Eurovision Song Contest 2012
|Eurovision Song Contest 2012|
|Light Your Fire!|
|Semi-final 1||22 May 2012|
|Semi-final 2||24 May 2012|
|Final||26 May 2012|
|Venue||Baku Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan|
|Directed by||Ladislaus Kiraly|
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Executive producer||Adil Kerimli|
|Host broadcaster||İctimai Television (İTV)|
|Opening act||Final: Alim Qasimov along with traditional Azerbaijani dancers, Ell & Nikki with "Running Scared"|
|Number of entries||42|
|Voting system||Each country awarded 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs.|
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the 57th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, following Ell & Nikki's win at the 2011 contest in Düsseldorf, Germany with the song "Running Scared" — marking the first time that the country had won the contest. The contest was held at the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall, with semi-finals held on 22 and 24 May 2012, followed by the final held on 26 May 2012. Forty-two countries competed in the contest — one less than the record number of 43 set at the previous contest, with Montenegro returning for the first time since 2009, and the withdrawal of Armenia due to security concerns in relation to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan, and Poland due to financial concerns.
The contest was won by singer Loreen from Sweden with the song "Euphoria" — written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström, the song scored a total of 372 points. Russia finished in second place, with Serbia finishing in third. They were followed by the host country, Azerbaijan, which reached the 4th place. Albania finished 5th, achieving its first top 5 placing. Germany, Italy and Spain were the three members of the "Big Five" that managed to rank within the top 10, finishing in 8th, 9th and 10th places respectively.
The lead-up to the contest was met with political concerns and protests surrounding the host country, including its human rights record and allegations by advocacy groups that Baku was carrying out forced evictions in the construction of the contest's venue, along with objections to the contest's presence by Iranian officials—who felt that the event was anti-Islamic because it was, according to them, a "gay parade".
- 1 Location
- 2 Format
- 3 Participating countries
- 4 Scoreboard
- 5 Other countries
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Other awards
- 8 International broadcasts and voting
- 9 Official album
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Azerbaijan got the right to host the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest after winning the previous 2011 edition with the song "Running Scared" performed by Ell & Nikki. Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region, was named the host city for the contest, with the venue being the Baku Crystal Hall, built a few months prior to the contest on the city's coastline.
Shortly after Azerbaijan's victory at the 2011 edition, officials announced that a new 23,000 seat concert venue was to be built near National Flag Square in Baku, as a potential venue for the event. Three days later, other venue options were revealed by organisers, such as the 37,000-seat Tofiq Bahramov Stadium and the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex. On 2 August 2011, Alpine Bau Deutschland AG was awarded the contract to construct the Baku Crystal Hall. Preparations for construction began in the area shortly after the announcement. Even though the full cost of the contract was not named, the government allocated 6 million AZN for the construction of the venue.
On 8 September 2011, Azad Azerbaijan TV (ATV) reported that Baku Crystal Hall would be the venue of the contest, but no formal confirmation was made at the time by the EBU. On 31 October 2011, Ismayil Omarov, the director general of Azerbaijani national broadcaster İctimai Television announced that a decision on the venue choice would be taken by the steering committee in January 2012. On 25 January 2012, it was confirmed that the Baku Crystal Hall would be the venue of the contest. Even though the venue had an extended capacity of 23,000 people, only 16,000 people were able to attend each show. Tickets for the contest became available online for purchase on 28 February 2012.
In a meeting of the Eurovision Reference Group on 29 June 2011, it was decided that the televoting system would revert the format used most recently in the 2009 Contest, in which the phone and SMS lines opened for a fifteen-minute window after all songs had been performed, instead of opening before the show starts, which was the system used between 2010 and 2011. The results format of each show remained the same with each country's votes being decided on a 50:50 split between televoting and a national jury. Each participating country had their own national jury, which consisted of five professional members of the music industry.
Under the official rules released on 24 November 2011, the number of participants in the final was raised to 26, including the host nation, the "Big Five", and the ten qualifiers from each semi-final. This was the second time in the Eurovision Song Contest that 26 countries were in the final, the first being the 2003 Contest.
