Today back in 1981 Europe made their mind up and United Kingdom's Bucks Fizz with their revolutionary choreography won the 26th Eurovision song contest at Simmonscourt Pavilion of the Royal Dublin Society. All of 20 countries were present with Cyprys debuting. Israel returned after winning 1978 and 1979 and declining to host and participate in 1980. Also Yogoslavia returned but Italy stayed home and would only return two years later, as did Morocco and we haven't seen them since....
A lot of returnees in this edition: the 1961 winner Jean Claude Pascal (LUX), Björn Skifts (SWE), Tommy Seebach (DEN), Cheryl Baker (UK) and Maxi from Sheeba (IRE). Both Cheryl and Maxi were once again present in groups while Maerty Brem (AUT) now presented himself as solo artist. And most notably the Swiss Peter, Sue & Marc returning for the fourth time - and singing in fourth language! This time they opted for Italian after trying in French, English and German and scored 4th place with Io senza te, a true classic.
Germany was again 2nd with Lena Valaitis (and Ralph Siegel) only 4 points behind the winner. France scored 3rd with Jean Gabilou. UK scored however only twice 12 points while Germany and France both did 4 times and Switzerland even 5 times!
A lot of sour grapes afterwards. France withdraw next year and Swedish Björn Skifts voiced his concern this is no longer a singing and song contest with all those dancing girls and skirt stripping acts. Makes me wonder what he thinks about it now? :-)
Bucks Fizz went on to score three UK #1s in a short time and continued recording rather succesfully for a few years. After several changes in line up, lawsuits about the name rights and all that they are still around. Two separate groups that is.