Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Greece
Greece
Member station ERT (1974–2013)
NERIT (2014–)
National selection events Eurosong - a MAD show (2013–)
Appearances
Appearances 34
First appearance 1974
Best result 1st: 2005
Worst result 20th: 1998
External links
ERT page
Greece's page at Eurovision.tv

Greece has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 34 times since 1974, with the exception of 1975, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1999 and 2000. Greece won for the first time in 2005 with "My Number One", sung by Elena Paparizou. The Greek national broadcaster, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT) broadcast the event in Greece each year and organised the process for the selection of the Greek entry.[1] Greece, along with Romania, Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine have never missed a final since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004.

History[edit]

After debuting in the 1974 Contest, Greece did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 for "unknown reasons" according to the EBU, but it was discovered that the withdrawal was in protest of Turkey's debut and its invasion of Cyprus in 1974.[2][3] Greece was disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 after it was revealed that Themis Adamantidis was to sing "Sarantapente Kopelies" (Σαρανταπέντε Κοπελιές), a previously released song. A known Greek folk song had been revised for the competition, but it violated the rules since all songs have to be original in terms of songwriting and instrumentation and cannot be cover songs. Greece was forced to pay a fine, and was allowed to return the following year.[4] Had Adamantidis been allowed to perform "Sarantapente Kopelies", he would have appeared second at Harrogate.[5] After returning in 1983, ERT decided that all of the possible songs were of "low quality" and decided not to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984.

Greece returned once again to the Contest in 1985, and Polina was picked in the 1986 national selection to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest 1986 in Bergen, Norway, but ERT pulled out of the Contest unexpectedly. Polina stated that it was due to political troubles in Greece at the time,[6] but she noted that a Eurovision website had learned that the real reason was that the Contest was to be held the night before Orthodox Easter.[6] Had she performed, she would have appeared eighteenth and she would have performed the song "Wagon-lit".[6][7]

Greece returned to the Contest in 1987 and performed each year until the Eurovision Song Contest 1999, when it as not permitted to participate because its five-year points average had fallen under the limit for participation after Thalassa's 20th place finish in 1998. The following year ERT announced that it would not return at the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 due to financial reasons.

Thirty-one years after its debut, Greece won for the first time in 2005 with Elena Paparizou singing "My Number One", which tied for the record for the most number of twelve points allocated to a song (ten in total) along with Katrina and the Waves' 1997 "Love Shine A Light". The song also made Greece the first country not a member of Big Four to win the contest without going through a semifinal. After Eurovision, the song topped the charts in Greece, Cyprus and Sweden and entered the top ten in Romania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium, as well as the American Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. In 2005, Eurovision held a commemorative programme, Congratulations, to celebrate 50 years of the contest, in which "My Number One" came fourth in a vote for the show's most popular entry, behind "Hold Me Now" (1987), "Nel blu dipinto di blu" (1958) and ABBA's "Waterloo" (1974).

Before Greece's win, the highest score was third place, achieved by duo Antique (of which Elena Paparizou was a member) in 2001 with "Die for You" and then again by Sakis Rouvas in 2004 with "Shake It". Greece's least successful result was at 20th place in 1998 with the song "Mia Krifi Evesthisia" (English, "A Hidden Sensibility") by Thalassa, which received 12 points in total, all from Cyprus.

In 2006, the 51st Eurovision Song Contest was held in Athens, Greece, following Elena Paparizou's victory the previous year. The two hosts were popular singer, and former contestant, Sakis Rouvas and Greek American presenter Maria Menounos. The singer representing Greece in their own country was popular Greek Cypriot artist Anna Vissi.

From 2004 to 2006, ERT had selected high-profile artists internally and set up national finals to choose the song, while in 2007 and 2008 it held a televised national final to choose both the song and performer. For the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, ERT was able to secure a high-profile artist once again and planned a national final to choose the song.[8]

Greece has been the most successful country of the Eurovision Song Contest after the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004. They had placed within the top-ten position after advancing into the finals every year since then:[9] third in 2004, first in 2005, ninth in 2006, seventh in 2007, third in 2008, seventh in 2009, eighth in 2010 and seventh in 2011. However, this record was broken in 2012, when Eleftheria Eleftheriou only placed 17th place with her song "Aphrodisiac" in the finals. However in the televoting, Eleftheria did place in top 10 in the finals, she finished 9th with 89 points. Although Greece's luck came back in 2013 when Alcohol is Free finished in 6th place which means that the record was reopened.[10]

Since 2013, the music channel MAD produces the Greek national final.

