Eurovision Song Contest 2008

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Eurovision Song Contest 2008
Confluence of Sound
ESC Belgrade 2008.png
Dates
Semi-final 120 May 2008 (2008-05-20)
Semi-final 222 May 2008 (2008-05-22)
Final24 May 2008 (2008-05-24)
Host
VenueBelgrade Arena
Belgrade, Serbia
Presenter(s)
Directed bySven Stojanović
Executive supervisorSvante Stockselius
Executive producerSandra Šuša
Host broadcasterRadio Television of Serbia (RTS)
Opening act
Interval act
Websiteeurovision.tv/event/belgrade-2008 Edit this at Wikidata
Participants
Number of entries43
Debuting countries
Returning countriesNone
Non-returning countries Austria
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Italy in the Eurovision Song ContestNetherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Monaco in the Eurovision Song ContestLuxembourg in the Eurovision Song ContestSpain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Austria in the Eurovision Song ContestFrance in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Turkey in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Morocco in the Eurovision Song ContestCyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Slovakia in the Eurovision Song ContestHungary in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Andorra in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Czech Republic in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Montenegro in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008A coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries     Did not qualify from the semi final     Countries that participated in the past but not in 2008
Vote
Voting systemEach country awarded 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs.
Nul points in finalNone
Winning song
2007 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 2009

The Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was the 53rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Belgrade, Serbia, following the country's victory at the 2007 contest with the song "Molitva" by Marija Šerifović. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), the contest was held at the Belgrade Arena, and (for the first time) consisted of two semi-finals on 20 and 22 May, and a final on 24 May 2008. The three live shows were presented by Serbian television presenter Jovana Janković and musician Željko Joksimović.

Forty-three countries participated in the contest, the highest ever number of participants in the contest[4] beating the record of forty-two set the year before.[5] Azerbaijan and San Marino[6] participated for the first time, while Austria did not participate, mainly due to questions on the semi-final organisation as well as the politicization of the contest.[7]

The winner was Russia with the song "Believe", performed by Dima Bilan who wrote it with Jim Beanz. Ukraine, Greece, Armenia and Norway rounded out the top five. Armenia achieved their best result to date this year. Of the "Big Four" countries Spain placed the highest, finishing sixteenth, while the United Kingdom ended up in last place for the second time in their Eurovision history, after 2003.

The official website, eurovision.tv, streamed national finals for this year's contest live on ESCTV for the first time.[8] Furthermore, for the first time the winner has been awarded an official winner's trophy of the Eurovision Song Contest. The trophy is a handmade piece of sandblasted glass in the shape of a 1950s microphone.[9][10]

Location[edit]

Belgrade Arena, Belgrade - host venue of the 2008 contest.

Venue[edit]

Serbia gained the right to host the contest after Marija Šerifović won the 2007 contest in Helsinki, Finland. Since Serbia was the winner of the preceding contest, the 2008 contest was subsequently held there. The Belgrade Arena in Belgrade was chosen as the venue for the contest,[11] and is among the largest indoor arenas in Europe, with a total capacity of 25,000 seats.

On 14 September 2007, the Mayor of Helsinki handed over the "Eurovision keys" to the Deputy of Belgrade. This ceremony is meant to be a tradition from the 2008 contest and onward, and the ring contains a key from every city that has ever hosted the competition.[12]

Potential change of location[edit]

Following the unilateral Kosovo declaration of independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, which has resulted in protests and unrest across the country, the location of the event was considered to be changed.[13] Ukraine was considered an option since they came second in Eurovision Song Contest 2007. YLE were another option, as they hosted the previous year's competition in Helsinki, Finland.[14] Greece's Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT) also offered the EBU to host the contest in Athens, Greece again. It was later decided that the contest would stay in Belgrade, with the EBU giving support. RTS would gain a guarantee of safety and security from the government of Serbia for all visitors and participants of the contest.[13] The delegations of Albania, Croatia and Israel had special security.[15] In the end, the contest was held without any incidents.[13][15]

Visual design[edit]

Presenters Željko Joksimović and Jovana Janković during the first semi-final

RTS ran a competition that led to the creation of the 2008 contest's branding, logo and the stage.[16] The theme of the contest was based around the "confluence of sound". This was symbolic as Belgrade lies on the confluence of two European rivers, the Sava and Danube. The logo chosen, a treble clef, formed the graphical basis of the design created by Boris Miljković.[17]

The postcards in the first and second semi-final were based around the creation of the flag of the nation that was to perform next. Each post card had a short story related to each country and its people. During each postcard a short letter was displayed. All were in the national language of the artist's country, with the exception of the Serbian postcard, which consisted of "Welcome to Belgrade" and "Welcome to Serbia" in various languages and the Belgian postcard which was written in the constructed language the Belgian group performed in. The postcards were brought to an end by a stamp with this year's Eurovision logo.

