Editorial: Looking back at Eurovision 2000

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Charlotte Perelli won the Eurovision Song Contest 1999, therefore handing Swedish broadcaster SVT the right to produce the first Eurovision Song Contest of the 21st century. Organizers decided to make it the most modern, glamorous and biggest ESC seen so far. A special creative team was appointed to create a contemporary and unforgettable production, when compared to the more older fashioned editions.

There were no doubts that the show would be held in Globen, which was the biggest spherical building in the world at that time. SVT decided that the show would be hosted by the most popular presenters in Sweden – being Anders Lundin and Kattis Ahlström.

The stage was very modern for those times, with the first LED screen ever in the Eurovision Song Contest utilized, which helped each performance and presentation look different. The postcards were different from those that Europe had seen before, and they introduced each country participating with different Swedish themes. The logo (see the image above) also had a creative and modern theme as well – the mouth represented songs, dialogue and speech. Later it was one of the candidate choices for the generic Eurovision logo, however the EBU chose a heart instead of a mouth. Competing songs were also quite modern than those that graced the Eurovision stage in previous years.

The absolute favorites were Russia, Latvia and Estonia. However, they ended in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place respectively. The winning song came from Denmark, which was surprise for many people. The Olsen brothers had been singing together since the 60’s and they had participated in the Danish national selection numerous times. After Eurovision their winning song ‘Fly On The Wings Of Love’ became a big hit in many countries.

However, the whole production didn’t go reportedly to plan. Reports stated that SVT had some issues with the reigning Eurovision winner Charlotte. It was reported Charlotte was only willing to appear on the condition she could perform her new single. Israel almost withdrew in the last minute due to issues with their representatives ‘Ping Pong ‘ – due to issues with the message within their song. Also, the Russian delegation petitioned for the winning duo the Olsen Brothers to be disqualified for using a vocoder – which was later rejected by the EBU. Dutch broadcaster NOS interrupted the show, due to a serious crash in a firework factory in Enschede, leaving the Dutch votes to be decided by a stand-by jury.

Many participants from Eurovision 2000 either participated previously in the contest, or made their return to the Eurovision stage in the years following the contest’s conclusion. The Cypriot representatives, Christina Argyraki and Alexandros Panayi, had represented the nation back in 1995, where Christina was the backing vocalist for soloist Alexandros. Alex has also been a backing vocalist for Cyprus in 1989 and 1991, for the winning Greek entry in 2005 and for Malta in 2006. One of the backing vocalists of Switzerland was Albano Carrisi, who had represented Italy twice in the past with Romina Power, his ex wife. One of Estonia’s backing singers was Ines’ boyfriend at the time, Tanel Padar, who would come back and win Eurovision the very next year, in 2001. Alsou from Russia also made a come back in 2009, but as a host alongside Ivan Urgant.

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