Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest
Greece has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 40 times since its debut in 1974, missing six contests in that time (1975, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1999 and 2000). Greece's first win came in 2005 with "My Number One", sung by Helena Paparizou. The Greek national broadcaster, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi (ERT), broadcasts the event each year and organises the process for the selection of the Greek entry. Greece has never finished last in the contest.
|Member station||Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT)|
|National selection events|
|Appearances||40 (38 finals)|
|Best result||1st: 2005|
|Worst result||16th: 2016 SF|
|Greece's page at Eurovision.tv|
| For the most recent participation see|
Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
Throughout the 20th century, Greece achieved only two top five results, finishing fifth with Paschalis, Marianna, Robert and Bessy in 1977 and again fifth with Kleopatra in 1992. The start of the 21st century saw Greece become one of the most successful countries in the contest, with ten top-ten results between 2001 and 2013, including third-place finishes for Antique in 2001 (with 2005 winner Paparizou as lead singer), Sakis Rouvas in 2004 and Kalomira in 2008.
- 1 History
- 2 Voting
- 3 Popularity of the Contest
- 4 Contestants
- 5 Conductors
- 6 Voting history
- 7 Hostings
- 8 Marcel Bezençon Awards
- 9 Commentators and spokespersons
- 10 Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
- 11 Photogallery
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 Eurovision sites
- 16 External links
Before Greece as a country participated in the contest, singers from Greece have represented other countries. These singers were Jimmy Makulis (1961) for Austria, Yovanna (1965) for Switzerland, and Nana Mouskouri (1963) and Vicky Leandros (1967 and 1972) for Luxembourg.
After debuting in the 1974 contest, Greece did not participate in 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. 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, it had been revised for the competition, but this violated the rules which stated that all songs had 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. Had Adamantidis been allowed to perform "Sarantapente Kopelies", he would have appeared second at Harrogate. 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, 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".
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 at the time 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 program, 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 16th place in the 2016 semi-final with the song "Utopian Land" by Argo, with 44 points.
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.
Greece has been one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest in the 21st century, ten times finishing in the top-ten, including ninth in 2006, seventh in 2007, third in 2008, seventh in 2009, eighth in 2010 and seventh in 2011. After Eleftheria Eleftheriou placed 17th in 2012 with her song "Aphrodisiac", Greece achieved its 10th top-ten result of the century and 18th in total in 2013, finishing sixth with the song "Alcohol is Free". In 2014, Greece finished in 20th place, which, along with 1998, were the country's worst result in the contest at that time. Greece was one of only three countries (along with Romania and Russia) to have never failed to qualify from the semifinals since their 2004 introduction (2004–15). In addition, Greece also qualified from the 1996 audio-only pre-qualifying round. In 2015, Greece failed to reach the top-ten for the third time in four years, finishing 19th.
From 2013 through 2015, the music channel MAD produced the Greek national final.
For 2016, ERT selected the Eurovision entry internally. They selected the band Argo with the song "Utopian Land". For the first time since the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Greece failed to qualify for the final. They finished 16th in the first semi-final.
In 2017, ERT selected the composer Dimitris Kontopoulos and the choreographer Fokas Evangelinos internally. They chose Demy for representing Greece in Kiev. ERT agreed, and on the 6 March 2017, Greece chose their song via a national final. Three songs were competed: "Angels", "This Is Love" and "When The Morning Comes Around". The final result was combined by 70% from televoting and by 30% from international juries from nine countries. Finally, "This Is Love" gained 70% and won the national final. At Eurovision, she qualified for the Grand Final, where she finished in 19th place with 77 points.
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 bloc voting seen in contest which also occurs between Iberian, 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. This was not always the case, as until 1997 (and, for Greece and Cyprus, 1998), all the votes were given by juries, who may be less biased by diaspora or neighbourly influence than televoters. While Greece and Cyprus did exchange top marks a few times (1987, 1994, and 1997 all saw an exchange of twelves), there were also several years where one or the other didn't receive the twelve. In 1983, only the second time Greece and Cyprus competed together, Greece awarded the Cypriot entry no points for the first and only time (the only occasion in which one of the two didn't vote for the other when they had the ability to). However, between 1997 and 2013 (excepting the contests from 1999-2000, which Greece didn't compete in, and 2001, which Cyprus didn't compete in), the two countries always gave each other twelve points if presented the opportunity. 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. 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". However, for the first time since 1990, in 2015 Greece and Cyprus did not give each other 12 points, with Greece giving Cyprus 10 points and Cyprus giving Greece only 8 points, and curiously both countries gave the maximum to Italy. It was also the first time since 1996 that one of the two hadn't given the other twelve (with the exceptions of 1985 and 1990, one of the two countries gave the other twelve points every year).
Popularity of the ContestEdit
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 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. They are the second most successful country, behind Russia, in the contest between 2000 and 2009, with one win and three third places. Since 2014 their performance has declined, having failed to finish in the top 10 six consecutive years. In 2016, Greece failed to qualify for the first time since the introduction of the semifinals in 2004 with the group Argo, breaking their qualification record. This was the first year Greece was absent from the final since 2000. Greece failed to qualify for the final again in 2018.
