Eurovision Song Contest 2009
|Eurovision Song Contest 2009
|Semi-final 1 date||12 May 2009|
|Semi-final 2 date||14 May 2009|
|Final date||16 May 2009|
|Venue||Olympic Indoor Arena
|Executive supervisor||Svante Stockselius|
|Host broadcaster||Channel One|
|Opening act||Semi-final 1: The Tolmachevy Twins
Semi-final 2: "Eurovision Winners Songs Mix" by Terem Quartet, Russian national ballet "Kostroma", Ensemble of Russian Airforce, Show-ballet "Art Dogs"
Final: Cirque du Soleil performance (Prodigal Son), Dima Bilan with "Believe"
|Interval act||Semi-final 1: Alexandrov Ensemble feat. t.A.T.u. with "Not Gonna Get Us"
Semi-final 2: Igor Moiseyev Ensemble – "Folk Dances from Different Countries"
|Number of entries||42|
|Withdrawing countries|| Georgia
|Nul points|| Czech Republic
(in Semi-final 1)
|Winning song|| Norway
|Eurovision Song Contest|
The Eurovision Song Contest 2009 was the 54th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and was hosted by Russia after their win in 2008. It took place between 12 and 16 May 2009 at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow, Russia.
The contest was won by Norway's Alexander Rybak with his self-penned "Fairytale", which received a record-breaking 387 points out of 492, the highest total score in Eurovision history, at that time by a margin of 95 points. (Until then, the highest winning score had been Finland in 2006 with 292 points.) Second place went to Iceland, third to Azerbaijan, fourth to Turkey, and the United Kingdom taking 5th, seeing their best placing since 2002.
After criticism of the voting system after the 2007 Contest, changes in the voting procedure were made with the re-introduction of a national jury alongside televoting while the format of the semi-finals remained the same. Forty-two countries participated in the contest; Slovakia announced that it would return to the contest, while San Marino withdrew due to financial issues. Latvia and Georgia originally announced their intention to withdraw, but it was later stated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that both countries would indeed participate. However, Georgia later decided to withdraw after the EBU rejected its selected song as being a breach of contest rules.
- 1 Location
- 2 Format
- 3 Incidents
- 4 Participating countries
- 5 Results
- 6 Scoreboards
- 7 Other Awards
- 8 International broadcasts and voting
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The contest was held in Russia following its victory in the 2008 contest in Belgrade, Serbia, with Dima Bilan's "Believe". Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, stated that the contest would be held in Moscow.
It was proposed by Channel One that the contest be held in Moscow's Olympic Indoor Arena, and this proposal was evaluated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and confirmed on 13 September 2008. The Director-General of the venue, Vladimir Churilin, refuted rumours of emergency reconstruction of the building, saying: "It will not be required for the Eurovision Song Contest. We now can take up to 25 thousand spectators."
The contest final took place on 16 May 2009 at the Olympic Indoor Arena in Moscow, Russia with two semi-finals preceding it on 12 and 14 May. Thirty-seven countries participated in one of the two semi-finals of the contest, with the "Big Four" countries (France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom) and the host pre-qualified for the final. In addition to those pre-qualified, the final also included the ten selected countries from each semi-final, making a total of twenty-five participants.
A discussion on changes to the format of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest had taken place at an EBU meeting in Athens, Greece in June 2008 where a proposal was made that could have resulted in the "Big Four" losing their automatic place in the final of the contest. However, it was confirmed that the "Big Four" countries would continue to automatically qualify for the final at the 2009 contest.
Host broadcaster Channel One presented the sub-logo and theme for the 2009 contest on 30 January 2009. The sub-logo is based upon a "Fantasy Bird", which can be used with many colours. As in previous years, the sub-logo was presented alongside the generic logo. 2009 was the first year since 2001 that there was no slogan for the contest.
The stage was designed by New York-based set designer John Casey, and was based around the theme of contemporary Russian avant-garde. Casey, who had previously designed the stage for the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 in Dublin, was also involved in design teams for the 1994 and 1995 contests. He explained that "even before [he] worked with the Russians on the TEFI Awards in Moscow in 1998, [he] was inspired by and drawn to art from the Russian Avant Garde period, especially the constructivists... [He] tried to come up with a theatrical design for the contest that incorporates Russian avant-garde art into a contemporary setting, almost entirely made up of different types of LED screens." Casey explained that together, the various LED shapes form the finished product. Furthermore, large sections of the stage can move, including the circular central portion of curved LED screens, which can be moved to effect and allow each song to have a different feel.