Voting[edit]

"Cyprus and Greece are commonly accused of favouring each other and of all the countries, statistics suggest they are the most likely to vote for each other. Wogan seemed to sum it up when Cyprus awarded Greece 12 points in last year's contest. 'Over the years people say this is ludicrous [...] but still they do it. They just don't care.' "

Ruth Alexander, "The maths of Eurovision voting", BBC News[11]

Greece is famous for, especially in recent years, always giving twelve points to Cyprus and always receiving twelve points from Cyprus. This is one of many examples of the block voting seen in contest which also occurs between Balkan, Scandinavian, ex-Soviet and Baltic countries. In the case of Greece and Cyprus, the exchange of twelve points is probably because the majority of Cypriot citizens are Greeks thus sharing linguistic ties (speaking Greek) and musical taste. Furthermore, Greece and Cyprus share the same music industry. Due to the controversies caused by political voting, two semi-finals were introduced for the 2008 Contest in which Cyprus and Greece were unable to vote for each other in the semi-finals.[12] In the build-up to the 2008 contest, however, the artists representing Greece and Cyprus jointly held a successful warm-up party at the Euroclub, attended by 17 other delegations from the contest and 1500 guests attracted by the promised "confluence of the Greek-Cypriot sound".[13]

Popularity of the Contest[edit]

Until 2001, Greece was seen as one of the least successful countries in the Contest, and therefore the interest of Greek people in the Contest was relatively low. Since Antique's third place in 2001, the contest has grown into one of the most popular events in Greece with an estimated five million viewers each year. The extremely high expectations of the Greek public has led to seeing the Contest as a "national affair" of very big importance, and this has caused controversy. The Greek viewers expect their singers to qualify from the semi-final to the final and place inside the Top 10, except from one 17th place: in 2012 for the first time since the introduction of the semifinals failed to place in the Top 10 in Baku. In 2013 Greece was again in top 10 finishing 6th. So far Greece has not missed any finals since the introduction of semifinals in 2004.[14] They are also the second most successful country, behind Russia, in the contest between 2000 and 2009, with one win and three third places.

Contestants[edit]

The following table lists the thirty-three entries which competed for Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Table key

