Now several days on Azerbaijan authorities claim to have foiled a planned ‘terrorist’ plot to attack the contest’s venue, the Baku Crystal Hall. The plot was reportedly involved attacks on several hotels were participants in Eurovision were staying. The authorities in Azerbaijan claim the news was not reported earlier to prevent panic amongst visitors to the country for Eurovision.
Around 40 people have reportedly been arrested by the authorities in the country though there has been no independent confirmation of the alleged plot. According to reports the suspects had “obtained Eurovision tickets with the aim of committing a terrorist act at the Baku Crystal Hall”. The suspects in the alleged plot reportedly have links to neighbouring Dagestan which is a Muslim Republic in the Caucasus area.
In the week leading up to the grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest host country Azerbaijan and Iran, another of its neighbours, became involved in a diplomatic spat. Iran claimed that Azerbaijan was holding a gay pride event in connection with Eurovision something the authorities in Azerbaijan were quick and vocal to deny – denouncing the Iranian claims as slander.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest was won by singer Loreen, with her song Euphoria, who performed for Sweden winning with 372 points. There were 26 countries involved in the finale which is the highest since 2003 after which semi-finals were introduced to restrict the number of participating countries in the finale.
There have once again be calls in the UK for withdrawal from competition due to the poor performance of Englebert Humperdinck who came 25th on Saturday evening. The calls are unlikely though to go unheeded as, despite the hot weather, over 7 million viewers tuned into see the competition on BBC One. Eurovision has an estimated world-wide audience of over 125 million people with the competition also televised in Australia, New Zealand and parts of America.