Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011

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Eurovision Song Contest 2011
Country  Greece
National selection
Selection process National Final
50% Televoting
50% Jury
Selection date(s) 2 March 2011
Selected entrant Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike
Selected song "Watch My Dance"
Selected songwriter(s)
  • Giannis Christodoulopoulos
  • Eleana Vrahali
Finals performance
Semi-final result Qualified (1st, 133 points)
Final result 7th, 120 points
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2010 2011 2012►

Greece took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, held between 10 and 14 May 2011, placing seventh.[1] On 2 March 2011, as part of the selection process organized by the Greek national broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), six competing acts—Antigoni Psihrami, Kokkina Halia, Loukas Giorkas, Nikki Ponte, Trimitonio, and Valanto Trifonos—performed their prospective entries live during a televised event. "Watch My Dance" was selected to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest by a combination of a public televote and panel of judges. At the contest, it placed first in the first semi-final and seventh in the final marking Greece's eighth top ten placing in as many years.


Prior to the 2011 contest, Greece had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest thirty-one times since its first entry in 1974,[2] winning it in 2005 with the song "My Number One" performed by Elena Paparizou,[3] and having placed third three times: in 2001 with the song "Die for You" performed by the duo Antique; in 2004 with "Shake It" performed by Sakis Rouvas; and in 2008 with "Secret Combination" performed by Kalomoira. Following the introduction of semi-finals for the 2004 contest, Greece has had a top ten placing each year. Its 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.[4]

The Greek national broadcaster, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), is in charge of Greece's participation each year, including the selection process for its entry.[5][6] Although its selection techniques have varied over the decades, the most common has been a national final in which various acts compete against each other with pre-selected songs, voted on by a jury, televoters, or both. In most cases, internal selections have been reserved for high-profile acts, with the song either being selected internally or with multiple songs —by one or multiple composers— performed by the artist during a televised final. One of the more unorthodox methods was a reality television talent competition format inspired by the Idol series that ran for many months in 2004, ultimately being scrapped.[7] The notability of the participants has also varied, from previously unsigned acts to established music superstars. Since the 2010s ERT has used national finals with generally less-established acts.

For the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, ERT decided to hold a six-performer national final to choose the song to represent them, with all of the acts having been recently participating on a reality talent competition, either The X Factor or Greek Idol.[8] Compared to previous years, both ERT and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have towed down efforts for 2011.[9]

Before Eurovision[edit]

Selection procedure[edit]

Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) initially explored taking a completely different approach for the 2011 contest, also looking to take a more low key and modest approach to their participation in the contest in comparison to previous years when the contest was viewed as a national event.[10] The new board of members at ERT quickly realized that time was not sufficient, and thus turned to the more traditional selection method of co-operating with record labels.[10] ERT also explored the option of selecting an act internally, as it had done in previous years, but was unable to secure a major act.[11] After an open call to record labels to submit proposals,[12] on 11 January 2011, ERT officially announced the six candidates for the Greek national final: Antigoni Psihrami, Kokkina Halia, Loukas Giorkas, Nikki Ponte, Trimitonio, and Valanto Trifonos.[8][13] All acts announced were relatively new to the Greek music scene and all came from the popular Greek talent shows Greek Idol and The X Factor[13][14] The decision to choose young up-and-coming acts was partially made by the broadcaster to appeal to a younger audience,[15] while also giving the emerging acts a chance to further their careers through their participation in the contest.[10][14][16]

Shortly after ERT announced the six acts, criticism surrounding the selection procedure arose from multiple parties. Music acts and record labels accused the broadcaster of not publishing any rules, regulations, or a deadline concerning the selection procedure, and criticized the lack of transparency from the publicly funded broadcaster.[17][18] Singers Giannis Savidakis,[19] Theoharis Ioanidis,[20] Sofia Berntson featuring Apollon,[21] rapper Bo,[22] and bands Nomisma,[17] and Zante Dilemma featuring Emily Greenslade[18] were amongst the acts that spoke out against ERT. Their respective record labels also put out press releases expressing their complaints,[17][18] with ERT remaining silent on the issues.[23][24] Record labels also questioned the legality of ERT's decisions.[21]

