Belgium wins Luxembourg's "Eurovision"
It began in spectacular style with Bollywood dancing followed by elegant aerobatic gymnastics before Euro Gala 2011 on Saturday night, in true Eurovision style, commenced in front of an audience of more than 250 people and, according to the host, 25 different countries.
And so the romp through Eurovision’s repertoire began. In a slight twist to real Eurovision all the singers were multi-nationals from Luxembourg with connections to the country they represented. The song each country picked to sing hailed from the vast Eurovision library, one song dating back to 1962 right up to 2011.
And the audience loved it! Clapping, cheering and supporting their country with many of them waving flags. It must be said however, that Scandinavian fans far outweighed other nationalities just proving how much of an institution Eurovision has become in those countries.
Ireland, Luxembourg, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Iceland, Portugal, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Belgium were all represented on stage, carefully watched by a panel of international judges (including wort.lu/en journalist, as UK judge!). The clear winner was agreed by most of the judges: Thierry Mersch for Belgium with the song “Me and my guitar”, a song that was indeed Belgium’s Eurovision entry in 2010.
“It means so much to me. I’ve always loved Eurovision and wanted to be part of it, this is a great opportunity and an honour” exclaimed Thierry after the show while clutching his award in one hand and bouquet of flowers in the other.
But the Eurovision-style contest was not all the night had to offer. For part 2 of the evening the stage was graced by three well-known international acts that had all performed in previous Eurovision contests: Anabela who sang for Portugal in 1993, with her soft and graceful songs, followed by Omar Naber from Slovenia who sang in 2005 at Eurovision, dressed as though he would deliver a heavy-metal act but actually sang soft pop style music.
Then came Spanish boy-band D’Nash sparking an excited reaction from the audience, lapping up their songs and dance routines and appreciating the little frolic the guys took around the public during one of their songs.
The extremely well-presented and tasteful night ended with many people asking just why Luxembourg is no longer part of Eurovision, especially as the Grand Duchy is one of Europe’s most multicultural countries. Åsa Warnvik, who sang for Sweden on the night, stated during the after-party, “We are campaigning for Luxembourg to return to Eurovision in 2013, as it will be exactly 20 years then since the country stopped participating, and I think we might just be in with a chance!”