Wiwibloggs has launched a new series looking at all the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. Today we will be looking at the land of gods – magnificent Greece.

Greece’s first appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1974. They have since provided us with interesting and memorable moments in which traditional Greek elements are being incorporated in modern music. So let’s take a look at ten reasons why we love Greece at Eurovision.

1. They bring the sound of the bouzouki

The bouzouki is one of the most distinctive instruments in Greek music and Greece isn’t afraid to take it to Eurovision. But it wasn’t until 2001 and Antique‘s unforgettable “Die For You” that it was actually appreciated. The song wisely combined the traditional sound with modern pop, resulting in a third-place finish.

2. They use tradition and mythology in their songs

When Greece goes traditional, you can get a full sense and understanding of their culture. This year, Yianna Terzi appeared on stage looking like a Greek goddess. In 1995, Elina Konstantopoulou‘s “Pia Prosefhi” included lyrics in Ancient Greek and other elements from the Greek mythology. Another highlight is Greece’s 1993 entry – “Ellada Xhora tou Fotos” (translated as “Greece the land of lights”) a title that speaks for itself.

3. They were a late bloomer

Despite some very good entries during their first 30 years, it took Greece 31 years to achieve their first (and still last) victory at the Eurovision Song Contest. But things changed and Greece went through a golden age in the 2000s, collecting eight top-ten finishes in a decade.

4. They work their epic language

Greek is an ancient language with a unique sound and mysterious rhythm. Even after the lifting of the national language rule in 1999, Greece still sent songs that were either entirely performed in Greek (“Opa” 2010, “Oniro Mou” 2018) or songs in English with a significant part Greek (“Alcohol is Free” 2013, “Watch my Dance” 2011).

5. They deliver with the choreography

Greek choreography can be hypnotising and is often a key to their success. In the last decade, they’ve demonstrated very powerful and modern choreography in many occasions, for example, Sakis Rouvas’ complex dancing in “This Is Our Night” (2009) and Giorgos Alkiaos and Friends with “Opa” (2010) whose gorgeous dancers left the audience stunned.

6. They are BFFs with Cyprus

As unfair this may seem, Greece’s unbreakable alliance with Cyprus cannot be disregarded. The bonds between the two countries are very strong as can be seen from the regular vote exchanges – usually a mutual douze points. Over the years Greece has given 283 points to Cyprus and received back 324 from it (in the finals only).

7. They gave us one of the weirdest Eurovision entries ever

In 2002, Greece sent a bizarre entry called “S.A.G.A.P.O” sung by Michalis Rakintzis. The song wasn’t very successful and finished 17th out of 24, but it provided viewers with interesting and weird highlights such as military-style dance and science fiction costumes.

8. They didn’t give up doing Eurovision during their economic crises

Despite its continuing financial crisis, Greece has never given up participating in Eurovision and kept sending good entries aiming for victory. Since the crunch began in 2008, Greece had sent some of its most iconic acts, and even pondered the monetary value of goods in “Alcohol Is Free”.

9. The double diva action of Helena Paparizou and Anna Vissi

Greece has introduced two of the most incredible divas to Eurovision stage — Helena Paparizou and Anna Vissi. Helena gave Greece two of their best placings ever: third in 2001 with Antique’s “Die for You” and a victory in 2005 with “My Number One”. Anna Vissi debuted in 1980 with “Autostop”, made a sneaky appearance for Cyprus in 1982, but she is best remembered for her appearance on Greek soil with “Everything” when Athens hosted Eurovision in 2006.

10. Their male performers aren’t bad either

Sakis Rouvas, Sarbel and the iconic Loucas Yiorkas. Do we need to say more?

What are you favourite moments from Greece at Eurovision? Share your favourites in the comments section below!

Read more Greece Eurovision news

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Ana
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Ana

Sometimes I love them, sometimes – on the contrary 😛
I don’t like when Greece send pop sweet-singing women, this type of music is too irritating (especially if they don’t manage… 2017? :D). But they can be awesome too, both in English (Rise Up, Die for You) and in Greek (Opa, Feggari kalokerino).

My favourite Greek entry ever – one of the best overall – is “Miazoume”.

Mohrant
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Mohrant

I love Greece at Eurovision, but the exchange of twelve points with Cyprus is just exhausting. Especially now when they’re doing it with the jury votes as well (such as in 2017).

CookieNation
Guest
CookieNation

One of my favorite countries! I think they have a successful record because their best singers are ready to take risks and do Eurovision and this pays off. I love listening to Greek pop songs in Spotify and watch shows like the MAD VMA, their liking for pop music is so fresh and perfectly suited for Eurovision. They have so many good singers and producers. Here in Spain it works quite the opposite, our famous singers won’t go to eurovision easily and the music they do isn’t really suitable for the contest (but then we get crazy about Foureira, lol).

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Sorry but I don’t want a C.Tangana or a Valtonyc going to Eurovision. LOL

David Bisbal might be but I don’t think he would have time for ESC. What about Aitana and Ana Guerra?

