This year Greece plays host to the Eurovision Song Contest, the world's most viewed and perhaps most talked-about musical event. Greek artists have graced the contest with their talents throughout the years. Nana Mouskouri represented Luxembourg in 1963 and Vicky Leandros claimed a victory for the principality in 1972. It was however, the victory of Helena Paparizou in Kyiv in 2005 which has taken the event to the capital city of Athens for the first time. Athens has embraced the contest with the same fervour with which it most recently welcomed the world to the Olympic Games. No less than thirty-seven countries meet here again in friendship to rise to the challenge of becoming Europe's champion of song. Fourteen of them have places reserved in the Final, and 23 will battle it out in an exciting Semi-Final to claim the remaining 10 places. All of them compete on an equal footing, be they regulars in the show for the past 50 years, or, in the case of Armenia, newcomers being welcomed for the very first time. Fitting for a city that unites startlingly modern aspects with awe-inspiring ancient treasures, the songs being presented here represent the full wealth of Europe's musical heritage combined with new and innovative sounds. EMI. 2006.