Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
Final 22 October 2005
Venue Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Presenter(s) Katrina Leskanich
Renārs Kaupers
Host broadcaster EBU, DR
Interval act Riverdance,
Ronan Keating,
Various medleys
Number of entries 14 songs from 1958 to 2005
Voting system Televoting and juries; each country awarded 1–8, 10, and 12 points to their ten favourite songs
Winning song "Waterloo" by ABBA

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.[1] Thirty-one EBU-member countries broadcast the concert (although notably the United Kingdom, Italy and France did not) and televoting and juries in these countries decided the winner.[2] A total of 2.5 million votes were cast during the night.[3]

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.[4]

Selection of venue and hosts

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.[5] 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. 1998 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 though to poke fun at the Contest, an idea that proved to be less popular with the EBU. The BBC went on to broadcast their own 50th anniversary program, Boom Bang-a-Bang: 50 Years of Eurovision.[6] The event was codenamed Extravaganza.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

Participating countries

Fourteen songs would compete in Congratulations. In May 2005 the EBU opened a poll on its website to decide ten songs that would contest the event.[11] Voters chose their two favourite songs from each of five decades: 1956 to 1965, 1966 to 1975, 1976 to 1985, 1986 to 1995 and 1996 to 2005. The remaining four songs would be selected by the EBU's Reference Group.[1] On 16 June 2005 the fourteen chosen songs were announced, although no indication was given as to which had been chosen online and which by the Reference Group.[12] Eleven of the fourteen songs were Eurovision winners; only "Nel blu di pinto di blu", "Congratulations" and "Eres Tú" (which all finished in the top three at the Contest) were not. Two countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland, were represented twice on the list. Johnny Logan, who won the Contest twice for Ireland as a singer, had both of his songs featured on the list.

Semi-final (First Round)

All 31 countries broadcasting the contest voted in the first round. The five songs that are marked in orange qualified to the second and final round.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Place Points
1  United Kingdom Cliff Richard "Congratulations" English 8 105
2  Ireland Johnny Logan "What's Another Year?" English 12 74
3  Israel Dana International "Diva" Hebrew 13 39
4  Spain Mocedades "Eres tú" Spanish 11 90
5  Germany Nicole "Ein bißchen Frieden" German 7 106
6  Italy Domenico Modugno "Nel blu dipinto di blu" Italian 2 200
7  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo" English 1 331
8  Denmark Olsen Brothers "Fly on the Wings of Love" English 6 111
9  Luxembourg France Gall "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" French 14 37
10  Turkey Sertab Erener "Everyway That I Can" English 9 104
11   Switzerland Celine Dion "Ne partez pas sans moi" French 10 98
12  Ireland Johnny Logan "Hold Me Now" English 3 182
13  United Kingdom Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses for Me" English 5 154
14  Greece Helena Paparizou "My Number One" English 4 167

Final (Second Round)

All 31 countries broadcasting the contest voted in the second round.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Place Points
1  Italy Domenico Modugno "Nel blu dipinto di blu" Italian 2 267
2  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo" English 1 329
3  Ireland Johnny Logan "Hold Me Now" English 3 262
4  United Kingdom Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses for Me" English 5 230
5  Greece Helena Paparizou "My Number One" English 4 245


The show started with the traditional Eurovision "Te Deum" theme followed by a message from Cliff Richard. After a quick montage of all 14 songs, the orchestra began playing "Ding-A-Dong" (Netherlands 1975), with dancers on stage. "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" (Israel 1978), "Le dernier qui a parlé..." (France 1991), and "Dschinghis Khan" (Germany 1979) was also played and accompanied by choreography, which was then followed by "Love Shine a Light" (UK 1997) sung by the co-host, Katrina Leskanich, who came out with flag holders of all the nations who ever participated in Eurovision.

Throughout the telecast, a number of highlights segments were presented which showed montages of various Eurovision performances which were either interesting, notable or unorthodox. There were 6 assortments, which were under the categories described by the hosts as 'past winners', 'political, daring, larger than life', 'cute men', 'unforgettable interpretation of dance', 'girlpower' and 'close/narrow second-place finishers'. A number of high-profile Eurovision artists returned to help introduce and present the show, these were: Carola Häggkvist, Massiel, Dana International, Birthe Wilke, Anne-Marie David, Sandra Kim, Elisabeth Andreassen, Hanne Krogh, Olsen Brothers, Emilija Kokić, Marie Myriam, Sertab Erener, Elena Paparizou, Nicole & Hugo, Cheryl Baker and Lys Assia. Cliff Richard and Nicole gave pre-recorded messages as they were unable to attend.

