Eurovision Song Contest 2013
The Eurovision Song Contest 2013 was the 58th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Malmö, following Loreen's win at the 2012 contest in Baku, Azerbaijan with the song "Euphoria", it was the fifth time that Sweden had hosted the contest, the last time being in 2000. Sveriges Television chose Malmö Arena as the venue following the consideration of several venues in Sweden; until 2019, this was the last edition not held in the host country's capital city. The host for the contest was Petra Mede. Thirty-nine countries participated, including Armenia, last represented in 2011. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal and Turkey announced their withdrawal from the 2013 Contest; the design of the contest was built around the theme "We Are One" – highlighting equality and unity of all the participating countries alongside the cultural diversity and influence of each participant. Compared to many of the previous contests in the history of Eurovision, rather than focusing on promoting its own country, Sweden chose to lay focus on the artists and their respective countries.
The postcards presented before every song which have been used to show the host country's nature and social life, were changed to show the typical everyday life of each individual artist in their home countries scattered around Europe. The winner for 2013 was Denmark with the song "Only Teardrops" sung by Emmelie de Forest, which scored 281 points, beating Azerbaijan with a margin of 47 points; this makes it the second time. Ukraine finished in Norway in fourth, while Russia finished in fifth place. Out of the countries with the'Big Five' status, only Italy managed to finish in the top ten, third in a row since its return, coming seventh with 126 points double of remaining ones' sum; the Netherlands finished ninth in their first participation in a final since 2004. 170 million viewers watched the final of the 2013 edition. For the first time since 1985, no country of the former Yugoslav federation participated in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest; this year was the first time adult Eurovision displayed the "Parade of Nations", which existed in Junior Eurovision since 2004, an idea introduced by Sweden to become a new Eurovision tradition.
The concept sees all countries performing in the Grand Final present themselves with their national flags before the contest begins. This year, the contestants entered the main stage by walking across a bridge over the audience; the idea was continued the following years by Denmark and Austria, the hosts of Eurovision 2014 and 2015 respectively. On 8 July 2012, the Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television announced that Malmö Arena in Malmö would be the host venue for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest; this was the fifth time after 1975, 1985, 1992 and 2000 that the competition was held in Sweden and the second time, after 1992, that it was held in Malmö. SVT had expressed the desire to host the contest at a smaller venue than previous years, as well as smaller environment, easier to dedicate and decorate for other celebrations and festivities of the event within the host city; this were factors in the choice of Malmö Arena as the host venue, Malmö as Sweden's third-largest city by population after Stockholm and Gothenburg, the two other initial location-bidders.
SVT made the advance decision to allocate Denmark at one semi-final and Norway at the other, in consideration for the number of Danish and Norwegian fans to come, with the arena being small and so not suitable for accommodating both countries' fans at one semi-final event. Øresund bridge was also used as the main artistic medium for the theme of the contest, as an expression of binding cultures. On the night of the final for the 2012 Contest, the chief executive of SVT, Eva Hamilton, stated to the Swedish media that various venues in Stockholm and Malmö were being considered for hosting the 2013 Contest. One alternative put forward in the Expressen, was to hold the competition at three different venues – the semi-finals in Gothenburg and Malmö, the final in Stockholm; this proposal was dismissed as unfeasible by SVT, which declared that the contest would be hosted in only one city. On 20 June 2012, it was announced that Gothenburg had withdrawn from the bidding process due to the city being the host of the Göteborg Horse Show in late April 2013.
There were concerns about the availability of hotel rooms due to a variety of other events taking place in the same time frame as the Eurovision Song Contest. The executive producer for the 2013 Contest, Martin Österdahl, told Swedish press that he did not like the decisions made by previous hosts to hold the contest in larger arenas, stating that he and SVT wanted the 2013 Contest to be "more close and personal". SVT claimed that the European Broadcasting Union wanted the 2013 Contest to be "smaller" due to the escalating costs of previous contests; the following candidate cities had provisionally reserved venues and hotel rooms, as part of their bids to host the 2013 Contest. On 8 July 2012, Malmö Arena was confirmed as the host venue for the contest. Malmö Arena is Sweden's fourth-largest indoor arena, after Friends Arena, Tele2 Arena and Ericsson Globe, all located in Stockholm. Key Host venue The combination of televoting and jury voting results underwent changes that were detailed in the official rules for the 2013 contest.
