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Countdown to Baku - Düsseldorf 2011

11 May 2012 at 09:51 CEST

What a jouney it's been! We have travelled from Istanbul in 2004 via Kyiv, Athens, Helsinki, Belgrade, Moscow and Oslo all the way to Düsseldorf where last year's competition took place. In just a few short hours the team will take off to Baku to start coverage of the 2012 edition of Europe's Favourite TV Show but not before we look at the reason we are heading to Baku, when Ell/Nikki and Running Scared took home the top prize for Azerbaijan. 

2011 Eurovision Song Contest - Düsseldorf, Germany

On the 10th, 12th and 14th of May 2011, Germany hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time in its history after it being held in 1957 in Frankfurt and in 1983 in Munich. The reason for returning to Germany this time was because of Lena Meyer-Landrut's resounding victory at the competition held in Oslo, Norway the year before with the song Satellite

After winning the competition, Germany had the huge task of finding an arena suitable to host the event and after receiving bids from many Germany cities, broadcaster NDR decided that Düsseldorf and the Düsseldorf Arena should play host to the competition. This huge football stadium with a retractable roof meant that many more people enjoy the show live in person than in recent years and its location close to the city and the airport meant it was perfectly set for this event. 

2011 was a very special year for a number of reasons, the main one being that for the first time since 1997, Italy returned to the competition and boy they did it with a huge bang, winning the jury vote in the final and coming second over all. Another reason that made Düsseldorf extra special was that Lena Meyer-Landrut returned as Germany's participant after winning the year before with NDR stating "there is no point in changing the winning formular". Although she didn't win, her song Taken By A Stranger achieved a respectable 10th place in the final. 

However, as we all know there can only be one winner and after an exciting final where 25 countries competed for victory Azerbaijan achieved its first ever victory with the song Running Scared beformed by Ell/Nikki, otherwise known as Eldar and Nigar. It has since been announced that Eldar will be one of the presenters of this year's competition. 

As we know, in second place came Italy with Raphael Gualazzi and the song Madness Of Love and in third place came Eric Saade from Sweden with Popular. 

So before we take off for Baku why not take a look at a recap of all 25 countries from the final and below we of course have the top 3 acts in full for you:

Top 3

Now that you have been reaquainted with all of last year's finalists, we can give you great quality videos of the three songs that came first, second and third in full length. Enjoy!

1. Azerbaijan

Ell/Nikki - Running Scared

2. Italy

Raphael Gualazzi - Madness Of Love

3. Sweden

Eric Saade - Popular

Now that you have seen the above videos, all that is left for me to say is thank you very much for following us over the last few months and thank you to our video producer Stijn Smulders for take the time to upload and edit the videos so that you could all take a trip down memory lane. 

We leave for Baku very soon and are looking forward to speaking to you from there! Have a wonderful day and remember that the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest takes place on the 22nd, 24th and 26th of May live from the Baku Crystal Hall in Azerbaijan.