Have you been away? Have you had your finger off the Eurovision pulse this week? Never fear we are here to keep you looped into all the latest Eurovision goings-on with our 15 Things We Learnt This Week.
1. The big thing to happen this week was of course the 60th Anniversary Concert: Greatest Hits which took place on Wednesday 31st March and which was broadcast two days later on the BBC. The show was hosted by Graham Norton and Petra Mede and featured recent Eurovision acts like Loreen, Emmelie de Forrest, Lordi, Dima Bilan and reigning champ Conchita Wurst, as well as classic Eurovision songs from favourites like Johnny Logan, Bobbysocks, Nicole and Dana International.
2. At the concert one act in particular received an unpleasant welcome. Dima Bilan, the Russian winner from 2008 was booed by the audience when he took to the stage to sing his winning song ‘Believe’ and his second place song from 2006 ‘Never Let You Go’. It is believed that the reception was down to Russia’s recent aggressive foreign policy in the Ukraine and their domestic policy which threatens the lives of the gay community living in Russia (although Bilan’s performance was also verging on the weird/creepy side and his vocal was all over the place, so this may have been the real reason). The BBC have been criticised heavily for censoring the booing from the final broadcast.
3. Although ABBA were not present at the celebratory concert, Conchita Wurst and Dana International came out on stage at the end of the show, hand in hand to begin singing the ABBA hit ‘Waterloo’. The pair where then joined by the rest of the performers.
4. Early viewing figures for the concert were positive and has been hailed as a success by the BBC. An average of approximately 1.89 million (9.5%) viewers tuned in to watch the show last Friday on BBC One.
5. Host Graham Norton revealed this week that despite his scathing remarks whilst commentating on the contest, he actually loves the show and doesn’t think he could imagine his life without it. We hear you Graham!
6. Johnny Logan fans were given a bit more than they bargained for when the two time winner donned a waistcoat and jacket with no shirt underneath. He took to the stage to sing a medley of his hits: ‘What’s Another Year?’ ‘Hold Me Now’ and the song he penned for Linda Martin ‘Why Me?’.
7. Moving on from the Greatest Hits concert now and towards some of the videos that this year’s acts have made and promoted on their social media channels. We’ll start with an acoustic performance from Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow. This new version of this year’s early favourite sees the ‘Heroes’ singer strip back his song for us to enjoy.
8. From an acoustic performance to a remix now. It was Cyprus’ Giannis Karagiannis who got the Euroclub treatment in a new remix of his song ‘One Thing I Should Have Done’ and might I add that it’s a great improvement on the original. Have a listen and make up your mind for yourself.
9. Last week we brought you a video from Belgium’s Loic Nottet as he covered Sia ‘Chandelier’ in a bizarre video, which had us falling in love with the ‘Rhythm Inside’ singer. This week he’s giving us another Sia cover and it’s ‘Elastic Heart’ that gets a Loic version.
10. Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov has taken to social media to engage with her many fans. The ‘Beauty Never Lies’ babe wants you to get involved in the conversation with her asking for your questions and song requests which she will answer and perform in a new weekly feature on her blog.
11. In other news this week, it has been reported that something had gone awry in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen heats when it came to voting for Jon Henrik Fjallgren’s ‘Jag Ar Fri’. gizmodo.co.uk noted that ‘voting in one regional heat of the Eurovision qualifiers may have been hacked, with the polling process throwing up suspicious data that led to a large chunk of the votes in part of the show being binned.’
12. The Guardian got in on the 60th Anniversary celebrations this week and marked the occasion by inviting its readers to answer questions in their ultimate Eurovision Quiz. Click here to have a go yourself and let us know how you get on.
13. Some young Irish fans were the subject of an hilarious YouTube video this week. The children shared their opinions on some of the most recent acts to perform at the concert, as well as some of the greats. Some of their comments were surprisingly spot on. To watch the video and read more of an analysis click here.
14. Everyone loves an April Fool’s Day joke, especially when someone manages to make you actually believe what they say is true. Some of the Eurovision jokes that were put forward on 1st April included one website that suggested a new expanded Eurovision would take place from 2018 on to include those nations in Australasia and Asia and would from now on be called Austrasiaeurovision (quite a mouthful and not true). As well as this another blogger attempted to fool his readers into believing that Iceland were to hold an ancient viking ritual to decide who it would be carrying the torch for them at Eurovision (again not true, as we all know that Maria Olafs was chosen to represent Iceland weeks ago).
15. This week saw the first weekly Top 40 chart for this year’s Eurovision songs. Slovenia’s Maraaya proved to be your early favourite when they topped the poll for their song ”. Let us know which is your favourite by clicking here to vote.