Each member of a respective nation's jury was required to rank every song, except that of their own country. The voting results from each member of a particular nation's jury were combined to produce an overall ranking from first to last place; the televoting results were interpreted as a full ranking, taking int
Alsou Ralifovna Abramova, better known as just Alsou, is a Russian singer. She competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 in which she came in second place, right after Denmark, giving her recognition across Europe. Alsou hosted the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 held in Moscow. Alsou was born in Bugulma, Russian SSR, Soviet Union, her father, Ralif Rafilovich Safin, of Bashkir descent, is an oligarch, a former LUKoil executive and a current member of the Federal Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He is the owner of the FC Zhemchuzhina-Sochi football team and was named the 100th richest citizen of Russia by Forbes magazine in 2004. Alsou's mother, Raziya Iskhakovna, is an architect of Volga Tatar descent. Alsou is a Muslim, she has an older half-brother called Ruslan, an older brother called Marat, a younger brother called Renard. When Alsou was a year old her family moved from Bugulma to Siberia. At 5 years old Alsou asked her parents for a piano, she was allowed to attend a private music school.
After living in Moscow due to her father's business, she moved to New York City and to the UK where she entered a private architecture college. While living in London, Alsou visited Russia often. In 1998, at the wedding of her brother Marat, celebrated on the bank of the Moskva River, Alsou sat at the grand piano and sang I Will Always Love You. After this private performance her family began to persuade her to pursue a professional singing career. On March 18, 2006, Alsou married Yan Abramov, a millionaire, who comes from an ethnic Mountain Jewish family. Abramov proposed to her with a fireworks display. On September 7, 2006 Alsou gave birth to a baby daughter Safi'na at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California; the name for the girl was chosen by Yan Abramov. It is spelled the same way as Alsou's maiden name but with the accent falling on the second syllable making its pronunciation different from Alsou's maiden name. On April 29, 2008 Alsou gave birth to her second daughter Mikella.
At the age of 15 Alsou was introduced to music manager Valeriy Belotserkovskiy. She again impressed the manager, he began work with Alsou the next day. Her debut Russian album was the self-titled Alsou was released September 16, 1999, it was successful in Russia and spawned 3 singles: "Zimniy Son" "Vesna", "Inogda". After the huge success of Alsou's debut Russian album she was signed to Universal Music Russia and became its first domestic artist. By 2000 more than 700.000 legal copies of CD Alsou were sold in Russia. In 2000, Alsou recorded her first English language single "Solo" and was entered into the Eurovision Song Contest 2000, written by Andrew Lane and Brandon Barnes finishing second overall. "Solo" went on to sell 100,000 copies and became the biggest selling single of all time in Russia, surpassed only by her next single, a duet with Enrique Iglesias entitled "You're My #1". `I enjoyed performing with him in Kremlin and I hope our paths will cross again`. After her success in Eurovision 2000, Alsou began a large-scale tour of Russia.
She celebrated her 17th birthday by performing in her native town of Bugulma, where 86,000 of the 120,000 population gathered in the main square to see her. Alsou performed "Solo" again at Congratulations, the 50th anniversary Eurovision concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2005. During 2000–2001, Alsou began working on her debut English album called Alsou, released in Russia on June 28, 2001, it was released in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Malaysia. The lead single "Before You Love Me" was released in the UK on April 30, 2001, soon after charting at #1 on MTV Select and several TV appearances by Alsou. However, it only managed to chart at #27 in the UK Singles Chart; that year it was released in Germany and Australia. A follow-up single, "He Loves Me", was released only in Germany on October 15, 2001, with limited success; the album was cancelled in the UK, though released through 2001–2002 in several European countries and Malaysia. Alsou's debut Russian album was re-released twice – in 2001 and 2002, spawning two singles – "Osen" and "Kogda Lubov Ko Mne Pridiot".
