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Eurovision: Sweden win it, Australia in it – and new vision shown in Ireland, over gay rights …

  • May 25th, 2015
  • Posted by EU Australia

Eurovision Group Irish referendum 2015Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow triumphed on Saturday night at the Eurovision Song Contest, his song ‘Heroes’ at the end of voting, delivering a clear win over the other great favourite, Russia’s Polina Gagarina singing ‘A Million Voices’ — 365 votes against 303.



Eurovision grand finalHe celebrated with a new-version, live performance of the song on stage at the Eurovision arena (picture), supported by sophisticated effects using animated graphics.

“Everybody’s a hero” he said about the song, said to be something to do with freedom.

See performance:

Italy was third with 292 votes and Belgium fourth on 217.

Eurovision sebastian sbsAustralia’s Guy Sebastian (picture, in performance), established as a performer after winning one of the earlier Australian Idol contests, singing ‘Tonight Again’, was fifth, with 196 votes – getting prime support (ten or twelve votes) from television viewers in ten of the 40 competing countries.

Jessica Mauboy wikipediaLast year there was an out-of-competition guest spot for Australia, which made a popular choice, sending Jessica Mauboy (picture).

This time it was a wild card berth in the finals, on the occasion of the 60th annual contest.

One British commentator grumped that “many people” (real or supposed) did not like it as the Australians had “done nothing for Eurovision”.

There has been a long association especially through the Song Contest host broadcaster, SBS, engaged in it for 30 years, and the crowds, and voters, came up with loud and welcoming applause.

Talk began about whether the one-off participation might become a regular event.

Conchita WurstAustria won in 2014 and so hosted the event this time in Vienna, and although its entry actually got zero points on Saturday night, the winner from last year, bearded drag artist “Conchita Wurst” (picture) was on hand to do the presentations.

On the same day, they made some history of a different kind in the republic of Ireland, with a national referendum approving same-sex marriages.

It represented a change from just 20 years ago when same-sex sex was still illegal.

The close to  two million voters said yes, 62% to 38%.

The Catholic Church, a power in the land but chastened and diminished in this Century, took a literally doctrinaire stance for ‘no’; but the electors decided for yes, opting more for the compassion, tolerance and love aspects of the Faith.

The Irish decision left Australia much on its own among the Western democracies, though the political parties in Canberra are debating whether to give members a conscience vote, when same sex marriage comes up for a decision by Parliament.

The change has strong support in State constituencies but marriage law is a federal responsibility in Australia.

Both Government and Opposition said on Sunday it was not a matter for a national referendum, a procedure normally used just for changing the Constitution.