Shortly after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 Helena Paparizou faced the world's press and photographers. She was joined onstage by her backing dancers, backing vocalist, composers, head of delegation and tourist board representatives. She started the session by standing on top of the table, as flash photography went off everywhere, before facing questions.
The session started with Helena thanking everybody, from the EBU, NTU, the Greek Delegation, her dancers and the composers of My Number one and the Minister of Tourism for making her an ambassador. The head of delegation followed suit, saying it had been a “tough competition and stressed that Greece is “more than ready to host next years Eurovision Song Contest, in Athens in 2006”. Thanks were also given to Ukraine, and Kyiv for the splendid organisation, on what was “this beautiful night”
The first question was perceived by several in the hall as being slightly negative, when the journalist asked “Don't you think your song is similar to Ruslana's show?”But Helena was diplomatic in her reply, and credited Sertab in 2003 for making the mix of traditional music and modern music, and was an inspiration for those who followed, and she and was happy for Ruslana in 2004. Hers is “a very typical Greek song, in a modern way”.
So why did she think that Ukraine had scored so low? Her simple answer was, to “ask the Ukrainian people” and what about Moldova “It's surprising, I like the song, very nice that it was an outsider, but had a big winning chance”
In 2001 she had come third, but had been the favourite, so what made her return to win? “I was happy to represent Greece for the second time”, the composer then added “if we had come third with a song called My number one it would have been absurd, when you gamble you never know!”
Had she been surprised at the victory, even though polls and betting had been prediciting it? “A lot of betting and fan clubs had made me favourite, it's very flattering, but you never know, the performance may not be that good…but I believed in the song”
What does it mean then? It's a big victory, Greece invited the world to the Olympics, so this time its just Europe for the Eurovision Song Contest, it should be even better!”
She is a friend of Angelica Agurbash, who sung for Belarus, what was her opinion of her and any words for her? “We are good friends, and sorry she didn't make final, but she will be a big star…she hasn't lost, I'd like to see Belarus in the final, and of course their composer was behind Antique and 'Shake it' from last year.”
A question was posed to Alex Panayi, he had now been in the Eurovision Song Contest every five year, 1995, 2000 & 2005, so what were his plans for 2010? “Well lets look at 2006 in Athens first, but in 2010..Cyprus?”
Why had she moved from Sweden to Greece? “Well I haven't really moved. I am temporarily in Greece for the last one and a half years. I had to leave my family in Sweden, I spend about six months in each, I love Greece in the Summer, where it is warm, and winter in Sweden…I can't believe I still do it!”
She had sung My number one in English, How about any other languages, for other countries? “Well whoever invites me..I would love to make it in other countries..so if someone can do good translations for me?” She then attempted to sing the song in Greek..but didn't get much beyond the title line!
Any words of consolation for her Swedish compatriot, Martin Stenmarck who came 19th? “Well my thanks again to Sweden, Martin is a good singer, he is a musical artist”, and what about Chiara from Malta, who has now finished second and third? “Chiara was at the Greek final, I think she has do it again, she's a lovely person, I thought it was her time.”
The final question came from the popular George from Greek radio and television, who asked her to break down the three minute stage performance, and what was going through her mind? First it had been the screams of Helena, she had been so nervous beforehand, but it was great with these five guys on stage with her, and then she got to the last hey and I thought “what happened…did I sing?”
The composers then had a few words to add, Christos Dantis said he was shocked, and found it quite difficult, he hadn't realised what had happened, and couldn't believe it. It was a great competition, and thanked the Ukrainian people for their warmth and great hospitality. He would try to do his best for the Eurovision Song contest again…but not next year!
Natalia Germanou then added a few remarks, recalling when she had heard the music, that the phrase my number one came to mind, and it brought us luck. She thankedHelena for bringing the voice to it, and dedicated it to the people I love, especially her father, who is not here anymore.
It had been a memorable event in Kyiv tonight, and everyone was very happy, and they looked forward to Athens in 2006.