"Stay as we are"
2 - 23 December 2016
Universong 94 was the ninety fourth staging of the Universong Contest, that was held for the second time in the Great Duchy of Luxembourg, this time in its second important city, Esch-sur-Alzette. The second Luxembourgish production of the Universong Contest was done after the winning of Loïc Nottet with the song "Million eyes" on the previous edition held in Tehran, Iran.
In this edition, the number of participants increased again, to reach 54 (the same quantity shown in USC 92 in Santiago de Chile), without any debuting countries for the sixth edition in a row. Even though, in this edition Bhutan would be debuting. But, because of problems with the manager of the aforementioned country, that debut wouldn't be possible. Also, the USC had face the disqualification of an emblematic country in the competition, Serbia. The country, that helds the record of being the country with most participations yet to win the contest, was disqualified from the first semifinal, for breaking the etiquette rules of the contest, thus facing a further permanent ban from the contest.
Also, four former USC champions returned to the contest: Shakira from Colombia (winner of USC 16), Roby Fayer from Israel (winner of USC 74 with Tom Gefen), GJan from Lithuania (winner of USC 52) and Marina Kaye who was representing Luxembourg (winner of USC 87 for France). The four of them competed in the Grand Final (Shakira was in a duo with Maluma; Roby Fayer, with Almog Segal; and Marina Kaye along with French rapper Soprano; while GJan was going solo). However, none of them could become the sixth Universong double champion.
The winner of this Universong Contest was Italy. The seventh Italian winning, and the first in 32 editions (its last win was in USC 62 in Paris), was possible thanks to Lorenzo Fragola, with the song "D'improvviso", who collected a total of 191 points, while taking just one set of 12 points (from Colombia). Lorenzo was second in the finalists voting, while winning the non-finalists votes with 91 points (the same quantity of points than the runner-up of that voting, but the winning was determined by the number of voting countries). With this winning, Italy completes seven winnings, getting thus the record of most winnings ever. Lorenzo Fragola is also the eighth Italian artist ever who wins Universong, as well as the sixth song in Italian language that wins Universong.
The runner-up of this edition was Australia, country who got its highest position from its last winning in USC 79, while holding the record of the most top 10s since USC 87, by virtue of reaching the top 10 in all the editions but one since then (they only failed to reach top 10 in USC 90 in Madrid). Dami Im returned to the contest with the song "Fighting for love", that was one of the favourites to win this edition from the very beginning. Dami reached 188 points - only three points of difference with winner Lorenzo Fragola, making it one of the closest finals ever - and the second place with non-finalists, while remaining third with the finalists. The Australian received also seven sets of twelve points.
The third place was also remarkable. Another favourite to win was Venezuela, who was represented by Aldrey, with the song "Mírate". Indeed, it won the finalists vote with 125 points, but it wasn't that lucky with the non-finalists, that only put them in the 13th position. Even though, the South American country got a historical third position with a total of 181 points and seven sets of 12 points (the same got by Australia), while having a 10-point difference with Italy and a 7-point difference with Australia. This is the best position reached by any Venezuelan entry, as well as the best showing of any South American country since the winning of Chile in USC 91.
The holders of fourth and fifth places were France, with the song "Ça va ça va" by Claudio Cápeo, and United States with the song "Burn this bridge" by Enisa (the best showing for the USA since USC 83), who got 145 and 144 points, respectively. The Czech Republic, that was represented by Gabriela Gunčíková with the song "Černý anděl", also got 144 points (losing thus the tie-breaker with the USA). The Czech entry is also remarkable since it became the second best historical result at a country level for the Central European country (only defeated by the fourth place of Lucie Vondráčková in USC 54).
Another country that got its second best historical result at a country level was Singapore, that was represented, in its third Universong participation, by Linying, with the song "Paris 12". Singapore got seventh place and 142 points, being one of the favourites from the local audience. Colombia, meanwhile, got eighth place with 139 points, for the duo of Shakira and Maluma in the song "Chantaje", achieving an important place for the South American country. Hungarian band Leander Kills got ninth place with "Mádar" while former Lithuanian USC champion GJan got tenth place with its new single "Wild". Another favourites that didn't reach the top 10 were the band Walk Off The Earth from Canada, and Roby Fayer and Almog Segal from Israel.
About the city
Esch-sur-Alzette is a commune with town status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country's second "city", and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 33,286 inhabitants. It lies in the south-west of the country, on the border with France. It lies in the valley of the Alzette, which flows through the town. The capital, Luxembourg, is roughly 15 km (9.3 mi) to the north-east.
For a long time Esch was a small farming village in the valley of the Uelzecht river. This changed when important amounts of iron ore were found in the area in the 1850s. With the development of the mines and the steel industry the town's population multiplied tenfold in a couple of decades. In 1911 the steel and iron producing company ARBED was founded. and the development of the steel industry, especially in the south of the country, provided Luxembourg with sustained economic growth during the second half of the 19th century.
In the 1970s as a result of the steel crisis the mines and many of the blast furnaces were shut down, the last one, in Esch-Belval, definitely halting its operations in 1997. The blast furnaces were replaced by an electric furnace that is fed with scrap metal rather than iron ore
In this semifinal, the 26 semifinalists plus Faroe Islands shall vote in this semifinal. Luxembourg will decide in which semifinal it'll vote. The rest of the countries can vote too, but their votes will be counted as Rest of the World.
In this semifinal, the 25 semifinalists plus Bulgaria shall vote in this semifinal. Luxembourg will decide in which semifinal it'll vote. The rest of the countries can vote too, but their votes will be counted as Rest of the World.
Split Results Finalists/Non-Finalists Votes
|Place||Finalists Vote||Points||Non-Finalists Vote||Points|
|15||Faroe Islands||56||United States||55|
|Tunisia||Emel Mathlouthi||"Ma lkit"||15th||Winner|
|Belarus||Milki||"Lapochka"||21st (SF2)||Nominée (2nd)|
|Greece||Monika||"Yes I do"||14th (SF1)||Nominée (3rd)|
Best Non-English Award
|Hungary||Leander Kills||"Mádar"||9th||Nominée (2nd)|
|Moldova||The Motans||"Versus"||13th (SF1)||Nominée (3rd)|
|Moldova||The Motans||"Versus"||13th (SF1)||Winner|
|Sweden||Abalone Dots||"Solo"||13th (SF1)||Nominée (2nd)|
|Germany||Fiddler's Green||"Down"||15th (SF2)||Nominée (3rd)|