According to RTS the stage represented native identities, history and modern themes, symbols and universally recognised messages. The confluence-themed stage also contained a large number of television and LCD display screens. The stage had settings for all new electronic possibilities including some movable parts of the stage.[18] It was designed by Chicago-based David Cushing.

The first semi-final was created around a city theme. The contest opened with a panorama of the city of Belgrade forming in the stage's background with two waves sliding down the stage to meet in the centre – at the confluence, the overall theme of the contest.

The second semi-final was based around the theme of water, which was enhanced by the look of the stage during the interval act where the water formed the main colours of the stage.

The grand final was based on the theme of the confluence. Construction of the stage lasted several days and was carried out by various teams from across Europe. Pyrotechnics were heavily used for the entries from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Finland, Germany, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Switzerland. The stage received positive feedback from the media and fans describing it as "one of the best looking stages in the history of the competition".[citation needed]

Format[edit]

Aleksandar Josipović as part of the opening act of the second semi-final

At a press conference in Helsinki in May 2007, Svante Stockselius, executive supervisor of the contest for the EBU, announced that the competition's format may be expanded to two semi-finals in 2008 or 2009.[19] On 28 September 2007 it was announced that the EBU had approved the plan of hosting two semi-finals in 2008.[20]

Based on research conducted by the EBU's tele-voting partner Digame, the semi-finalists were sorted into the two heats through the drawing of lots, which was seeded to keep countries that have a significant history of voting for each other apart.[citation needed] Each broadcaster had to broadcast the semi-final in which they took part, with the broadcasting of the other semi-final being optional. The draw for the semi-final allocation occurred in the City Assembly of Belgrade on Monday 28 January 2008 at 13:00 CET and was conducted by the hosts of the contest Jovana Janković and Željko Joksimović.

First, two envelopes with 'Semi-Final 1' and 'Semi-Final 2' were drawn. Then, three countries from each pot were chosen randomly to take part in the first semi-final and the other three in the second one. The country left in Pot 5 took part in the first envelope that is drawn. While, the country left in Pot 6 in the second one.[21]

The automatic grand finalist countries chose whether they would broadcast both semi-finals or just one, but viewers from these countries could only vote in one. From the draw conducted, it was decided which of the five grand finalist countries would broadcast and have voting rights in either of the events. The semi-finals were webcast live through Eurovision.tv. The top nine songs from the televoting qualified for the grand final, and a tenth was determined by the back-up juries. Twenty-five songs competed in the grand final.[22]

Semi-final allocation[edit]

On 24 January 2008, all 38 countries in the semi-finals were separated into the following pots based on voting history and geographical location:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6

Running order[edit]

The draw to decide the running order of the songs in each semi-final and the grand final was conducted at the Heads of Delegation meeting on 17 March 2008.[23]

Participating countries[edit]

  Countries in the first semi-final
  Countries in the second semi-final
  Countries voting in the first semi-final
  Countries voting in the second semi-final

On 21 December 2007, the EBU confirmed that 43 countries would be present in Belgrade.[24] San Marino, as well as the newest EBU member, Azerbaijan, made its debut at the 2008 contest. Austria did not compete; its broadcaster, ORF, said "we've already seen in 2007 that it's not the quality of the song, but the country of origin that determines the decision."[7]

Automatic grand finalists Germany and Spain exercised voting rights at the first semi-final. France, the United Kingdom and Serbia exercised voting rights at the second semi-final. Spain and France each broadcast only the semi-final in which they participated; Germany, Serbia and the UK screened both semi-finals (with Germany broadcasting on a delay).

Returning artists[edit]

Bold indicates a previous winner.

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Roberto Meloni (member of Pirates of the Sea)  Latvia 2007 (member of Bonaparti.lv)
Dima Bilan  Russia 2006
Gisela  Andorra 2002 (for  Spain, as backing vocalist for Rosa)
Charlotte Perrelli  Sweden 1999

Semi-final 1[edit]

The first semi-final was held on 20 May 2008. Germany and Spain voted in this semi-final.