Semi-final allocation draw
The draw that determined the semi-final running order was held on 25 January 2012 at the Buta Palace. The participating countries, excluding the automatic finalists (Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), were split into six pots, based upon how those countries voted in past contests. From these pots, half (or as close to half as possible) competed in the first semi-final on 22 May 2012. The other half in that particular pot competed in the second semi-final on 24 May 2012. This draw also acted as an approximate running order, in order for the delegations from the countries to know when their rehearsals would commence and determine which semi-final the automatic finalists would be allowed to vote in.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
- 1.^ Armenia withdrew approximately a month and a half after the semi-final allocation draw.
The design of the contest was built around the motto "Light your fire!", inspired by the nickname of Azerbaijan itself, "Land of Fire".
Each introductory video postcard began with a shot of the artist and performers, followed with the flag and country name in a handwritten font with a background resembling the yellow, orange and red fire of the 2012 theme art. The postcards consisted of various shots of Azerbaijan, with a caption displaying 'Azerbaijan' and underneath 'Land of ...' (e.g. Land of Abundance; Land of Poetry etc.), which were then followed by the name of a town or geographic feature, showing the landscape and culture of the country. Some postcards focused on the host city of Baku with text changing to 'Baku' and underneath 'City of ...' (e.g. City of Jazz; City of Leisure etc.). The postcards finished with a shot of the Crystal Hall displayed in the colours of the performing country's flag. These postcards acted as a tourism mechanism to present the country to a wider audience.
The artist, song and number graphics as well as tables and voting graphics were kept the same as those used in 2011, with a slight modification to incorporate the 2012 theme art. The lower points (1-7) were highlighted in red squares while the top points (8, 10, 12) were highlighted in orange squares with each square increasing in size in relation to the point value. Both sets of graphics were designed by London brand design agency Turquoise Branding.
National host broadcaster
İctimai Television (İTV), which was the EBU member that broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, is one of country's public-service broadcasters. Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology of Azerbaijan, Iltimas Mammadov, stated that telecom networks were ready to host the event. Azerbaijan's largest telecommunications operator, Azercell, was chosen as the presenting partner for the contest. On 1 December 2011, İTV named the German production company Brainpool as its official production partner for the contest, citing the quality of its work on the previous year's contest.
On 17 January 2012, the EBU announced that initially forty-three countries would take part in the 2012 contest. The 57th edition saw the return of Montenegro, who was last represented by Andrea Demirović in 2009. Poland also withdrew from the competition, due to the financial burden of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (which Poland co-hosted with Ukraine) and Summer Olympics. Armenia, who had originally planned to participate, later withdrew their application due to security fears of the continuous Nagorno-Karabakh War with Azerbaijan, subsequently reducing the number of participating countries to 42.
Four artists returned in this year's contest. Kaliopi for Macedonia who previously participated in the 1996 contest with the song "Samo ti", which placed in 26th position in the pre-qualifying round. Kaliopi would then go on to represent Macedonia once more at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
Jónsi for Iceland and Željko Joksimović for Serbia both previously participated in 2004. Joksimović had represented Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 with the song "Lane moje" which placed second in that year, and co-hosted the 2008 Contest with Jovana Janković. Jónsi performed "Heaven" in 2004, which placed 19th.
The Finnish entry, "När jag blundar", sung by Pernilla Karlsson, was only Finland's second entry in Swedish and the first entry at all to be sung in Swedish since 1998. Russia's entry, "Party for Everybody", sung by Buranovskiye Babushki, was the first entry ever to be performed in Udmurt. The Georgian entry, "I'm a Joker" was the first Eurovision entry containing the Georgian language while the Bulgarian song "Love Unlimited" had a few words in the Azerbaijani language, both of whom never appeared at the contest before.
Azerbaijan, Italy and Spain voted in the first semi-final. The EBU allowed the Albanian broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH) to defer transmission and only use jury votes due to a serious bus accident in the country.
- 2.^ Contained some phrases in Montenegrin and German.
- 3.^ Although the song was completely in Albanian, the title is in Latin.
- 4.^ Contained some phrases in Italian.
- 5.^ Specifically Mühlviertlerisch, a Central Bavarian dialect spoken in Upper Austria.
- 6.^ Although the song was completely in English, the title was in Romanian.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom voted in the second semi-final. Germany requested that they vote in this semi-final. Armenia was drawn to perform in the first half of this semi-final, but later withdrew from the contest due to security reasons.
