Countdown to Baku - Athens 200627 December 2011 at 12:56 CET
So far we have gone from Istanbul in 2004, across the Black Sea to Kyiv in 2005 but now, thanks to Helena Paparizou we are heading back over the Black Sea to Greece,.
In a few short months we will all be decending on Azerbaijan's capital, Baku for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest where a new winner will be decided. In the mean time take a look below at our videos from the 2006 contest, held in Athens - The next stop in our Countdown to Baku series.
2006 Eurovision Song Contest - Athens
Helena Paparizou won the 2005 edition of Europe's Favourite TV Show in Kyiv with the song My Number One. This gave Greece the right to host the competition in 2006. Just two years after the Olympics were held in Athens, there were plenty of venues to choose from and as such the Olympic Indoor Hall was chosen as the arena for the competition.
Greek broadcaster, ERT was very keen to show off a modern side to Greece whilst also keeping hold of some of the tradition values. The theme was entitled Feel The Rhythm and the stage was based on the design of a Greek amphitheatre.
2006 was a very unusual year in that it was the first time a heavy metal rock-pop song won the competition and it doesn't stop there. Lordi from Finland not only managed to achieve their country's first victory in the competition after decades of trying, they did it dressed as monsters performing the song Hard Rock Hallelujah.
37 countries in total took part in the competition and Armenia participated for the first time. The format was broadly similar to the 2005 contest with a semi-final of 23 songs and a final of 24 songs made up of the "Big 4" (France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom), the top 10 placing songs from 2005 and 10 qualifiers from the semi-final.
Now that you have a little bit of background, sit back, relax and fasten your seatbelts... We have a recap video of all 24 songs from the Final for you to enjoy and full-length videos of the top 3 placing countries, including the winners Lordi from Finland. We hope you enjoy!
Did you know that the 2006 contest marked the 1000th song in the competition? This was Ireland's Brian Kennedy with Every Song Is A Cry For Love who performed in the semi-final and then qualified for the Final.
2006 was also the first year that the voting was shortened, with only the top 3 points being read out by the spokespeople. All the other votes appeared automatically on the screen. This was to save time during the voting, which with 37 countries otherwise would take a long time.
You remember the top 3 from 2006, right? Well, if you don't we can help refresh your memories so check out the songs from Finland, Russia and Bosnia & Herzegovina who came first, second and third respectively.
Lordi - Hard Rock Hallelujah
Dima Bilan - Never Ever Let You Go
3. Bosnia & Herzegovina
Hari Mata Hari - Lejla
We sincerely hope you enjoy the high quality videos from the competition and that you will join us again as we travel to the top of Europe, to Helsinki in Finland on the next stop of our Countdown to Baku series.
In the mean time we wish you a very Happy New Year and see you in 2012!