  Televoting qualifiers
 Back-up jury qualifier
R/O Country Artist Song Language[25] Points Place[26]
1  Montenegro Stefan Filipović "Zauvijek volim te" (Заувијек волим те) Montenegrin 23 14
2  Israel Boaz "The Fire in Your Eyes" Hebrew[a] 104 5
3  Estonia Kreisiraadio "Leto svet" Serbian, German, Finnish 8 18
4  Moldova Geta Burlacu "A Century of Love" English 36 12
5  San Marino Miodio "Complice" Italian 5 19
6  Belgium Ishtar "O Julissi" Imaginary 16 17
7  Azerbaijan Elnur and Samir "Day After Day" English 96 6
8  Slovenia Rebeka Dremelj "Vrag naj vzame" Slovene 36 11
9  Norway Maria "Hold On Be Strong" English 106 4
10  Poland Isis Gee "For Life" English 42 10
11  Ireland Dustin the Turkey "Irelande Douze Pointe" English[b] 22 15
12  Andorra Gisela "Casanova" English[c] 22 16
13  Bosnia and Herzegovina Laka "Pokušaj" Bosnian 72 9
14  Armenia Sirusho "Qélé, Qélé" (Քելե Քելե) English, Armenian 139 2
15  Netherlands Hind "Your Heart Belongs to Me" English 27 13
16  Finland Teräsbetoni "Missä miehet ratsastaa" Finnish 79 8
17  Romania Nico and Vlad "Pe-o margine de lume" Romanian, Italian 94 7
18  Russia Dima Bilan "Believe" English 135 3
19  Greece Kalomira "Secret Combination" English 156 1

Semi-final 2[edit]

The second semi-final was held on 22 May 2008. The United Kingdom, France and Serbia voted in this semi-final.

  Televoting qualifiers
 Back-up jury qualifier
R/O Country Artist Song Language[25] Points Place[27]
1  Iceland Euroband "This Is My Life" English 68 8
2  Sweden Charlotte Perrelli "Hero" English 54 12
3  Turkey Mor ve Ötesi "Deli" Turkish 85 7
4  Ukraine Ani Lorak "Shady Lady" English 152 1
5  Lithuania Jeronimas Milius "Nomads in the Night" English 30 16
6  Albania Olta Boka "Zemrën e lamë peng" Albanian 67 9
7   Switzerland Paolo Meneguzzi "Era stupendo" Italian 47 13
8  Czech Republic Tereza Kerndlová "Have Some Fun" English 9 18
9  Belarus Ruslan Alehno "Hasta la vista" English[d] 27 17
10  Latvia Pirates of the Sea "Wolves of the Sea" English 86 6
11  Croatia Kraljevi ulice and 75 Cents "Romanca" Croatian 112 4
12  Bulgaria Deep Zone and Balthazar "DJ, Take Me Away" English 56 11
13  Denmark Simon Mathew "All Night Long" English 112 3
14  Georgia Diana Gurtskaya "Peace Will Come" English 107 5
15  Hungary Csézy "Candlelight" English, Hungarian 6 19
16  Malta Morena "Vodka" English[e] 38 14
17  Cyprus Evdokia Kadi "Femme Fatale" Greek 36 15
18  Macedonia Tamara, Vrčak and Adrijan "Let Me Love You" English 64 10
19  Portugal Vânia Fernandes "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" Portuguese 120 2

Final[edit]

The grand finalists were:

  • the four automatic qualifiers France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom;
  • the host country Serbia;
  • the top nine countries from the first semi-final plus one wildcard from the juries;
  • the top nine countries from the second semi-final plus one wildcard from the juries.

The grand final was held on 24 May 2008 and was won by Russia.

  Winner
R/O Country Artist Song Language[25] Points Place[28]
1  Romania Nico and Vlad "Pe-o margine de lume" Romanian, Italian 45 20
2  United Kingdom Andy Abraham "Even If" English 14 25
3  Albania Olta Boka "Zemrën e lamë peng" Albanian 55 17
4  Germany No Angels "Disappear" English 14 23
5  Armenia Sirusho "Qélé, Qélé" (Քելե Քելե) English, Armenian 199 4
6  Bosnia and Herzegovina Laka "Pokušaj" Bosnian 110 10
7  Israel Boaz "The Fire in Your Eyes" Hebrew[a] 124 9
8  Finland Teräsbetoni "Missä miehet ratsastaa" Finnish 35 22
9  Croatia Kraljevi ulice and 75 Cents "Romanca" Croatian 44 21
10  Poland Isis Gee "For Life" English 14 24
11  Iceland Euroband "This Is My Life" English 64 14
12  Turkey Mor ve Ötesi "Deli" Turkish 138 7
13  Portugal Vânia Fernandes "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" Portuguese 69 13
14  Latvia Pirates of the Sea "Wolves of the Sea" English 83 12
15  Sweden Charlotte Perrelli "Hero" English 47 18
16  Denmark Simon Mathew "All Night Long" English 60 15
17  Georgia Diana Gurtskaya "Peace Will Come" English 83 11
18  Ukraine Ani Lorak "Shady Lady" English 230 2
19  France Sébastien Tellier "Divine" English[f] 47 19
20  Azerbaijan Elnur and Samir "Day After Day" English 132 8
21  Greece Kalomira "Secret Combination" English 218 3
22  Spain Rodolfo Chikilicuatre "Baila el Chiki Chiki" Spanish, English 55 16
23  Serbia Jelena Tomašević feat. Bora Dugić "Oro" (Оро) Serbian 160 6
24  Russia Dima Bilan "Believe" English 272 1
25  Norway Maria "Hold On Be Strong" English 182 5

