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Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005

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Eurovision Song Contest 2005
Country Greece
National selection
Selection processEurovision Party
60% Tele-Voting/SMS
40% Judging panel
Selection date(s)March 2, 2005
Selected entrantHelena Paparizou
Selected song"My Number One"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result1st, 230 points
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2004 2005 2006►

Greece participated in and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, its first Eurovision Song Contest victory. Greek national broadcaster Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT) internally selected Helena Paparizou who sang "My Number One" in Kiev, winning the competition with 230 points. The song is written by Christos Dantis and Natalia Germanou, and composed by Christos Dantis. "My Number One" was selected through a national final on March 2, 2005, where the public and a professional jury chose it over three other candidate songs.

Background[edit]

The Eurovision Song Contest 2005 marked Greece's twenty-sixth entry in the Eurovision Song Contest since its debut in 1974.[1] Prior to the contest, its best result was third place which was achieved twice: in 2001 with the song "Die for You" performed by the duo Antique and in 2004 with "Shake It" performed by Sakis Rouvas. Greece's least successful result was in 1998 when it placed twentieth with the song "Mia Krifi Evesthisia" by Thalassa, receiving only twelve points in total, all from Cyprus.[2]

The Greek national broadcaster, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT) broadcasts the event in Greece each year and organizes the selection process for its entry.[3] Its selection techniques have varied from national finals where the public selects the entry, to internal selections like used in 2004, where the broadcaster has complete control over the selection. For the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, ERT decided to hold a televised national final after internally selecting an artist.

Performer[edit]

Throughout the months preceding the national selection, rumors flooded Eurovision news websites about which artist would be representing Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. There was an internal selection for the artist, being chosen by the broadcaster, while there would be a national final for the song, with the public having a say in the choice.

The first artist given an official proposal to represent Greece in the 2005 contest was Sakis Rouvas, the Greek entrant in the 2004 contest. During a press conference on 15 June 2004 discussing plans for the 50th contest, the network announced that they would like to have him represent them again if he liked.[4] ERT was expecting an answer by mid-July but Rouvas' response did not come until the 22nd of the month. He considered it, but ultimately felt that another artist should receive the opportunity. ESCToday mentioned that Rouvas' "decision is expected to sadden Greek fans, who generally supported the idea of him competing again."[5] ERT would continue to ask Rouvas to represent them every year until he finally accepted again in 2009.[6] Meanwhile, in June 2004, Anna Vissi stated that she "would go to Eurovision if she was asked to".[7] The network kept the internal format, seeking high-profile acts. A few months later on November 27, 2004, it was reported that Despina Vandi was "ready to sign the necessary contracts" though nothing was officially announced by ERT.[8] The rumored contract, brokered between Vandi's record label Heaven Music and ERT would have included a term that required all of Vandi's songs to be written by popular Greek songwriter Phoebus.[9] The next day, November 28, 2004, ERT's Eurovision spokeswoman Daphne Bokota stated that Despina Vandi and ERT were close to a deal, but had concluded that she was too expensive to send to the contest. She also said that Vandi was worried about participating in the Eurovision Song Contest while her international career was going well. "Here at ERT, we don't understand [why] Greek artists are so insecure to participate", she stated. Bokota ended by saying that they would announce the artist within the next five to ten days and that a possible backup was Helena Paparizou.[10] Around the same time, another name, Annette Artani also became a popular rumour. The Greek-American songwriter was still participating in Fame Story at the time and rumours expected her to pull out of the competition.[11] On December 5, 2004, Anna Vissi was reportedly also in negotiations with ERT and on December 8, 2004, Daphne Bokota once again spoke on the issue saying that there would be a delay in the decision because of some sort of "obstacle" within the broadcaster.[12][13] On January 15, 2005, ERT held a meeting with Franz Ferdinand which was reported by Star Channel to be the front runner, but ERT soon excluded them as they had "no idea how Eurovision works and thus they proposed to compose a remake of a past song of theirs", a violation of contest rules; they were also requesting more money.[14]

Finally on January 22, 2005, ERT announced that it had selected Helena Paparizou, former member of the Greek-Swedish duet Antique which had represented Greece at the 2001 contest, achieving 3rd place. Deals with Artani and Vissi that were also going on at the time failed to materialize.[15] In Vissi's case, one factor may have been scheduling issues, as during the time of the contest she was in the United States promoting "Call Me". In a press release, ERT stated that Paparizou's singing career in Sweden was "a factor which surely contributed to the final choice of Paparizou, since the 'northern' votes are considered to be important".[15] Shortly before the announcement of Paparizou's participation, Bokota was fired from ERT for unknown reasons; she was the one who had originally proposed to her.[16]

National final[edit]

Greek-Swedish journalist Alexandra Pascalidou who hosted the national final replaced long-running commentator Dafni Bokota.