- 8.^ The song also contained phrases in Arabic, Azerbaijani, English, French, Greek, Italian, Romani, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish.
The EBU and PwC audit company checked and verified the individual jury and televoting results, which were combined to create the overall national vote for the contests. On 18 June 2012, the EBU published these results, which were as follows.
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the first semifinal:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|5||Albania||Austria, Azerbaijan, Italy, Montenegro, Switzerland|
|Russia||Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Latvia|
|3||Romania||Ireland, Moldova, Spain|
|6||Norway||72||Bosnia and Herzegovina||77|
|7||Bosnia and Herzegovina||70||Croatia||66|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||77||5||5||5||5||1||5||12||5||2||12||6||4||4||5||1|
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the second semifinal:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|6||Sweden||Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia|
|4||Serbia||Bulgaria, France, Macedonia, Slovenia|
|2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Croatia, Turkey|
|Croatia||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia|
|15||Cyprus||63||Bosnia and Herzegovina||71|
|16||Bosnia and Herzegovina||57||Malta||70|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||55||6||7||10||1||7||10||2||7||5|
|Vertically, the table is ordered by appearance in the final. Horizontally, the table is ordered by voting order.|
Below is a summary of the maximum 12 points each country awarded to another in the final:
|N.||Contestant||Nation(s) giving 12 points|
|18||Sweden||Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom|
|4||Albania||Macedonia, Italy, San Marino, Switzerland|
|Azerbaijan||Lithuania, Malta, Turkey, Ukraine|
|Serbia||Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia|
|Macedonia||Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia|
No country took nul points (receiving 0 points total) when both scores were added together, but France received 0 points at the televoting stage.
- Andorra – On 19 October 2011, Andorra announced that there are no plans for the country to participate in 2012 due to financial difficulties; the country also had planned to withdraw from the EBU entirely.
- Armenia – On 7 March 2012, the EBU announced that Armenian Public Television (ARMTV) had decided to withdraw from participation despite originally being included in the list of participating countries. Its decision came after President Aliyev of Azerbaijan gave a speech on 28 February 2012 when he stated "Our main enemies are Armenians of the world and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians under their control." The country was consequently fined by the EBU and were expected to face further penalties, such as exclusion from participation in future contests if it failed to comply with the EBU requirements. Armenia had been in a continuous state of war with Azerbaijan since 1994 because of the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
- Czech Republic – On 24 November 2011, it was reported that the Czech Republic would not compete at the 2012 contest, following the release of a television schedule by Česká televize (ČT).
- Liechtenstein – On 26 November 2011, it was announced that two official EBU documents, published in March and October 2011, showed Liechtenstein's only national broadcaster 1FLTV as being granted active EBU membership, sparking speculations of a début for the nation. However, on 29 November 2011, these documents were later confirmed as editing mistakes, and thus a début had yet to be planned.
- Luxembourg – On 31 December 2011, RTL Luxembourg confirmed that Luxembourg would not participate at the Eurovision in Baku.
- Monaco – It had been reported on 23 November 2011, at an EBU meeting in Geneva, that Monaco were considering a return to the 2012 contest. However, on 3 December 2011, Phil Bosco, a former head of delegation told a French-speaking website that the Monegasque national broadcaster Télé Monte Carlo (TMC) did not intend to return to the Eurovision Song Contest any time in the near future, as there were no financial budget available.
- Morocco – In an interview with the French delegation it had been revealed that Morocco were "likely to return" to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with a new broadcaster 2M TV. Reports about the proposed return of Morocco to the contest, after an absence of more than 30 years, were further enhanced at an EBU meeting in Geneva.
- Poland – On 16 December 2011, it had been reported on the official Facebook page of Telewizja Polska (TVP) that Poland were withdrawing from the 2012 Contest. This was confirmed a few days later, stating that the broadcaster had decided to focus on the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (which Poland co-hosted with Ukraine) and Summer Olympics. TVP stated that a return in 2013 has not been ruled out.
