Helena Paparizou My Number One
"My Number One" is the 2005 winning song of the 50th Eurovision Song Contest being the 2005 Eurovision entrant for Greece performed by Elena Paparizou credited as Helena Paparizou. Written by Christos Dantis with English language lyrics co-written by Natalia Germanou, "My Number One" awarded the first victory to Greece in Eurovision.
The song is notable for casting elements of traditional Greek music in a contemporary dance music setting: its arrangement includes bouzoukis and a solo featuring a Cretan lyra. The song's lyrics describe the singer's appreciation for her lover who is lauded as "my number one" and "the only treasure I'll ever have".
Before Eurovision, ERT used an internal selection method to choose Paparizou. They chose her, and then had composers submit songs. They then picked 4 songs with Paparizou for her to sing at a Greek National Selection. At the Greek National Selection, Paparizou would have to sing the 4 songs, and the public would vote via televoting with a special jury, that would determine what song to send to Eurovision. The songs to pick from were "My Number One", "OK", "Let's Get Wild" and "The Light in Our Soul". Shortly before the Greek national selection, it was revealed that "The Light in Our Soul" was released by the artist Big Alice in Germany, which broke the rules. The song was then disqualifed from the selection prossess, leaving it to 3 songs to choose from.
The voting to pick the song consisted of televoting, and a jury. Televoting held a 60% outcome to the song, and the jury held a 40% outcome. In the end, "My Number One" gained a combined 66.47% from televoting and jury votes, and was chosen to represent Greece in 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. Shortly after the song was picked, the videoclip was shot in just 1 day at the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum in Thessaloniki.
After the song was picked, Paparizou went on a European promotional tour. Paparizou visited over 20 countries on her tour, and sang on various TV shows, as well as gave many interviews. This method proved popular, and was used by many countries in 2006, including by Greece again in 2006.
During the performance, Paparizou did a stage show of the song. Some of the best remembered visuals from the show include her dancing a traditional Greek Pontian dance, the 4 dancers making the shape on the number 1 of the floor (showed from aerial camera) and her playing an imaginary lyra while her dancers pick her up. At the close of voting, it had received 230 points, finishing at the head of a 24-strong field.
At the Congratulations special in late 2005, the song was named as one of the five greatest Contest entries of all time, earning the 4th place in ESC history.
"My Number One" also held 2 Eurovision records:
The first one is that "My Number One" scored an average of only 6.05 points per jury, the lowest average for a winning song at the time. This record was previously held by Yugoslavia in 1989 with the song "Rock Me", and was later broken by Azerbaijan in 2011 with Running Scared, by Ell & Nikki.
The second one "My Number One" held, was the record for most 12 points given out to one country. "My Number One" received 10 12 points, tying it with the UK's 1997 entry "Love Shine a Light" by Katrina and the Waves for the record (Televoting was only in place for 5 countries by 1997). This record was later broken by Fairytale, the winning song in 2009, which scored 16 12 points, and is currently held by the 2012 winner, Euphoria, which receive 18 sets of 12 points.
After Greece won Eurovision, a mass party started on the streets of Athens. People went out onto the streets with Greek flags, and started singing "My Number One", as well as honking car horns. This was similar to when Greece won the 2004 Eurocup, 2005 Eurobasket and when Greece won the silver medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. When Paparizou arrived back to Greece from Kiev, mass crowds met her at the Athens International Airport, where she held up a Greek flag and the trophy.
After the Eurovision Victory, the video for the song was released in several countries throughout Europe. It went to #1 in both Greece and Paparizou's native Sweden for 4 weeks and was certified gold in both countries. The song was played constantly in Greece all through the summer. The success of the single is credited to the popular remix from Chris "The Greek" Panaghi which Sony (Greece) commissioned for the remix.
After the release of "My Number One", a Swedish album followed which contained "My Number One" and in Greece Paparizou re-released her first album Protereotita featuring "My Number One" and the other songs in the running for Eurovision pre-selection. It has sold over 90,000 copies in Greece and was certified double platinum.
In 2006 the heavy metal band Dream Evil recorded a tongue-in-cheek cover of the song for their album United.
In 2009, "My Number One" made its way to the PlayStation 3 karaoke game, Singstar, as a downloadable content. It was previously released in the Swedish version of the game, but it is the first time it has become accessible to players from all over Europe. It is also the first time that a song from a Greek singer is included in the Singstar game.
In early 2006, it was announced that "My Number One" and "Mambo!" would be remixed and released in the United States by Moda Records. On August 22, a maxi CD single was released to record stores, featuring 10 remixes, and the original song; the mixes were also released as digital downloads on June 4. The song peaked on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart at number 8 and number 25 on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales. In September 2006, the Georgie’s #1 Radio Anthem Mix was added to popular American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's store playlist nationwide.