The postcards (short videos between the acts) were as follows:
- Miss World 2008, Ksenia Sukhinova appeared;
- A group of famous buildings, monuments and landscapes from the corresponding country were shown, similar to 3-D pages of a book;
- Sukhinova reappeared wearing a hat comprising the above (as well as a different hairstyle & make-up each time) and a T-shirt with the colours of the country's flag. On the right the ESC 2009 logo appeared with the name of the country; The Russia's video had the exact appearance of Sukhinova shown in the first part of every video and no different hairstyle was shown for Russia.
- Finally a phrase in transliterated Russian and its English translation were shown (e.g. Spasibo and Thank You).
Semi-final allocation draw
On Friday 30 January 2009, the draw to decide which countries would appear in either the first or second semi-final took place. The participating countries excluding the automatic finalists (France, Germany, Russia, Spain & the United Kingdom) were split into six pots, based upon how those countries have been voting. From these pots, half (or as close to half as is possible) competed in the first Semi Final on 10 May 2011. The other half in that particular pot will compete in the second Semi Final on 12 May 2011. The draw for the running order of the semi-finals, finals, and the order of voting, occurred on 16 March 2009.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
In response to some broadcasters' continued complaints about politically charged, neighbourly and diaspora voting, the EBU evaluated the voting procedure used in the contest, with the possibility of a change in the voting system for 2009. Contest organisers sent a questionnaire regarding the voting system to participating broadcasters, and a reference group incorporated the responses into their suggestions for next year's format. Telewizja Polska (TVP), the Polish broadcaster, suggested that an international jury similar to the one used in the 2008 Eurovision Dance Contest be introduced in the Eurovision Song Contest to lessen the impact of neighbourly voting and place more emphasis on the artistic value of the song. A jury would lead to less political and diaspora voting as the jury members, mandated to be music industry experts, would also have a say in addition to "random members of the public".
It was decided that for the contest final, each country's votes would be decided by a combination of 50% televoting results and 50% national jury. The method of selecting the semi-final qualifiers remained the same for the most part, with nine countries, instead of the ten as in years past, qualifying from each semi-final based on the televoting results. For the tenth qualifier from each semi-final, the highest placed country on the back-up jury scoreboard that had not already qualified, was chosen for the final. At the final, each country combined their 1-12 points from the televote with their 1-12 jury points to create their "national scorecard". The country with the most points received 12 points, the second placed country received 10 points and so on. If a tie arose, the song with the higher televote position was given the advantage and the higher point value. National juries were originally phased out of the contest beginning in 1997, with televoting becoming mandatory for nearly all participants since 2003.
Edgar Böhm, director of entertainment for Austria's public broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), has stated that the 2008 format with two semi-finals "still incorporates a mix of countries who will be politically favoured in the voting process," and "that, unless a clear guideline as to how the semifinals are organised is made by the EBU, Austria will not be taking part in Moscow 2009." Despite the inclusion of jury voting in the final, Austria did not return to the contest in 2009.
The 2009 contest experienced several controversies and incidents during its lead-up, including the interpretation of over Georgia's entry as an attack against the Russian prime minister, conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan stemming from the inclusion of a monument in a disputed region to represent Armenia in a video introduction, Spain's broadcaster showing a semi-final on tape delay after a scheduling conflict, and protests over Russia's treatment of LGBT people to coincide with the contest.
Armenia and Azerbaijan
After the first semi-final, representatives for Azerbaijan complained to the EBU over the introductory "postcard" preceding the Armenian entry, since the video clip had included a depiction of We Are Our Mountains, a monumental statue located in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic, which is considered to be a de jure part of Azerbaijan. As a result of the complaint, the statue was edited out during the finals. However, Armenia retaliated during the results presentations by having the monument displayed on a video screen in the background, and having presenter Sirusho read the results from a clipboard decorated with a photo of the monument.
There were also allegations that no number had been shown for the public to call and vote for Armenia's entry during the telecast in Azerbaijan. Representatives denied these allegations by showing a video that showed an untampered signal during the Armenian performance. However, a subsequent EBU investigation found that the Azerbaijani broadcaster, Ictimai TV, had blurred out the number for Armenia's entry and distorted the TV signal when the Armenian contestants were performing on stage. The EBU fined Ictimai TV an undisclosed sum and is said to have threatened to exclude the broadcaster from the competition for up to three years if further infractions of the Eurovision Song Contest rules are made.
In August 2009, a number of Azerbaijanis who had voted for Armenia's entry during the 2009 Contest were summoned for questioning at the Ministry of National Security in Baku, during which they were accused of being "unpatriotic" and "a potential security threat". This incident initiated an EBU investigation that resulted in a change to the Eurovision rules to allow a country's participating broadcaster to be liable "for any disclosure of information which could be used to identify voters".
