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Music > Did you know this? May 20, 2006

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The Eurovision Song Contest, which launched the careers of Abba and Celine Dion, was broadcast live across Europe to an estimated audience of more than 100 million.

Since 1956, it has pitted European nations against one another in pursuit of pop music glory. Previous winners include ’60s chanteuse Lulu, Sweden’s ABBA – victors in 1974 with “Waterloo” – and Canada’s Celine Dion, who won for Switzerland in 1988.

Saturday’s showdown was broadcast live in 38 countries to a TV audience estimated at more than 100 million. 

Athens is staging the event because Greece won last year in Kiev, Ukraine.

This year’s winner receives a trophy shaped like an ancient Greek column, and the show opened with a musical number inspired by Greece’s rich history, mythology and sparkling seas.

The hosts , Greek pop singer Sakis Rouvas and “Access Hollywood” correspondent Maria Menounos made their entrance by “flying” onto the set, which resembled an ancient theater.

Last night’s show in Athens was the 51st Eurovision song contest. A continental tradition since 1956, it has fanatical fans, who point to the global success of past winners such as Abba and Celine Dion, and bitter foes who say performers are competing in eccentricity. 

First contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland, with the aim of “stimulating the output of original, high-quality songs in the field of popular music”. It has given the world such memorable songs as Abba’s Waterloo. But it has also served up such naffness as La La La.

Music > Did you know? May 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life.
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More than 18,500 fans packed the arena in the Olympic stadium complex, with 2,000 journalists and 3,000 police officers on duty.

For more go to > ERTonline

which is the official website of Greek state ERT, the host country’s broadcaster.

Music > Hard Rock Hallelujah May 20, 2006

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You guessed that right!

Finnish monsters rocked Athens and Eurovision.

Lordi, a Finnish “horror rock” group who dress in monster costumes have pulled off a surprise win at the 51st Eurovision Song Contest in Athens.

European viewers voted for Lordi’s song Hard Rock Hallelujah in a show that is normally associated with catchy pop and big ballads.

Lordi’s masks, armour and jets of flame attracted widespread attention before the contest – but many thought they were too outlandish to win. Against all odds!

Hosting country Greece came ninth with Anna Vissi, who had also been hotly tipped.

Music > Helena Paparizou also a guest in final May 20, 2006

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Bit by bit, more details on the show aspect of the Eurovision Song Contest are revealed. 

The “Welcome to the party”, the song of Anna Vissi which finished second in this year’s Greek selections, will be integrated in the opening act of the semfinal.

Helena Paparizou sung two songs

Thanks to Swedish-Greek singer Helena Paparizou, who won last year’s contest in Kiev, the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Athens this year. Tonight In the final (Saturday 20th May) Paparizou performed two songs: her winning song of last year “My number one”, and “Mambo!”, her new single to be released all over Europe after the Eurovision Song Contest.

Music > Nana Mouskouri May 20, 2006

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NanaMouskouri.jpg  She was the surprise of this year’s Eurovision. A very pleasant surprise.

Nana Mouskouri, the famous Greek singer, was the guest of honor to open the final televoting poll.

Nana Mouskouri, the Greek singer who represented Luxembourg in 1963, launched the 10-minute lasting televoting in the final. Mouskouri symbolically launched the televoting by turning a big sand clock, an ancient Greek instrument to measure time

Music > Anna Vissi May 20, 2006

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AnnaVissi1.jpg  Greek singer Anna Vissi performs her song “Everything” during the dress rehearsal for the final of the Eurovision song contest which is to be held at the indoor arena at the Olympic Stadium complex tonight.

Vissi is one of the favorites to win the competition, which was won by Helena Paparizou last year. Some 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to watch the event. Annette Artani, representing Cyprus, was not among the 10 qualifiers from the semifinal on Thursday night.

Music > Eurovision final > hopes on Vissi’s “Everything” May 20, 2006

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Today Athens is reliving something of the atmosphere generated during the heady days of the 2004 Olympic Games, as Europe’s youth converges on the Greek capital and the unrecognizably converted Olympic basketball stadium tonight for the 50th Eurovision Song Contest.

The country is hosting the event after winning last year’s contest with Helena Paparizou singing “My Number One” in a mini-skirt to the accompaniment of a Pontic lyre. This year, all the bets are on pop star Anna Vissi with a song by Nikos Karvelas “Everything,” with Sweden’s Carola hot on her heels for the winning slot, then Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Finland — with the monster Lordi — and Russia with the “swans” from the “lake.”

After Lithuania’s surprise with “We Are the Winners,” perhaps we should place a bet on them for their persistence. For those who really will place bets, don’t forget Turkey’s Sibel Tuzun, whose voice and daring apparel (get ready for a belly dance) will certainly raise the roof. In Thursday’s semifinal, Armenia qualified for Saturday’s final with Andre singing “Without your Love” as did the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, whose brunette Elena Risteska leaves the blondes for dead with “Ninanajna.”

The list of 24 countries competing tonight are the following, in order of appearance: Switzerland, Moldavia, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Spain, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Russia, FYROM, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Britain, Greece, Finland, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Ireland (Brian Kennedy is excellent!), Sweden, Turkey and Armenia.

Cyprus’s entry, Annette Artani and the ballad “Why Angels Cry” did not make it to the final, but Greece’s 12 points will go to another country. Tonight Greeks will be up until the morning hours awaiting the winner. Greek state media broadcaster ERT along with its co-organizer, the European Broadcasting Union, would really like Greece to win in order to keep the Olympic spirit alive in Athens for yet another year.

AthensEurovision.jpg   Sakis Rouvas and Maria Menounos, announcing the semifinal results on Thursday night.