22 August – I only want to be close to you

It’s a fact that the Eurovision semi-final isn’t a 21st Century phenomenon. Semi-finals of sorts happened in 1993 and 1996. But it’s always been the case that a song that qualifies from a semi-final way down the list is unlikely to win.

In 1996, 22 songs got to qualify from an audio semi-final for the contest in Oslo. Only the hosts were through automatically. Finland’s lucky finalists was today’s birthday girl Jasmine Tatjana Anette Valentin. She qualified in 22nd place from the semi-final, although she didn’t know that at the time. It could have been another country instead if it wasn’t for a countback rule. Anyway, Jasmine cut a cheery soul in the Saturday night final and was rewarded with a whole nine points, all from the Nordic area of Europe. Her semi-final points came from several non-Nordics, so it’s a wonder what happened to her support.

Jasmine is 45 today.

Hyvää syntymäpäivää, Jasmine!

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