On the first day of Eurovision…
We begin our journey in Kyiv, Ukraine, where the 50th annual Eurovision Song Contest took place. An impressive 39 countries participated in 2005, with the inclusions of Bulgaria and Moldova, who were on debut. The hosts of the show were Maria Efrosinina and Pavlo Shylko, who were remarkably very professional throughout the whole show. What the hosts lacked in unfortunate mishaps and general awkwardness was made up by the participants of the show who offered up some interesting performances.
So now, let’s look back on the highs and the lows of Eurovision 2005.
Turkey is one of those countries who more often than not send confident, talented singers who also know how to perform to audiences in an entertaining fashion. This (mostly) stands true for this years’ artist, Gülseren, where what lacked in the quality of the song was made up by the entertainment factor of the song. Out of all the acts, I enjoyed the stage show of this performance as it had everything you would want – it had colour, it had props, it had energy. The costumes they had were pretty funky, and I think the colours popped with all the movement on stage.
It’s hard to go past Greece for this category, with Helena’s flattering golden sparkle dress. The bottom of the dress flows while she dances on stage, and she looks like a Greek Eurovision Goddess. In a year of ill-fitting clothes and horrible colour choices, Helena stands out as a class act, and even her backing singers aren’t inappropriately dressed. It’s a Eurovision miracle!
A few acts were in the running for worst costume in 2005, but with hindsight at our disposal, we can see that most of these costumes were probably just in fashion at the time. Unfortunately, now, we look at them with a sense of disapproval, and for me, Estonia’s choices in clothing could have been better done. I think it’s the mixture of cheap looking t-shirts and pearls which doesn’t sit well with me, and paired with all different coloured boots, it’s a no from me.
Best Live Vocals
I have to hand this one to Norway and the band Wig Wam. The song was called In My Dreams, and it’s no dream that this guy can sing, it’s a reality. The song is loud, vibrant and demanding, and the lead singer manages to hit every note. There’s no slow start to this song, the big notes happen within the first second, and it’s for these reasons we award best live vocals to Norway!
For the most underrated, one song stands out for me, and that’s Belgium’s song, called Le Grand Soir. The performer of this song, Nuno Resende, despite the interesting choice of facial hair, has an absolutely great voice. It’s a slow burn song, which takes a little while to really get into, and its simple staging means that your focus can only be on him and him alone, but as the song grows, you can come to appreciate his voice. Skip forward to 2013, where Nuno competed in the second season of The Voice France and finished in third place, just more proof that his voice was something special.
I couldn’t decide between two acts for this category, which describes the songs which have both really great songs and great performances. The first country in my all-rounder tie is Moldova. Moldova debuted with an absolute banger of a song, which had the miracle ability to not feel outdated back in 2005 in comparison with its competitors, and even today the song is just as catchy. The stage show is energetic, and features a grandmother banging a drum, and who can go past that?
The other country who I have to give my credit to is Switzerland, who sent the band Vanilla Ninja with the song Cool Vibes, and there’s some cool vibes alright. The song has this sense of mystery leading up to the chorus which just captures you, and overall I think the stage show wasn’t over the top, and it was just a great song.
Surprisingly, 2005 didn’t offer us too many of those ‘typical’ Eurovision gimmicks, so we’ve decided to award this to the country who used one of the bigger props, and some household tools to make their performance stand out. Did you guess it? It’s Romania we’re talking about, where Luminița Anghel & Sistem performed the song Let Me Try. The performance featured Sistem on stage, a percussion band who were using industrial waste cans to drum on and the lids to stamp on and walk around on. Towards the end of the song, there are sparks – no, not between Luminița and a co-performer, but from an angle grinder and the metal cans. If that isn’t a great gimmick, I don’t know what is!
Most Cringe worthy Moment
Originally, I had awarded my most cringe worthy moment to Cyprus, and their inability to choose a t-shirt size that fits, however upon further investigation, I’ve found a little nugget of cringe within the French song which is just way too awkward to not feature. Just in general, this is such an awkward song, with vocals leaving a lot to be desired. The cringe moment comes from a specific move of Ortal’s dance routine, which surely wouldn’t have been choreographed because it’s just genuinely the worst thing ever. It lasts a mere three seconds but it’s three seconds of cringe – in the video below, it begins at 1:03, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Best hairstyle has got to go to one half of the Latvian act, who is sporting the rugged bowl cut look for his Eurovision performance. Kārlis Būmeisters, or Kazha as he was known in the Eurovision duo Walters and Kazha let the blonde locks free, but maybe the length of the hair at the front in relation to the back gives it the illusion of a bowl cut x mullet.
Honorary mention to the spokesperson for Belarus. Congratulations to your hairstylist for creating that look.
Bonus Category: Best Purple Eyeshadow:
This was a tough one, as the female participants of Eurovision 2005 certainly loved those purple tones. After much consideration, I’ve decided that the Best Purple Eyeshadow award has to go to Lithuania, who little by little is convincing me that purple eyeshadow needs to be blended well to be able to get away with the bold colour. The colour does pop against her white bandana sized dress, and her brown hair, but Europe wasn’t captured enough by the purple eyeshadow to send the song to the final, or even off last place in the semi-final.
Fun Facts about 2005:
The Grand Final had a running time of three and a half hours, and this is due to every spokesperson reading out every vote 1 through 12. Because of this, the following year a change was made to only announce the top 3, while the rest automatically showed up on the scoreboard
Previous winner, Ruslana, who brought the contest to Ukraine, was potentially going to host the contest, but she pulled out of the gig for a number of reasons, including her poor English ability
There were five returning artists, including Constantinos from Cyprus (1996, 2002), Helena Paparizou from Greece (2001), Selma from Iceland (1999), Chiara from Malta (1998) and Anabel Conde who participated for Spain (1995) and featured as a backing singer for Andorra.
Quick-fire Top 5:
In no particular order,
Top 3 Guilty Pleasure Songs: