Editorials & Opinion

Withdrawal skandal – Ten Eurovision gems that never happened

2. Helena Paparizou – The Light In Our Soul

The selection
The Greeks had a tough time selecting their entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. Sakis Rouvas brought the country to third place and ERT wanted the Eurovision Song Contest to take place in Athens as soon as possible: Mission Eurovision was started. Many, many stars were asked: Anna Vissi pulled out due to scheduling issues, Annet Artani couldn’t reach an agreement, Despina Vandi was a steady rumour, ERT even offered Sakis Rouvas the job for the second time. Eventually, the country found Greek-Swedish singer and former half of Antique Helena Paparizou to be right choice. She was the only entrant in the national final, which was won by the eventual Eurovision winner: My Number One.
What was the skandal?
Kostas Bigalis was one of the frontrunners for Paparizou’s Eurovision song. He entered the song The Light In Our Soul and was immediately considered a favourite. Natalia Germanou and Christos Dantis were ready to fight Bigalis’s song with My Number One, but in the end didn’t need to. A random German band, Big Alice, released the song in late 2004 on German Amazon. We still don’t know why or how, but ERT responded accordingly: The Light In Our Soul was disqualified from the national final before it even entered. No loss for Paparizou though…
How would this have done?
I can’t help but think that Paparizou was destined to win, even with a mediocre song. Greece was #1 favourite before any of the songs were even known, there was not a whole lot that could take them away from victory. I’d like to think The Light In Our Soul would’ve been enough to win it: I actually prefer it over My Number One. It’s less catchy, uptempo and everything than her eventual winner, but it still works perfectly. Helena carries it well and knows how to perform.

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