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Their Secret Combination: Greece's Top 10 results

27 October 2023 at 09:00 CEST
Helena Paparizou: still serving superstar in 2023 Tryfon Nakis
Malmö 2024 will mark an extra-special milestone for Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest, as it will be the 50th anniversary of their very first participation - Brighton 1974. So let's count down their Top 10 best performing entries...

Greek broadcaster ERT has revealed that Marina Satti will represent Greece at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. 

In the five decades since Greece started competing at the Eurovision Song Contest, the country can count 43 participations in total and 40 appearances at the Grand Final. And at those 40 Grand Finals, Greece has a hugely impressive 50 per cent strike-rate at finishing inside of the Top 10. 

Whether they’re inviting us to join them for a ‘Horepse’, encouraging us to chime in on a chant of ‘Opa’ (as if any encouragement was ever needed), or literally spelling out how much they love us on S.A.G.A.P.O., Greece’s contributions to the Contest remain some of the most cherished amongst Eurovision fans. 

But what have been Europe’s absolute favourites throughout Greece's five decades of competing? 

Here, we count down the Top 10 highest placings that Greece has achieved in its 50-year Eurovision Song Contest history:

10: Loucas Yiorkas feat. Stereo Mike - Watch My Dance (2011)

7th place (120 points)

Set to an eye-catching backdrop of arena-high Ionic columns, this performance was unmistakably Greek; perhaps for the benefit of anyone making a note of their favourites at home. 

Watch My Dance's result on the night was Greece's 8th consecutive Top 10 finish in an incredible streak of results that commenced in 2004. 

09: Sakis Rouvas - This Is Our Night (2009)

7th place (120 points)

Performed with all the tenacity of a man who had given his country a medal finish at the Eurovision Song Contest 5 years prior, and hosted the whole event on home soil two years later, This Is Our Night served as an exhilarating emblem of Greece's imperial phase at the Eurovision Song Contest in the '00s. 

The performance also made use of a giant prop that offered not one, not two, not three, but four surprise functions that were revealed throughout. We wholeheartedly salute the engineering that went into all of that.

08: Sarbel - Yassou Maria (2007)

7th place (139 points)

A year on from hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, and Greece were all geared up to say 'YASSOU' to the upper echelons of the Grand Final scoreboard once again in Finland in 2007 - a feat achieved with great ease, courtesy of Yassou Maria by Sarbel.

At the Greek national final to secure that ticket to Helsinki, Yassou competed against Tamta - who would go on to represent Cyprus at the Eurovision Song Contest 12 years later, in 2019 with Replay.

07: Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis - Alcohol Is Free (2013)

6th place (152 points)

The ouzo was flowing freely across Europe by the time Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis took to the stage in Malmö, performing 21st at the Grand Final in 2013. Iakovidis' parting shot of 'yamas' to the audience was enough to seal the deal - this was an entry worth toasting to. 

Alcohol Is Free was to be Greece's last Top 10 finish at the Eurovision Song Contest until 8 years later, when Stefania participated with Last Dance in 2021.

06: Paschalis, Marianna, Robert and Bessy - Mathema Solfege (1977)

5th place (92 points)

On what was Greece's third outing to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977, Paschalis, Marianna, Robert and Bessy made their way to the Wembley Conference Centre in London, where host Angela Rippon would announce to Europe that Greece had achieved its first ever Top 5 result at the Contest. 

You can listen to the audio of Mathema Solfege (meaning Music Lesson) right here.

05: Cleopatra - Olou Tou Kosmou i Elpida (1992)

5th place (94 points)

Over a quarter of a century before the name would enchant Eurofans in 2020, there was only one Cleopatra that Eurovision Song Contest aficionados were interested in - and that's the chanteuse that gave Greece its first Top 5 finish in 15 years - at Malmö in 1992 with Olou Tou Kosmou i Elpida.

On the night, Greece received 12 points from Cyprus and Italy, and awarded its own 12 points to the eventual winner - Why Me by Ireland's Linda Martin.

04: Antique - (I Would) Die For You (2001)

3rd place (147 points)

Coming off the back of two huge hits across Europe - Opa Opa and Dinata Dinata - Greek duo Antique represented their country at the 2001 Contest in Copenhagen, giving Greece its first ever medal finish; earning bronze in third place. It was also Eurovision viewers' first introduction to Helena Paparizou, whom we'll be hearing more from further down this list...

Antique reunited in 2022 for a surprise return, releasing their first single in almost two decades - their cover of the popular Greek classic Ti Ti

03: Kalomira - Secret Combination (2008)

3rd place (218 points)

The secret combination to Greece's Eurovision success in the '00s was no mystery to anyone paying attention at the time. And when Kalomira delivered another body-shaking performance of a bouzouki-flavoured banger, the nation was catapulted into the Top 3 for what was the 4th time that decade. 

It's already been noted in this list just how well a cleverly-devised prop goes down at the Eurovision Song Contest. For Secret Combination, Kalomira stepped out onto a freshly opened pop-up book - while singing "An open book? An open book? Well I'm sorry, I am not". And we've been stanning hard ever since.

02: Sakis Rouvas - Shake It (2004)

3rd place (252 points)

It takes a certain kind of man to pull off a blazer and jeans. But as Sakis Rouvas proved in 2004, it takes a whole other kind of man to not in fact pull them off - and by the end of his performance in Istanbul, that stage was littered with garments that had been tossed aside as the invigorating Shake It vibrated to its climax.

That white jacket wasn't the only blazer on show during the performance; as it turned out, Sakis himself ended up blazing quite the trail of hip-thrusting and chest-pumping male performers that would take to the Eurovision Song Contest stage in the following few years. And for that, we say 'efharisto' to Sakis!

01: Helena Paparizou - My Number One (2005)

Winner (230 points)

Delicious ☑️
Capricious ☑️
Vicious ☑️

An enticing Tinder bio to some, but an irresistible pop lyric to the rest of us. When My Number One was performed at Kyiv in 2005, Helena Paparizou painted a picture for us with the song's text, set the image in Greece via the layered production on the track, and animated it to life thanks to her memorable choreography. Greece's very first Eurovision Song Contest win was a moment we'll forever be playing back in our heads.

At the time, the 10 sets of douze points that My Number One picked up (from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Sweden, United Kingdom and Turkey) was a record equaller, tied with the United Kingdom's haul of 12s in 1997. 

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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