Eurovision Song Contest 2004 – Istanbul

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2004 was the 49th Eurovision Song Contest and it was held in the Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.

2004_logoThis was the first occasion in which the contest was held in Turkey after they had won the competition in 2003 with Sertab Erener singing "Everyway That I Can". The hosting national broadcaster of the contest was Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).

Ukrainian singer Ruslana won the contest with "Wild Dances". It is notable that this was only Ukraine's second participation in the contest. This was also the third year in a row in which the contest was won by a woman, performing a song composed at least partially by herself (being the previous two Marie N and Sertab Erener, which co-wrote their winning songs for the 2002 and 2003 contests). 2nd Place went to Serbia & Montenegro in their debut entry, 3rd to Greece, 4th to host nation Turkey, 5th to Cyprus (being their most successful entry to date) 6th to Sweden and 7th to Albania (also a debuting country).

To accommodate the increasing number of countries who wished to participate, a semi-final was introduced. The countries which didn't qualify for the final are normally calculate like participating countries, as well semi finals are a part of the competition. For the second consecutive year, no returning acts were present - only the sixth time (including 1956) in the history of the contest that this happened and it was the first time this had happened in two consecutive years.