In the summer of 2002, Alsou began a tour of the former Soviet countries. Her new video for an up-and-coming single "Letyashaya Nad Oblakami" was shown in Russian cinemas before the Russian romantic movie Atlantida. Alsou had recorded two songs for the movie. In August 2002 more studio sessions began for a second Russian longplay. Alsou was preparing for her concerts in Moscow at the same time; the "Trilogy" project was deemed by the local papers as one of the most "important social and cultural events". The uniqueness of the "Trilogy" idea was that no one singer in the world had given three different performances during a period of only 10 days; the first show was held in the "Rossiya" concert hall, where Alsou performed her old set entitled "Alsou And Her Authors", which had never been presented in Moscow before. The second show was an exclusive orchestral concert in Tchaikovsky Hall, where there are only 1,500 seats; the third show was a Europop show entitled "Solo". It was held in the Olympic Sport Complex and contained new Russian and English songs, with a fantasy-oriented set.
After the third show, Alsou shot a video for the song "Vchera". On January 23, 2003, Alsou release
Dima Bilan is a Russian actor and singer-songwriter of Karachay descent. Bilan represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with "Never Let You Go", finishing second, he won the contest in 2008 in Belgrade, with the song "Believe", he has had several Russian number one hit records. He is sometimes referred to as "Russia's Iglesias" due to his similarity to the Spanish singer. In mid-March 2006, was chosen internally by Russian broadcaster Channel One to represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, Greece. Out of 37 participating countries, Bilan took second place with the dark pop song "Never Let You Go", equalling one of Russia's best showing at Eurovision — Alsou's "Solo" was runner-up back in the 2000 contest. In September 2006, for second year in a row, Dima Bilan won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at MTV Russian Music Awards. On 2 November Bilan represented Russia at MTV EMA in Copenhagen. On 15 November 2006 Bilan received award for Best Selling Russian Artist and performed at the World Music Awards in London along with Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Nelly Furtado and Bob Sinclair.
In February 2007 started to record his first international album in English in Los Angeles, Miami and in Philadelphia in collaboration with producers Jim Beanz and Ryan Tedder. One of the new tracks will be a duet with Nelly Furtado. In 2007 he premiered the first single from his new album — Number One Fan. According to Russian and Eastern European radio airplay chart, Number One Fan topped the charts for eight weeks. Video for this song was shot in London by famous British director Trudy Bellinger who has made videos for acts including Girls Aloud and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. On 4 October, Bilan premiered his second single from the forthcoming album, Amnesia, at the MTV Russia Music Awards 2007. During this show, Bilan won three awards, for Best Performer, Best Song and — for the third consecutive year — Best Artist. In 2008, Bilan released three albums — in Russian and Spanish, he released an English album in 81 countries in co-operation with Interscope Records. He worked with some tracks produced by Jim Beanz and Ryan Tedder.
His new Spanish album included a duet with Nelly Furtado. On 20 February, Bilan went to Miami and recorded a few tracks for his Spanish album with famous producer Rudy Perez; the Spanish album will include a duet with Nelly Furtado and a Spanish version of his first international single "Number One Fan."In 2008, Bilan once again represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade with the song "Believe", accompanied by Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton and Russian olympic and three-time world champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko. On 24 May 2008, Bilan won first place in the contest, receiving seven twelves, his victory's integrity was questioned by Ukraine's officials in May. During 2009 Bilan has continued with concerts and he performed during the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, before handing over the title of Eurovision Song Contest winner to Alexander Rybak of Norway. In 2010 Dima recorded a demo version of the song "White Nights", which would be competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, but he did not enter the contest saying that it would be too soon to return to the contest after just 2 years after his win at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.
