Eurovision Flavor of the Decade: the 00s ETHNOPOP

Sometimes a whole era in ESC history is defined by the type of songs that win. In the first decade of the 2000s, that winning formula included a radio-friendly pop refrain spiced up with local ethnic instruments, beats and flavors. We are still seeing a lot of Greek, Turkish, Armenian and Eastern European entries that adhere to this blueprint, though it is nowhere near as convincing and dominant as it was five to ten years ago. In the middle of the 00s there was a string of ESC victors from Turkey, Ukraine and Greece (all first time winners, btw) that hewed closely to the winning ethnopop formula.

In 2003, Seretab Erener put ethnopop squarely in the bullseye of the ESC worldview with “Any Way That I Can”, which layered swirling exotic percussion with modern pop sensibilities and even a rap section (?!)

The next year Ukraine made their first big bid for Eurovision fame by enlisting local superstar Ruslana and her Slavic warrior princess toetapper “Wild Dances”, winning the whole shebang!

2005 continued the trend when Swedish/Greek Helena Paparizou brought the ESC trophy home to Athens for the first time with the retsina-scented “My Number One”


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