After selecting Paparizou, ERT decided to pick four candidate songs, and host a national final where the Greek public, along with a jury, would select their favorite song. Voting to select the song at the national final would be conducted through televoting and SMS texting by the public, and a nine-member "expert jury", weighted 60% and 40% respectively.[17][18][19] The jury would be made up of Mimis Plesas, Antonis Andrikakis, Kostas Tournas, Željko Joksimović, Betty Golema, Ion Stamboulis, Fotini Giannoulatou, Sietse Bakker, and Christos Liritzis.[20]

Out of 100 the songs that were sent in by Greek and foreign artists, a committee made up of representatives from ERT, Sony BMG, and Paparizou, chose 15 songs initially and then narrowed the selection down to four.[21] On a special show broadcast on February 18 titled EuroMania, the four songs were presented to the Greek public as: "My Number One" composed by Christos Dantis with lyrics by Dantis and Natalia Germanou, "OK" composed by Christodoulos Siganos with lyrics by Siganos and Valentino, "Let's Get Wild" written by Douglas Carr.[17] and "The Light in Our Soul" written by Kostas Bigalis. On February 19, it was revealed that "The Light in Our Soul" had been released and made available on Amazon.de by a band named "Big Alice" on May 25, 2004 and therefore disqualifying the song from the competition. According to contest rules, a song cannot be released before October 1 of the previous year. This revelation trimmed down the four candidate songs to three.[22] The choreography for all songs was arranged by Fokas Evangelinos.[21] Following the selection of the songs, a second special Eurovision show was broadcast on February 25, 2005, to familiarize the Greek public with the artist.

The national final took place on March 2, 2005 at "Club Fever" and was hosted by Greek-Swede journalist and television-presenter Alexandra Pascalidou.[23] In between Paparizou singing her three candidate songs, the Greek musical group C:Real performed some of its songs, while several acts from other countries performed to both entertain and promote their own Eurovision songs.[20] The 2005 representatives from the Netherlands and Andorra were present with Glennis Grace singing "My Impossible Dream" and Marian van de Wal singing "La mirada interior". Eurovision Song Contest 2004's runner-up Željko Joksimović sang "Lane moje" and the Swedish band Alcazar, which was still taking part in Melodifestivalen 2005, the Swedish national final, sang "Alcastar".[24][25]

Result[edit]

ERT received 229,368 televotes and SMS texts of which 152,269 votes came in for the song "My Number One", which made the song the clear winner. "OK" received around 73,500 votes and "Let's Get Wild" got around 20,500.[26][27] The nine jury members gave points between 1 and 10 for the songs in a school-grade style system, giving the best song 10 points. Seven jury members voted for "My Number One", one gave the maximum points to "OK" and one voted for "Let's Get Wild". "My Number One" won with 83 points, while "Let's Get Wild" placed third with 48 points, and "OK" third with 46 points.[26] Although "Let's Get Wild" received a higher score from the jury than "OK", it placed third when the televoting and SMS texts were taken into account.

National final - March 2, 2005
Draw Song Composer-Lyricist Jury Televote/SMS Place
1 "My Number One" Christos Dantis & Natalia Germanou 83 152,269 1st
2 "OK" Christodoulos Siganos & Valentino 46 73,500 (est) 2nd
3 "Let's Get Wild" Douglas Carr 48 20,500 (est) 3rd
"The Light in Our Soul" Kostas Bigalis Disqualified

Promotion[edit]