In the Summer of 2010, Bilan produced and starred in the short film Театр Абсурда (Theatre of the Absurd and directed by Maxim Apriatin and based upon Bilan's song Он хотел. In the film, Bilan performs monologues in which he shares his opinion on the moral values of the people who live in the Russian capital, as well as quotations from Ecclesiastes, scraps of the diary of Jim Morrison; the film was released on the Internet in late 2010. Bilan has competed at Russia's Eurovision 2012 song selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, he entered the competition with t. A. T.u. Member Yulia Volkova with their song "Back To Her Future", they finished in 2nd place with 29.25 points from the winning entry, "Party for Everybody" by Russian ethno-pop band Buranovskiye Babushki, 38.51 points ahead of them. In December 2012, Bilan signed an open letter attacking the author of a St. Petersburg bill against homosexual propaganda, along with pop stars like Philipp Kirkorov and Valery Syutkin.
Dima Bilan appeared in the Eurosong 2013 - a MAD show as a guest, along with other 5 Eurovision winners, which include Ruslana, Marija Šerifović, Alexander Rybak, Helena Paparizou and Vicky Leandros, in order to choose the artist and the song that would have represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö. Dima Bilan is one of the four coaches of the Russian reality talent show The Voice in seasons 1–3, 5–6. Dima Bilan is one of the three coaches of the Russian reality talent show The Voice Kids in seasons 1–4, his team's artists became the winners of this show in the third and in the fourth seasons, respectively. Dima Bilan is winner of 32 awards to date: 2006 - Honoured Artist of Kabardino-Balkaria 2007 - Honored Artist of Chechnya 2007 - Honoured Artist of Ingushetia 2008 - People's Artist of Kabardino-Balkaria Dima Bilan record for most awards RMA - 10. 2005 - "Best Performer" and "Best Artist" 2006 - "Best Song", "The Best Artist" 2007 - "Best Song", "Best Song", "Best Artist" 2008 - "Best Video", "Best Singer", "The Pop Project" 2005 - "Best Russian Act" 2006 - "Best Russian Act" 2007 - "Best Russian Act" 2008 - "Best Russia
Alla Borisovna Pugacheva, is а Soviet and Russian musical performer. Her career continues to this day. For her "clear mezzo-soprano and a full display of sincere emotions", she enjoys an iconic status across the former Soviet Union as the most successful Soviet performer in terms of record sales and popularity, her repertoire includes over 500 songs in Russian, German, Hebrew, Finnish and the discography has more than 100 Vinyl, CDs and DVDs. In addition to Russia and the former Soviet Union, Pugacheva's albums were published in Japan, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Bulgaria. Pugacheva has sold more than 250 million records, she became a People's Artist of the USSR in 1991. Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation. Chevalier of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" II, III and IV degrees, she represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997. Pugacheva was born to Boris Mikhailovich Pugachëv and Zinaida Arkhipovna Pugachëv in Moscow, on 15 April 1949. In 1956, she enrolled in music school №31, attended the Ippolitov-Ivanov music college.
She went on to study at school №496, finishing her studies there in 1964. She studied in the choral-conducting department of the college. Pugacheva recorded her first track "Robot" for a morning programme on Radio Yunost. Pugacheva finished college in 1966 and subsequently toured with the group Yunost' in Western Siberia; the following year she began working as a piano accompanist at the State Circus Musical college. She provided the leading vocals to a number of bands, including Novy Elektron, part of the Lipetsk State Philharmonic Society, in 1966, Moskvichi in 1971, Oleg Lundstrem's band in 1972-73, Vesyolye Rebyata in 1974-75, she recorded songs throughout that period for numerous movies. In 1974, she came in 3rd place in the All-Union competition of musicians. In 1975, she received the Grand Prix of the international contest "Golden Orpheus" performing the song "Harlequin" by Emil Dimitrov; the Amiga label released her winning song as a single in East Germany. Subsequently, in Bulgaria, the Balkanton label released the live recording of "Harlequin" from the festival as a single.