     Winner
     Second place
     Third place
     Last place
     Automatically qualified to the final
     Did not qualify for the final
     Did not compete or was relegated
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
1974 Marinella Greek "Krasi, Thalassa Kai T' Agori Mou"
(«Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ' αγόρι μου»)
11 7
No Semi-Finals
1975
Did Not Compete
1976 Mariza Koch Greek "Panayia Mou, Panayia Mou" («Παναγιά μου, Παναγιά μου») 13 20
1977 Paschalis, Marianna,
Robert and Bessy
Greek "Mathima Solfege" («Μάθημα σολφέζ») 5 92
1978 Tania Tsanaklidou Greek "Charlie Chaplin" («Τσάρλυ Τσάπλιν») 8 66
1979 Elpida Greek "Sokratis" («Σωκράτης») 8 69
1980 Anna Vissi & The Epikouri Greek "Autostop" («Ωτοστόπ») 13 30
1981 Yiannis Dimitras Greek "Feggari Kalokerino" («Φεγγάρι καλοκαιρινό») 8 55
1982 Themis Adamantidis Greek "Sarantapente Kopelies" («Σαρανταπέντε κοπελιές») Withdraw Withdraw
1983 Kristi Stassinopoulou Greek "Mou Les" («Μου λες») 14 32
1984
Did Not Compete
1985 Takis Biniaris Greek "Miazoume" («Μοιάζουμε») 16 15
1986 Polina Greek "Wagon-lit" («Βαγκόν-λίτ») Withdraw Withdraw
1987 Bang Greek "Stop" («Στοπ») 10 64
1988 Afroditi Frida Greek "Clown" («Κλόουν») 17 10
1989 Mariana Efstratiou Greek "To Diko Sou Asteri" («Το δικό σου αστέρι») 9 56
1990 Christos Callow & Wave Greek "Horis Skopo" («Χωρίς σκοπό») 19 11
1991 Sophia Vossou Greek "I Anixi" («Η άνοιξη») 13 36
1992 Kleopatra Greek "Olou Tou Kosmou I Elpida" («Όλου του κόσμου η ελπίδα») 5 94
1993 Katy Garbi Greek "Ellada, Chora Tou Fotos" («Ελλάδα, χώρα του φωτός») 9 64
Participated Previous Year
1994 Kostas Bigalis Greek "To Trehandiri" («Το τρεχαντήρι») 14 44
No Semi-Finals
1995 Elina Konstantopoulou Greek "Pia Prosefhi" («Ποια προσευχή;») 12 68
1996 Mariana Efstratiou Greek "Emeis Forame to Himona Anixiatika"
(«Εμείς φοράμε το χειμώνα ανοιξιάτικα»)
14 36 12 45
1997 Marianna Zorba Greek "Horepse" («Χόρεψε») 12 39
No Semi-Finals
1998 Thalassa Greek "Mia Krifi Evesthisia" («Μια κρυφή ευαισθησία») 20 12
1999
Relegation from Participating
2000
Did Not Compete
2001 Antique English, Greek "(I Would) Die for You" 3 147
2002 Michalis Rakintzis English "S.A.G.A.P.O." 17 27
2003 Mando English "Never Let You Go" 17 25
2004 Sakis Rouvas English "Shake It" 3 252 3 238
2005 Helena Paparizou English "My Number One" 1 230
Top 12 Previous Year
2006 Anna Vissi English "Everything" 9 128
Reigning Champion
2007 Sarbel English "Yassou Maria" («Γεια σου Μαρία») 7 139
Top 10 Previous Year
2008 Kalomira English "Secret Combination" 3 218 1 156
2009 Sakis Rouvas English "This Is Our Night" 7 120 4 110
2010 Giorgos Alkaios & Friends Greek "OPA!" («ΩΠΑ!») 8 140 2 133
2011 Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike Greek, English "Watch My Dance" 7 120 1 133
2012 Eleftheria Eleftheriou English "Aphrodisiac" 17 64 4 116
2013 Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas Iakovidis Greek, English "Alcohol Is Free" 6 152 2 121
2014 Freaky Fortune feat. Riskykidd English "Rise Up" TBD TBD TBD TBD

NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.

Voting history[edit]

As of 2013, Greece's voting history is as follows:

12 Points[edit]

Table key

     Winner - Greece gave 12 points to a winning song / Greece won the contest.
     Second place - Greece gave 12 points to a runner-up song / Greece was runner-up in the contest.
     Third place - Greece gave 12 points to a third place song / Greece came third in the contest.
     Qualified - Greece gave 12 points to a song that qualified to the Grand Finals / Greece qualified to the Grand Finals.
     Non-qualified - Greece gave 12 points to a song that did not qualify to the Grand Finals / Greece did not qualify to the Grand Finals.
Year Given Received
Final Semi Final Semi
1975 Did not participate No Semi-Finals Did not participate No Semi-Finals
1976  United Kingdom
None
1977  Monaco  Spain
1978  Belgium
None
1979  Denmark
None
1980  Ireland
None
1981  Cyprus
None
1982 Did not participate Did not participate
1983  Luxembourg  Cyprus
 Spain
1984 Did not participate Did not participate
1985  France
None
1986 Did not participate Did not participate
1987  Cyprus  Cyprus
1988  Netherlands
None
1989  Austria  Cyprus
  Switzerland
1990   Switzerland
None
1991  Cyprus
None
1992  Ireland  Cyprus
 Italy
1993  Norway None1  Cyprus Did not Participate
1994  Cyprus No Semi-Finals  Cyprus No Semi-Finals
1995  Norway  Cyprus
1996  Cyprus Unknown2
None
Unknown2
1997  Cyprus No Semi-Finals  Cyprus No Semi-Finals
1998  Cyprus  Cyprus
1999 Relegated Relegated
2000 Did not participate Did not participate
2001  Estonia  Spain
 Sweden
2002  Cyprus  Cyprus
2003  Cyprus  Cyprus
2004  Cyprus  Cyprus  Albania
 Cyprus
 Malta
 Romania
 United Kingdom
 Albania
 Cyprus
 Israel
 Malta
 Romania
 Turkey
 United Kingdom
2005  Cyprus  Romania  Albania
 Belgium
 Bulgaria
 Cyprus
 Germany
 Hungary
 Serbia and Montenegro
 Sweden
 United Kingdom
 Turkey
Did not participate
2006  Finland  Cyprus  Cyprus
 Bulgaria
Did not participate
2007  Bulgaria  Cyprus  Cyprus
 Bulgaria
Did not participate
2008  Armenia  Armenia  Albania
 Cyprus
 Germany
 Romania
 San Marino
 United Kingdom
 Azerbaijan
 Germany
 Romania
 San Marino
2009  United Kingdom  Cyprus  Albania
 Bulgaria
 Cyprus
 Albania
 Cyprus
2010  Cyprus  Albania  Albania
 Belgium
 Cyprus
 United Kingdom
None
2011  France  Albania  Cyprus  Portugal
2012  Cyprus  Cyprus  Albania
 Cyprus
 Cyprus
 Romania
2013  Azerbaijan  Azerbaijan  Cyprus
 San Marino
 Cyprus
 San Marino

