Monday, 22 October 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2004


Semi-final date: May 12, 2004
Final date: May 15th, 2004
Venue: Abdi İpekçi Arena, Istanbul, Turkey
Presenters: Korhan Abay, Meltem Cumbul
Director: Sven Stojanovic
Scruteneer: Svante Stockselius
Host broadcaster: TRT
Opening act: Sertab erener
Interval act Semi-final: ABBA: The Last Video
Interval act Final: Fire of Anatolia
Duration Semi-final: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Duration Final: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Number of entries: 36
Debuting countries: Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Serbia an Montenegro
Returning countries: Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Monaco, Switzerland
Withdrawing countries:
Winning Song: Wild Dances  - Ruslana, Ukraine
Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs

The Eurovision Song Contest 2004, was the 49th Contest and it was held in the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the first occasion in which the contest was held in Turkey after they had won the competition in 2003 with Sertab Erener singing Everyway That I Can. The hosting national broadcaster of the contest was Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).


Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lyzhychko won the contest with Wild Dances. It is notable that this was only Ukraine's second participation in the contest. This was also the third year in a row in which the contest was won by a woman, performing a song composed by Aleksandr Ksenofontov, Jamie Maher, Ruslana Lyzchicko, Michael Fayne and Sherena Dugani.

To accommodate the increasing number of countries who wished to participate, a semi-final was introduced.


The contest was held in Istanbul following Turkey's victory in the 2003 contest in Riga, Latvia with Sertab Erener's Everyway That I Can. Originally the Mydonose Showland was chosen by TRT to host the event, but was changed to the Abdi İpekçi Arena as the contest approached due to its bigger capacity.The presenters of the Semi-final and the Final were Korhan Abay and Meltem Cumbul.

In the semi-final and the final, Meltem Cumbul warmed up the audience with a sing-a-long of Eurovision classic Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare), originally by Domenico Modugno. Sertab Erener returned to the stage in the final to perform Everyway That I Can, the 2003 winning song, and one of her new songs called Leave. Sertab also interviewed contestants in the green room. The Turkish dance ensemble Fire of Anatolia performed as the interval act. An official CD was released and, for the first time, the entire contest was released on DVD which included the Semi-Final and the Grand Final.

The contest's new official generic logo was used for the first time this year, with the heart-shaped flag in the centre due to be changed for future contests. The slogan for Istanbul's contest was Under The Same Sky, which communicated the importance of a united Europe and Turkish integration.


This year was also notable as it was the first year that Turkey voted for Cyprus and the second year in a row that Cyprus voted for Turkey. Nevertheless, in a move that angered some Cypriots, when the country presented its votes no map of the island was shown (all other presenters were preceded with their country being highlighted on a map). This was due to Turkey's recognition of the northern half of the island as an independent republic (not recognised by any other state). It is likely Turkey pulled out of showing the map because it would have only highlighted the southern portion of the island, and thus angered the international community.

This was also the first year that the scores were only re-read by the hosts in one language. Before 2004 every point was repeated in French and English, but due to 36 countries voting, and more in years to come, in 2004 to save time the hosts only re-read each score in one language. This was in the opposite of the original country representative spoke in.

Also, this year was the first time in which a non-winning entry scored over 200 points. Prior to this contest, only Rock 'n' Roll Kids and Love Shine a Light, the winners on 1994 and 1997 had passed this mark. On this contest, all songs in the top 3 got over 200 points.

This year's Eurovision contest was the first to be a two-day event, with one qualifying round held on a Wednesday and the grand final held on the following Saturday. Under this new format, byes into the final were given to the 'Big 4'; France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom (as the largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union) and the ten highest placed finishers in the 2003 contest. Andorra, Albania, Belarus and Serbia and Montenegro participated in the Contest for the first time, with Monaco returning after a 25-year absence. Luxembourg were due to return after an absence of 11 years, but later pulled out after money issues arose between RTL and the EBU. All participating countries had the right to vote in both the qualifying round and the grand final. This was the first year in which all 36 participating countries voted based on a public phone vote. However France, Poland and Russia did not broadcast the semi-final (as they were not participating in it) and therefore did not give votes for it like the other thirty-three countries.



Just before the Slovenian entry was about to be performed, the Turkish broadcaster accidentally took a commercial break which meant the Slovenian song was not heard by Turkish viewers and consequently, Turkey gave no votes for the song. There were technical problems when in a short hiatus halfway through the songs, (used for the advertising break), the hosts tried to contact various parties in Europe. They tried contacting Germany, Spain and Turkey, but in the end were only able to get a response from Germany. During the Romanian postcard introduction, the information for the Romanian entry appeared on the screen, but was quickly taken away. A final minor hiccup occurred when, on her way to present the winner the trophy, Sertab Erener got her shoe stuck in a speaker grill by the side of the stage and had to be freed by stagehands. However this didn't delay proceedings, and other than the above the show ran smoothly.

An hour after the semi-final had been aired, the European Broadcasting Union discovered that there had been problems with the vote counting in Monaco and Croatia. Digame, an affiliate of Deutsche Telekom, who had been responsible for processing all the votes, reported that they had encountered problems with their calculation software, and there was a problem with text message voting in Croatia. When the votes were counted, results showed that Croatia had awarded themselves 4 points, which is against Eurovision rules. Later, an official EBU statement read that there had been technical problems at the side of the Croatian mobile service provider, who neglected to delete the illegal votes from the results. Consequently, some votes were not counted in the results announced at the end of the broadcast of the semi-final. When the results were corrected to include these additional votes, they were found not to have affected which countries had qualified for the Final.


