In the run-up to Eurovision 2014, we’re rewinding time and looking back at the previous winners of our most beloved pan-European singing contest. Today we’re traveling 13 years into the past to the last time Denmark hosted Eurovision—and the last time Estonia won…

Eurovision 2001 in Copenhagen, Denmark ESC 2001 Logo

Copenhagen hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2001 after The Olsen Brothers swept to victory in Stockholm. DR chose Copenhagen as the host city and, unlike this year, chose the Parken Stadium as the venue. It had been 36 years since the last Danish victory and the Danes put on quite the show – including an interval performance by Aqua. It was also the first contest since 1989 in which no artists returned to the Contest in any capacity.

Estonia’s Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL won with their song ‘Everybody’ which scored 198 points. Their jazzy entry blended reggae with pure and unadulterated 00s boyband pop. The rather over-enthusiastic backing dancers may have upstaged Tanel and Dave, but that didn’t stop Estonia from winning with a comparatively slim margin of just 21 points over runners-up Denmark.

Rollo & King’s folksy song ‘Never Ever Let You Go’ picked up 6 perfect scores across Europe. But 4s from Turkey and France and no points from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Russia torpedoed any hope of back-to-back success for the Danes. Second runners-up Antique likely have the most memorable song of the year with ‘Die For You’. Helena Paparizou screamed sultry siren with ridiculously large hair and a gorgeous white pantsuit, and the song represented the best result in Greece’s history at the Contest at the time.

Rounding out the Top 5 were France’s Natasha St-Pier and Sweden’s Friends. St-Pier achieved France’s best result of the 00s and their only Top 5 appearance. ‘Je n’ai que mon âme’ was pure power ballad perfection. The Swedish entry was stalked by controversy as it was accused of plagiarising the Belgian entry from 1996. The claims were subsequently written off and Friends stormed onto stage with ‘Listen To Your Heartbeat’ in uniformly hideous leather outfits.

http://youtu.be/TosviW8OLaU

Estonia’s victory marked the first time since 1989 that a country won Eurovision for the first time (Yugoslavia’s inaugural win came that year with Riva’s “Rock Me”). It ushered in a period of first-time winners from Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Finland, Serbia, and Russia, that only drew to a close with the Norwegian victory in 2009.

Angus Quinn contributed this report from the U.K. You can follow him on Twitter at @Angus_Quinn17. Then like our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and gossip.

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mitchel
mitchel
6 years ago

For me the winner was Denmarks country song “never ever let you go”. Was amazing

ingo
ingo
6 years ago

Greece, France and Spain were my top 3 that year, and I was shocked when Estonia won with that TACKY song and performance… ! how could have that happened!!! Denmark was pretty random too, nothing special… worst top 2 of the millenium IMO…

davve
davve
6 years ago

I have to disagree about France. Frances song, as most years are not contemporary. a boring bland ballad… saved by the beautiful french language. but its not a song that would chart in any country outside France… Denmark or Greece should have won it!

Ryanireland
Ryanireland
6 years ago

Just listened and watch Natasha again, my god what was Europe think…. I am what I am, and love is my soul. Powerful words, powerful song, powerful singer, such a pity 🙁 the real winner. As for Ireland in 2001 lets just forget about it as we do dustin the turkey cringe, how could we do that too Europe 🙁 pathetic

Robyn
Robyn
6 years ago

Watching these videos is an unpleasant reminder that Terry Wogan used to talk over non-vocal song openings, like a rubbish FM DJ.

Ryanireland
Ryanireland
6 years ago

@ Anthony I had forgotten about “Energy” was a good song, better on cd than the live performance on the night, which I think let the song down, she was one of the favourites and fell flat with her vocals that night 🙁

Anthony
Anthony
6 years ago

My first ever experience of the Eurovision Song Contest and my earliest memory of Slovenia. Nuša Derenda clearly should’ve won that year and the eventual winners still haunt me today.

Julian
Julian
6 years ago

Wow what a horror song won back in 2001. But tempi passati soon all songs will have their Swedish composers pour une nouvelle epoque de l’embarras du choix.

Inge
Inge
6 years ago

A lot of people seem to have problems with this song – I don’t. It’s catchy as hell and apparently, that is what viewers were looking for that evening. It stuck in their head, so they voted.

GVFLONDON
GVFLONDON
6 years ago

How the heck did this piece of crap win ? I’m so glad they ended up in the bin of obscurity.

Dan RO
Dan RO
6 years ago

This is definitely the worst song finishing in the top 5 ever since I can remember. It’s just baaaaaaad! How the hell did this win?! Nowadays I think it wouldn’t even make the final, let alone win!

Dar
Dar
6 years ago

France 2001 was a masterpiece .. It has stood the test of time , not Greece 2001..

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

@Dhani: What???????????? You preferred France to your over the top beloved Helena Papacrap??? You were so grown up and smart back then …whatever happened to you afterwards?? LOL 2001 … third year in a row in the post Dana International era where everything in Eurovision was just bizarre, weird, qualitywise questionable, singingwise amateurish like never before and … a year to forget overall … Estonia must have won because everyone was drunk … still Greece with its Greek-Swedish mish-mash thing may be fan favourite the same way than any drag queen song would be fans favourite at this stage …… Read more »

Thiefo
Thiefo
6 years ago

Up to this day I still don’t know why Estonia won, specially when you had songs way better, just like Greece, I think Antique deserved to win that year.
Besides Antique I also liked En Davar from Israel and Nino Prses from Bosnia & Herzegovina… and my guilty pleasure David Civera from Spain… ohhh the times when the leather pants were hot 😛

SJ
SJ
6 years ago

Latvia in 2002 won only thanks to great stage presentation of song .

SJ
SJ
6 years ago

For me best 5songs at Eurovision 2001 are from Slovenia, Sweden, Greece,Spain and Germany

David
David
6 years ago

That and Latvia in 2002 are the worst winners of the millenium so far.

Digi
Digi
6 years ago

I think Germany or Slovenia is real winner ESC 2001 and Spain or Malta is real winner ESC 2002

Ryanireland
Ryanireland
6 years ago

Possibly one of the worst winners in recent years. Though latvia and Azerbaijan are up there too. France should have this year brilliant timeless classic from an amazing singer. Greece and Denmark were also good in 2001

Dhani
6 years ago

France 2001 was by MILES the best song that year. It’s one of my absolute favorite songs in Eurovision ever

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

At the time I was disappointed with the result but actually I feel the winning song has aged well even though people seem to have forgotten that a black act not only won, but did so representing an ex-Soviet nation. In fact I would say that Dave Benton’s faultless performance here was the deciding factor in Estonia’s victory.