Before her appearance at the contest, Paparizou went on a promotional tour sponsored by the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the Greek National Tourism Organization, singing her song in several Eurovision countries. The tour started off on March 12, 2005 in Berlin, Germany, where she visited the International Tourism Exchange Show and performed "My Number One".[28] The next stop was Moscow, Russia, where Paparizou taped a show for MTV Russia and then presented the Greek song at the International Tourism Exhibit, the largest tourism exhibit in the world. She also gave several interviews to the press and before leaving, attended a Greek Independence Day reception at the Greek embassy.[29] Upon return to Greece, she was greeted at the airport by fans along with the music video of "My Number One" playing on the video monitors.[30] While in Greece, she attended the opening ceremony of the European final four for the Volleyball Champions League in Pylaia, where her song was played as she appeared on stage with cheerleaders.[31] On March 29, Paparizou arrived in Valletta, Malta where she signed autographs, appeared on television stations, and gave interviews to the local media.[32] Following Malta, she traveled to Serbia and Montenegro where she gave additional interviews before moving on to Andorra on April 10.[33][34] She was soon in Lisbon, Portugal where she promoted not only her song, but also Greek export products, as she was sponsored by the Greek tourism industry. She attended an international exhibition of food and drink where the song was played for the many tourists, while its music video was seen on a large monitor.[35] On April 20, 2005, Paparizou arrived in Sweden where she had started her singing career as part of Antique. She was interviewed by many of the local media outlets and could be heard on radio stations around Stockholm.[36][37] Following her stay in Sweden, Paparizou flew to Istanbul, Turkey where the Greek delegation met with Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who told her that it was good luck that the contest fell on her name-day of May 21.[38] While in Turkey, she also posed for magazines and was interviewed by the media. She soon returned to Greece before leaving for a short trip to Kiev, the location of the contest.[39]

At Eurovision[edit]

As Greece had finished the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in third place, its 2005 song was pre-qualified for the final in 2005. Greece was drawn to perform nineteenth on the night, following Croatia's Boris Novković and Lado with "Vukovi umiru sami" and preceding Russia's Natalia Podolskaya with "Nobody Hurt No One".[40] Paparizou appeared confident on stage and her dancers prepared an extravagant show with carefully choreographed stage moves.[41] She wore a short orange-yellow dress while the dancers wore tan colored clothing. The performance included Paparizou playing the lyra, a Greek musical instrument and the backing dancers forming the number 1 on stage.[42] The final was hosted and commentated on Greek television by Alexandra Pascalidou, who also hosted the national final,[23] while the spokesperson who revealed Greece's votes for other countries was Alexis Kostalas, an ERT Board member who had been the spokesperson since 1998.[43]

"My Number One" won with a total of 230 points. It received 12 points, the maximum number of points a country can give to another country, from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Sweden, United Kingdom, and unexpectedly Turkey.[41][44][45] The highest viewing ratings in the history of Greek television were recorded during the presentation of the pure gold trophy to Helena Paparizou by the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, with 94.2% of the Greek population tuned in.[41][46]

Points awarded to Greece[edit]

Points awarded to Greece (Final)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Points awarded by Greece[edit]

After Eurovision[edit]

Paparizou's first words after winning the 50th Eurovision Song Contest were "We showed the modern face of Greece. I reckon that’s the face everybody loves. Europe is our home!"[44] Upon arrival back in Greece, she was greeted by crowds of fans at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and the National Fire Brigade created a water-jet archway for her airplane, suggestively bearing the number "001", to pass through after it had landed.[47] On the way to ERT Studios for a welcome party for Paparizou and the Greek delegation, people were standing on either side of the road throwing rose petals along the route of Paparizou's bus. When she reached ERT Studios, she was "met with deafening applause" and after moving from sight for a few minutes, she emerged on stage dressed in the Greek flag and holding the Eurovision trophy.[47]

"My Number One" did very well in the music charts, being certified platinum in Greece and gold in Sweden while climbing to number one on both charts and charting for an extended number of weeks.[48][49] It also charted in other European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.[50] It was later released in the United States as a CD Single with remixes and reached number eight on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charting for eight weeks.[51][52]

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

Among the distinctions awarded to "My Number One" was that it was chosen among thirteen other Eurovision songs to compete in the Congratulations 50th anniversary special in 2005, just a few months after Paparizou's victory. It was the only Greek entry and one of three winners from the '00s to compete (alongside The Olsen Brothers' "Fly on the Wings of Love" and Sertab Erener's "Everyway That I Can"). The song closed the first round of the contest in slot 14, following 1976 winners Brotherhood of Man with "Save Your Kisses for Me." Paparizou appeared on stage during the performance, lip-syncing along with a section of the song. At the end of the first round, "My Number One" was announced as one of the five songs proceeding to the second and final round. It was later revealed that it placed fourth in the first round, with 167 points (in both rounds, Greece were allowed to award themselves the maximum twelve points, a privilege usually not given at Eurovision).

"My Number One" finished fourth in the final round, scoring 245 points. This was 15 points more than her winning score at Eurovision; however, all countries could give each song in the final no fewer than six points, meaning that unlike in Eurovision, "My Number One" earned points from all the voting countries.

Points awarded to "My Number One" (Congratulations)[edit]

Points awarded to "My Number One" (Round 1)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Points awarded to "My Number One" (Round 2)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points

Points awarded by Greece (Congratulations)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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