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Countdown to Baku - Istanbul 2004

20 October 2011 at 00:18 CEST

We are excited about the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest (and hope you are too!), which will take place on the 22nd, 24th and 26th of May next year in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

In order to count down to the next edition of Europe's favourite TV show, we are taking a delve into the archives and hereby bring you high quality video material from the most recent contests. Not only will you be able to see a recap of ALL the songs from each year, we will also show you full length videos of the top three entries. Something to wet your appetite and keep you keep you entertained during the winter months!. 

So for the next seven months, keep an eye out for our countdown features (time flies when you're enjoying yourselves right?) and before you know it, we'll be in Baku bringing you our exclusive coverage of the rehearsals and the live shows!

Today we start with the  2004 Eurovision Contest held in Istanbul, Turkey!

2004 Eurovision Song Contest - Istanbul

The 2004 edition of Europe's favourite TV show was held at the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey on the 12th and 15th of May 2004. Ruslana from Ukraine took home victory with her song Wild Dances sung in both English and Ukrainian. 

This contest was special for many reasons... It was the first time that the semi-final format had been introduced to the competition due to a high number of countries wishing to particpate. It was also the very first time that the now well loved generic logo of the Eurovision Song Contest was used, replacing logos previously designed by the individual host broadcasters. 

TRT organised the contest after Sertab Erener won the year before in Riga, Latvia with the song Everyway That I Can. It was the very first time that the contest was organised in Turkey. 

36 countries participated in total with 22 taking part in the semi-final and 14 countries already pre-qualified for the final. 

Here is a recap of the 24 countries that took part in the final, in order of appearance. Enjoy!

Did you know that 2004 was the last time the Netherlands appeared in the final? Unfortunately it didn't go so well for Re-Union who only managed to achieve a 20th place with their song, Without You. 

The Top 3

Take a look below at the videos of the top three acts in 2004. We hope you enjoy them!

1. Ukraine

Ruslana - Wild Dances

2. Serbia & Montenegro

Željko Joksimović - Lane Moje

3. Greece

Sakis Rouvas - Shake It

Stayed tuned as we continue our countdown to Baku. Next up is 2005!