CookieNation
Guest
CookieNation

I don’t like Tangana than much but I think Eurovision gets better when the entries say something about their time and the place they come from, so it should be either him or Rosalía from Spain. Bisbal is huge in Spain, specially among the older generations but I think he is well below European standards and sounds too dated. OT guys are always a safe option as they are young and easily manipulable, lol.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

I wish they dropped OT as the selection method, because it really shrinks the pool of possible representatives. And don’t get me wrong, the people from OT (at least the first) seem pretty talented and charismatic but still screams “reality TV star”, lol.

Irina
Guest
Irina

One of my favorite Eurovision countries.

2001-2013 : The Golden Years for Greece in Eurovision. ‘Die for You’, ‘Shake It’, ‘My Number One’, ‘Yassou Maria’, ‘My Secret Combination’, ‘This Is Our Night’, ‘OPA’, ‘Watch My Dance’, ‘Aphrodisiac’, ‘Alcohol Is Free’. So many great songs. Unfortunately, due to economic crisis nobody in Greece cares about Eurovision anymore. Even, Eleni Foureira was begging them, to represent Greece in Eurovision and they choose ARGO instead. LOL. I hope to hear some good Greek music in Eurovision again. xxx

miles
Guest
miles

too many bad songs….I love the country but their song are often too bad…Demi, Sakis x 2, Elena x 2….

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Greece was definitely one of the best, if not the best, performers in Eurovision in the 2000s. No one can deny it, their 2005 victory is a proof of that and “My Number One” is still one of the best winners the contest has ever seen still being followed to this day. And you could say a pretty similar thing about all the Greek entries in the 2000s (“Die for You”, “Shake It”, “Yassou Maria”, “Secret Combination” and “This is Our Night” just come to my mind). This success (debatable) and cult following continued in the beginning 2010s with “OPA”,… Read more »

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

The rise and fall of a Eurovision Empire.

Kyna
Guest
Kyna

Yet another favorite entrant. Greece is one of the reasons why I fell in love with Eurovision, particularly since I discovered it during their golden age period. I just LOVE how they use their traditional/ethnic elements. Unfortunately I have to agree to some that they have recently lost their touch, but I hope they’ll eventually get back on the right track.

AngieP
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AngieP

Why I love Greece in Eurovision: 1. The traditional element of the songs. 2. Some great artists performed on the Eurovision stage, as Anna Vissi, Elena Paparizou, Sakis Rouvas and more. 3. We didn’t withdraw despite the difficult situation we’re in. I’m glad for that, because Eurovision is an escape. We have the chance to have a good time, celebrate music and see our country participating. 4. We use the greek language from time to time. 5. We needed over 30 years to win, but we finally did it! Other highlights: 1.I still remember trying to learn the moves to… Read more »

Pablonita Bogusevi?
Guest
Pablonita Bogusevi?

Is there any country, whose title will be “10 reasons why we hate (Country) at the Eurovision Song Contest”?

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Of course! Atlantis, Neverland, Westeros and especially Mordor… 😛

Joe
Guest
Joe

Greece are very polished and have sent a lot of entries I’ve enjoyed, but the first one that impressed me in a long time was this year’s…and it was their second non-qualification. So what do I know? Before that, I’d have to go back to 2006 to find an entry of theirs that really blew me away, but even in that time they’ve sent plenty I’ve at least had fun watching (2008-2010 being especially strong, and while 2011 didn’t totally work for me when I just saw it, it was still neat and very very Greek).

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Also I can’t cope with the fact that you mentioned their tragic 2002 entry that will forever haunt our nightmares, but not the song that justifies their presence in the contest – Kalomira’s “Secret Combination”.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

If Greece had People in ERT who care about the contest, like those until 2011,they would have definitely won one more time.

Ern
Guest
Ern

To be fair, ERT did make valiant efforts the past two years.

Demi was given a bad song by the so called “dream team”, while Yianna did not perform well. As frustrating as that is, those failures cannot be blamed on ERT.

Mou
Guest
Mou

No, I don’t agree with any of those trivial “reasons” and I don’t love Greece at ESC but I’m glad that they participate because I always need a country during whose performance I can take a smoke break. Serbia and FYR Macedonia are the other ones, but if they disqualify, I always have Greece around for that purpose.

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

All those three countries disappointed me this year too. Greece really seems to have lost their sense of purpose. Their entries no longer reflect modern Greek pop!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

And no, we don’t love their totally unbiased yearly 12 points’ exchange with Cyprus, but I guess it had to be added because finding ten reasons to love Greece at the Eurovision is an otherwise impossible task.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Here you are right! I do also not think, the BFF thing with Cyprus is a reason to love Greece at ESC 😉

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Seeing there’s no mention of post-2013 songs, this article looks like the obituary of a formerly successful country. May the memory of its past slayage rest in piss.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Their 2018 entry is mentioned twice. I thought 2018 is post-2013, but well… 😉

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I do not recall them entering a song this year, and neither does the rest of Europe.

Lol
Guest
Lol

HAH HAHAHA YOU’RE SO SALTY OMG

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Oh 2002! That song is actually really good in a mysterious way 🙂

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

Of course Helena Paparizou is the godness of Eurovision 😀 I like My Number One and I do appreciate Survivor, her Mello entry 2014, very much! And for all Sergey Lazarev Fans (Btw: I am neither a big fan nor a big hater of him, I am neutral with Sergey): Helena sang a duet of his 2016 entry with him… “Just call me a survivor!” 😀