The fiftieth annual Eurovision Song Contest from Palace of Sports in Kiev, Ukraine.Helena Paparizou won the contest for Greece singing "My Number One".
Coverage of the fiftieth annual Eurovision Song Contest broadcast from Palace of Sports in Kiev, Ukraine.Helena Paparizou won the contest for Greece singing "My Number One".Hosts Ukraine were delighted to be holding the contest for a number of reasons; they hoped it would boost the country's image and encourage tourism and also strengthen their bid to become part of the EU. To this end they made the event as high profile as possible with famous Ukrainian boxers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko opening the televoting and Ukraine's president Viktor Yushchenko presenting the winner's trophy.This year the commercial opportunities presented by Eurovision were expanded still further for the fiftieth anniversary year, with not only the release of a CD and DVD but also an official pin set, and a book commissioned by the European Broadcasting Union.It was the turn of Bulgaria and Moldova to make their debut while Hungary returned after a seven year absence. Lebanon also planned to make their debut but was forced to withdraw after announcing that they would play commercials instead of showing the Israeli entry.Many of the bookies favourites, including Iceland, Belarus and the Netherlands failed to qualify for the final and in the final itself the Big Four; United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain, and hosts Ukraine who were all given a pass straight to the final, ended up as the five bottom on the scoreboard.As always controversy surrounded the event with calls for the German entry Gracia to withdraw after her producer was found to have manipulated the country's charts with mass purchases of her single, while the Bulgarian and Serbian and Monenegran debuts were marred by plagiarism claims.
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