With the Eurovision Song Contest already enjoying enormous popularity in Greece, Helena Paparizou’s victory in 2005 created the perfect circumstances to organize the show. Under the Greek sun, the 2006 contest took place in Athens!


SEMIFINAL – MAY 18, 2006
The 2006 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final brought us the 1000th song to be sung at the Eurovision Song Contest: Ireland’s entry Every Song Is A Cry For Love by Brian Kennedy.

The official logo of the 2006 contest remained the same from 2004 and 2005 with the country’s flag in a heart-shaped form. However, the 2006 sub-logo was based on the Phaistos Disc, which is a popular symbol of ancient Greece. According to ERT, it was “inspired by the wind and the sea, the golden sunlight and the glow of the sand.” Following Istanbul’s Under The Same Sky and Kyi’s Awakening, the motto for the 2006 show was Feel The Rhythm. This theme was also the basis for the postcards for the 2006 show, which emphasized Greece’s historical significance as well as being a modern tourist destination.

23 countries took part in the Semi-Final, covering all musical ranges: from Finnish hard-rock to Albanian ethnic sounds, via Swedish schlager. Contrary to the 2005 Semi-Final, most experts and fans agreed on the songs that went on to the Final, with the only exception being the shocking exit of Belgian star Kate Ryan, who had had a handful of European smash hits before.

Iceland’s diva character Silvia Night had all the cameras zooming in her direction due to her extravagant behaviour, but didn’t qualify either. In interviews, she referred to the Finnish participants as “stars without a real make-up artist” and she accused the Swedish participant of poisoning her. People of the host country certainly did not welcome her rather rude comments about Greeks in general, and she was welcomed on stage with loud boo-ing from the audience.

01 Armenia André Without Your Love 150 07
02 Bulgaria Mariana Popova Let Me Cry 036 17
03 Slovenia Anžej Dežan Mr. Nobody 049 16
04 Andorra Jennifer Sense Tu 008 23
05 Belarus Polina Smolova Mum 010 22
06 Albania Luiz Ejlli Zjarr E Ftohtë 058 15
07 Belgium Kate Ryan Je T’adore 069 12
08 Ireland Brian Kennedy Every Song Is A Cry For Love 079 10
09 Cyprus Annet Artani Why Angels Cry 057 13
10 Monaco Séverine Ferrer La Coco-dance 014 21
11 FYR Macedonia Elena Risteska Ninanajna 076 08
12 Poland Ich Troje Follow My Heart 070 11
13 Russia Dima Bilan Never Let You Go 217 03
14 Turkey Sibel Tüzün Superstar 091 09
15 Ukraine Tina Karol Show Me Your Love 146 06
16 Finland Lordi Hard Rock Hallelujah 292 01
17 Netherlands Treble Amambanda 022 19
18 Lithuania LT United We Are The Winners 163 05
19 Portugal Nonstop Coisas De Nada 026 19
20 Sweden Carola Invincible 214 04
21 Estonia Sandra Through My Window 028 18
22 Bosnia & Herzegovina Hari Mata Hari Lejla 267 02
23 Iceland Silvia Night Congratulations 062 13
24 Serbia & Montenegro withdrew , but eligible to vote   000 24

FINAL – MAY 20, 2006
There were lots of discussions in Athens among the media and fans who would be the winner of the 51st Eurovision Song Contest. Sweden, represented by Carola and her song Invincible, was named very often. The singer had already won the Eurovision Song Contest in1991 and wanted to be the second person on earth to win it twice. Another hotly tipped winner was Russian heartthrob Dima Bilan, who had already tried to represent Russia the year before. German group Texas Lightning did well in at the bookmakers with their refreshing pop-country song No No Never, but the song only managed to end up at a disappointing 14th place. Anna Vissi, the Greek pop queen who had already entered the contests of 1980 (for Greece) and 1982 (for Cyprus) had high hopes as well to win the competition with her dramatic performance of Everything.

However, not many experts expected the masked hardrockers Lordi to get the trophy. With their Hard Rock Hallelujah and their performance filled with spectacular pyrotechnical effects, the Finns managed to win the contest with 292 points. Funnily enough, they had the exact same score in the Semi-Final! These 292 points are the highest amount of points ever achieved in a Eurovision Song Contest to date. Lordi went on to have lots of success with their song which made the top 10 in dozens of European charts.

2006 saw some rule changes in the voting of the Eurovision Song Contest Final. Not all points were read out by the national spokespersons any longer as the marks from 1 point till 7 points were automatically beamed onto the screen, and just the three highest votes were still announced by the national spokespersons. The reason for this was that the voting in the previous years seemed too long, and with this rule change, the organizers wanted to streamline the show.

01 Switzerland Six4One If We All Give A Little 030 16
02 Moldova Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko Loca 022 20
03 Israel Eddie Butler Ze Hazman 004 23
04 Latvia Cosmos I Hear Your Heart 030 16
05 Norway Christine Guldbrandsen Alvedansen 036 14
06 Spain Las Ketchup Bloody Mary 018 21
07 Malta Fabrizio Faniello I Do 001 24
08 Germany Texas Lightning No, No, Never 036 14
09 Denmark Sidsel Ben Semmane Twist Of Love 026 18
10 Russia Dima Bilan Never Let You Go 248 02
11 FYR Macedonia Elena Risteska Ninanajna 056 12
12 Romania Mihai Traistariu Tornero 172 04
13 Bosnia & Herzegovina Hari Mata Hari Lejla 229 03
14 Lithuania LT United We Are The Winners 162 06
15 Un. Kingdom Daz Sampson Teenage Life 025 19
16 Greece Anna Vissi Everything 128 09
17 Finland Lordi Hard Rock Hallelujah 292 01
18 Ukraine Tina Karol Show Me Your Love 145 07
19 France Virginie Pouchin Il était Temps 005 22
20 Croatia Severina Moja štikla 056 12
21 Ireland Brian Kennedy Every Song Is A Cry For Love 093 10
22 Sweden Carola Invincible 170 05
23 Turkey Sibel Tüzün Superstar 091 11
24 Armenia André Without Your Love 129 08

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