One year Pugacheva returned to the "Golden Orpheus" to perform a concert outside the competition. The Balkanton released the live tracks as Pugacheva's first album Zolotoy Orfey 76. In that same year, Pugacheva recorded a number of songs for the musical drama-comedy The Irony of Fate as the singing voice of Nadja, the female protagonist. Pugacheva went on to work on the musical film The Woman who Sings in cooperation with the band Ritm in 1977, she played a famous pop singer who sacrifices her personal life for her career. The soundtrack, co-written by Pugacheva and composed of pop songs, culminated with the dramatic title ballad "Zhenshchina, kotoraya poyot"; the Soviet audience, regarding the film as autobiographical, brought the soundtrack to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people. The soundtrack was first released in 1977 as part of the double album Zerkalo dushi, a collection of her songs from 1975–77; the Victor label released a collection album Alla Pugacheva in the same year in Japan.
In 1978, performing the song "Vsyo mogut koroli", Pugacheva received the Amber Nightingale prize at the Sopot International Song Festival which at the time meant automatically winning the Grand Prix of the Intervision Song Contest. In 1980, the Kansan label of Finland released her above listed works as the compilation album Huipulla. Tonbandausnahmenkompanie Bayer GmbH did the same in West Germany. During the 1980s, Pugacheva was a frequent visitor to Stockholm, she started out with multiple guest appearances on the popular Swedish radio show Galaxen conducted by Jacob Dahlin, frequently appeared on his TV-show Jacobs Stege. Dahlin and Pugacheva used to perform duets, such as "Superman" where Dahlin sings as the title character. In Stockholm, Pugacheva recorded an album in English, released by the World Record Music label in Sweden as Watch Out and by the Melodiya label in the Soviet Union as Alla Pugacheva in Stockholm. In the late 1970s, Pugacheva became one of Russia's most beloved artists for her "clear mezzo-soprano and a full display of genuine emotions".
Pugacheva was a judge on Russia's version of the British X-Factor Factor A. She was the main judge and therefore the most important, she had the ability to give the most points. Pugacheva's most notable title is "People's Artist of the USSR", the highest honour that could be bestowed to a musical artist in the state, awarded to her in 1991. While the lesser titles of "Accomplished Artist of the Russian SFSR", "People's Artist of the Russian SFSR" had been awarded to her in 1980 and 1985 the government was hesitant to award her its highest honour largely because of statements and actions on her part that were inconsistent with the Party's agenda. At the same time, she grew to represent the government-endorsed pop culture, forced upon people. Pugacheva listed in the Russian Encyclopedia. President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev awarded Pugacheva the 3rd Degree Order of Merit for the Fatherland on her 60th birthday. Orders Order of Merit for the Fatherland 2nd class Order of Merit for the Fatherland 3rd class Order of Merit for the Fatherland 4th class Mesrop Mashtots Order (Arme
Eurovision Song Contest 2008
The Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was the 53rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Belgrade, following Marija Šerifović's win at the 2007 Contest in Helsinki, Finland with the song "Molitva"; this year was the first time. The shows were hosted by Jovana Janković and Željko Joksimović at the Belgrade Arena which had a total capacity of 25,000 seats; the host broadcaster was RTS. After a total of 272 points, Dima Bilan representing Russia was declared the winner, with the song "Believe"; this was Russia’s first win in the contest. Russia came third in the semi-final. Ukraine were runners up for the second year running, with 3rd place going to Greece, 4th to Armenia seeing their best result so far and 5th to Norway. Host of the contest, finished 6th. 2008 saw, for the first time Eurovision.tv streaming national finals live on ESCTV with broadcasters' permission. On 30 January 2008, Eurovision.tv revealed the theme of the Contest: "The Confluence of Sound", inspired by Belgrade's location at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers.
