Big and bold
24 countries participated in the contest in 2000. Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Lithuania, Romania and Bosnia & Herzegovina were all relegated due to their lower average scores. Greece was initially supposed to take part but withdrew.
Latvia made its debut this year with the entry My Star performed by the group Brainstorm, finishing in third position. Estonia finished fourth with Ines' Once In A Lifetime which was the bookmaker's favourite. Internet polls also had the United Kingdom's Nicki French and Linda Wagenmakers from the Netherlands as favourites but these countries only finished 16th and 13th respectively.
13,000 spectators were at the final in the Globen Arena in Stockholm, which was a new record. Swedish broadcaster SVT produced a slick show and provided a new look and feel for the contest as it entered the new millennium.
About the winner
Despite the fact that Denmark's song Fly On The Wings Of Love by the Olsen Brothers climbed in the predicted rankings in the week prior to the final, the Scandinavian country was not a pre-contest favourite. It therefore came as a huge surprise to many when Denmark won. Russia finished second, after the contest the Russian delegation petitioned for the disqualification of the winner because a vocoder had been used during the performance. This was not upheld by the EBU.
Facts & figures
For the first time in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, an official CD was released which included all 24 songs. The CD issued in 1999 did not contain all tracks due to copyright issues. Since 2000, CDs with all entries have been released every year.
The Israeli participants caused a stir when members of the group Ping Pong started waving the Syrian flag during their performance.
The Netherlands had to use a back-up jury for their votes because of a large fireworks disaster in the city of Enschede, which meant that only half of the song contest was aired live on Dutch television.
The 2000 contest was broadcast on the internet for the first time.