With 2006 on our doorstep, it is time to look ahead and to predict what the new year will bring us. The 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens and the fourth Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Romania seem to be sure, other issues are as unsure as ever!
Feel the rhythm
On 18th and 20th May, the semifinal and final of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Athens, Greece. Preparations are already far beyond schedule, so it seems the Greeks learned from the problematic preparations for the 2004 Olympics, when infrastructural works were completed only weeks before the first athletes arrived.
At this moment, broadcaster ERT is finalising the stage concept and the agreement with the female host. Earlier this year, Sakis Rouvas (Greece 2004) was announced as the male host of the contest. 2005 winner Helena Paparizou will play a role during the live shows, although details are unknown yet.
Italy, orchestra and the Big4
Again, it seems Italy will not return to the Eurovision Song Contest, just like the orchestra. It is publically known that the European Broadcasting Union would like to see Italy back at the contest. Not just because of nostalgic feelings, but also because Italian broadcaster RAI would be an interesting financial partner for the contest.
Armenia will join the family of contestants, while Hungary and Austria stay home.
While the popularity of the contest is growing in eastern European countries, countries in western Europe face a decreasing popularity. The founding fathers of the Eurovision Song Contest like France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are dealing with continuous disappointing results, facing disappointing viewing figures and growing criticism on the contest. To get these countries 'back on track', countries change their selection formats to find better songs and performers.
The esctoday.com team wishes everyone a great 2006, full of joy, health, prosperity and music! Happy new year!