With 2005 almost at its end, it's time to look back at another spectacular Eurovision Song Contest year. It would be impossible to mention all highlights… not because there are so many of them, but also because a highlight for one can be a disaster for another! In chronological order, esctoday.com nominated five memorable moments, it is up to you to vote for the most memorable Eurovision Song Contest happening of 2005.
� Lebanon joins, withdraws, re-joins and… withdraws
On 21st October, 2004 Mr Ibrahim El Khoury, President Director General of Télé Liban, exclusively informed esctoday.com about the participation of Lebanon at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. Two months later, Télé Liban withdraws from the contest due to financial reasons. On 20th December, inside sources confirm that the European Broadcasting Union and the Lebanese broadcaster came to an agreement about the 2005 contest.
On 18th March, esctoday.com opens with breaking news: Lebanon decided not to take part in the 50th Eurovision Song Contest. According to the Lebanese broadcaster in a statement to the EBU, legislation in Lebanon makes it nearly impossible for Télé Liban to broadcast the Israeli performance. Télé Liban faced a difficult situation, as they had to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in accordance with the rules. The EBU asked Télé Liban to assure they would broadcast the contest without interruption, but the Lebanese broadcaster could not assure that. “When we told them this is not possible and they have to broadcast the entire programme, they decided to withdraw from the 50th Eurovision Song Contest”, Svante Stockselius said to esctoday.com.
� The queen of Belarus
The only true diva of the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest; Angelica Agurbash. After winning the Belarussian national selection with Boys & Girls, she decides to change her song. After furious reactions from the fan scene, a poll on her website has to decide with which song Angelica goes to Kyiv. Love me tonight wins. Together with her extremely rich husband and a large support team she visits several European countries in the months before the contest.
In Kyiv, Angelica and her team booked a complete hotel to house the entire support team. Philipp Kirkorov comes to Kyiv to support Angelica and drives around in a limousine, Alla Pugacheva came to the Ukrainian capital by train. After several big parties and promotional activities, Angelica comes 13th in the semifinal.
� The 2005 Eurovision Song Contest
Against all odds, Ukrainian broadcaster NTU manages to organise a magnificent 50th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. During the Orange revolution, which takes place during the 2004-2005 winter season, fans, critics and organisers publically express their worries about the situation in Ukraine. Instead of treating it as a problem, the organising team gives the contest an 'awakening' touch, often referring to this exciting period of time for Ukraine.
The semifinal of the contest surprises many, as fans' favourites Iceland and the Netherlands don't qualify for the final. Moldova participates for the first time and suprises the European audience with their favourite grandma on stage. With Malta, Latvia, Israel, Romania and Greece in the running for the first place, the voting is one of the most exciting ones ever. Helena Paparizou wins with My number one.
� Congratulations – 50 years Eurovision Song Contest
Danish broadcaster DR organises a special show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest. Several big names in the Eurovision Song Contest scene appear on stage, among them Johnny Logan, Carola, Mocedades, Sandra Kim and Dana International.
In a contest, which is part of the show, televoters and juries from all over Europe can vote for the all-time Eurovision Song Contest song. ABBA wins with Waterloo, which brought Sweden its famous victory in 1974. None of the ABBA members is present at the Forum venue in Copenhagen.
� 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Belgian broadcasters RTBF and VRT organise the third edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Hasselt. 16 countries participate, as Cyprus had to withdraw last-minute because of a legal dispute regarding their song.
In a spectaculair show on 26th November, Belarus left fan favourites Romania and Spain behind. During the televoting, one of the graphics computers crashes, which causes a two-minute interruption in the show. Next year, Romanian broadcaster TVR will organise the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
You can votefor your most memorable moment in the poll at the frontpage of esctoday.com! To vote, you need to be a subscribed member. Not yet a member of the biggest Eurovision Song Contest community on the web? Click here to vote!