Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Azerbaijan Is the Surprise Winner In the Eurovision Pop Song Contest

Singing a song entitled “Running Scared” that Europe has started to fall in love with, Azerbaijan’s Eldar and Nikki won the 56th Eurovision pop song contest, beating early favorites from France and England, Italy and Sweden.

The longest running televised pop music competition in the world, the Eurovision contest is decided by its thousands of fans all over Europe who phone in their choices of songs and singers, as well as by a jury composed of professionals from the music industry.

Italy’s Raphael Gualazzi came in second and third prize went to Sweden’s Eric Saade, who was the early favorite, following two semifinal runs and a full dress rehearsal in the last two weeks before yesterday’s Grand Finals staged at Germany’s Dussedorf Stadium.

Sweden’s third- place finish was actually sweetened by the fact that the Azerbaijani’s winning song “Running Scared” was written by Swedish composers Stefan Orn and Sandra Bjurman.

Last year’s winner Lena of Germany, who also represented her country this year didn’t fare too well, placing 10th, a mild disappointment for her European fans who had been ecstatic over her 2010 winning song, “Satellite” that made her a star.

Europe’s English-speaking countries, UK and Ireland, sent entries and succeeded in improving Eurovision’s ratings not only in the mainland for the first time in many years. 

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