Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005

Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005

ESC National Year
Year = 2005
Country = GRE
Preselection = National Final
60% Tele-Voting/SMS
40% Judging panel
Preselection date = March 2 2005
Entrant = Helena Paparizou
Song = "My Number One"
Final result = 1st, 230 points

Greece participated in and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. 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. This was Greece's first and only win so far in the Eurovision Song Contest. Her song was selected through 60% Televoting/SMS and 40% from a professional jury in the national final held on March 2, 2005.

National final

The artist

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. In June 2004, Anna Vissi stated that she "would go to Eurovision if she [was] asked to". [cite web|url=|title=Anna Vissi said that would go to Eurovision if she is asked to|date=2004-06-04|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-23] It was rumored that she was asked by ERT, but declined the offer as she was promoting Call Me in the United States at the time. 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. [cite web|url=| Despina Vandi for Greece!|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2004-11-27|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] The rumored contract, brokered between Vandi's record label Heaven Music and ERT would have included a term that required all of Vandi's song's to be written by popular Greek songwriter Phoebus. [cite web|url=|title=Despina Vandi Will Represent Greece in 2005|date=2004-11-27|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-23] 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 said. 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. [cite web|url=|title=ERT excludes Despina Vandi from selection|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2004-11-28|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] 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. [cite web|url=|title=ERT and Anna Vissi negotiate for Eurovision 2005|date=2004-12-05|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-23] [cite web|url=|title=ERT postpones announcements. Next week is also possible not to break any news but...|date=2004-12-08|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-23] 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. [cite web|url=|title=STAR claims: Franz Ferdinand lead ERT choice and Greece in danger|last=Kosma|first=Stella|date=2005-01-15|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-28] Finally on January 22, 2005, ERT announced that it had selected Helena Paparizou, former member of the Greek-Swedish duet Antique which represented Greece at the 2001 contest, achieving 3rd place. In a press release, ERT stated that her 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". [cite web|url=|title=Helena Paparizou to represent Greece|last=Phillips|first=Roel|date=2005-01-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] 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. [cite web|url=|title=|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-01-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-10-04]

The songs

Four songs by various composer were sent in and chosen by ERT as the candidates for Paparizou's song and were presented for the first time to the public on February 21, 2005 during an ERT program titled "Euromania". They were "My Number One" composed by Christos Dantis with lyrics by Dantis and Natalia Germanou, "The Light in Our Soul" written by Kostas Bigalis, "OK" composed by Christodoulos Siganos with lyrics by Siganos and Valentino, and "Let's Get Wild" written by Douglas Carr.cite web|url=|title=Helena Paparizou presents Greeks songs|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-02-21|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] The next day, it was revealed that "The Light in Our Soul" had been released on under the name "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, so there were then only three songs to chose from at the final. [cite web|url=|title=Greece: song Bigalis released on CD in 2004|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-02-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23]

The final

The national final went on as described at the ERT press conference on February 17, 2005. There were two pre-shows held on February 18 and 25, 2005 that aired on ERT to present the songs and the artist to the public. Then on March 2, 2005, Greece saw the songs performed live by Helena Paparizou at "Fever Music Center" where voting was conducted through viewer televoting, SMS texting, and an nine member jury. [cite web|url=|title=Greek chaos to end on March 2; Two pre-shows scheduled|last=Konstantopoulos|first=Fotis|date=2005-02-18|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-09-23] The televoting and SMS texting was weighted 60% and the jury 40%.cite web|url=|title=Greece: Helena to sing 'My number one'|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-03-03|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23]

During the national final, several acts from other countries performed to both entertain and promote their own Eurovision songs. 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".cite web|url=|title=Greece selects song for Kiev tonight|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-03-02|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] [cite web|url=|title=Alcazar, Glennis Grace and Marian in Greek final|last=Phillips|first=Roel|date=2005-02-23|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23]

Result of National final

The final took place on March 2, 2005 and 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.cite web|url=|title=Greece: Clear victory 'My number one'|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-03-03|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-23] [cite web|url=|title=Greek National Final 2005|publisher="GeoCities"|accessdate=2008-09-24] 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. Although "Let's Get Wild" received a higher score from the jury than "OK", it placed third when the televoting and SMS texts where taken into account.

At Eurovision

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". [cite web|url=|title=Eurovision Song Contest 2005 Final|date=2005-05-22|publisher=""|accessdate=2008-09-24] Paparizou appeared very confident on stage and her dancers prepared an extravagant show with carefully choreographed stage moves.cite web|url=|title=Greece Wins Eurovision Song Contest|last=Bakker|first=Sietse|date=2005-05-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] She wore a short orange-yellow dress while the dancers wore tan colored clothing. The performance included Paparizou playing a violin and the backing dancers forming the number 1 on stage. [cite web|url=|title=Helena Paparizou Live at Eurovision Final|date=2005-05-22|publisher="ORF"|accessdate=2008-09-24]

"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. [cite web|url=|title=Scoreboard: Eurovision Song Contest 2005 Final|date=2005-05-22|publisher=""|accessdate=2008-09-24] 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. [cite web|url=|title=Record Greek TV Figures|last=Vatmanidis|first=Theo|date=2005-05-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24]

After Eurovision

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!"cite web|url=|title=Helena: 'Europe is our home!'|last=Vatmanidis|first=Theo|date=2005-05-22|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] 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.cite web|url=|title=Helena's arrival sets Athens on fire|last=Vatmanidis|first=Theo|date=2005-05-23|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] 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.

"My Number One" did very well in the music charts, being certified platinum in Greece and gold in Sweden while climbing to #1 on both charts and charting for an extended number of weeks.cite web|url=|title=Helena Paparizou number one in Swedish charts|last=Phillips|first=Roel|date=2005-06-02|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] [cite web|url=|title=Gold record for 'My number one' in Sweden|last=Phillips|first=Roel|date=2005-07-16|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] It also charted in other European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. [cite web|url=|title='My number one' enters German charts|last=Rau|first=Oliver|date=2005-06-10|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-24] It was later released in the United States as a CD Single with remixes and reached #8 on the US "Billboard" Hot Dance Club Play charting for eight weeks. [cite web|url=|title=Helena signs No.1 Nokia Deal|last=Floras|first=Stella|date=2006-10-23|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-09-25] [cite web|url=|title=Hot Dance Club Play - My Number One|date=2006-10-21|publisher="Billboard"|accessdate=2008-09-24]

ee also

* Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
* Eurovision Song Contest 2005


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