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The Eurovision Song Contest 2003 was the 48th annual Eurovision Song Contest. The contest took place in Riga, Latvia on 24 May 2003, following Marie N's win in the 2002 contest with the song I Wanna.

Turkey got their first (and so far, only) win with the song Everyway That I Can by Sertab Erener, with Belgium finishing second and Russia third in one of the tightest races for the title since 1991. The United Kingdom suffered their most embarrassing finish ever, finishing in last place with the dreaded Nul Points.

Twenty-six countries participated, which saw the return of Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, and Poland after having been relegated from competing the previous year, Portugal returning to the contest after withdrawing the previous year, while Ukraine participated in the contest for the first time. Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Macedonia, and Switzerland were required to withdraw due to their poor results in the 2002 contest.

Due to the increase of prospective countries, this would mark the last edition which took place in one evening. Following the contest, discussions about how to accommodate them led to the introduction of the semi-final the following year.

It was the first time that Latvia hosted the contest, having debuted in 2000. Three cities were considered as the host city of the contest: Riga, Ventspils, and Jūrmala. LTV chose the Skonto Hall as the venue after conducting a lengthy bidding process. The official sponsors for the contest were telecom company Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Latvian bank Parex Banka.

Special guests Lys Assia, Elton John, Ed Lu, and Yuri Malenchenko appeared live through satellite from different locations to communicate with the hosts and spectators.

Format

Presenters

The hosts for the contest were the previous year's winner Marie N and former Latvian representative at the 2000 contest, Renārs Kaupers, who competed in the contest as part of the band Brainstorm.

Theme

The design of the contest was built around the theme "Magical Rendez-vous", which represented the meeting of the various European nations coming to Latvia and encountering Latvia's versatile landscapes.

LTV launched a competition in order to find the logo for the contest. Due to high interest, there were 204 submissions. The logo, named "Upes" (Latvian for "rivers") was revealed on 16 November 2002, and carried the slogan "All rivers flow toward the sea, all songs flow toward the Eurovision Song Contest".[1]

Incidents

Russian delegation

T.A.T.u. caused all sorts of issues around the time of the contest, boasting that they would "win without a doubt" and criticising Lou, the German entrant, by calling her a "witch" with Julia Volkova stating "In Russia we nurse blind and old people, but we don't send them to the Grand Prix. This must be different in Germany."[2]

The Executive Supervisor at the time, Sarah Yuen, called them the "bad girls of pop" after turning up to rehearse a day late, with the reason that Volkova had a sore throat.[3] The EBU had also prepared a pre-recorded piece of rehearsal footage in case the duo performed an inappropriate stunt on stage. This never had to be done.[4]

The Russian delegation complained that the use of the Irish back-up jury cost them the win, despite the EBU giving Ireland the all-clear as the televotes were being delayed. If the televote had gone ahead as planned, Turkey still would've won, Russia would've placed second, Belgium third, and the United Kingdom still would've had no points.[5]

Nul points

The reality of the United Kingdom receiving nul points caused a stir in British media, with the late Terry Wogan calling it "post-Iraq backlash".

Gallery

Results

Only Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Russia used juries.  The remaining countries used televoting.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconIceland Iceland Birgitta Open Your Heart English -- 8 81
02 IconAustria Austria Alf Poier Weil der Mensch zählt German Because the human matters 6 101
03 IconIreland Ireland Mickey Harte We've Got the World English -- 11 53
04 IconTurkey Turkey Sertab Erener Everyway That I Can -- 1 167
05 IconMalta Malta Lynn Chircop To Dream Again -- 25 4
06 IconBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Mija Martina Ne brini Croatian, English Don't worry 16 27
07 IconPortugal Portugal Rita Guerra Deixa-me sonhar (só mais uma vez) Portuguese, English Let me dream (only one more time) 22 13
08 IconCroatia Croatia Claudia Beni Više nisam tvoja Croatian, English I'm not yours anymore 15 29
09 IconCyprus Cyprus Stelios Constantas Feeling Alive English -- 20 15
10 IconGermany Germany Lou Let's Get Happy -- 11 53
11 IconRussia Russia t.A.T.u. Ne Ver', Ne Boysia Russian Don't believe, don't be afraid 3 164
12 IconSpain Spain Beth Dime Spanish Tell me 8 81
13 IconIsrael Israel Lior Narkis Milim La'ahava Hebrew, English Words of love 19 17
14 IconThe Netherlands The Netherlands Esther Hart One More Night English -- 13 45
15 IconUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Jemini Cry Baby -- 26 0
16 IconUkraine Ukraine Olexandr Ponomaryov Hasta La Vista So long 14 30
17 IconGreece Greece Mando Never Let You Go English -- 17 25
18 IconNorway Norway Jostein Hasselgård I'm Not Afraid To Move On -- 4 123
19 IconFrance France Louisa Baïleche Monts et Merveilles French Mountains and wonders 18 19
20 IconPoland Poland Ich Troje Keine Grenzen – Żadnych granic German, Polish, Russian No borders 7 90
21 IconLatvia Latvia F.L.Y. Hello From Mars English -- 24 5
22 IconBelgium Belgium Urban Trad Sanomi Imaginary -- 2 165
23 IconEstonia Estonia Ruffus Eighties Coming Back English -- 21 14
24 IconRomania Romania Nicola Don't Break My Heart -- 10 73
25 IconSweden Sweden Fame Give Me Your Love -- 5 107
26 IconSlovenia Slovenia Karmen Nanana -- 23 7

References

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