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
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.
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.