After scores of entries into the Eurovision Song Contest (under the names Yugoslavia and then Serbia-Montenegro), Serbia triumphed in Europe's largest song contest on Saturday. The ballad "The Prayer" sung by Marija Serifovic scored high marks, finishing more than 30 points ahead of second-place Ukraine who entered a cross-dressing transvestite comedian into the contest. Around 30,000 fans gathered to greet the new national hero on Sunday when she returned to Belgrade and there were small celebrations in North Mitrovica almost immediately following the announcement that Serbia won.
For those who don't know much about Eurovision, each year the contest is held in the previous winner's country. Since Serbia won in 2007, the 2008 contest will be held in Belgrade. In 2006, a band called Lordi singing "Hard Rock Hallelujah" from Finland won so in 2007 the contest was held in Helsinki. In 2005, the contest was held in Athens after Helena Paparizou won with the song "My Number One" in Ukraine. And before that, "Wild Dance" singer Ruslana won the contest in Istanbul in 2004...so you probably get the point...but just to show how long I've been following the contest, Sertab Erener won the contest in 2003 with "Everyway That I Can" which was a big hit in the clubs after the contest...I can recall the good ol' days of the Irish Pub dancing to the song at 2am :o)