Serbia gained the right to host the Contest after Marija Šerifović won the 2007 Contest in Helsinki, Finland. Since Serbia was the winner of the preceding contest, the 2008 contest was subsequently held there; the Belgrade Arena was chosen as the venue for the contest, is among the largest indoor arenas in Europe, with a total capacity of 25,000 seats. On 14 September 2007, the Mayor of Helsinki handed over the "Eurovision keys" to the Deputy of Belgrade; this ceremony is meant to be a tradition from the 2008 contest and onward, the ring contains a key from every city that has hosted the competition. Due to problems and riots in Belgrade following the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo on 17 February 2008, the EBU held a phone conference to decide if the contest should be moved to a different country. Ukraine was considered an option since they came second in Eurovision Song Contest 2007. YLE were another option, as they hosted the previous year's competition in Finland. Greece's Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi offered the EBU to host the contest in Athens, Greece again.
It was decided that the contest would stay in Belgrade, with the EBU giving support. RTS would gain a guarantee of safety and security from the government of Serbia for all visitors and participants of the contest; the delegations of Albania and Israel had special security. RTS ran a competition that led to the creation of the 2008 Contest's branding and the stage; the theme of the Contest was based around the "confluence of sound". This was symbolic as Belgrade lies on the confluence of the Sava and Danube; the logo chosen, a treble clef, formed the graphical basis of the design created by Boris Miljković. The postcards in the first and second semi-final were based around the creation of the flag of the nation, to perform next; each post card had a short story related to its people. During each postcard a short letter was displayed. All were in the national language of the artist's country, with the exception of the Serbian postcard, which consisted of "Welcome to Belgrade" and "Welcome to Serbia" in various languages and the Belgian postcard, written in the constructed language the Belgian group performed in.
The postcards were brought to an end by a stamp with this year's Eurovision logo. According to RTS the stage represented native identities and modern themes and universally recognised messages; the confluence-themed stage contained a large number of television and LCD display screens. The stage had settings for all new electronic possibilities including some movable parts of the stage, it was designed by Chicago-based David Cushing. The first semi-final was created around a city theme; the contest opened with a panorama of the city of Belgrade forming in the stage's background with two waves sliding down the stage to meet in the centre – at the confluence, the overall theme of the contest. The second semi-final was based around the theme of water, enhanced by the look of the stage during the interval act where the water formed the main colours of the stage; the final was based on the theme of the confluence. Construction of the stage lasted several days and was carried out by various teams from across Europe.
Pyrotechnics were used for the entries from Armenia, Finland, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. The stage received positive feedback from the media and fans describing it as "one of the best looking stages in the history of the competition". At a press conference in Helsinki in May 2007, Svante Stockselius, executive supervisor of the Contest for the EBU, announced that the competition's format may be expanded to two semi-finals in 2008 or 2009. On 28 September 2007 it was announced that the EBU had approved the plan of hosting two semi-finals in 2008. Based on research conducted by the EBU's tele-voting partner Digame, the semi-finalists were sorted into the two heats through the drawing of lots, seeded to keep countries that have a significant history of voting for each other apart; each broadcaster had to broadcast the semi-final in which they took part, with the broadcasting of the other semi-final being optional. The draw for the semi-final allocation occurred in the Belgrade City Hall on Monday 28 January 2008 at 13:00 CET and was conducted by the hosts of the contest Jovana Janković and Željko Joksimović.
First, two envelopes with'Semi-Final 1' and'Semi-Final 2' were drawn. Three countries from each pot were chosen randomly to take part in the first semi-final
Eurovision Song Contest 2012
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the 57th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Baku, 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, the withdrawal of Armenia due to security concerns in relation to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan, 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 with Serbia finishing in third, they were followed by the host country, which reached the 4th place.
Albania finished 5th. Germany 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". 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 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. 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 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. 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 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, 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", 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. 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, were split into six pots, based upon how those countries voted in past contests. From these pots, half 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 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. 1.^ Armenia withdrew 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 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...', which were followed by the name of a town or geographic feature, showing the landscape and culture of the country. Some postca
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly