Athens, Greece - The year 2009 marks the end of the first decade of the 21st century. The last ten days of this year, Eurovision.tv looks back at the remarkable transition that the Eurovision Song Contest went through. We are also inviting you to share your memories with us, right here on the website as well as on Facebook. Today, we're looking back at the seventh Eurovision Song Contest of this decade: Athens 2006, the 51st running of Europe's favourite TV-show!
The ambition to win was high in Greece, and it was Helena Paparizou who brought the Eurovision Song Contest to Athens with My Number One. The Greeks had just successfully hosted the 2004 Olympic Games, and thus venues, accommodations and infrastructure were ready to host another large event. The Olympic Indoor Arena, part of Athens' Olympic complex, hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on the 18th and 20th of May, 2006.
Compared to 2005, organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest went relatively smooth this year. The Greeks quickly compiled a skilled team of producers and event managers to get ready for the two live shows.
The theme of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest was Feel The Rhythm, the generic logo was accompanied by two graphic elements; a styled version of the ancient Phaistos disk and a pattern referred to as dancing scores. The design work was done by the Athens-based company Karamela, which also had taken care of the visual identity of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Former Greek Head of Delegation Fotini Yannoulatou was the Executive Producer, while Volker Weicher from Germany was in charge of multi-camera directing. The shows were hosted by the American-Greek actress and television presenter, Maria Menounos, and former Greek Eurovision Song Contest participant, Sakis Rouvas (2004). Opening and interval acts were performed by the hosts, as well as Helena Paparizou and Foteini Darra.