Home Composed Song Contest 1997
After a few years of improvised arrangements, the 1997 Home Composed Song Contest was organised - as recommended in the rules - by the previous year's winner, namely Tony Søgaard Olsen from Grindsted in Denmark. However, Tony declined to participate in the contest himself and defend his title.
This was a year in which several records would be broken. Not least concerning the number of participating songs - 18 in all, though this was reduced to 16 when Razorboy's songs (competing under the "United Kingdom North/West" banner) were withdrawn by the composer during the voting. Details of the entries are shown in the list below for completeness, but the songs are not included in the medley.
Debut entrants from Malta (Sunny Aquilina and Jason Cassar), Norway (Roy Vorland), the United Kingdom (Marie Bennett), Sweden (Mårten Eklund) and Portugal (Nuno Rodrigues) made this a contest in which the different corners of Europe were represented properly for perhaps the first time.
The voting was originally due to be conducted along the established lines of "12-10-8...", as in the Eurovision Song Contest. However, Razorboy's withdrawal came at an extremely late stage in proceedings, after most of the juries had already recorded and submitted their votes to the organiser. As Razorboy had received votes from many juries, the decision was taken to restructure the votes to read "12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3" with no 2 or 1 points awarded - in other words, with each jury voting for its top eight songs, and not ten as usual. This was seen as the only way to avoid a long delay as cassettes were sent backwards and forwards around the continent again.
There was also a further complication when it turned out that Sweden had given 6 points twice, leaving out its 5 points altogether. However, although one of the two recipients of 6 points was the winning song "Min lengsel", even a 5-point award to the Norwegian song would not have stopped Roy Vorland from claiming victory over the Maltese entry performed by Alexander Schembri - albeit in a "Carola vs. Amina"-style countback of the number of ten-point scores awarded.
And after all that, the Maltese songs were subsequently disqualified after it was belatedly established that they were professional (very much in breach of Home Composed rules!), to the extent that one of them had even taken part in a Eurovision national final a couple of years earlier. Fortunately, these things would soon become a lot easier to discover with the rise of the internet! In any case, the points they received are shown here as announced, together with the revised final positions for all of the songs that originally finished below them. It's safe to say that the disqualification didn't hurt Chiara's career, anyway...
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table there was another Home Composed "first", as two songs received no points at all. The unfortunates were the British band B.G.H.B. and Sweden's Mårten Eklund and Camilla Högberg.
Entries and results
Songs withdrawn before the voting was complete:
|02||United Kingdom North/West||Let's Spend This Life Together||Razorboy||Razorboy||Razorboy|
|12||United Kingdom North/West||Angel||Razorboy||Razorboy||Razorboy|
Songs disqualified after the contest and removed from the final ranking:
|01||Malta||Ismaghni ftit habib||Chiara||Jason Cassar||Sunny Aquilina||58|
|11||Malta||Will I Know?||Alexander Schembri||Jason Cassar||Jason Cassar||61|
HCSC 1997 winner: Roy Vorland - Min lengsel
Recap of all HCSC 1997 songs in draw order
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