Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest was a television programme organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to commemorate the Eurovision Song Contest’s fiftieth anniversary and to determine the Contest’s most popular entrant of its fifty years. It took place at Forum, Copenhagen on 22 October 2005. The host broadcaster was Danmarks Radio (DR). Fourteen songs from the Contest’s first half-century, chosen through an internet poll and by a jury, contested the event. Thirty-one EBU-member countries broadcast the concert (although the United Kingdom, Italy and France did not) and televoting and juries in these countries decided the winner. 2.5 million votes were cast in total on the night.

The event was hosted by Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers. The event was won by Swedish group ABBA, performing “Waterloo”; the band had originally won the Contest for Sweden in 1974. To coincide with the event, the EBU released two CDs featuring Eurovision songs from the previous fifty years. Two DVDs with original Eurovision performances of these songs were also released.

In June 2004, the European Broadcasting Union announced that it was to hold a concert to celebrate fifty years of the Eurovision Song Contest. The event was to be held on 16 October 2005 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. The BBC was to host the concert. The Royal Albert Hall was reportedly unavailable, so in August 2004 the EBU announced that DR would stage the event instead. Eurovision Song Contest supervisor Svante Stockselius said that Denmark’s previous experience of hosting Eurovision events (the 2001 Contest and the first Junior Eurovision Song Contest) were influential in the Union’s choice. Former Eurovision winner Dana International, who appeared at the event, later went to suggest that the reason behind the change of host country was also due to the fact that the BBC wanted to present the show “with humour” as thought to poke fun at the Contest, an idea that proved to be less popular with the EBU. The event was codenamed Extravaganza.

On 25 October 2004 Copenhagen was confirmed as the host city for the event, which was now scheduled to take place on 22 October 2005. In May 2005 Congratulations was confirmed as the official name of the concert. A month later DR announced that Forum Copenhagen would host the programme. On 9 September 2005 DR announced that Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers would present the concert. Leskanich was the lead singer of Katrina and The Waves, who won the Contest for the United Kingdom in 1997. Kaupers is the lead singer of Latvian group Brainstorm, who represented Latvia on its debut in the Contest in 2000.

Thirty-one countries broadcast the event and participated in the voting. The BBC, RAI and France Télévisions chose not to broadcast the event. Søren Therkelsen, the commissioning editor of the event, said he was “disappointed” at the broadcasters’ decision not to transmit the show. The event was also broadcast delayed to Albania, Armenia, Australia although these countries did not vote.


01 United Kingdom 1968
105 8
02 Ireland 1980
What’s Another Year?
74 12
03 Israel 1998
39 13
04 Spain 1973
Eres tú
90 11
05 Germany 1982
Ein bisschen Frieden
106 7
06 Italy 1958
Nel blu dipinto di blu
200 2 267 2
07 Sweden 1974
331 1 329 1
08 Denmark 2000
Fly on the Wings of Love
111 6
09 Luxembourg 1965
Poupée de cire, poupée de son
37 14
10 Turkey 2003
Every Way That I Can
104 9
11 Switzerland 1988
Ne partez pas sans moi
98 10
12 Ireland 1980
Hold Me Now
182 3 262 3
13 United Kingdom 1976
Save Your Kisses for Me
154 5 230 5
14 Greece 2005
My Number One
167 4 245 4

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