Nearly 50 songs into the countdown and Şebnem Paker becomes our first artist to notch up two solo entries inside the Top 500. Her 1997 effort Dinle (see No. 465) was first up and 13 places higher is her debut performance from the year before.
We judged both songs to be of a similarly high standard, whereas on the Eurovision scoreboard Dinle’s 3rd place finish far eclipses Beşinci Mevsim’s 12th.
Beşinci Mevsim had been expected to do better: in 1996’s audio-only pre-qualification round (see No. 456) it finished 7th. That pre-selection round, though, eliminated from the final the Germans who are Turkey’s biggest voting benefactors and could have been relied upon to award a high mark. Had Germany given the same 12 points that they gave to Dinle the following year, Beşinci Mevsim would have been inside the Top 10.
I’ve written before how Dinle drew the dreaded second place performance spot but, in opening the show, perhaps Beşinci Mevsim suffered too. Being drawn first was once considered auspicious thanks to back-to-back wins by Teach-In and Brotherhood Of Man, however, no opening number has carried off the Eurovision prize since Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley by the Herreys way back in 1984 (see No. 441).