Detailed voting results[edit]

Semi-final 1[edit]

  Televoting qualifiers
 Back-up jury qualifier
Detailed voting results of semi-final 1[29][30]
Voting procedure used:
  100% televoting
  100% jury vote
Total score
Montenegro
Israel
Estonia
Moldova
San Marino
Belgium
Azerbaijan
Slovenia
Norway
Poland
Ireland
Andorra
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Armenia
Netherlands
Finland
Romania
Russia
Greece
Germany
Spain
Contestants
Montenegro 23 1 10 12
Israel 104 5 2 7 10 4 10 4 7 5 7 6 10 6 8 5 4 4
Estonia 8 1 7
Moldova 36 5 5 1 6 10 5 4
San Marino 5 2 3
Belgium 16 6 10
Azerbaijan 96 3 5 4 10 5 10 5 8 3 2 4 5 7 10 7 8
Slovenia 36 10 2 2 1 2 10 4 1 2 2
Norway 106 4 6 8 3 7 1 7 2 7 8 10 4 8 5 12 4 7 1 2
Poland 42 10 3 2 12 1 2 3 1 5 3
Ireland 22 1 3 7 4 1 2 1 2 1
Andorra 22 4 3 1 1 1 12
Bosnia and Herzegovina 72 12 1 6 4 12 12 3 7 8 7
Armenia 139 6 10 2 5 8 12 5 3 12 2 3 6 12 4 5 12 12 10 10
Netherlands 27 1 3 8 2 7 3 3
Finland 79 2 12 8 4 2 3 6 5 6 12 1 4 6 2 6
Romania 94 8 12 6 6 6 6 5 3 7 6 5 3 1 1 8 3 8
Russia 135 8 12 10 7 3 8 7 8 8 4 4 7 12 2 6 8 10 6 5
Greece 156 7 7 5 4 12 10 12 8 4 6 10 5 8 10 8 3 12 6 12 7

12 points[edit]

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the first semi-final:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
5  Armenia  Belgium,  Greece,  Netherlands,  Poland,  Russia
4  Greece  Azerbaijan,  Germany,  Romania,  San Marino
3  Bosnia and Herzegovina  Montenegro,  Norway,  Slovenia
2  Russia  Armenia,  Israel
 Finland  Andorra,  Estonia
1  Andorra  Spain
 Montenegro  Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Norway  Finland
 Poland  Ireland
 Romania  Moldova

Semi-final 2[edit]

  Televoting qualifiers
 Back-up jury qualifier
Detailed voting results of semi-final 2[31][32]
Voting procedure used:
  100% televoting
Total score
Iceland
Sweden
Turkey
Ukraine
Lithuania
Albania
Switzerland
Czech Republic
Belarus
Latvia
Croatia
Bulgaria
Denmark
Georgia
Hungary
Malta
Cyprus
Macedonia
Portugal
France
Serbia
United Kingdom
Contestants
Iceland 68 10 3 1 2 5 4 1 2 10 7 5 1 5 8 4
Sweden 54 8 2 3 1 3 12 1 7 4 3 1 3 6
Turkey 85 6 5 12 7 3 7 8 5 4 8 10 10
Ukraine 152 6 3 12 7 1 12 12 6 7 12 7 12 8 8 10 6 12 3 8
Lithuania 30 12 10 8
Albania 67 1 7 8 3 10 1 5 10 12 2 5 3
Switzerland 47 10 5 5 12 7 1 7
Czech Republic 9 1 2 1 5
Belarus 27 10 6 5 4 2
Latvia 86 7 8 2 12 5 6 6 1 6 6 6 4 10 2 5
Croatia 112 4 4 5 7 5 3 6 3 7 7 6 3 8 10 6 10 6 2 10
Bulgaria 56 5 6 6 1 2 2 1 1 3 2 8 7 1 6 5
Denmark 112 12 12 4 8 4 5 10 4 8 3 2 3 12 4 5 3 8 4 1
Georgia 107 2 1 10 12 10 8 10 10 4 2 10 12 2 7 7
Hungary 6 1 1 4
Malta 38 3 8 6 4 4 3 4 4 2
Cyprus 36 4 2 2 8 2 5 1 12
Macedonia 64 2 7 7 8 4 12 10 2 12
Portugal 120 10 5 8 4 6 12 7 8 3 8 5 7 6 3 3 12 6 7

