Eurovision Song Contest 2008 – Belgrade

See all of our on-the-spot reports from Belgrade

The Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was the 53rd edition of the Contest. It was hosted in Belgrade, Serbia after Marija Šerifović won the 2007 Contest in Helsinki, Finland. This year was the first time there were three contests; two semi-finals which were held on 20 and 22 May, and the traditional grand final which was held on 24 May 2008. The shows were hosted by Jovana Janković and Željko Joksimović at the Belgrade Arena which had a total capacity of 25,000 seats. The host broadcaster was RTS.

After a total of 272 points, Dima Bilan representing Russia (for the second time) was declared the winner, with the song "Believe" written by American Jim Beanz and Bilan himself. So far this has been the only time Russia has won the contest. Russia came third in the semi-final, making it the winner with the worst semi-final result.

Ukraine were runners up for the second year running, with 3rd place going to Greece, 4th to Armenia seeing their best result so far and 5th to Norway. Azerbaijan landed 8th place in its debut contest.

2008 also saw for the first time ever, Eurovision.tv streamed national finals live on ESCTV with broadcasters' permission.

On 30 January 2008, Eurovision.tv revealed the theme of the Contest: "The Confluence of Sound", which was inspired by Belgrade's location at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.

(From Wikipedia)