It is the group's biggest success since "Walking on Sunshine" 12 years earlier.

The song was composed by the groups's guitarist and regular songwriter Kimberley Rew following a request from the brother of the group's drummer Alex Cooper for an anthem for The Samaritans. Advised that the completed song had the sound of a Eurovision contender, Katrina and the Waves sought the opinion of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's breakfast presenter (and Head of Music) Dan Chisholm, who had previously entered the contest and subsequently agreed to meet with their manager Carmina Cooper. Upon hearing it, Dan insisted it would win and urged them to enter, before playing it on-air for the first time and announcing it as "the song which will win this year's Eurovision Song Contest". The band managed to get "Love Shine a Light" entered in the Great British Song Contest – the UK national preliminary round for Eurovision 1997 – at the last minute. One of eight songs aired in the Great British Song Contest semi-final broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on February 7, 1997, "Love Shine a Light" was one of four songs advanced by televote to the Great British Song Contest final a live performance show broadcast by BBC TV on March 9, 1997 following which "Love Shine a Light" was announced as the 1997 UK entrant in Eurovision, the song having received 69,834 televotes – 11,138 more than the second place finisher.

On the night of the Eurovision 1997 final – held on 3 May 1997 in the Point Theatre, Dublin – "Love Shine a Light" won the contest easily, scoring an unprecedented 227 points; this record was passed only in 2004, when the introduction of the semi-final greatly expanded the number of countries voting in the final (indeed, entire top three polled more than 227 points that year). It also received the maximum 12 points from ten countries, a feat not matched until 2005 and not beaten until 2009.

By a more directly comparable measure, "Love Shine a Light" received an average of 9.458 points per country or 78.82% of total votes available, the third-highest in the history of the present voting system, behind only "Save Your Kisses for Me" by Brotherhood of Man in 1976 (9.647 points per jury, 80.39% of available points) and "Ein bißchen Frieden" by Nicole in 1982 (9.470 votes per jury, 78.91% of available points). Furthermore, the song received maximum points from ten of twenty-four countries (41.7%), also the third highest of all time behind "Non ho l'età" by Gigliola Cinquetti in 1964 (which received the then-maximum 5 points from eight of fifteen countries, or 53.3%) and "Ein bißchen Frieden" (12 points from nine of seventeen countries, or 52.9%).

Katrina Leskanich, lead singer of the band, commented that it was the second landslide of the week – the Labour Party led by Tony Blair had won the UK general election held two days earlier, on 1 May 1997.

A remix of the song was performed during the UK selection process final of 2008, Eurovision: Your Decision.

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Love Shine A Light

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