12 points[edit]

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the second semi-final:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
6  Ukraine  Belarus,  Bulgaria,  Czech Republic,  Georgia,  Portugal,  Turkey
3  Denmark  Hungary,  Iceland,  Sweden
2  Georgia  Cyprus,  Ukraine
 Macedonia  Croatia,  Serbia
 Portugal  France,   Switzerland
1  Albania  Macedonia
 Cyprus  United Kingdom
 Latvia  Lithuania
 Lithuania  Latvia
 Sweden  Denmark
  Switzerland  Malta
 Turkey  Albania

Final[edit]

  Winner
Detailed voting results of the final[33][34]
Voting procedure used:
  100% televoting
  100% kury vote
Total score
United Kingdom
Macedonia
Ukraine
Germany
Estonia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Albania
Belgium
San Marino
Latvia
Bulgaria
Serbia
Israel
Cyprus
Moldova
Iceland
France
Romania
Portugal
Norway
Hungary
Andorra
Poland
Slovenia
Armenia
Czech Republic
Spain
Netherlands
Turkey
Malta
Ireland
Switzerland
Azerbaijan
Greece
Finland
Croatia
Sweden
Belarus
Lithuania
Russia
Montenegro
Georgia
Denmark
Contestants
Romania 45 1 6 3 12 4 4 12 3
United Kingdom 14 6 8
Albania 55 12 1 3 4 1 8 1 10 8 7
Germany 14 12 2
Armenia 199 1 7 6 6 2 12 8 8 5 8 10 2 1 12 4 12 5 12 10 12 10 12 2 7 12 1 12
Bosnia and Herzegovina 110 5 5 12 2 10 10 1 7 6 2 7 3 6 12 10 10 2
Israel 124 5 3 5 4 5 10 2 7 2 6 6 6 3 3 5 3 6 3 1 7 1 8 2 4 3 6 5 3
Finland 35 10 1 7 4 4 2 7
Croatia 44 2 1 2 10 5 3 1 3 8 2 3 1 2 1
Poland 14 4 10
Iceland 64 6 2 4 7 8 4 6 7 8 12
Turkey 138 8 7 4 10 8 10 10 4 5 10 8 2 5 10 6 12 4 3 2 6 4
Portugal 69 3 4 6 5 1 6 8 10 8 5 10 3
Latvia 83 10 7 4 8 2 3 2 7 12 4 3 10 3 2 6
Sweden 47 2 3 2 1 1 3 7 1 1 12 5 1 8
Denmark 60 3 3 2 7 12 5 12 2 2 4 1 5 2
Georgia 83 8 5 8 2 7 3 1 10 4 4 5 4 4 6 5 7
Ukraine 230 5 4 4 3 8 1 10 7 6 10 6 7 5 3 12 6 6 10 2 5 8 7 8 10 6 10 6 3 7 10 6 8 4 10 7
France 47 2 6 3 8 1 3 1 4 2 4 8 5
Azerbaijan 132 8 10 1 7 4 3 3 8 2 12 7 7 1 10 2 12 3 8 7 10 7
Greece 218 12 3 2 12 1 7 12 8 12 10 8 5 12 4 3 12 8 8 3 6 8 5 3 6 7 2 4 5 6 5 1 2 3 6 4 3
Spain 55 1 1 4 4 5 10 12 1 3 4 8 1 1
Serbia 160 10 8 12 5 4 5 1 2 7 7 6 7 4 12 3 6 8 1 12 2 5 10 6 1 4 12
Russia 272 6 12 7 12 4 6 3 12 6 10 12 8 10 1 10 6 5 10 5 6 7 12 7 5 1 5 8 5 8 7 10 6 12 12 8 8
Norway 182 7 6 8 2 7 2 7 6 1 4 7 5 10 5 2 4 1 8 7 6 4 2 3 7 5 2 12 1 12 5 4 5 5 10

12 points[edit]

