Azerbaijan's Surprise Win In 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Upset To Favorites

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2011 02:52pm | Post a Comment

Excerpt from Eurovision Song Contest 2011 Winning Entry by
Ell/Nikki, "Running Scared"

While it may have been far from the mind of the average American, last night's Euro mega TV event, the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, was an extremely big deal to those on the other side of the Atlantic. Now in its 56th year and with 43 countries participating, last night's evening-long, live televised Eurovision Song Contest drew an estimated 100 million viewers, many of whom had bet money on this year's two hotly tipped favorites, Ireland and the United Kingdom, winning this year. Those gamblers lost when the small country of Azerbaijan took this year's Eurovision title! Nigar Jamal and Eldar Gasimov, who go by the name Ell/Nikki, earned the most points for their pop ballad "Running Scared."

UK entry in 2011 Eurovision Song Contest: Britain's Blue "I Can" came in #11

The Eurovision Song Contest is an American Idol like contest with a dash of soccer fan enthusiasm thrown in the mix. Unlike Idol, all songs are new original compositions. But like Idol and similar TV music contest shows, many in Europe are quick to dismiss the glitzy, much hyped pop music TV event as irrelevant "rubbish." Regardless, a hundred million devoted European viewers tuned in to last night's contest.  And it's been estimated that up to 600 million view worldwide in virtually every country but the US. Last night's contest was broadcast from a sold-out stadium in Dusseldorf (Germany hosted because they won last year with singer Lena's song "Satellite"), where 36,000 enthusiastic fans screamed along and proudly waved their countries' flags. Last night's final followed two weeks of festivities plus two semifinals and a kind of dress rehearsal, a jury final, on Friday evening.

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Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2008 05:55am | Post a Comment

Dustin, the funny, smart-ass turkey puppet character, is already a major television and recording star in his native Ireland but last week when the foul-mouthed turkey with a strong Dublin accent won the televised national Irish Eurovision qualifier music contest with his entry "Irelande Douze Pointe," many feathers were ruffled - with cries of protest ranging from it made a "mockery of the Eurovision" to it  had been an "insult" to both the honor of the Emerald Isle and, more importantly, to the hard work and real talent of the other five (serious human) contestants who had also participated in the hope of going on to represent Ireland at the Eurovision semi-final in two months.

Since decades before American Idol and the X-Factor and shows like that, the Eurovision Song Contest has been in existence. But for many years it has been accused of becoming a bit of a joke itself, with countries accused of voting out of favoritism for neighboring nations rather than for talented singer/songwriter/performers.  When the puppet character Dustin recently won the Irish contest with his song "Irelande Douze Pointe" it became a front page news story over in Ireland, dividing the country into those for and those against.  Bob Geldolf (of the Boomtown Rats and Live Aid fame) came to Dustin's defense and said it would be nothing short of "rank poultryism" should "one of the greatest talents this country has ever produced" fail to be selected to represent "our glorious musical heritage" on the world stage, according to the Irish Times.

Others continue to see it as a "mockery" and question why Dustin was in the contest in the first place.  But despite all the controversy, the decision to select Dustin was defended by the chairman of the judging panel, television producer Bill Hughes, who in a press statement said, "We did think seriously about it but once we heard it and we all laughed so much, we decided it was worth including."  The video clip of Dustin and his crew performing "Irelande Douze Pointe," which is chock-a-block with witty inside Irish jokes including a public apology for Riverdance, performed on RTE Television in Limerick last week, is above.  And in May Dustin will perform the song again in the Eurovision semi-finals in Serbia (the last Eurovision song contest winning country).