The following table lists the forty entries which competed for Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Table key
|1974||Marinella||Greek||"Krasi, thalassa ke t'agori mou" (Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ'αγόρι μου)||11||7||No semi-finals|
|1975||Did not participate|
|1976||Mariza Koch||Greek||"Panagia mou, panagia 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|
|1980||Anna Vissi & The Epikouri||Greek||"Autostop" (Ωτοστόπ)||13||30|
|1981||Yiannis Dimitras||Greek||"Feggari kalokerino" (Φεγγάρι καλοκαιρινό)||8||55|
|1982||Themis Adamadidis||Greek||"Sarantapente kopelies" (Σαρανταπέντε κοπελιές)||Withdrawn|
|1983||Kristi Stassinopoulou||Greek||"Mou les" (Μου λες)||14||32|
|1984||Did not participate|
|1985||Takis Biniaris||Greek||"Moiazoume" (Μοιάζουμε)||16||15|
|1986||Polina||Greek||"Wagon-lit" (Βαγκόν λι)||Withdrawn|
|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 anoixi" (Η ανοιξη)||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||Kvalifikacija za Millstreet|
|1994||Kostas Bigalis||Greek||"To trehandiri" (Το τρεχαντήρι)||14||44||No semi-finals|
|1995||Elina Konstantopoulou||Greek||"Poia prosefchi" (Ποια προσευχή)||12||68|
|1996||Mariana Efstratiou||Greek||"Emeis forame to himona anoixiatika" (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 evaisthisia" (Μια κρυφή ευαισθησία)||20||12|
|Did not participate between 1999 and 2000|
|2001||Antique||English, Greek||"(I Would) Die for You"||3||147|
|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[a]|
|2006||Anna Vissi||English||"Everything"||9||128||Host country[b]|
|2007||Sarbel||English||"Yassou Maria" (Γεια σου Μαρία)||7||139||Top 10 Previous Year[a]|
|2009||Sakis Rouvas||English||"This Is Our Night"||7||120||4||110|
|2010||Giorgos Alkaios & Friends||Greek1||"OPA!" (ΩΠΑ!)||8||140||2||133|
|2011||Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike||Greek, English||"Watch My Dance"||7||120||1||133|
|2013||Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas Iakovidis||Greek, English||"Alcohol Is Free"||6||152||2||121|
|2014||Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd||English||"Rise Up"||20||35||7||74|
|2015||Maria Elena Kyriakou||English||"One Last Breath"||19||23||6||81|
|2016||Argo||Greek2, English||"Utopian Land"||Failed to qualify||16||44|
|2017||Demy||English||"This Is Love"||19||77||10||115|
|2018||Yianna Terzi||Greek||”Oniro mou” (Όνειρο Μου)||Failed to qualify||14||81|
|2019||Katerine Duska||English||"Better Love"||21||74||5||185|
- 1.^ Contains one phrase in English.
- 2.^ Particularly Pontic Greek, except the first two sentences of the song.
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.
All conductors are Greek except with a flag.
Prior to 1999, the Greek entry was performed without orchestral accompaniment in 1998.
As of 2019, Greece's voting history is as follows:
Marcel Bezençon AwardsEdit
|Year||Song||Performer||Final result||Points||Host city|
|2005||"My Number One"||Helena Paparizou||1st||230||Kiev|
Commentators and spokespersonsEdit
This section does not cite any sources. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|1971||Mako Georgiadou||Greece did not participate||No radio broadcast||EIRT|
|1975||Greece did not participate||ERT|
|1977||Naki Agathou||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|1982||Greece did not participate||No radio broadcast|
|1983||Irini Gavala||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|1984||No broadcast||Greece did not participate||No radio broadcast|
|1985||Mako Georgiadou||Kelly Sakakou||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|1986||Greece did not participate||No radio broadcast|
|1987||Dafni Bokota||Kelly Sakakou||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|1998||Giorgos Mitropoulos||Alexis Kostalas||Dimitris Konstantaras|
|1999||Dafni Bokota||Greece did not participate||No radio broadcast|
|2001||Alexis Kostalas||Giorgos Mitropoulos|
|2004||No radio broadcast|
|2006||Giorgos Kapoutzidis and Zeta Makrypoulia|
|2007||Maria Bakodimou and Fotis Sergoulopoulos|
|2011||Maria Kozakou||Lena Aroni|
|2013||Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis|
|2015||Helena Paparizou||Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis|
|2018||Alexandros Lizardos and Daphne Skalioni||Olina Xenopoulou||Alexandros Lizardos and Daphne Skalioni|
|2019||Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis||Gus G||Maria Kozakou and Giorgos Kapoutzidis|
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit
- Table key
|Year||Artist||Language||Title||Final||Points||Semi||Points||Place (2005)||Points (2005)|
|2005||Helena Paparizou||English||"My Number One"||4||245||4||167||1||230|
- According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.
- If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year.
- Paravantes, Maria. (2005-06-11). Joy In Greece Over Eurovision Win. Billboard 117(24), 17-17. Retrieved on 2009-01-16.
- "EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 1975" (in Greek). OGAE Greece. Retrieved 2008-08-30. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Raycoff, Ivan; Robert Deayom Tobin (July 2007). A Song for Europe. Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-5878-8.
- Konstantopoulos, Fotis (2005-02-03). "Greek, Cypriot and Lebanese news". Oikotimes. Archived from the original on 2005-02-05. Retrieved 2008-08-24. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- TV.com - Eurovision 1982
- "Polina Biography" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- ""Wagon-lit" single - 1986". Sony Music. Retrieved 2008-08-24. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- ERT Staff (2008-07-16). "Ο Σάκης Ρουβάς και πάλι στη EUROVISION" (in Greek). ERT. Retrieved 2008-07-16. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Osborn, Michael (2008-05-25). "Eurovision vote 2008: Top 10". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- Vasileiadis, George. "Greece: Argo release Eurovision song "Utopian Land"". Eurovision 2016 Predictions, Polls, Odds, Rankings | wiwibloggs. Retrieved 2016-03-27.
- Alexander, Ruth (2008-05-19). "The maths of Eurovision voting". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- Osborn, Michael (2008-05-20). "Sweden tipped to win Eurovision". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- Floras, Stella (2008-05-17). "Greece-Cyprus party hugely successful". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2008-05-22. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Points to and from Greece eurovisioncovers.co.uk