Below is a summary of all 12 points in the grand final:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
8  Armenia  Belgium,  Czech Republic,  France,  Georgia,  Greece,  Netherlands,  Poland,  Russia
7  Russia  Armenia,  Belarus,  Estonia,  Israel,  Latvia,  Lithuania,  Ukraine
6  Greece  Albania,  Cyprus,  Germany,  Romania,  San Marino,  United Kingdom
4  Serbia  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Montenegro,  Slovenia,   Switzerland
2  Azerbaijan  Hungary,  Turkey
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Croatia,  Serbia
 Denmark  Iceland,  Norway
 Norway  Finland,  Sweden
 Romania  Moldova,  Spain
1  Albania  Macedonia
 Germany  Bulgaria
 Iceland  Denmark
 Latvia  Ireland
 Spain  Andorra
 Sweden  Malta
 Turkey  Azerbaijan
 Ukraine  Portugal

Spokespersons[edit]

The voting order and spokespersons during the grand final were as follows:[35]

  1.  United Kingdom – Carrie Grant[36]
  2.  Macedonia – Ognen Janeski
  3.  Ukraine – Marysya Horobets
  4.  Germany – Thomas Hermanns[37]
  5.  Estonia – Anna Sahlene[38]
  6.  Bosnia and Herzegovina – Melina Garibović[39]
  7.  Albania – Leon Menkshi
  8.  Belgium – Sandrine Van Handenhoven [nl][40]
  9.  San Marino – Roberto Moretti
  10.  Latvia – Kristīne Virsnīte[41]
  11.  Bulgaria – Valentina Voykova
  12.  Serbia – Dušica Spasić [sr]
  13.  Israel – Noa Barak-Weshler
  14.  Cyprus – Hristina Marouhou
  15.  Moldova – Vitalie Rotaru
  16.  Iceland – Brynja Þorgeirsdóttir [is]
  17.  France – Cyril Hanouna
  18.  Romania – Alina Sorescu
  19.  Portugal – Sabrina
  20.  Norway – Stian Barsnes-Simonsen
  21.  Hungary – Éva Novodomszky
  22.  Andorra – Alfred Llahí [ca]
  23.  Poland – Radek Brzózka [pl][42]
  24.  Slovenia – Peter Poles[43]
  25.  Armenia – Hrachuhi Utmazyan
  26.  Czech Republic – Petra Šubrtová
  27.  Spain – Ainhoa Arbizu [es][44]
  28.  Netherlands – Esther Hart[45]
  29.  Turkey – Meltem Ersan Yazgan[46]
  30.  Malta – Moira Delia
  31.  Ireland – Niamh Kavanagh
  32.   Switzerland – Cécile Bähler [de][47]
  33.  Azerbaijan – Leyla Aliyeva[48]
  34.  Greece – Alexis Kostalas [el]
  35.  Finland – Mikko Leppilampi[49]
  36.  Croatia – Barbara Kolar
  37.  Sweden – Björn Gustafsson
  38.  Belarus – Olga Barabanschikova
  39.  Lithuania – Rolandas Vilkončius [lt]
  40.  Russia – Oxana Fedorova
  41.  Montenegro – Nina Radulović
  42.  Georgia – Tika Patsatsia[50]
  43.  Denmark – Maria Montell [da]

Broadcasts[edit]