During the show, there were many presentations by various guest artists during the voting and tallying period. These consisted of the Finnish shouting choir Mieskuoro Huutajat, Riverdance (the 1994 interval act), Ronan Keating (the 1997 co-host), and Johnny Logan, singing his new single When a Woman Loves a Man, as well as an appearance by the Belgian duo of 1973, Nicole & Hugo.

There were three medleys, consisting of performances of past Eurovision songs. The first consisted of : Dana International, singing Parlez-vous Francais (originally performed by Baccara for Luxembourg in Eurovision Song Contest 1978); Carola Haggkvist, singing Främling (1983, 3rd place); Alsou, singing Solo (2000, 2nd); Fabrizio Faniello, singing Another Summer Night (2001 9th); Marie Myriam, singing L'Amour est bleu (originally performed by Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg in 1967); Richard Herrey, singing "Let Me Be the One" (originally performed by The Shadows for United Kingdom in 1975); and Thomas Thordarson, singing Vi Maler Byen Rød (originally performed by Birthe Kjær for Denmark in 1989).

The second consisted of: Gali Atari, singing Hallelujah (1979, winner); Bobbysocks, singing La Det Swinge (1985, winner); Anne-Marie David, singing Après Toi (originally sung by Vicky Leandros for Luxembourg in 1972, winner); Lys Assia, singing Refrain (1956, winner), Sandra Kim singing Non ho l'Eta (originally sung by Gigliola Cinquetti for Italy in 1964, winner) and Bucks Fizz singing Making your Mind Up (1981, winner).

The final medley was sung by Eimear Quinn, Charlie McGettigan, Jakob Sveistrup and Linda Martin, the Eurovision winners of 1996, 1994 and 1992, and (in Sveistrup's case), the 2005 Danish representative. All four acted as backup singers during the show.


Both juries and televoting were used at Congratulations; both having an equal influence over the vote. In the first round of voting, the number of songs was reduced to five. Each country awarded points from one to eight, then ten and finally twelve for their ten most popular songs. Unlike in the Contest proper, viewers were allowed to vote for songs which had represented their country. The top five songs were then subjected to another round of voting, where only six points and above were awarded. The voting was conducted in private, and the results were not announced until after the show. The song with the most points in the second round was the winner.

Although the results of the voting are known, the full voting has not been released by the EBU to date.

International broadcasts and voting

A total of thirty-four countries broadcast the event, but only thirty-two participated in the voting.

Countries that broadcast the contest live and were allowed to vote were;

Countries that broadcast the contest delayed and therefore lost the right to vote were;

Other countries that broadcast the contest;


Non-participating countries

Countries that have previously competed but were not involved with the broadcast or voting of the contest;

The BBC (UK), RAI (Italy) 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.[18]


Opening Medley

Winners of Eurovision

Unforgettable performances

Men in Eurovision

Dancing in Eurovision

Women in Eurovision

Eurovision Favourites

Eurovision Winners Medley

Second Places

Medley ‘Backing vocals'

See also


  1. 1 2 Michael Dwyer (20 October 2005). Dearth of the cool. The Age. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  2. "Participating broadcasters". Archived from the original on 13 October 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2017.. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  3. Jeffrey de Hart (25 October 2005). ABBA's "Waterloo" named best Eurovision song. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  4. Roel Phillips (9 April 2005). 100 Eurovision songs on CD and DVD Archived 29 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 26 December 27.
  5. Sietse Bakker (18 June 2004). 50th anniversary show to be held in London. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  6. BBC (16 May 2006). Boom Bang a Bang: 50 Years of Eurovision. Retrieved on 26 January 2014.
  7. Sietse Bakker (26 August 2004). 50th anniversary show in Denmark. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  8. Roel Phillips (25 October 2004). Extravaganza on 22 October in Copenhagen. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  9. Sietse Bakker (16 June 2005). The 14 songs for Copenhagen. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  10. Sietse Bakker (9 September 2005). Congratulations hosted by Katrina and Renars. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  11. "Happy birthday, Eurovision!". Archived from the original on 22 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2005.. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  12. ""Congratulations" – 14 songs to compete". Archived from the original on 28 August 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2017. (16 June 2005). Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  13. 1 2 3 The 43rd EBU TV committee Archived 7 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. EBU. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
  14. "Telkussa 22.10.2005".
  15. The Times, Tanja Cilia, 30 October 2005. On-Line:
  16. "Page not found ⋆ Eurovision News, Polls and Information by esctoday". Archived from the original on 16 November 2006.
  17. "Congratulations: 50 Years Eurovision Song Contest". 22 October 2005 via IMDb.
  18. 1 2 3 4 Sietse Bakker (19 August 2005). Therkelsen "disappointed" in British and French TV. Retrieved on 26 December 2007.
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