Every country in the competition, including those who did not qualify for the final, were allowed to vote for other countries. After all performances were completed, each country opened their phone lines to allow their viewers to vote for their favourite song. Voting for the country in which you are situated is not allowed, however. Each country awarded points based on the number of votes cast for each song: the song which received the most viewer votes was awarded 12 points, the second 10 points, the third 8 points and then 7, 6, 5, etc. down to 1.

In the event of a tie, the number of countries to vote for the tying songs would be counted, and the song having the most countries awarding points to it, would be the winner. In the event of a further tie, then the previously used method of counting back on the number of 12 points, 10 points etc., would be used to find an eventual winner.

Sakis Rouvas


The semi-final was held on 12 May 2004 at 21:00 (CET). 22 countries performed and all participants voted except France, Poland and Russia. The 10 best scoring countries went on to perform in the Final.

01. Finland: Jari Sillanpää - Takes 2 to Tango (14th place, 51 points)
02. Belarus: Aleksandra  Konstantin - My Galileo (19th place, 10 points)
03. Switzerland: Piero and the MusicStars - Celebrate (22th place, 0 points)
04. Latvia: Formins & Kleins - Dziesma par laimi (17th place, 23 points)
05. Israel: David D'Or - Leha'amin (11th place, 57 points)
06. Andorra: Marta Roure - Jugarem a estimar-nos (18th place, 12 points)
07. Portugal: Sofia Vitória - Foi magia (15th place, 38 points)
08. Malta: Julie & Ludwig - On again (8th place, 74 points)
09. Monaco: Maryon - Notre planète (19th place, 10 points)
10. Greece: Sakis Rouvas - Shake it (3rd place, 238 points)
11. Ukraine: Ruslana - Wild dances (2nd place, 256 points)
12. Lithuania: Linas & Simona - What's happened to your love (16th place, 26 points)
13. Albania: Anjeza Shahini - The image of you (4th place, 167 points)
14. Cyprus: Lisa Andreas - Stronger every minute (5th place, 149 points)
15. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Toše Proeski - Life (10th place, 71 points)
16. Slovenia: Platin - Stay forever (21st place, 5 points)
17. Estonia: Neiokõsõ - Tii (11th place, 57 points)
18. Croatia: Ivan Mikulić - You are the only one (9th place, 72 points)
19. Denmark: Thomas Thordarson - Shame on you (13th place, 56 points)
20. Serbia & Montenegro: Željko Joksimović - Lane moje (1st place, 263 points)
21. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen - In the disco (7th place, 133 points)
22. The Netherlands: Re-Union - Without you (6th place, 146 points)

During the break a new ABBA video was shown in the semi final, briefly outlining how ABBA started and what the response was of the first record company the approached. It featured small puppets of the band performing snippets of their songs (the voices being the ones of the band) and featured Rik Mayall as the record company manager. This was cut from the Eurovision Song Contest DVD and released separately. References to the video that were made running up to the showing of it were also cut.


The finalists were:

    the four automatic qualifiers France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom;
    the top 10 countries from the 2003 contest (other than the automatic qualifiers);
    the top 10 countries from the 2004 semi-final.


The final was held on 15 May 2004 at 21:00 (CET) and was won by Ukraine.

01. Spain: Ramón - Para llenarme de ti (10th place, 87 points)
02. Austria: Tie Break - Du bist (21st place, 9 points)
03. Norway: Knut Anders Sørum - High (24th place, 3 points)
04. France: Jonathan Cerrada - A chaque pas (15th place, 40 points)
05. Serbia & Montenegro: Željko Joksimović  - Lane moje (2nd place, 263 points)
06. Malta: Julie & Ludwig - On again (12th place, 50 points)
07. The Netherlands: Re-union - Without you (20th place, 11 points)
08. Germany: Max - Can't wait until tonight (8th place, 93 points)
09. Albania: Anjeza Shahini - The image of you (7th place, 106 points)
10. Ukraine: Ruslana - Wild dances (1st place, 280 points)
11. Croatia: Ivan Mikulić -  You are the only one (12th place, 50 points)
12. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Deen - In the disco (9th place, 91 points)
13. Belgium: Xandee - 1 Life (22nd place, 7 points)
14. Russia: Julia Savicheva - Believe me (11th place, 67 points)
15. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Toše Proeski - Life (14th place, 47 points)
16. Greece: Sakis Rouvas - Shake it (3rd place, 252 points)
17. Iceland: Jónsi - Heaven (19th place, 16 points)
18. Ireland: Chris Doran - If my wordld stopped turning (22nd place, 7 points)
19. Poland: Blue Café - Love song (17th place, 27 points)
20. UK: James Fox - Hold on to your love (16th place, 29 points)
21. Cyprus: Lisa Andreas - Stronger every minute (5th place, 170 points)
22. Turkey: Athena - For real (4th place, 195 points)
23. Romania: Sanda - I admit (18th place, 18 points)
24. Sweden: Lena Philipsson - It hurts (5th place, 170 points)

Marcel Bezençon Awards

The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Composer Award.

Artists Award: Ukraine, Ruslana - Wild Dances
Composer Award: Cyprus, Stronger every minute - Mike Konnaris
Press Award: Serbia and Montenegro: Željko Joksimović - Lane moje

Returning artists

For the second consecutive year, no returning acts were present. This was only the sixth time (including 1956) in the history of the contest that this happened and it was the first time this had happened in two consecutive years.

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