Most countries sent commentators to Belgrade or commentated from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, provide voting information.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Show(s) Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Albania All shows TVSH Leon Menkshi
 Andorra All shows ATV Meri Picart [ca] and Josep Lluís Trabal
 Armenia All shows Armenia 1 Felix Khacatryan and Hrachuhi Utmazyan [hy]
 Azerbaijan All shows İTV Isa Melikov and Husniyya Maharramova [az]
 Belarus All shows Belarus-1 Denis Kurian and Alexander Tikhanovich
 Belgium All shows één Dutch: Bart Peeters and André Vermeulen [51][52]
La Une French: Jean-Pierre Hautier and Jean-Louis Lahaye [fr]
Radio 2 Dutch: Michel Follet and Sven Pichal [nl]
La Première French: Patrick Duhamel [fr] and Corinne Boulangier [fr]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina All shows BHT 1 Dejan Kukrić [53]
 Bulgaria All shows Channel 1 Elena Rosberg and Georgi Kushvaliev
 Croatia All shows HRT Duško Ćurlić
 Cyprus All shows RIK 1 Melina Karageorgiou [54]
 Czech Republic All shows ČT1 Kateřina Kristelová [cs] [55]
 Denmark All shows DR1 Nikolaj Molbech
 Estonia All shows ETV Marko Reikop [38]
 Finland All shows YLE TV2 Finnish: Jaana Pelkonen, Mikko Peltola [fi] and Asko Murtomäki [fi]
YLE FST5 Swedish: Thomas Lundin [sv]
YLE Radio Suomi Finnish: Sanna Kojo and Jorma Hietamäki [56]
 France SF2 France 4 Peggy Olmi [fr] and Yann Renoard
Final France 3 Jean Paul Gaultier and Julien Lepers
France Bleu François Kevorkian
 Georgia All shows 1TV Bibi Kvachadze
 Germany All shows Das Erste Peter Urban [57]
NDR 2 Thomas Mohr
hr3 Tim Frühling [58]
 Greece All shows NET Betty and Mathildi Maggira
Deftero Programma Maria Kozakou [59]
 Hungary SF2/Final m1 Gábor Gundel Takács [hu] [60]
 Iceland Sjónvarpið Sigmar Guðmundsson [is] [61]
 Ireland Semi-finals RTÉ Two Marty Whelan [62]
Final RTÉ One
SF1/Final RTÉ Radio 1 Larry Gogan
 Israel All shows IBA No commentary
 Latvia All shows LTV Kārlis Streips [lv]
 Lithuania All shows LRT Darius Užkuraitis
 Macedonia All shows MRT Milanka Rašić
 Malta All shows TVM Eileen Montesin
 Moldova All shows TVM Lucia Danu and Vitalie Rotaru
 Montenegro All shows TVCG2 Dražen Bauković and Tamara Ivanković
 Netherlands All shows Nederland 1 Cornald Maas [63]
 Norway All shows NRK1 Hanne Hoftun [no] and Per Sundnes [64]
 Poland All shows TVP1 Artur Orzech [65]
 Portugal All shows RTP1 Isabel Angelino [pt]
 Romania All shows TVR1 Andreea Demirgian and Leonard Miron
 Russia SF1/Final Russia-1 Dmitry Guberniev and Olga Shelest [ru]
 San Marino All shows SMRTV Gigi Restivo and Lia Fiorio
 Serbia All shows RTS1 Dragan Ilić and Mladen Popović [66]
 Slovenia All shows RTVSLO Andrej Hofer [sl] [67]
 Spain SF1/Final La 1 José Luis Uribarri [68]
 Sweden All shows SVT1 Kristian Luuk and Josef Sterzenbach [sv] [69][70]
Final Carl Bildt (guest)
All shows SR P3 Carolina Norén [71]
  Switzerland SF1 SF zwei German: Patrick Hässig [de] [47]
SF2/Final German: Sven Epiney
All shows TSR 1 French: Jean-Marc Richard and Nicolas Tanner [72]
TSI 2 Italian: Sandy Altermatt [it]
 Turkey All shows TRT 1 Bülend Özveren [73]
 Ukraine All shows First National Timur Miroshnychenko
 United Kingdom Semi-finals BBC Three Paddy O'Connell and Caroline Flack [74][75]
Final BBC One Terry Wogan
BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Show(s) Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Australia All shows SBS Julia Zemiro [76]
 Austria Final ORF 2 Andi Knoll [77]

Semi-finals broadcasts[edit]

As stated above, a country only has to broadcast the grand final and the semi-final when it is one of the competitors or voters. The United Kingdom,[78] San Marino, Greece, Croatia,[79] Ireland, Germany,[80] the Netherlands,[81] Norway,[82] Malta,[83] Serbia,[84] Finland,[85] Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark,[86] Portugal, Cyprus,[87] Israel,[88] Estonia,[38] Turkey,[89] Latvia,[90] Slovenia,[91] Russia,[92] Ukraine,[93] Lithuania, the Czech Republic,[94] Andorra,[95] Albania,[96] Bulgaria, Iceland,[97] Sweden,[98] Romania[99] and Australia confirmed they would broadcast both semi-finals (some in delay and some live).

High-definition broadcasts[edit]

RTS broadcast the event in 1080i high-definition (HD) and 5.1 surround sound. The new high-definition television system was in place at the Belgrade Arena by April 2008.[100] This is the second year that the event was broadcast live in HD. BBC HD broadcast the contest in High Definition in the United Kingdom. Swedish broadcaster SVT broadcast both the semi-final and the grand final on SVT HD. Lithuanian broadcaster LRT broadcast both the semi-final and the grand final in 1080i high-definition (HD) on their channel LTV. The same occurred on Swiss HD channel HD suisse; on this channel viewers were able to choose the language of the commentary while viewing a semi-final or grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest. However, all other countries broadcast the show only in standard definition, and the event will only be available to buy on a standard-definition DVD; it will not be released on HD-DVD or Blu-ray.