Giannis Savidakis, who represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest 1989,[25] and Theoharis Ioanidis, an actor who made his singing debut on Mega Channel's celebrity reality singing contest Just the Two of Us in 2010,[26] were two of the most vocal acts to speak out. Both were on ERT’s initial shortlist,[27] with them having self-confirmed their bids days prior through the media, although both were ultimately cut.[11] Savidakis criticized ERT's open call, stating that the broadcaster was vague in its criteria for a prospective entry and questioned why ERT did not give him a reason for his cut.[28] Ioanidis also criticized ERT's decision, with Ioanidis' manager, Ilias Psinakis—who also managed pop-stars and former national final participants Sakis Rouvas and Kostas Martakis in the past—stating his belief that the public should be the ones to decide who is right to fill the role.[28] Psinakis also claimed that Stefanos Korkolis was to be the author of Ioanidis' prospective entry,[28][29] while he blamed politics for playing a role in the rejection, as he is a member of rival political party Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS).[28] On 15 January 2011, LAOS MP Georgios Anatolakis brought up the issue in the Hellenic Parliament, asking the Minister of Culture Pavlos Geroulanos, who helps oversee ERT, for clarifications on Ioanidis' and Savidakis' rejections.[30]

On 27 January 2011, ERT issued an official press release standing by their selection process, and addressed complaints from rejected artists and labels.[31] ERT stated that they chose to work with major labels only, and thus rejected bids from various minor labels, while they only wished to include young up and coming artists in the selection process.[31] Furthermore, they stated that they only chose acts that are primarily professional singers.[31] In response to the press release by ERT, Theoharis Ioanidis, Nomisma, and Bo threatened legal action against ERT.[22] Nomisma stated they planned to sue ERT and ask to block the national final from happening, as well as financial compensation.[22]


Chosen acts and their labels had until 4 February 2011 to submit their songs to ERT for the Greek national final.[32] On 9 February 2011, ERT aired one-minute samples of each song on their radio station Deftero 103.7 (ERA2), and also announced the running order for the final.[33] A special show hosted by Lena Aroni aired on ERT network NET on 15 February 2011, showcasing the full selected songs to the public.[34] On 14 February 2011, the eve of the official song presentation, news website leaked all six songs onto the web.[35][36] The same website was responsible for leaks the year prior; contrary to procedures followed by ERT in previous years to disqualify leaked songs, the broadcaster has stated that none of the songs would be disqualified.[35]

"Come with Me"[edit]

The band Kokkina Halia chose the song "Come with Me", written by the band, with lyrics by the band and Andreas Galanopoulos.[33] The song is performed in English, and is uptempo with a pop rock and retro style.[37][38] Kokkina Halia emerged from the first season of Greek reality singing competition The X Factor in 2008, and later signed to Sony Music Greece, eventually releasing the album Hartaetos (Kite) in 2009.[39]

"The Time is Now"[edit]

Valanto Trifonos chose the song "Time is Now", with music and lyrics by Johan Ramström, Patrik Magnusson, and Martti Vuorinen.[33] Vuorinen had previously written Hanna Pakarinen's "Leave Me Alone" which represented Finland in 2007.[40] The song is a ballad performed in English.[38] Trifonos emerged from the first season of Greek Idol in 2010, winning the competition and a recording contract with Sony Music Greece, and sequentially releasing a digital download of the winner's single "Sti Dipla Thesi" (In the next seat).[41]


The band Trimitonio chose the song "Hamogela" (Smile), written by Eurovision veteran Nikos Terzis with lyrics by Vagelis Kostantinidis.[33] Terzis is best known for his multiple entries in the contest, most notably Antique's "Die for You" in 2001, and Sakis Rouvas' "Shake It" in 2004, which both represented Greece achieving 3rd place.[40] The song is performed in Greek, and is pop in style.[38] Trimitonio emerged from first season of the X Factor in 2008,[42] later singing to record label 7,[14] and sequentially releasing the CD-single "Markadoros" (Marker)[42] as well as a self-titled album in 2010.[43]