Broadcast delays in Spain
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Due to its commitments to broadcast the Madrid Open tennis tournament, Spanish broadcaster Televisión Española (TVE) broadcast the second semifinal on a tape delay on its channel La 2, approximately 66 minutes after the show began in Moscow. As a result of the tape delay, the broadcaster also utilized a backup jury rather than televoting to decide its votes. TVE had already switched to voting in the second semi-final due to another scheduling conflict, which had already sparked criticism from the neighboring Andorran and Portuguese delegations, who stated that a Spanish vote would have positively influenced their performance in the first semifinal.
On the day following the semifinal, local newspaper El Mundo speculated that RTVE may have administered the delay on purpose in order to prevent Spain from winning the contest, claiming that the broadcaster would not be ready to host the contest if Spain were to win. A statement in ABC had cited technical difficulties for the delay.
After the semi-finals, the EBU announced that Spain would face sanctions for their actions in the contest, but also stated that their participation in the 2009 contest in Moscow would not be affected. The Spanish entry, "La noche es para mí", would not fare well in the contest itself, finishing in 24 place during the finals.
Georgia: "We Don't Wanna Put In"
After being placed to compete in the first semi-final on 12 May, a national final was held in Georgia to select its entry. The selected entry, Stefane & 3G with "We Don't Wanna Put In" gained coverage and controversy due to perceived political connotations within its lyrics relating to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The EBU rejected the song due to these political connotations, calling it a clear breach of the contest's rules. The EBU then asked the Georgian broadcaster Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) on 10 March to change either the lyrics of the song, or to select a new song to compete for the country. GPB refused to change the lyrics or the song, claiming that the song contained no political references, and that the rejection by the EBU was due to political pressure from Russia. As such, GPB withdrew Georgia from the contest on 11 March. The EBU never made a comment on the country's withdrawal. On 11 May the band admitted the political content of the song and their intention was just to embarrass Putin in Moscow. As a result of refusing to change the song lyrics and decision to withdraw the song developed in an idea to start an AlterVision Open Air Song Contest. First Open Air AlterVision Song Contest was held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on May 15–17, 2009.
Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev used the Contest's presence in Russia as a platform for promoting the country's position on the rights of LGBT people, countering Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov's view that homosexuality is "satanic". Alekseev announced that the 2009 edition of Moscow Pride, the city's annual gay pride parade, would coincide with the finals on 16 May, the day before the International Day Against Homophobia. The parade was also renamed "Slavic Pride", to promote gay rights and culture across the entire Slavic region of Europe. The parade was denied authorisation by Moscow officials on the basis that it would "destroy morals in society" and statements were issued stating that protesters would be treated "toughly", and that "tough measures" would be faced by anyone joining the march.
The rally was broken up by Moscow police, and 20 protesters were arrested including Nikolai Alekseev and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who exclaimed that "this shows the Russian people are not free" as he was taken away by police. Sweden's representative Malena Ernman supported the cause saying that she is not homosexual herself but would be proud to call herself gay to support her fans, stating that she was sad that the Moscow government would not allow a "tribute to love" to occur. The winner of the contest, Norway's Alexander Rybak, also referred to the controversy in an interview when he called the Eurovision Song Contest itself the "biggest gay parade".
The Dutch group De Toppers made news by member Gordon threatening to boycott the final of Eurovision 2009 if the gay parade was violently beaten down. However, the group's failure to qualify for the final left this threat redundant.
Following the release of the final participants list by the EBU, 42 countries confirmed their participation in the 2009 contest, including Slovakia, which returned to the contest after 11 years. Georgia originally announced that it was to withdraw from the contest due to the 2008 South Ossetia war in protest of the foreign policies of Russia, but later decided to return to the contest, inspired by its win at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008, as well as Russia's 12 points to it in the same contest. The country eventually withdrew from the contest due to its entry being deemed to contain political references, including in the title a play on words of Russia's prime minister's surname.
Rumours arose surrounding the participation and return of San Marino and Monaco. Télé Monte Carlo (TMC), the Monegasque broadcaster, confirmed that there were talks with the EBU over a Monegasque return to the 2009 contest. At the same time, rumours spread that San Marino's broadcaster, Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino (SMRTV), would withdraw from the contest due to poor placing at the 2008 contest. In the end, after originally confirming their intent to participate in Moscow, SMRTV was forced to withdraw from the event due to financial difficulties that prevented a second entry.