International broadcasts[edit]

  •  Australia – Although Australia was not eligible to enter, the contest was broadcast on SBS. The first semi-final was broadcast on Friday 23 May at 19:30 local time, with the second semi-final on Saturday 24 May 2008 at 19:30 local time, and the Final on Sunday 25 May 2008 at 19:30 local time,[101] amongst a weekend of Eurovision-themed programming.[102] SBS local host Julia Zemiro provided introductory and concluding segments with SBS otherwise broadcasting the BBC's coverage and commentary.[103] In recent years the contest has been one of SBS's highest-rating programmes in terms of viewer numbers.[76] The grand final rated well for SBS with 427,000 viewers tuning in for the grand final with 421,000 for the second semi-final and 272,000 for the first semi-final.[104]
  •  Austria – In Austria, ORF broadcast the contest live and received high TV ratings. However, it did not broadcast the semi-finals on 20 and 22 May, which Austrians were able to watch on German television via ARD stations instead.
  •  Gibraltar – Gibraltar screened only the final on GBC.[105]
  •  Italy – No Italian broadcaster proper showed the contest, but San Marinese SMRTV, which broadcast live the full event on both TV and radio, is available in some parts of Italy: Romagna (and a small part of Emilia, including Bologna), northern Marche, and southern Veneto, including Venice.[106]

A live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest was available worldwide via satellite through European streams such as TVRi, ERT World, ARMTV, TVE Internacional, TRT International, TVP Polonia, RTP Internacional, RTS Sat and SVT Europa. The official Eurovision Song Contest website also provided a live stream without commentary via the peer-to-peer medium Octoshape.

Other awards[edit]

In addition to the main winner's trophy, the Marcel Bezençon Awards and the Barbara Dex Award were contested during the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The OGAE, "General Organisation of Eurovision Fans" voting poll also took place before the contest.

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

The Marcel Bezençon Awards, organised since 2002 by Sweden's then-Head of Delegation and 1992 representative Christer Björkman, and 1984 winner Richard Herrey, honours songs in the contest's final.[107] For the only time, the awards were divided into four categories: Artistic Award which was voted by previous winners of the contest, Composers Award, Poplight Fan Award which was voted by fans on the Swedish website poplight.se, and Press Award.[108][109]

Category Country Song Performer(s) Songwriter(s)
Artistic Award  Ukraine "Shady Lady" Ani Lorak
Composers Award  Romania "Pe-o margine de lume" Nico and Vlad
  • Andrei Tudor
  • Andreea Andrei
  • Adina Şuteu
Poplight Fan Award  Armenia "Qélé, Qélé" Sirusho
Press Award  Portugal "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)" Vânia Fernandes

OGAE[edit]

OGAE, an organisation of over forty Eurovision Song Contest fan clubs across Europe and beyond, conducts an annual voting poll first held in 2002 as the Marcel Bezençon Fan Award. After all votes were cast, the top-ranked entry in the 2008 poll was Sweden's "Hero" performed by Charlotte Perrelli; the top five results are shown below.[110][111][112]

Country Song Performer(s) OGAE result
 Sweden "Hero" Charlotte Perrelli 308
  Switzerland "Era stupendo" Paolo Meneguzzi 216
 Serbia "Oro" Jelena Tomašević feat. Bora Dugić 178
 Iceland "This Is My Life" Euroband 145
 Norway "Hold On Be Strong" Maria Haukaas Storeng 145

Barbara Dex Award[edit]

The Barbara Dex Award is a humorous fan award given to the worst dressed artist each year. Named after Belgium's representative who came last in the 1993 contest, wearing her self-designed dress, the award was handed by the fansite House of Eurovision from 1997 to 2016 and is being carried out by the fansite songfestival.be since 2017.

Country Performer(s)
 Andorra Gisela

Official album[edit]

Cover art of the official album

Eurovision Song Contest: Belgrade 2008 was the official compilation album of the 2008 contest, put together by the European Broadcasting Union and released by EMI Records and CMC International on 12 May 2008.The album featured all 43 songs that entered in the 2008 contest, including the semi-finalists that failed to qualify into the grand final.[113]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
German Compilation Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[114] 5

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Contains words in English
  2. ^ Contains words and phrases in French, German, Italian and Spanish
  3. ^ Contains one sentence in Catalan
  4. ^ Contains words in Spanish
  5. ^ Contains one repeating phrase in Russian
  6. ^ Contains words in French

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°49′14″N 20°27′44″E / 44.82056°N 20.46222°E / 44.82056; 20.46222