Eurovision's Marcel Bezençon Awards
The Marcel Bezençon Awards honour songs competing in Eurovision in a number of categories.
Named after the founder of the contest, the awards were created and first handed out at the 2002 contest by Christer Björkman (Sweden Eurovision representative 1992) and Richard Herrey (Eurovision winner for Sweden in 1984 as party of the 'Herreys').
The awards are currently divided into three categories:
Press Award – Given to the best entry as voted on by the accredited media during the event.
Artistic Award – Presented to the best artist voted on by the commentators (since 2010). Until 2009, it was voted on by previous winners.
Composer Award – A jury consisting of the participating composers vote for the best and most original composition.
The awards also previously had a Fan Award category. The Fan Award was handed out in 2002 and 2003, with a special Poplight Fan Award in 2008. The Fan Award was voted on by the members of OGAE – the Eurovision international fan club. The award was discontinued and replaced by the Composer Award in 2004.
Who was Marcel Bezençon?
Marcel Bezençon was a Swiss journalist and media executive who was the director of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) between 1954 and 1970. Marcel conceived the idea of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1955, basing the concept on the famous Sanremo Music Festival.
Born in Orbe in Switzerland on 1 May, 1907, Marcel graduated from the University of Lausanne in 1932 with a degree in art history, before becoming a freelance art and theatre critic. He then became the editor of the newspaper ‘Feuille d’Avis’.
In 1939, Marcel joined Radio Suisse Romande (RSR), where he served as its director until 1950, which was when he became the Director-General of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR).
Marcel passed away in Lausanne in Switzerland on 17 February 1981, however, his legacy lives on through his work at the EBU, the Eurovision Song Contest (which is now the world’s most-watched non-sporting event), and through the awards named after him to recognize excellence at the contest.
Marcel Bezençon Press Award Winners
Awarded to the best entry voted on by the accredited media and press during the Eurovision Song Contest, the Press Award has been given to the winner of the contest on five occasions, and to a top-three placed entry on ten occasions. Fifteen countries have received the award, while three countries (Finland, France, and Italy) have received the award twice.
The winners of the Marcel Bezençon Press Award have been:
Sandrine François' ‘Il faut du temps’ for France (2002)
Sertab Erener's ' Everyway That I Can’ for Turkey (2003)
Željko Joksimović's ‘Lane moje’ for Serbia and Montenegro (2004)
Chiara’s ‘Angel’ for Malta (2005)
Lordi’s ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ for Finland (2006)
Verka Serduchka’s ‘Dancing Lasha Tumbai’ for Ukraine (2007)
Vânia Fernandes’ ‘Senhora do mar (Negras águas)’ for Portugal (2008)
Alexander Rybak’s ‘Fairytale’ for Norway (2009)
Harel Skaat’s ‘Milim’ for Israel (2010)
Paradise Oskar’s ‘Da Da Dam’ for Finland (2011)
Sabina Babayeva’s ‘When the Music Dies’ for Azerbaijan (2012)
Nodi and Sophie’s ‘Waterfall’ for Georgia (2013)
Conchita Wurst’s ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ for Austria (2014)
Il Volo’s ‘Grande amore’ for Italy (2015)
Sergey Lazarev’s ‘You Are the Only One’ for Russia (2016)
Francesco Gabbani’s ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ for Italy (2017)
Madame Monsieur’s ‘Mercy’ for France (2018)
Duncan Laurence’s ‘Arcade’ for the Netherlands (2019)
Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award Winners
Awarded to the best artist as voted by the previous winners (until 2009) and the commentators (since 2010), the Artistic Award has been given to the winner of the contest on seven occasions, and to a top-three placed entry on eleven occasions. Twelve countries have received the award, while powerhouse Sweden have received the award on four occasions. Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke won the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award in 2019 with her entry ‘Zero Gravity’.
