The Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was the 51st edition held in Athens, Greece at the OAKA Olympic Arena and was presented by Greek-born American TV personality Maria Menounos and 2004 Eurovision participant Sakis Rouvas. The semi-final was held on 18 May 2006 and the final on 20 May 2006.

A new system was adopted this year regarding the presentation of each country's votes. Instead of having the individual spokesperson read out every point as done in the past, the scores from 1-7 were shown on screen first, followed by the spokesperson only reading out the top 3 scores of 8, 10 and 12 points. This new system helped shave approximately 40 minutes off the show's running time and has been used ever since.

The contest was won by Finland, considered to be the "underachievers" of Eurovision, with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah performed by the group Lordi. It is the first hard rock song to ever win the contest, winning both the semi and the final with the same amount of points. Finland waited a full 45 years for their first victory, eclipsing the previous mark of 31 years set by Greece the year before. That record has since been eclipsed by Portugal with their victory in 2017 ending a 53-year drought.

Format

Presenters

Television presenter Maria Menounos and two-time Eurovision entrant for Greece Sakis Rouvas hosted the contest.

Theme

2006Logo.png

The logo of the 2006 Contest was created by the design company Karamela, and it was based on the Phaistos Disc - a symbol of ancient Greece. According to ERT, it was "inspired by the wind and the sea, the golden sunlight and the glow of the sand".

The Pre-Song Postcards showed places connected to Greece's history as well as its modern tourism hotspots. .

Incidents

  • Paul de Leeuw, the Dutch spokesperson, insisted on pretending to give Rouvas his phone number and announce points 1 to 7, which were already displayed to save time.
  • Constantinos Christoforou gave his votes from Cyprus whilst the graphic showed Switzerland was calling.
  • EBU imaging overrode Menounos during a voting interval segment.

Participants

37 countries participated, Armenia making its debut with Austria and Hungary withdrawing. Serbia and Montenegro also withdrew due to the country splitting up into two independent nations. Ireland's entry was the 1,000th song performed at the contest.

Semi-final

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconArmenia.png Armenia André Without Your Love English -- 6 150
02 IconBulgaria.png Bulgaria Mariana Popova Let Me Cry -- 17 36
03 IconSlovenia.png Slovenia Anžej Dežan Mr Nobody -- 16 49
04 IconAndorra.png Andorra Jennifer Serrano Sense tu Catalan Without you 23 8
05 IconBelarus.png Belarus Polina Smolova Mum English -- 22 10
06 IconAlbania.png Albania Luiz Ejlli Zjarr e ftohtë Albanian Fire and cold 14 58
07 IconBelgium.png Belgium Kate Ryan Je t'adore English, French I adore you 12 69
08 IconIreland.png Ireland Brian Kennedy Every Song Is a Cry for Love English -- 9 79
09 IconCyprus.png Cyprus Annet Artani Why Angels Cry -- 15 57
10 IconMonaco.png Monaco Séverine Ferrer La Coco-Dance French, Tahitian The Coco-Dance 21 14
11 IconNorth Macedonia.png North Macedonia Elena Risteska Ninanajna English, Macedonian -- 10 76
12 IconPoland.png Poland Ich Troje ft. Real McCoy Follow My Heart English, Polish, Spanish, German, Russian -- 11 70
13 IconRussia.png Russia Dima Bilan Never Let You Go English -- 3 217
14 IconTurkey.png Turkey Sibel Tüzün Süper Star English, Turkish Superstar 8 91
15 IconUkraine.png Ukraine Tina Karol Show Me Your Love English -- 7 146
16 IconFinland.png Finland Lordi Hard Rock Hallelujah -- 1 292
17 IconThe Netherlands.png The Netherlands Treble Amambanda English, Imaginary 20 22
18 IconLithuania.png Lithuania LT United We Are the Winners English -- 5 163
19 IconPortugal.png Portugal Nonstop Coisas de nada (Gonna Make You Dance) English, Portuguese Meaningless things 19 26
20 IconSweden.png Sweden Carola Häggkvist Invincible English -- 4 214
21 IconEstonia.png Estonia Sandra Oxenryd Through My Window -- 18 28
22 IconBosnia and Herzegovina.png Bosnia and Herzegovina Hari Mata Hari Lejla Bosnian Layla 2 267
23 IconIceland.png Iceland Silvia Night Congratulations English -- 13 62

Final

All countries voted including Serbia and Montenegro. The final took place on 20 May 2006. Lordi won for Finland with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconSwitzerland.png Switzerland Six4One If We All Give A Little English -- 16 30
02 IconMoldova.png Moldova Arsenium ft. Connect-R & Natalia Gordienko Loca English, Spanish Crazy 20 22
03 IconIsrael.png Israel Eddie Butler Together We Are One English, Hebrew 23 4
04 IconLatvia.png Latvia Vocal Group Cosmos I Hear Your Heart English -- 17 30
05 IconNorway.png Norway Christine Gulbrandsen Alvedansen Norwegian The Elf Dance 14 36
06 IconSpain.png Spain Las Ketchup Un Blodymary Spanish A Bloody Mary 21 18
07 IconMalta.png Malta Fabrizio Faniello I do English -- 24 1
08 IconGermany.png Germany Texas Lightning No No Never -- 14 36
09 IconDenmark.png Denmark Sidsel Ben Semmane Twist of Love -- 18 26
10 IconRussia.png Russia Dima Bilan Never Let You Go -- 2 248
11 IconNorth Macedonia.png North Macedonia Elena Risteska Ninanajna English, Macedonian -- 12 56
12 IconRomania.png Romania Mihai Trăistariu Tornerò English, Italian I will return 4 172
13 IconBosnia and Herzegovina.png Bosnia and Herzegovina Hari Mata Hari Lejla Bosnian -- 3 229
14 IconLithuania.png Lithuania LT United We Are the Winners English, French -- 6 162
15 IconUnited Kingdom.png United Kingdom Daz Sampson Teenage Life English -- 19 25
16 IconGreece.png Greece Anna Vissi Everything -- 9 128
17 IconFinland.png Finland Lordi Hard Rock Hallelujah -- 1 292
18 IconUkraine.png Ukraine Tina Karol Show Me Your Love -- 7 145
19 IconFrance.png France Virginie Pouchain Il était temps French It was time 22 5
20 IconCroatia.png Croatia Severina Moja štikla Croatian My high heel 12 56
21 IconIreland.png Ireland Brian Kennedy Every Song Is a Cry for Love English -- 10 93
22 IconSweden.png Sweden Carola Invincible -- 5 170
23 IconTurkey.png Turkey Sibel Tüzün Süper Star English, Turkish Superstar 11 91
24 IconArmenia.png Armenia André Without Your Love English -- 8 129

Trivia

  • After this edition was shown as part of Eurovision Again in mid-2020, the EBU came on board with their support for the project.
  • Hard Rock Hallelujah was the first semi-final winner to win the entire contest as well (Wild Dances came second in the 2004 semi-final, while My Number One was an auto-qualifier for 2005).
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