The Eurovision Song Contest 1994 was the 39th Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 30 April 1994 in the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. It was the last time the contest was held in April. The presenters were Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and Gerry Ryan.
The pair hosted the evening in French, English and Irish. Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan from Ireland were the winners of this Eurovision with a song written by Brendan Graham, Rock 'n' Roll Kids.
Due to the fact that so many countries wished to participate in the 1994 contest, the European Broadcasting Union decided to adopt a relegation system.
It would mean that the seven countries that finished at the bottom were relegated and couldn't participate in the 1994 edition of the show. Instead, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia made their debut. However, Italy and Luxembourg withdrew voluntarily, so in the end only the bottom five countries of the 1993 contest in Millstreet - Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Denmark and Belgium - were relegated.
This was a record sixth victory for Ireland, giving it the outright record number of victories at the Eurovision Song Contest. It was also the first time and the only time so far, that the contest had been won by the same country in three consecutive years. This was broken in the next year, when Secret Garden won for Norway.
The biggest success story to come out of the 1994 contest was the interval act Riverdance, which would go on to become a worldwide phenomenon as a full-length stage show. The biggest commercial success of the 1994 contest was not one of the songs, but the interval act.
Each country had a jury who awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points for their top ten songs. With advances in technology, this was the first contest in which the spokesperson for each national jury appeared on-screen, live from their own countries. In the early stages of the voting it looked as if Hungary was surging to victory in its first-ever Eurovision appearance, winning the maximum twelve points from the first three juries. However, this turned out to be completely deceptive, as from that point on it was virtually one-way traffic for Ireland, which became the first country to win the contest for a third year in succession.
- Ireland's entry became the first winner to score over 200 points.
- This was the first time a winning nation staged the contest in consecutive years.
- Co-presenter Gerry Ryan passed away on 30 April 2010, 16 years to the day he hosted the contest.
- Moya Doherty was the 1994 contest's producer. She would go on to produce the Riverdance stage show with her husband John McColgan.