The winners of the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award have been:
Afro-dite’s ‘Never Let It Go’ for Sweden (2002)
Esther Hart’s ‘One More Night’ for the Netherlands (2003)
Ruslana’s ‘Wild Dances’ for Ukraine (2004)
Helena Paparizou’s ‘My Number One’ for Greece (2005)
Carola’s ‘Invincible’ for Sweden (2006)
Marija Šerifović’s ‘Moltiva’ for Serbia (2007)
Ani Lorak’s ‘Shady Lady’ for Ukraine (2008)
Patricia Kaas’ ‘Et s’il fallait le faire’ for France (2009)
Harel Skaat’s ‘Milim’ for Israel (2010)
Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ for Ireland (2011)
Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ for Sweden (2012)
Farid Mammadov’s ‘Hold Me’ for Azerbaijan (2013)
The Common Linnets’ ‘Calm After the Storm’ for the Netherlands (2014)
Måns Zelmerlöw’s ‘Heroes’ for Sweden (2015)
Jamala’s ‘1944’ for Ukraine (2016)
Salvador Sobral’s ‘Amar pelos dois’ for Portugal (2017)
Eleni Foureira’s ‘Fuego’ for Cyprus (2018)
Kate Miller-Heidke’s ‘Zero Gravity’ for Australia (2019)
Marcel Bezençon Composer Award Winners
Awarded to the best and most original composition at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest and voted on by a jury of the participating composers, the Composer Award has been given to the winner of the contest on two occasions, and to a top-three placed entry on six occasions. Fourteen countries have received the award, while two countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sweden) have received the award twice. Australia’s Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci (commonly known as DNA) won the Marcel Bezençon Composer Award in 2016 for their composition ‘Sound of Silence’.
The winners of the Marcel Bezençon Composer Award have been:
Mike Konnaris for Lisa Andreas’ ‘Stronger Every Minute’ for Cyprus (2004)
Slaven Knezović and Milan Perić for No Name’s ‘Zauvijek moja’ for Serbia and Montenegro (2005)
Željko Joksimović, Fahrudin Pecikoza, and Dejan Ivanović for Hari Mata Hari’s ‘Lejla’ for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006)
Magdi Rúzsa and Imre Mózsik for Magdi Rúzsa’s ‘Unsubstantial Blues’ for Hungary (2007)
Andrei Tudor, Andreea Andrei, and Adina Şuteu for Nico and Vlad’s ‘Pe-o margine de lume’ for Romania (2008)
Aleksandar Čović for Regina’s ‘Bistra voda’ for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009)
Tomer Hadadi and Noam Horev for Harel Skaat’s ‘Milim’ for Israel (2010)
Daniel Moyne, Quentin Bachelet, Jean-Pierre Marcellesi, and Julie Miller for Amaury Vassili’s ‘Sognu’ for France (2011)
Thomas G:son and Peter Boström for Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ for Sweden (2012)
Robin Stjernberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, and Joakim Harestad Haukaas for Robin Stjernberg’s ‘You’ for Sweden (2013)
Ilse DeLange, JB Meijers, Rob Crosby, Matthew Crosby, and Jake Etheridge for The Common Linnets’ ‘Calm After the Storm’ for the Netherlands (2014)
Kjetil Mørland for Mørland and Debrah Scarlett’s ‘A Monster like Me’ for Norway (2015)
Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci for Dami Im’s ‘Sound of Silence’ for Australia (2016)
Luisa Sobral for Salvador Sobral’s ‘Amar pelos dois’ for Portugal (2017)
Borislav Milanov, Trey Campbell, Joacim Persson, and Dag Lundberg for Equinox’s ‘Bones’ for Bulgaria (2018)
Charlie Charles, Dario “Dardust” Faini, and Alessandro Mahmoud for Mahmood’s ‘Soldi’ for Italy (2019)
Marcel Bezençon Fan Award
Awarded to the entry deemed the favourite by the members of OGAE, the Eurovision international fan club, in 2002, 2003, and 2008, the Marcel Bezençon Fan Award has never been awarded to the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest or a top-three placing entry. Three countries have received the award on the three occasions which it has been awarded.
The winners of the Marcel Bezençon Fan Award (known as the Marcel Bezençon Poplight Fan Award in 2008) have been:
Laura Voutilainen’s ‘Addicted to You’ for Finland (2002)
Beth’s ‘Dime’ for Spain (2003)
Sirusho’s ‘Qélé, Qélé’ for Armenia (2008)
As you might notice, one song appears in this list more than any others – ‘Milim’, performed by Harel Skaat for Israel in 2010. In Oslo in 2010, Harel Skaat’s ‘Milim’ was awarded the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award, Composers Award, and Press Award. This is the first and to date only occasion in which the same entry managed to win in all three categories.
'Milim' however only finished 14th on the night proving that Marcel Bezençon Award success doesn't always lead to Eurovision success.