The Latvian broadcaster, Latvijas Televīzija (LTV), had reportedly withdrawn from the 2009 contest on 17 December 2008, three days after the final participation deadline. This came about due to budget cuts of over 2 million lati (2.8 million euros) from the LTV budget, hindering their ability to pay the participation fee. LTV confirmed that they had informed the EBU of their intent to withdraw based solely on financial difficulties. LTV then went into discussions with the EBU in an attempt to find a solution that would keep the country in the Contest. On 20 December 2008, LTV announced that it would be withdrawing from the contest, and that both the EBU and Channel One had agreed not to force a financial penalty on the late withdrawal of the broadcaster from the 2009 contest. LTV also announced its intent to be at the 2010 contest. However, on 12 January 2009, it was announced that Latvia would participate in the 2009 contest. Each country chose its entry for the contest through its own selection process. Some countries selected their entry through an internal selection, where the representing network chose both the song and artist, while others held national finals where the public chose the song, the artist, or both.
Notable artists that did not qualify
Notable artists that participated in one of the national song selection shows, but did not manage to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest include Agnes Carlsson, Alcazar, Alexey Vorobyov, Ana Bebić, Anita Hegerland, Anna Semenovich, Bambir, Emilia Rydberg, Hera Björk, Hurriganes, Jari Sillanpää, Kaliopi, Marie Serneholt, Valeriya and Wenche Myhre. Before mainstream international success Kosovar-British singer Rita Ora was a finalist on Your Country Needs You for the United Kingdom.
By the completion of the 2009 selection processes, three countries had chosen artists who had previously participated in the contest. Returning artists included Chiara, who represented Malta in 1998 and 2005, Sakis Rouvas, who represented Greece in 2004. Friðrik Ómar, part of the Euroband duo in 2008, was part of the choir in Iceland's entry and Martina Majerle, who represented Slovenia with Quartissimo, had participated as a backing vocalist in the 2003 Croatian and 2007 Slovenian entries.
Thirty-seven countries participated in one of the two semi-finals of the contest. The semi-final allocation draw took place on 30 January 2009, while the draw for the running order was held on 16 March 2009.
- The first semi final took place in Moscow on 12 May.
- The United Kingdom and Germany voted in this semi-final.
- Flax denotes the entry chosen by the jury to go to the final.
- The second semi final took place in Moscow on 14 May.
- France and Russia voted in this semi-final. Spain was also scheduled to televote in this semi-final, but due to scheduling errors at TVE, the semi-final was aired late and Spanish viewers were not able to vote, so the Spanish jury's vote was used instead.
- Flax denotes the entry chosen by the jury to go to the final.
The finalists were:
- The "Big Four" (France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom).
- The host country, Russia.
- The top nine countries from the first semi-final plus one wildcard from the juries.
- The top nine countries from the second semi-final plus one wildcard from the juries.
In this year's Eurovision Song Contest there were a few glitches out of the 84 total televote counts from the two semi finals and Grand final.
- No problems were reported in the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final.
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the 1st semi-final:
|8||Turkey||Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Germany, Macedonia, Romania, Switzerland, United Kingdom|
|7||Iceland||Armenia, Belarus, Finland, Israel, Portugal, Malta, Sweden|
|2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Montenegro, Turkey|
- In the second semi final, Spain's and Albania's delays in broadcasting the show meant that their results were provided by the back-up juries.
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the 2nd semi-final:
|6||Norway||Azerbaijan, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Spain|
|Azerbaijan||Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine|
|3||Serbia||Croatia, France, Slovenia|
- In the Grand Final, SMS voting was the only method used to provide the Hungarian public voting scores as the televotes could not be counted due to a technical problem.
- Norway's jury vote was used because a technical mistake by the local telephone operator rendered the televotes and SMS texts unusable.
- The full split jury/televoting results were announced by the EBU in July 2009.
|7||Bosnia and Herzegovina||124||Turkey||114|
|12||Ukraine||70||Bosnia and Herzegovina||90|
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the final:
|16||Norway||Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine|
|6||Turkey||Azerbaijan, Belgium, France, Macedonia, Switzerland, United Kingdom|
|3||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia|
|Greece||Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus|
|Iceland||Ireland, Malta, Norway|
|Croatia||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Marcel Bezençon Awards
The Marcel Bezençon Awards were first handed out during the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn, Estonia honoring the best competing songs in the final. Founded by Christer Björkman (Sweden's representative in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest and current Head of Delegation for Sweden) and Richard Herrey (member of the Herreys, Eurovision Song Contest 1984 winner from Sweden), the awards are named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards are divided into 3 categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Composer Award.
