Hosts and hostesses of Eurovision Song Contest are an essential part of the annual show. Millions of people watch carefully every single move of the hosts and especially the fans pay extra attention. Hosting the song contest is often the absolute highlight of their career and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, whether they are actors, singers, program leaders or whatever else. But where are the hosts of the 2000s today?
2000 – Kattis Ahlström and Anders Lundin
The century’s first song contest was held in Stockholm and SVT chose a duo of Kattis and Anders to host the show. Their lines were full of humor and they were really professional when speaking to millions of people worldwide. Before Eurovision, Kattis Ahlström had hosted a youth program 7 till 9 in early 1990s. This was her first time in front of the cameras and it was followed by many other programs, including Melodifestivalen 1994. Therefore it was no surprise that she was chosen to host Eurovision as she had worked for SVT for many years. She continued hosting galas and other tv-programs after 2000 as well. In 2009 she had her own talk show but it finished already the following year. In 2012 she was appointed as Secretary General of a children’s rights society.
Also Anders Lundin had hosted Melodifestivalen before Eurovision, in addition to that, he hosted a radio program on Sveriges Radio as well as Expedition Robinson. After Eurovision he was given the honor of getting to host Allsång på Skansen, one of the most popular tv-shows in the country which airs every summer. He hosted it all the way from 2003 to 2010. He is also an actor and debuted in a film already in 1987. In 2009 Lundin released his debut album and earlier this year he hosted a new program on SVT where he searched for exciting stories around Sweden.
2001 – Natasja Crone Back and Søren Pilmark
Natasja and Søren hosted the show in front of the biggest Eurovision audience ever. Natasja Crone Back had studied journalism and worked for DR where she, among other works, hosted a sports program. For Eurovision fans she became familiar in 2000 when hosting Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and the following year DR chose her to co-host Eurovision as well. She returned to DMGP in 2004 and has been a news anchor on TV2 ever since 2006.
Søren Pilmark, on the other hand, had more experience of acting rather than hosting. He has acted on several films and tv series as well as played the role of Hamlet at Kongelige Teater. Five years after Eurovision he also debuted as a film director.
2002 – Annely Peebo and Marko Matvere
Annely Peebo was a known name for opera lovers before Eurovision Song Contest as she is a mezzo-soprano which she studied in Vienna. That’s why she debuted at the Vienna State Opera and has performed in Wiener Festwochen, an annual cultural festival held in Vienna, Austria. Annely speaks five languages which is surely one of the reasons why she was chosen to host Eurovision 2002 in Tallinn. Later on her career she has been on stage together with Plácido Domingo.
Mark Matvere graduated from the Estonian theater school in 1990 and his first film debut happened three years later. He has also starred many tv-series and musicals. Lately he has had concerts together with Maarja-Liis Ilus who represented Estonia twice in 1996 and 1997.
2003 – Marija Naumova and Renārs Kaupers
Marija Naumova might sound strange but what about Marie N? That’s right, she is the winner of the 2002 song contest who brought the show to Latvia in 2003. LTV wanted to give the job to its former Eurovision representatives and Renārs Kaupers from Brainstorm joined Marija. Brainstorm is the band which represented the country in 2000 finishing third.
After Eurovision experiences Marija was given the lead role of the famous musical The Sound Of Music. In her career she has released eight studio albums of which the last in 2010. At the moment she lives in France and she has announced that she will have concerts in Latvia in August. The singer celebrated her 20 years in music business in May by releasing a music DVD ‘Midnight in Paris’.
Renārs sings, acts and composes songs. In 2005 he returned on Eurovision stage, sort of, when he co-hosted ‘Congratulations’ -show which celebrated the 50 years of Eurovision Song Contest. Brainstorm is also actively making new music and they have gigs mainly in Russia and Latvia but also in London, for example.
2004 – Korhan Abay and Meltem Cumbul
In 2004 a semi-final was introduced which meant more work for the hosts as well. TRT hired two actors for the job, Korhan Abay and Meltem Cumbul. Korhan had started his acting career in 1970s and later directed and produced tv-series and movies. His career continued also after Eurovision 2004 and in 2007 he had a role in a Swedish film for which he learned some Swedish.
Meltem has a long CV with experience in acting, singing and hosting. She has starred many popular series and films as well as hosting game shows and her very own show in late 1990s. She has also sang the Turkish version of the UK entry 1998, Imaani’s Where Are You?. The award winning actress has continued acting and also improved her skills by studying acting abroad.
2005 – Maria Efrosinina and Pavlo Shylko
NTU of Ukraine followed the standard and chose a duo to host the 50th edition of Eurovision Song Contest. Maria Efrosinina was a young, yet experienced television presenter. In 2004 she was given the Best TV-hostess -award. After ESC, Maria has hosted many more shows, including a talent competition ‘Star Academy’. Football lovers might recognize her from 2010 when she hosted the UEFA 2012 -draw in Warsaw.
Pavlo Shylko is better known as DJ Pasha thanks to his work as a radio host. He is not only an entertainer as he has studied psychology and can speak six languages, afterall he is also a translator. In 2003, when Ukraine first competed in Eurovision, he commented the contest for Ukrainian viewers. After co-hosting the 2005 contest he composed the country’s 2006 entry for Tina Karol.