Germany comes last in Eurovision song contest
23 May 2005, KIEV - Germany's representative Gracia came last in the 50th anniversary Eurovision 2005 Song Contest on Saturday, gaining only four points.
23 May 2005
KIEV - Germany's representative Gracia came last in the 50th anniversary Eurovision 2005 Song Contest on Saturday, gaining only four points.
Greek singer Helena Paparizou won with the tune 'My Number', a hot song-and-dance performance.
Paparizou defeated golden-voiced Chiara from Malta, whose melodious ballad 'Angel' came in second in international viewer voting by SMS message. A total of 39 nations participated in the competition.
Romania's Luminita Anghel placed third with a high-energy rock and kettle-drum number. Israel's blond, big-voiced Shiri Maimon took fourth.
Paparizou's strength in the competition was clear early in the voting. She ultimately scored 230 points, well clear of her nearest competitors.
The evening was second-time lucky for Helena, who had represented Greece and placed third at Eurovision 2001. She had been considered one of the favourites going into this year's competition.
It was Greece's first victory in the contest. Street celebrations were reported in Athens shortly after Paparizou's victory.
Paparizou is a gold-record winner in Greece and began her solo career two years ago. She is under contract to Sony music.
Big-market acts failed badly in this year's competition, with Spain, Great Britain, France and Germany coming in twenty-first to last place, in that order.
The Ukrainian be-bop band Greenjolly was the hands-down favourite with the studio audience, bringing down the house with a jazzed-up rendition of 'Razom nas bahato' ('Together we are many'). The song was the unofficial and wildly popular anthem of the country's Orange Revolution late last year.
Moldovan Zdob (shi) Zhub also had the home audience standing in the aisles with a unique weave of punk, rockabilly and percussion by the lead singer's grandmother banging on a Bessarabian folk drum. They scored a surprise sixth place.
More than half of the Eurovision 2005 acts offered pop music with an ethnic twist, backed up with folk instruments, central European riffs or peasant tambourines and drums.
Ukrainian singer Ruslana won last year's contest with a precedent-setting mix of foot-stomping dancing, Carpathian drums, and mountain horns.
Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko led the list of VIPs present at the proceedings, accompanied by prime minister Julia Timoshenko and most of the country's cabinet.
Yushchenko was spotted watching the proceedings in his shirt sleeves, while the stylish Timoshenko was attired in one of her signature designer dresses. Yushchenko later put on jacket and tie to hand Paparizou her victory award at the end of the voting.
World heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, who began his fighting career in Kiev, was on stage as the competition voting manager.
The five-day competition ran well despite sometimes dark predictions that Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, was not up to managing an international-class television show.
The three-hour programme, held in a converted sports arena, went off without a visible hitch, the evening's 25 acts smoothly following one another at one-minute intervals. An estimated 150 million people watched Eurovision 2005, organizers said.
Programme producers filled time between acts by flashing on television screens hundreds of glossy images of Ukraine's most attractive people and locations. The themes of youth, grain, water, and nature predominated.
Ukrainian organisers aimed the often-dazzling picture display squarely at Eurovision's massive audience, in a conscious attempt to improve the country's image abroad. Ukraine is best known in Europe for widespread corruption and the Chernobyl nuclear power accident.
Subject: German news