(Voted by previous winners)
|France||"Et s'il fallait le faire"||Patricia Kaas||Anse Lazio, Fred Blondin||8th||107|
|Composer Award||Bosnia and Herzegovina||"Bistra voda"||Regina||Aleksandar Čović||9th||106|
|Press Award||Norway||"Fairytale"||Alexander Rybak||Alexander Rybak||1st||387|
Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l'Eurovision (more commonly known as OGAE) is an international organisation that was founded in 1984 in Savonlinna, Finland by Jari-Pekka Koikkalainen. The organisation consists of a network of 40 Eurovision Song Contest fan clubs across Europe and beyond, and is a non-governmental, non-political, and non-profitable company. In what has become an annual tradition for the OGAE fan clubs, a voting poll was opened allowing members from different clubs around the world to vote for their favourite songs of the 2009 contest. Below is the top five overall results, after all the votes had been cast.
|Norway||"Fairytale"||Alexander Rybak||Alexander Rybak||304|
|France||"Et s'il fallait le faire"||Patricia Kaas||Anse Lazio, Fred Blondin||176|
|Sweden||"La voix"||Malena Ernman||Fredrik Kempe, Malena Ernman||159|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||"Bistra voda"||Regina||Aleksandar Čović||142|
|Spain||"La noche es para mí"||Soraya Arnelas||Irini Michas, Dimitri Stassos, Jason Gill, Felipe Pedroso||123|
International broadcasts and voting
Voting and spokespersons
The voting order and spokespersons during the final were as follows:
Most countries sent commentators to Moscow or commentated from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, provide voting information.
- Participating countries
The commentators of the 42 participating countries are as follows:
- Non-participating countries
The commentators of the non-participating countries are:
- Although Australia is not eligible to enter, the contest was broadcast on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) as in previous years. The first semi-final was broadcast on Friday 15 May 2009, the second semi-final on Saturday 16 May 2009, and the final on Sunday 17 May 2009, with all shows broadcast at 19:30 local time (09:30 UTC). This year, instead of airing the United Kingdom's commentary, the broadcaster sent its own commentators, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang. They also anchored a number of behind the scenes and interview pieces, which were inserted during assigned the various broadcasts. In recent years the contest has been one of SBS's highest-rating programmes in terms of viewer numbers. The contest rated well for SBS with 482,000 viewers tuning in for the final, with 414,000 for the second semi-final and 276,000 for the first semi-final.
- SBS also broadcast the Junior Eurovision and Eurovision Dance Contests for 2008 in the lead-up to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The Eurovision Dance Contest 2008 was broadcast on SBS on Wednesday 6 May 2009 at 13:00 local time (03:00 UTC), while the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was broadcast on Wednesday 13 May at 13:00 local time (03:00 UTC). SBS also broadcast the EBU produced Eurovision Countdown shows on 13, 14 and 15 May 2009 at 17:30 local time (07:30 UTC) before the semi-finals and final.
- Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) confirmed that, despite having no Austrian entry in the competition, they would broadcast the Contest on television. Both semi-finals were broadcast on ORF on a time delay, beginning past midnight CET. A song presentation show was broadcast on the night of the final, before broadcasting live the voting in the final. The entire Eurovision final was broadcast later that night. In all three shows the commentator was Hitradio Ö3 radio presenter Benny Hörtnagl.
- New Zealand
- Although New Zealand was not eligible to enter, the final of the contest was broadcast on Triangle TV's satellite channel STRATOS on 17 May 2009. They also did a compilation of the two 2008 semi-finals on 3 May 2009 and the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 final on 10 May 2009. This was the first time in 30 years that the contest has been broadcast in New Zealand. The 2009 final was broadcast in local prime time, about 10 hours after the show has finished in Moscow.
- A commentated live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest was available worldwide via satellite by broadcaster streams such as
- Belgium: BVN
- Bulgaria: BNT Sat
- Croatia: HRT Sat
- Cyprus: RIK Sat
- Greece: ERT World
- Lithuania: LTV World
- Macedonia: MKTV Sat
- Montenegro: TVCG Sat
- Netherlands: BVN
- Poland: TVP Polonia
- Portugal: RTP Internacional
- Romania: TVR International
- Serbia: RTS Sat
- Spain: TVE Internacional
- Turkey: TRT AVAZ
- A ^ "Düm Tek Tek" is onomatopoeic for the sound generated by a drum; with "boom bang bang" being an English equivalent. Graham Norton, the commentator for the BBC broadcast of the contest said that "Düm Tek Tek" also meant "With Every Heartbeat".
- B ^ Norway was originally scheduled to announce its votes as the 17th country, but instead voted 42nd (last). This was due to a technical error, and only the jury's votes were appointed.
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