Another nation is clinging onto Eurovision for dear life, it’s got a 100% qualification record to protect. Yes, along with Ukraine, Russia & Romania, Greece has made it to every Eurovision final since the semi-final system was introduced in 2004.
Greece had a creditable record in Eurovision since its 1974 debut, but it was only after its return from a brief hiatus in 2001 that their fortunes really turned around, with an amazing run of eight top 10 finishes between 2004 and 2011, along with their first win in 2005. Winner Helena Paparizou, the singer of “My Number One” returned this year, but rather than represent Greece again, she turned to Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, coming 4th. Continue reading
Another nation I wasn’t sure would make the party… Greece have obviously been through the wringer in the last few years due to the Eurozone crisis and tough austerity measures. And yet they persist in Eurovision – even despite the national broadcaster being shut down suddenly by the government last year. You can’t be in Eurovision without being a member of the EBU.
Fortunately, the EBU were happy to include its successor broadcaster NERIT in the Eurovision party despite only being established a few months ago. They even managed to hold a national final, “A M.A.D. show” in partnership with private music TV broadcaster MAD TV. Four acts were selected, and a 50/50 SMS/Jury split decided the winner.
Greece have good reason to be keen, they have one of the strongest modern-day records in Eurovision. Debuting 40 years ago, they never quite hit the big leagues, with a sole 5th place finish as their high watermark before pulling out entirely in 2000. But a 3rd place return in 2001 with a certain Helena Paparizou as part of Antique fired up Greek passion for the show. When semi-finals arrived in 2004, they not only defended a 100% qualification record – something only Russia, Ukraine & Romania have managed over the same period – but nine of these ten qualifiers reached the top 10 in the end, including Helena’s solo win in 2005. Quite a saga to preside over, so who is going to rise to the challenge?