Throwback to Dusseldorf – Eurovision 2011

When Lena performed her song “Satellite” on the Eurovision stage in Oslo no one could have guessed that just a year later all satellites will be turned towards Germany following Lena’s victory in the 2010’s edition of the contest. The contest in Dusseldorf is the first and only contest to date to be hosted by a member of the “Big 5” since the contest of 1998 which was hosted in Birmingham following the victory of The United Kingdom in 1997.

In order to host the contest, the EBU as well as the German broadcasters ADR and NDR produced the contest which like in previous years consisted of two Semi-Finals and a Grand Final. The contest took place on the week of the 8th of May with the Semi-Finals set for the 10th and 12th of the month and the Grand Final on the 14th of May. This was the third time Germany produced the contest having done so before in 1957 and 1983. This is also the first time contest hosted in Germany since the country’s unification.

Not less than twenty three countries submitted official bids to host the event. Out of these only four cities were shortlisted to the final choice of the host city. The cities were: Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover and Dusseldorf. The latter was chosen to be the host city with the “Esprit Arena” being the venue of the contest which holds the ability to hold up to fifty thousands spectators. For the contest it held thirty eight thousands.

A record of forty three countries participated in this edition of the contest. With both Montenegro and The Czech Republic withdrawing for the second year in a row and with the returns of Hungary, Austria and San Marino following their absence in recent editions and the return of Italy to the contest after their constant absence since 1998 the contest is one of the contests with the highest rates of participation.

For the third time in the history of the contest a team of three hosts was chosen to host the event with the most recent one being the previous edition of the contest. The hosts were Canedian-German comedian Anke Engelke, German journalist Judith Rakers and German singer and entertainer Stefan Raab. The latter represented Germany in the contest of 2000.

It was not only in the hosts department that some familiar faces appeared. Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by Dino Merlin who previously represented the country in 1999. Gunnar Olason who formerly represented Iceland in 2001 as part of the band “Two Tricky” came back as a band member of “Sjonni’s Friends”. “Zdob Si Zdub” came back to represent Moldova after their first being in 2005. The Slovakian representatives “TWIINS” came back after being backing vocalists for The Czech Republic in 2008. After being the lead singer of Georgia in 2010, Sophio Toroshelidze would come back as the lead singer of “Eldrine”. Additionally, Two former winners of the contest would make their return to the contest. The winner of 1998’s edition, Dana International would come back to the contest once again. Yet, this time would fail to reach a high result and would fail to qualify to the Grand Final. Israel would face such failure until 2015 where they would qualify with Nadav Guedj and his entry “Golden Boy”. Although she won the contest in Oslo the year before, Lena would come back to represented her country once again.

Each of the Semi-Finals had nineteen countries competing in it with the top ten highest-ranking countries of this round qualifying to the Grand Final. Both Armenia and Turkey would fail to qualify to the final since the introduction to the Semi-Finals in 2004. The Grand Final that year had twenty-five countries competing it although Italy came back to the contest and expanded the “Big 4” to a “Big 5”. Due to the fact Germany, the host country was also a member of the “Big 5”, there were only five countries qualifying automatically and not six as would have been in case a country which isn’t a member of the “Big 5” would have won the edition of 2010. The expansion of the “Big 4” to “Big 5” would result in Grand Finals with 26 competing countries from 2012 on.

The winner of the contest was Azerbaijan with “Running Scared” sung by duo “Ell and Nikki”. The song won the contest with 221 points. It came first in the televote with 223 points and second in the jury voting with 182 points. The winner of the jury voting, Italy, came second with 189 points with a margin of 4 points from the third place occupied by Sweden.

Watch the winning performance here:

Watch the voting here:

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