Hostings[edit]

Year Location Venue Presenters
2006 Greece Athens Olympic Indoor Hall Maria Menounos and Sakis Rouvas

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Press Award

Year Song Performer Final Result Points Host city
2005 Elena Paparizou "My Number One" 1st 230 Kiev

Commentators and spokespersons[edit]

Year(s) Commentator Spokesperson Channel
1971 Mako Georgiadou Greece did not participate ERT
1972
1973
1974 Irini Gavala
1975 Greece did not participate
1976 TBC
1977 Naki Agathou
1978 TBC
1979
1980
1981 Naki Agathou
1982 Greece did not participate
1983 Irini Gavala
1984 No broadcast Greece did not participate
1985 Mako Georgiadou Kelly Sakakou
1986 Greece did not participate
1987 Dafni Bokota Kelly Sakakou
1988 Fotini Giannoulatou
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996 Niki Venega
1997
1998 Giorgos Mitropoulos Alexis Kostalas
1999 Dafni Bokota Greece did not participate
2000
2001 Alexis Kostalas
2002
2003
2004
2005 Alexandra Pascalidou
2006 Giorgos Kapoutzidis and Zeta Makrypoulia
2007 Maria Bakodimou and Fotis Sergoulopoulos
2008 Maggira Sisters
2009
2010 Rika Vagiani
2011 Maria Kozakou Lena Aroni
2012 Andrianna Maggania
2013 Giorgos Kapoutzidis and Maria Kozakou
2014 Maria Kozakou NERIT

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Artist Title Place Points Year Place Points
Elena Paparizou "My Number One" 4 245 2005 1 230

Photogallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paravantes, Maria. (2005-06-11). Joy In Greece Over Eurovision Win. Billboard 117(24), 17-17. Retrieved on 2009-01-16.
  2. ^ "EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 1975" (in Greek). OGAE Greece. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  3. ^ Raycoff, Ivan; Robert Deayom Tobin (July 2007). A Song for Europe. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-5878-8. 
  4. ^ Konstantopoulos, Fotis (2005-02-03). "Greek, Cypriot and Lebanese news". Oikotimes. Archived from the original on 2005-02-05. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  5. ^ TV.com - Eurovision 1982
  6. ^ a b c "Polina Biography" (in Greek). Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  7. ^ ""Wagon-lit" single - 1986". Sony Music. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  8. ^ ERT Staff (2008-07-16). "Ο Σάκης Ρουβάς και πάλι στη EUROVISION" (in Greek). ERT. Retrieved 2008-07-16. [dead link]
  9. ^ Osborn, Michael (2008-05-25). "Eurovision vote 2008: Top 10". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  10. ^ http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/by-year/contest?event=1593#Scoreboard
  11. ^ Alexander, Ruth (2008-05-19). "The maths of Eurovision voting". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  12. ^ Osborn, Michael (2008-05-20). "Sweden tipped to win Eurovision". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  13. ^ Floras, Stella (2008-05-17). "Greece-Cyprus party hugely successful". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  14. ^ Klier, Marcus (2009-03-30). "Introducing the 2009 entries: Greece". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 

External links[edit]