In 2005, Europe celebrated the 50th anniversary of its favorite TV show. Congratulations: 50 Years of Eurovision Song Contest was a television programme organised in 2005 to commemorate this. During a spectacular live show from Copenhagen, 14 of the contest's evergreens competed for the title of best Eurovision Song Contest entry of all times.

The show was hosted by Katrina Leskanich, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 with Love Shine A Light, and Renārs Kaupers, who was Latvia's first ever Eurovision Song Contest entrant in 2000 with his band Brainstorm.

In May 2005, the EBU opened a poll on to find the ten songs that would compete. Voters chose their two favourite songs from each of five decades: 1956 to 1965, 1966 to 1975, 1976 to 1985, 1986 to 1995 and 1996 to 2005. The remaining four songs were selected by the Reference Group of the contest. On the 16th of June, 2005 the fourteen chosen songs were announced.

The show featured performances of the 14 songs, Eurovision Song Contest highlights and three special medleys, performed by former participants.

The results

Both juries and televoting were used, both having an equal influence over the vote. In the first round of voting, the number of songs was reduced to five. Each country awarded points from one to eight, then ten and finally twelve for their ten most popular songs. The top five songs were then subjected to another round of voting, where only six points and above were awarded. The results were not announced until after the show. The song with the most points in the second round was the winner.

The event was won by the legendary Swedish group ABBA and their song Waterloo. The band had originally won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden in 1974 and became one of the most successful bands worldwide, selling more than 370 million records. Unfortunately, none of the four band members attended the show, and thus the award was handed over to Marten Aglander, representative of Universal Music in Sweden.

Song 1st round Place 2nd round Place
1 Congratulations 105 8 - -
2 What's Another Year? 74 12 - -
3 Diva 39 13 - -
4 Eres Tú 90 11 - -
5 Ein Bisschen Frieden 106 7 - -
6 Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu 200 2 267 2
7 Waterloo 331 1 329 1
8 Fly On The Wings Of Love 111 6 - -
9 Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son 37 14 - -
10 Everyway That I Can 104 9 - -
11 Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi 98 10 - -
12 Hold Me Now 182 3 262 3
13 Save Your Kisses for Me 154 5 230 5
14 My Number One 167 4 245 4

Facts and figures

  • 2,5 million votes were cast to determine the most popular Eurovision Song Contest entry;
  • Eleven of the fourteen songs were Eurovision Song Contest winners; only Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, Congratulations and Eres Tú (which all finished in the top three at the contest) were not. Two countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland, were represented twice on the list. Johnny Logan, who won the Eurovision Song Contest twice for Ireland as a singer, saw both of his songs on the shortlist;
  • The EBU released two CDs featuring Eurovision Song Contest songs from the previous 50 years. Two DVDs with original Eurovision Song Contest performances of these songs were also released.


Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk, and Timur Miroshnychenko will host the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.


History by year

From 1956, when the first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place, to the 2009 contest in Moscow... Just pick a year from the list to learn more about that particular running, the contestants and more. Each year comes with the relevant scoreboard and loads of background details! HISTORY BY YEAR...

History by country

Some 50 countries took part in the Eurovision Song Contest over the past 54 years. Find out how each of the participating countries has been doing. Just pick a country from the list and dive into the ups and downs they've all went through. HISTORY BY COUNTRY...

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