BIRTHDAY: Esther Ofarim representing Switzerland is 78 today
Picture the scenario: you’ve heard of the Eurovision Song Contest and think you’re good enough to compete. But your nation can’t or won’t participate. What do you do? You find a country that will.
It’s happened many times. Czechs singing for Austria, Australians singing for the UK, Greeks singing for Luxembourg. All of these countries can now participate in their own right. In 1963, Israel was still 10 years away from participating, but today’s birthday girl אסתר עופרים/Esther Ofarim (née Esther Zaied) managed to get the Swiss gig, singing in very passable French. Her French was that good that she almost won. At the end of the voting, Ms O had the most points. But we had to go back to the Norwegians to clarify their votes. Strangely enough, they only got it right the second time, giving a win to Denmark. I’m sure it was all above board. Well Esther got to be runner-up, and it would be 23 years before our favourite Confederation would reach that position again.
Authors: Riigi Ametnik, John Stanton