- Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
Infobox Eurovision country
Name = Greece
Member station = ERT
National selection event =
ESC apps = 29
ESC first = 1974
ESC best = 1st, 2005
ESC worst = 20th, 1998
Website = [http://eurovision.ert.gr/ ERT page]
EBU page = http://www.eurovision.tv/index/main?page=67&country=19
Greecehas been participating in the Eurovision Song Contestsince 1974, with the exception of 1975, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1999 and 2000. After 26 years in the competition, Greece won for the first time in 2005 with Elena Paparizousinging " My Number One", which broke the record for the most number of "twelve points" allocated to a song (ten in total). After Eurovision, the song topped the charts in Greece, Cyprusand Sweden, and entered the top ten in Romania, The Netherlands, Hungary, Belgiumand even the U.S."Billboard" Hot Dance Club PlayChart. 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 Rouvasin 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 Greek-speaking 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-Americanpresenter Maria Menounos. The singer representing Greece in their own country was popular Greek Cypriotartist Anna Vissi.
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- Sovietand Balticcountries. In the case of Greece and Cyprus, the exchange of twelve points is probably due to the fact that the majority of Cypriot citizens are Greeks thus sharing linguistic ties (speaking Greek) and musical taste. 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. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7400508.stm |publisher=" BBC News" |title=Sweden tipped to win Eurovision|date=2008-05-20|author=Osborn, Michael|accessdate=2008-05-22] 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". [cite web|url=http://www.esctoday.com/news/read/11553 |title=Greece-Cyprus party hugely successful|author=Floras, Stella|date=2008-05-17|publisher="ESCToday"|accessdate=2008-05-22]
Despite an ongoing political debate with regards to Cyprus, and tension over several island territories claimed by both countries, Greece enjoys a friendly relationship with
Turkeyin the contest. For instance, in 2005, Turkey awarded Greece twelve points for their (winning) entry by Elena Paparizou. However, in 2004, when the Contest was held in Turkey, rumours arose when the hosts purposely delayed announcing that Greece and Cyprus had won a place in the finalFact|date=July 2008. Cyprus and Greece were announced last by the host, who had earlier been seen reshuffling the envelopes, and placing two at the back of the pile.
Greece has been the most successful country of the Eurovision Song Contest after the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004. They have reached a top-ten position every year since then: [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7376968.stm |title=Eurovision vote 2008: Top 10|publisher="
BBC News"|date=2008-05-25|author=Osborn, Michael|accessdate=2008-05-22] third in 2004, first in 2005, ninth in 2006, seventh in 2007 and third in 2008.
Greece has received the most points from:
Greece did not participate in the
Eurovision Song Contest 1975for "unknown reasons" according to the EBU. However, it has been discovered that the withdrawal was in protest of Turkey's debut and its invasion of Cyprus in 1974. [cite web|url=http://www.ogaegreece.com/node/150|title=EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 1975|publisher="OGAE Greece"|language=Greek|accessdate=2008-08-30] [cite book|last=Raycoff|first=Ivan|coauthors=Robert Deam Tobin|title=A Song for Europe|date=July 2007|publisher= Ashgate Publishing|isbn= 9780754658788|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Eq7nilnv93cC&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+song+for+europe&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U0r2r9IklIU3MfJf6wIZOWTlbgE4A#PPR18,M1|location= Aldershot, Hampshire, England]
Greece was disqualified from the
Eurovision Song Contest 1982after 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. [cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050205165339/www.oikotimes.com/site/index.php?id=545|title=Greek, Cypriot and Lebanese news|last=Konstantopoulos|first=Fotis|date=2005-02-03|publisher="Oikotimes"|accessdate=2008-08-24] Had Adamantidis been allowed to perform "Sarantapente Kopelies", he would have appeared second at Harrogate. [http://www.tv.com/eurovision-song-contest/the-27th-eurovision-song-contest---harrogate-united-kingdom/episode/1079046/summary.html?tag=ep_guide;ep_title;37 TV.com - Eurovision 1982] ]
ERT decided that all of the possible songs were of "low quality" and decided not to participate in the
Eurovision Song Contest 1984.
Polina was picked in the 1986 national selection to represent Greece at the
Eurovision Song Contest 1986in Bergen, Norway, but ERT pulled out of the Contest unexpectedly. Polina stated that it was due to political troubles in Greece at the time,cite web|url=http://www.polina.biz/index1.htm |title=Polina Biography|language=Greek|accessdate=2008-08-24] 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. Had she performed, she would have appeared eighteenth and she would have performed the song "Wagon-lit."cite web|publisher=" Sony Music"|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zJtoeKxD9Q |title="Wagon-lit" single - 1986|accessdate=2008-08-24]
Greece was not permitted to participate in the
Eurovision Song Contest 1999because its five-year points average had fallen under the limit for participation after Thalassa's 20th place finish in 1998.
ERT announced that it would not participate in the
Eurovision Song Contest 2000due to financial reasons.
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