Human rights concerns
Azerbaijan's large investment in hosting the Eurovision contest was widely discussed in Western media as an attempt to "mitigate misgivings about its poor democracy and human rights record". Elnur Majidli, an activist imprisoned during the Arab Spring-inspired 2011 Azerbaijani protests, was released in an apparent effort to soften Azerbaijan's image ahead of the contest, but many political prisoners remained. Human Rights Watch reported a "violent crackdown on protesters" on the eve of the contest, and Amnesty International condemned the "stern crackdown of freedom of expression, dissent, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), critical journalists, in fact anyone who criticised the Aliyev regime too strongly" that continued up to the contest.
Human Rights Watch also criticised the Azerbaijani government and the Baku City Authority for carrying out forced evictions against local residents, in order to allow for the demolition of flats to make way for construction in the neighbourhood where the Baku Crystal Hall was built. The Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy, a transparency and economic rights campaign group, had described the evictions as a "violation of human rights", and as having "no legal authority". However, in a statement to the BBC, Eurovision said that on a recent visit to Baku they had observed "that the construction of the concert hall [which] media reports refer to was already well under way on a clean construction site and thus there are no demolitions needed". The EBU cited the "apolitical" nature of the contest and the Azerbaijani government's claim that the construction was not tied to the Eurovision Song Contest.
The festival's winner Loreen met local human rights activists during the contest, the only entrant to do so. She later told reporters, "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things." An Azerbaijan government spokesman criticized her in response, saying that the contest should not "be politicised" and requested the EBU prevented further meetings of a similar nature. Swedish diplomats replied that the EBU, Swedish TV and Loreen had not acted against the competition's rules.
On 26 May, a flash mob of anti-government protesters were quickly dispersed by police. Activists expressed fears that they would face a crackdown when the international spotlight left Azerbaijan again at the end of the contest. Before submitting the results of the German vote, the presenter from Germany Anke Engelke gave a live statement that alluded to the human rights issues in Azerbaijan, saying: "Tonight nobody could vote for their own country. But it is good to be able to vote. And it is good to have a choice. Good luck on your journey, Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you."
Tensions with Iran
Iranian officials objected to Azerbaijan hosting the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Iranian clerics Ayatollah Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari and Ayatollah Ja'far Sobhani condemned Azerbaijan for "anti-Islamic behaviour", claiming that Azerbaijan were going to host a gay parade. This led to protests in front of Iranian embassy in Baku, where protesters carried slogans mocking the Iranian leaders. Ali Hasanov, head of the public and political issues department in Azerbaijani President's administration, said that gay parade claims were untrue, and advised Iran not to meddle in Azerbaijan's internal affairs. In response, Iran recalled its ambassador from Baku, while Azerbaijan demanded a formal apology from Iran for its statements in connection with Baku's hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest, and later also recalled its ambassador from Iran.
On 30 May, the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan announced that they had thwarted a series of planned terror attacks against the Eurovision Song Contest, among the targets being Baku Crystal Hall, as well as Marriott and Hilton hotels in Baku. On 22 August, The Daily Telegraph reported that according to Western intelligence services, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally gave orders to the elite Quds Force unit to launch terrorist attacks against the West and its allies, including Azerbaijan during the Eurovision Song Contest.
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 were named after the creator of the annual competition, Marcel Bezençon. The awards were divided into three categories; Press Award; Artistic Award; and Composer Award.
|Artists Award||Sweden||"Euphoria"||Loreen||Thomas G:son, Peter Boström|
|Press Award||Azerbaijan||"When the Music Dies"||Sabina Babayeva||Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund|
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 consisted of a network of 40 Eurovision Song Contest fan clubs across Europe and beyond, and is a non-governmental, non-political, and non-profit company. In what had become an annual tradition for the OGAE fan clubs, a voting poll was opened allowing members from the respective clubs to vote for their favourite songs of the 2012 contest. Below are the top five overall results, after all the votes had been cast.
|Sweden||"Euphoria"||Loreen||Thomas G:son, Peter Boström||375|
|Italy||"L'amore è femmina"||Nina Zilli||Christian Rabb, Kristoffer Sjökvist, Frida Molander, Charlie Mason||212|
|Iceland||"Never Forget"||Gréta Salóme & Jónsi||Gréta Salóme||211|
|Serbia||"Nije ljubav stvar"||Željko Joksimović||Željko Joksimović||199|
|Norway||"Stay"||Tooji||Tooji Keshtkar, Peter Boström and Figge Boström||164|
Barbara Dex Award
The Barbara Dex Award has been annually awarded by the fan website House of Eurovision since 1997, and is a humorous award given to the worst dressed artist each year in the contest. It is named after the Belgian singer Barbara Dex, who came last in the 1993 contest wearing her own self-designed and often-mocked dress.
