The 51st Eurovision Song Contest was hosted by Athens in May 2006, and is now available to watch as a never-seen-before HD (high definition) cut on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.
Large parts of the Athenian extravaganza were filmed in high definition to gather artistic and scientific knowledge for future shows, but the footage was never intended to be used as part of the original broadcast.
The footage was filmed as part of a research experiment carried out by the European Broadcasting Union, ERT, the Institute for Broadcasting Technology in Munich and the research and development laboratories of Rai and the BBC.
Many aspects of this high definition cut differ from the definitive version of the 51st Eurovision Song Contest that was broadcast live from Athens on Saturday 20 May, 2006. We’re excited to share this experimental HD footage with you for reference; it is not intended to replace the original show.
It was the first time the Contest had been held in Greece, after Helena Paparizou’s victory in 2005 with her song My Number One.
The show is packed with Eurovision stars from previous Contests. Anna Vissi represented the host nation with Everything – it would be her third appearance at Eurovision, having shown up for Greece in 1980 and Cyprus in 1982.
Fabrizio Faniello and Ich Troje competed for Malta (2001) and Poland (2003) respectively, while in the groups, Lithuania’s Victor Diawara of (LT United) and Israel’s Eddie Butler took to the stage again having represented their countries as part of Skamp (2001) and Eden (1999) respectively.
And, of course, our host Sakis Rouvas represented Greece on two occasions: Shake It (2004) and This Is Our Night (2009).
The Eurovision Song Contest 2006 HD Cut will be available to watch live on YouTube from 21:00 CEST on Saturday 31 July (and will remain on the channel to watch at your leisure).