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A decade of song: Eurovision winners through the years (2000-2009)

30 September 2017 at 09:00 CEST
Last week you learned all about Loreen, Lena, Jamala and other Eurovision winners between 2010 and 2017. This week, we’re going back in history even further to focus on the winners of the Eurovision song Contest between 2000 and 2009. Let's take another trip down memory lane!

The new millennium marked a new dawn for the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest rapidly expanded with the introduction of the Semi-Final format and between 2000 and 2009 the competition was held by eight countries that had never hosted before. There were also a variety of musical styles that won including rock, ethno-pop and of course, the tradtional ballad. Check out the winners from 2000-2009 below (from 2:10).

2000 - Olsen Brothers (Denmark)

The first Eurovision Song Contest of the new millennium was hosted in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2000. The contest returned to the country’s capital for the first time since 1975. A record 13,000 spectators were at the Globe Arena to watch the Grand Final, which the Olsen Brothers from Denmark won with their song Fly On The Wings Of Love.

Denmark's win came as a surprise to everyone since the Scandinavian country was not a pre-contest favourite. The Olsen Brothers left Russia behind in second place. Latvia made its debut that year with the entry My Star performed by the group Brainstorm and finished third. 

2001 - Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL (Estonia)

With the Olsen Brothers from Denmark winning the Eurovision Song Contest, they brought the contest to Copenhagen. An even bigger spectator record was set with 35,000 people attending the show in the Parken Stadium. 

There were three favourites to win the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest: France, Greece and Slovenia but in another surprise win, it was Estonia that took the prize home. Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL performed their pop-funk entry Everybody and won with 198 points. Estonia's first win sparked a string of victories for countries that had never won before. 

2002 - Marie N (Latvia)

Estonia hosted the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest in the capital Tallinn. Almost immediately after the Grand Final of the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest the media began to speculate whether the country would be able to host the competition, citing a lack of a suitable venue and budgetary concerns. Estonian Television defied the critics though and produced a professional show live from the Saku Suurhall. 

Latvia’s Marie N took the trophy home with I Wanna after an exciting race to the finish with Malta’s participant Ira Losco, finishing a close second. The 2002 contest was the first to feature a slogan for the event. The theme, Modern Fairytale, reflected how Estonians viewed their recent history and the postcards all featured known fairytales. 

2003 - Sertab Erener (Turkey)

The 2003 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Latvia’s capital Riga and a record of 26 countries participated that year. It was the second year the contest had its own slogan: Rendezvous In Riga. For its debut, Ukraine sent one of the country's biggest stars, Olexandr Ponomariov. 

There was only a 12 point difference between Latvia and Malta in 2002 but that difference was even smaller in 2003, when Sertab Erener from Turkey won the contest with 167 points and Belgium’s Urban Trad came in second place with 165 points. 

Sertab was one of Turkey’s biggest stars at the time and recorded songs with stars such as Ricky Martin and José Carreras. The song Everyway That I Can reached the Top 10 in the charts in various European countries. 

2004 - Ruslana (Ukraine)

In 2004 a Semi-Final was introduced for the first time. This change in format was a result of the growing interest in participation amongst European broadcasters. 

Ukraine's Ruslana won the contest with Wild Dances. She had been on an extensive promotional tour before the contest and became one of Ukraine's best known artists. 

Ruslana returned to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest where she performed her new song It’s Magical during the interval of the Grand Final:

2005 - Helena Paparizou (Greece)

With Ruslana winning the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, the contest travelled to Kyiv, Ukraine. It was the 50th contest and a gala celebrating this milestone was held later in 2005 in Copenhagen. The event, known as Congratulations, saw ABBA's Waterloo crowned the most popular winner of all time.

Helena Paparizou from Greece took the trophy home after she won the contest with her song My Number One. It scored 230 points, beating Malta into second place by a margin of 38 points.

My Number One fared well in the European charts. The song went to number one in Greece and Sweden and charted in several other European countries. 

2006 - Lordi (Finland)

The 2006 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Athens, Greece. The contest had a couple of favourites that year: Sweden’s Carola, Russia’s Dilma Bilan and Germany’s Texas Lightning. Belgium's Kate Ryan shocked many when she failed to qualify for the Grand Final. It was Finland’s masked hard rock band Lordi who won the contest though with Hard Rock Hallelujah and spectacular pyrotechnical effects. 

The song received a spectacular 292 points, the highest amount of points ever achieved at that time. It was the first time that Finland won or even featured in the Top 5. It was also the most popular Finnish Eurovision entry internationally reaching the Top 10 in nearly ten countries.

2007 - Marija Šerifović (Serbia)

Finnish rock band Lordi brought the Eurovision Song Contest to Helsinki in 2007. The Czech Republic and Georgia debuted in Finland as did Serbia and Montenegro as independent states.

Marija Šerifović and her song Molitva won the contest for Serbia with 268 points. At that point the song was the only non-English language song to have won the Eurovision Song Contest since the language rules were relaxed in 1999.

Even though the song didn’t achieve much success in the European charts, it did have some personal success: It was played at a welcome party for Serbia’s tennis players after the successes at the French Open and during Wimbledon 2007 the song was often used displaying the courts and players on the BBC. 

2008 - Dima Bilan (Russia)

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest travelled to Serbia’s capital Belgrade, and it was the first time that two Semi-Finals were introduced to decide which countries would compete in the Grand Final. A record of 43 countries participated with San Marino and Azerbaijan making their respective debuts.

Russia took the trophy home in the end; Dima Bilan and his song Believe scored an impressive 272 points and left Ukraine in second place and Greece in third.

2009 - Alexander Rybak (Norway)

With Dima Bilan winning the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, the contest was held in Moscow in 2009. Channel One Russia hosted the competition and they organised one of the biggest contests in the history of the event. The stage consisted of one third of the world’s available LED screens at that time.

Norway’s Alexander Rybak received a record-breaking 387 points out of a possible 492 with his song Fairytale. The Norwegian violin-player left Iceland behind with a difference of 169 points. 

The song was a success all over Europe, reaching number one in nine countries and a Top 10 place in seventeen countries.