Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
Final date 22 October 2005
Venue Forum Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
Presenter(s) Katrina Leskanich
Renārs Kaupers
Host broadcaster EBU, DR
Interval act Riverdance,
Ronan Keating,
Various medleys
Number of entries 14 songs from 1958 to 2005
Voting system Televoting and juries; each country awarded 1-8, 10, and 12 points to their ten favourite songs
Winning song "Waterloo" by ABBA

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest was a television programme organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to commemorate the Eurovision Song Contest's fiftieth anniversary and to determine the Contest's most popular entrant of its fifty years. It took place at Forum, Copenhagen on 22 October 2005. The host broadcaster was Danmarks Radio (DR). Fourteen songs from the Contest's first half-century, chosen through an internet poll and by a jury, contested the event.[1] Thirty-one EBU-member countries broadcast the concert (although the United Kingdom, Italy and France did not) and televoting and juries in these countries decided the winner.[2] 2.5 million votes were cast in total on the night.[3]

The event was hosted by Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers. The event was won by Swedish group ABBA, performing "Waterloo"; the band had originally won the Contest for Sweden in 1974.

To coincide with the event, the EBU released two CDs featuring Eurovision songs from the previous fifty years. Two DVDs with original Eurovision performances of these songs were also released.[4]

Selection of venue and hosts[edit]

In June 2004, the European Broadcasting Union announced that it was to hold a concert to celebrate fifty years of the Eurovision Song Contest. The event was to be held on 16 October 2005 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. The BBC was to host the concert.[5] The Royal Albert Hall was reportedly unavailable, so in August 2004 the EBU announced that DR would stage the event instead. Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius said that Denmark's previous experience of hosting Eurovision events (the 2001 Contest and the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest) were influential in the Union's choice. 1998 Eurovision winner Dana International, who appeared at the event, later went to suggest that the reason behind the change of host country was also due to the fact that the BBC wanted to present the show "with humour" as thought to poke fun at the Contest, an idea that proved to be less popular with the EBU. The BBC went on to broadcast their own 50th anniversary program.[6] The event was codenamed Extravaganza.[7] On 25 October 2004 Copenhagen was confirmed as the host city for the event, which was now scheduled to take place on 22 October 2005.[8] In May 2005 Congratulations was confirmed as the official name of the concert. A month later DR announced that Forum Copenhagen would host the programme.[9] On 9 September 2005 DR announced that Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers would present the concert. Leskanich was the lead singer of Katrina and The Waves, who won the Contest for the United Kingdom in 1997. Kaupers is the lead singer of Latvian group Brainstorm, who represented Latvia on its debut in the Contest in 2000.[10]


Thirty-one countries broadcast the event and participated in the voting. The BBC, RAI and France Télévisions chose not to broadcast the event. Søren Therkelsen, the commissioning editor of the event, said he was "disappointed" at the broadcasters' decision not to transmit the show.[11] The event was also broadcast delayed to Albania, Armenia, Australia although these countries did not vote.[12] The participating broadcasters were:[2]


Fourteen songs would compete in Congratulations. In May 2005 the EBU opened a poll on its website to decide ten songs that would contest the event.[13] Voters chose their two favourite songs from each of five decades: 1956 to 1965, 1966 to 1975, 1976 to 1985, 1986 to 1995 and 1996 to 2005. The remaining four songs would be selected by the EBU's Reference Group.[1] On 16 June 2005 the fourteen chosen songs were announced, although no indication was given as to which had been chosen online and which by the Reference Group.[14]

The selected songs were:

Song Artist Songwriters Year Country Position
Nel blu dipinto di blu Domenico Modugno Domenico Modugno, Franco Migliacci 1958  Italy 3rd
Poupée de cire, poupée de son France Gall Serge Gainsbourg 1965  Luxembourg 1st
Congratulations Cliff Richard Phil Coulter, Bill Martin 1968  United Kingdom 2nd
Eres tú Mocedades Juan Carlos Calderon 1973  Spain 2nd
Waterloo ABBA Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Stikkan Anderson 1974  Sweden 1st
Save Your Kisses for Me Brotherhood of Man Tony Hiller, Lee Sheriden, Martin Lee 1976  United Kingdom 1st
What's Another Year? Johnny Logan Shay Healy 1980  Ireland 1st
Ein bißchen Frieden Nicole Ralph Siegel, Bernd Meinunger 1982  Germany 1st
Hold Me Now Johnny Logan Johnny Logan 1987  Ireland 1st
Ne partez pas sans moi Celine Dion Nella Martinetti, Atilla Şereftuğ 1988   Switzerland 1st
Diva Dana International Yoav Ginai, Svika Pik 1998  Israel 1st
Fly on the Wings of Love Olsen Brothers Jørgen Olsen 2000  Denmark 1st
Every Way That I Can Sertab Erener Sertab Erener, Demir Demirkan 2003  Turkey 1st
My Number One Helena Paparizou Christos Dantis, Natalia Germanou 2005  Greece 1st

Eleven of the fourteen songs were Eurovision winners; only "Nel blu di pinto di blu", "Congratulations" and "Eres Tú" (which all finished in the top three at the Contest) were not. Two countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland, were represented twice on the list. Johnny Logan, who won the Contest twice for Ireland as a singer, had both of his songs featured on the list.


The show started with the traditional Eurovision "Te Deum" theme followed by a message from Cliff Richard. After a quick montage of all 14 songs, the orchestra began playing "Ding-A-Dong" (Netherlands 1975), with dancers on stage. "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (Israel 1978), "Le dernier qui a parlé..." (France 1991), and "Dschinghis Khan" (Germany 1979) was also played and accompanied by choreography, which was then followed by "Love Shine a Light" (UK 1997) sung by the co-host, Katrina Leskanich, who came out with flag holders of all the nations who ever participated in Eurovision.