International broadcasts and voting
Voting and spokespersons
The order in which each country announced their vote was determined in a draw following the jury results from final dress rehearsal. Similar to the 2011 contest an algorithm was used to add as much excitement as possible. The spokespersons are shown alongside each country.
- Albania – Andri Xhahu
- Montenegro – Marija Marković
- Romania – Paula Seling
(Romanian representative in 2010 and 2014)
- Austria – Kati Bellowitsch
- Ukraine – Oleksiy Matias
- Belarus – Dmitry Koldun
(Belarusian representative in 2007 Contest)
- Belgium – Peter Van de Veire
- Azerbaijan – Safura Alizadeh
(Azeri representative in 2010 Contest)
- Malta – Keith Demicoli
- San Marino – Monica Fabbri
- France – Amaury Vassili
(French representative in 2011 Contest)
- United Kingdom – Scott Mills
- Turkey – Ömer Önder
- Greece – Adriana Magania
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Elvir Laković Laka
(Bosnian representative in 2008 Contest)
- Moldova – Olivia Fortuna
- Bulgaria – Anna Angelova
- Switzerland – Sara Hildebrand
- Slovenia – Lorella Flego
- Cyprus – Loucas Hamatsos
- Croatia – Nevena Rendeli
- Slovakia – Mária Pietrová
- Macedonia – Kristina Talevska
- Netherlands – Viviënne van den Assem
- Portugal – Joana Teles
- Iceland – Matthías Matthíasson
(Icelandic representative in 2011 Contest as part of Sjonni's Friends)
- Sweden – Sarah Dawn Finer
(as Lynda Woodruff)
- Norway – Nadia Hasnaoui
(Co-Host of 2010 Contest)
- Lithuania – Ignas Krupavičius
- Estonia – Getter Jaani
(Estonian representative in 2011 Contest)
- Denmark – Louise Wolff
- Latvia – Valters Frīdenbergs
(Latvian representative in 2005 Contest as part of Valters and Kaža)
- Spain – Elena S. Sánchez
- Finland – Mr Lordi
(Winner of 2006 Contest as lead singer of Lordi)
- Georgia – Sopho Toroshelidze
(Georgian representative in 2011 Contest as part of Eldrine)
- Italy – Ivan Bacchi
- Serbia – Maja Nikolić
- Germany – Anke Engelke
(Co-Host of 2011 Contest)
- Russia – Oxana Fedorova
- Hungary – Éva Novodomszky
- Israel – Ofer Nachshon
- Ireland – Gráinne Seoige10
10.^ Ireland was originally scheduled to announce its votes as the 32nd country, but instead voted 42nd (last). The reason for this was technical difficulties in the minutes running up to the voting presentation.
Most countries sent commentators to Baku or commentated from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, the provision of voting information.
The commentators of the 42 participating countries are as follows:
The commentators of the non-participating countries are:
|Armenia||Final||Gohar Gasparyan (AMPTV)|
|Artur Grigoryan (AMPTV)|
|Australia||All||Julia Zemiro (SBS)|
|Sam Pang (SBS)|
|China||Final||No commentators (CCTV-15, broadcast the final on 1 December 2013, shortened into two hours)|
|Kazakhstan||All||Norberg Makhambetov (Arna Media)|
|Kaldybek Zhaysanbay (Arna Media)|
|Kyrgyzstan||All||Elmar Osmonov (OTRK)|
|Aibek Akmatov (OTRK)|
|Eurovision Song Contest: Baku 2012|
|Compilation album by Eurovision Song Contest|
|Released||4 May 2012|
|Eurovision Song Contest chronology|
Eurovision Song Contest: Baku 2012 was a compilation album put together by the European Broadcasting Union, and released by Universal Music Group on 3 May 2012. The album featured all the songs from the 2012 contest.
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