"It's All Greek to Me!"[edit]

Antigoni Psihrami chose the song "It's All Greek to Me!", written by Apostolos Psihramis with lyrics by Dimitris S. and Gerard James Borg.[33] Borg is best known for his association with the contest for Malta, having penned five entries.[40] The song is performed in English, and is dance-pop in style with ethnic elements.[38] Psihrami emerged from the first season of the reality talent show Greek Idol in 2010,[44] and soon after signed with record label Minos EMI.[14]

"Watch My Dance"[edit]

Loukas Giorkas chose the song "Watch My Dance" featuring Stereo Mike, written by Giannis Christodoulopoulos with lyrics by Eleana Vrahali.[33] The song is performed in English and Greek, and features a fusion of hip hop and contemporary laïkó styles.[38][45] Giorkas also emerged from the first season of The X Factor in 2008, winning the competition and a contract with Sony Music Greece, and sequentially releasing the EP Mazi (together) in 2009, which was certified gold.[46] He later switched labels to Minos EMI.[14]

"I Don't Wanna Dance"[edit]

Nikki Ponte chose the song "I Don't Wanna Dance", with music and lyrics by Jonas Saeed and Pia Sjöberg.[33] The song is performed in English, and is dance-pop in style.[37] Ponte emerged during the third season of The X Factor in 2010, and was still participating in the talent competition at the time of ERT's announcement.[47] She secured a contract with Sony Music Greece for her participation in the national final.[14]


ERT held a national final on 2 March at its studio in Athens, with Lena Aroni hosting the show.[48] The show kicked off at 22:00 (EET), and as in past years was broadcast on New Hellenic Television (NET) in Greece, worldwide on ERT World, as well as on the official websites of ERT and the Eurovision Song Contest.[48][49] The show also featured performances by Cyprus' Christos Mylordos, Malta's Glen Vella, and Bulgaria's Poli Genova amongst others.[49] As in past years, the winning song was selected using a combination of televoting and jury voting at a 50/50 split.[8] The jury consisted of radio producer and head of ERA2 Marina Lahana, who served as head of jury, radio producer Mihalis Tasousopoulos, conductor Andreas Pilarinos, songwriter Giorgos Parianos, and actress Bessy Malfa.[50] The running order used for the songs was announced on 9 February 2011, and came after a draw by ERT and the record labels involved.[33]

In comparison to past national finals, the program was criticized by journalists as one of ERT's worst productions in years, partially faulted by a low budget.[51] Amongst the issues criticized were Lena Aroni’s poor hosting skills, the lighting and camera work, and also the exclusion of a live audience.[51] It lasted about two hours, and ERT's broadcast came ninth overall on 2 March, with 17.4% share according to ABG Nielsen Hellas; it is estimated that around 836 thousand viewers watched the show.[51][52] The broadcast makes it ERT's lowest watched national final in over ten years.[51] Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike was the overall winner of the night.[53]

Results of Ellinikós Telikós 2011
Draw Artist Song English translation Songwriter(s)
1 Kokkina Halia "Come With Me" - Kokkina Halia, Andreas Galanopoulos
2 Valanto Trifonos "The Time is Now" - Johan Ramström, Patrik Magnusson, Martti Vuorinen
3 Trimitonio "Hamogela" (Χαμογέλα) Smile Nikos Terzis, Vaggelis Konstantinidis
4 Antigoni Psihrami "It's All Greek To Me!" - Apostolos Psihramis, Dimitris S., Gerard James Borg
5 Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike "Watch My Dance" - Giannis Christodoulopoulos, Eleana Vrahali
6 Nikki Ponte "I Don't Wanna Dance" - Jonas Saeed, Pia Sjöberg

At Eurovision[edit]

Greece performed in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Germany, in the second half of the first semi-final of the contest on 10 May 2011.[54] Greece competed in the 19th place at the first semi-final, and qualified for the final, acquiring the 1st place. In the final, they ended up 7th, which is their eighth consecutive top-10 place since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004.[54]

Points Awarded by Greece[55][edit]

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

See also[edit]


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  55. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2008

External links[edit]