Throughout the telecast, a number of highlights segments were presented which showed montages of various Eurovision performances which were either interesting, notable or unorthodox. There were 6 assortments, which were under the categories described by the hosts as 'past winners', 'political, daring, larger than life', 'cute men', 'unforgettable interpretation of dance', 'girlpower' and 'close/narrow second place finishers'. A number of high-profile Eurovision artists returned to help introduce and present the show, these were: Carola Häggkvist, Massiel, Dana International, Birthe Wilke, Anne-Marie David, Sandra Kim, Elisabeth Andreassen, Hanne Krogh, Olsen Brothers, Emilija Kokić, Marie Myriam, Sertab Erener, Elena Paparizou, Nicole & Hugo, Cheryl Baker and Lys Assia. Cliff Richard and Nicole gave pre-recorded messages as they were unable to attend.

During the show, there were many presentations by various guest artists during the voting and tallying period. These consisted of the Finnish shouting choir Mieskuoro Huutajat, Riverdance (the 1994 interval act), Ronan Keating (the 1997 co-host), and Johnny Logan, singing his new single When a Woman Loves a Man, as well as an appearance by the Belgian duo of 1973, Nicole & Hugo.

There were three medleys, consisting of performances of past Eurovision songs. The first consisted of : Dana International, singing Parlez-vous Francais (originally performed by Baccara for Luxembourg in Eurovision Song Contest 1978); Carola Haggkvist, singing Främling (1983, 3rd place); Alsou, singing Solo (2000, 2nd); Fabrizio Faniello, singing Another Summer Night (2001 9th); Marie Myriam, singing L'Amour est bleu (originally performed by Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg in 1967); Richard Herrey, singing "Let Me Be the One" (originally performed by The Shadows for United Kingdom in 1975; and Thomas Thordarson, singing Vi Maler Byen Rød (originally performed by Birthe Kjær for Denmark in 1989).

The second consisted of: Gali Atari, singing Hallelujah (1979, winner); Bobbysocks, singing La Det Swinge (1985, winner); Anne-Marie David, singing Après Toi (originally sung by Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg in 1972, winner); Lys Assia, singing Refrain (1956, winner), Sandra Kim singing Non ho l'Eta (originally sung by Gigliola Cinquetti for Italy in 1964, winner) and Bucks Fizz singing Making your Mind Up (1981).

The final medley was sung by Eimear Quinn, Charlie McGettigan, Jakob Sveistrup and Linda Martin, the Eurovision winners of 1996, 1994 and 1992, and (in Sveistrup's case), the 2005 Danish representative. All four acted as backup singers during the show.


Both juries and televoting were used at Congratulations; both having an equal influence over the vote. In the first round of voting, the number of songs was reduced to five. Each country awarded points from one to eight, then ten and finally twelve for their ten most popular songs. Unlike in the Contest proper, viewers were allowed to vote for songs which had represented their country. The top five songs were then subjected to another round of voting, where only six points and above were awarded. The voting was conducted in private, and the results were not announced until after the show. The song with the most points in the second round was the winner.

Forum Copenhagen, venue for the concert
Draw Song 1st round Place 2nd round Place
1 Congratulations 105 8 - -
2 What's Another Year? 74 12 - -
3 Diva 39 13 - -
4 Eres tú 90 11 - -
5 Ein bisschen Frieden 106 7 - -
6 Nel blu dipinto di blu 200 2 267 2
7 Waterloo 331 1 329 1
8 Fly on the Wings of Love 111 6 - -
9 Poupée de cire, poupée de son 37 14 - -
10 Every Way That I Can 104 9 - -
11 Ne partez pas sans moi 98 10 - -
12 Hold Me Now 182 3 262 3
13 Save Your Kisses for Me 154 5 230 5
14 My Number One 167 4 245 4


Opening Medley

Winners of Eurovision*

Unforgettable performances*

Men in Eurovision*

Dancing in Eurovision*

Women in Eurovision*

Eurovision Favourites

Eurovision Winners Medley

Second Places*

Medley ‘Backing vocals’

(* Prepared videos)



  1. ^ a b Michael Dwyer (20 October 2005). Dearth of the cool. The Age. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  2. ^ a b Participating broadcasters at the Wayback Machine (archived October 13, 2005). Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  3. ^ Jeffrey de Hart (25 October 2005). ABBA's "Waterloo" named best Eurovision song. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  4. ^ Roel Phillips (9 April 2005). 100 Eurovision songs on CD and DVD. Retrieved on 26 December 27.
  5. ^ Sietse Bakker (18 June 2004). 50th anniversary show to be held in London. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  6. ^ BBC (16 May 2006). Boom Bang a Bang: 50 Years of Eurovision. Retrieved on 26 January 2014.
  7. ^ Sietse Bakker (26 August 2004). 50th anniversary show in Denmark. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  8. ^ Roel Phillips (25 October 2004). Extravaganza on 22nd October in Copenhagen. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  9. ^ Sietse Bakker (16 June 2005). The 14 songs for Copenhagen. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  10. ^ Sietse Bakker (9 September 2005). Congratulations hosted by Katrina and Renars. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  11. ^ Sietse Bakker (19 August 2005). Therkelsen "disappointed" in British and French TV. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  12. ^ The 43rd EBU TV committee. EBU. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  13. ^ Happy birthday, Eurovision! at the Wayback Machine (archived May 22, 2005). Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  14. ^ "Congratulations" - 14 songs to compete at the Wayback Machine (archived August 28, 2005) (16 June 2005). Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^