ABBA Bjorn Ulvaeus shocked to discover the UK give him 'nil points' at Eurovision for 'Waterloo'
9 May 2023, 14:18
Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed it took him nearly 50 years to find out the UK gave ABBA no points at Eurovision in 1974.
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The musician, 77, only discovered the UK's 'nil points' rating late last year.
Appearing on This Morning, Ulvaeus told Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes he made the discovery very recently.
“I only learnt that actually on New Year's Eve or the day before," he told the pair.
"The last surviving member of the jury I talked to interviewed, and he said that the UK gave us nil point and I always thought it was 12."
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Speaking about the upcoming Eurovision competition due to descend on Liverpool from May 9, Bjorn recalled his own memories of the competition and the night band stormed to victory in 1974.
The Eurovision Song Contest took place held at the Brighton Dome on 6 April 1974.
Seventeen nations took part and it was the first year Greece joined the competition.
Watch ABBA perform 'Waterloo' at Eurovision in 1974 below:
ABBA’s winning performance of 'Waterloo' on Eurovision
"I remember funnily enough the shuttle bus from the hotel to the actual arena where my outfit was so tight, I couldn’t sit down…I was slightly overweight," Bjorn recalled.
“But then I also remembered walking up and down the corridor during the voting and suddenly Benny shouting ‘Oh we’ve won!’ because he was watching the screen and the scoreboard.
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"He was better at maths than me and he knew that no one could take us at that moment and it was so great."
ABBA's song 'Waterloo' was a standout star and won the entire show, eventually going on to become number one in several countries and selling over six million copies – making it one of the best-selling songs of all time.
In a previous interview, Bjorn said he felt the move by the UK may have been tactical, because many people thought the UK's entry, Olivia Newton-John, was going to win the whole show.
Bjorn beautifully plays the piano in ABBA TikTok clip
Newton-John's track 'Long Live Love' would have given the Brits a third victory, however what no one could have predicted was that a little-known pop act from Sweden would blow everyone else out of the water.
Yet the UK gave Sweden 'nul points' for their performance on the night, prompting songwriter Björn Ulvaeus to say 47 years later that they must have viewed ABBA as a possible threat.
"It certainly could have been," he told the BBC, "Because the Brits were the first ones to embrace us after winning, so the jury could have been as cunning as that - [it's] very likely actually.
"Because it's kind of strange they would give us zero points. It sounds like they were trying to do something cunning."