Vision Music Awards 2016: Vote for your Eurovision favourites 70

Before and during Eurovision 2016, we all had the privilege of getting to know 43 acts from around the continent. Over the course of several months, these artists did their best to grab headlines and shine at promotional events at home and abroad, with many snaking through the big five pre-party events in Riga, Moscow, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and LondonNow that the race is over and the winner has been decided, some will become household names. Others will disappear into the pop music ether.

Of course, you don’t have to win Eurovision to make a lasting impression. In honour of all those singers who left a mark (for better or worse), the team at wiwibloggs is pleased to stage our fourth edition of the Vision Music Awards (VMAs). It’s time for us to add few more seconds to the acts’ 15 minutes.

In recent weeks we have shortlisted candidates for 13 awards — from best dressed to best live vocals — based on their performances and our interactions with them in Stockholm. But it’s up to you to decide the winner for 10 of the 13 categories. Read on to see the finalists for each of our awards, and then cast your vote. The jury will decide the winner for three of the categories based on our chats with them ahead of Stockholm and during the contest itself.

You can vote for as many contestants in each poll as you would like, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to click the name next to each contestant you want to support. We will be hiding the results until it is time to announce the winner to prevent potential manipulation of the results. The polls close on September 1. It’s up to you, Europe. Start voting now!

We strongly advise you to watch the above video to make the most of the suspense and drama of this process before proceeding to the polls. 

Most Likely to Succeed Commercially

Everyone knows that ABBA and Celine Dion used their Eurovision victories as a springboard to global success. But even acts who didn’t win have managed to make a commercial impact. Britain’s Gina G only finished eighth at Eurovision in 1996. But her song “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” went on to conquer the charts worldwide. This award honours the contestant who is most likely to make it big — or at least cash some checks — when Eurovision 2016 is long forgotten.

Previous winners:

2013: Norway’s Margaret Berger

2014: The Netherlands’ Common Linnets

2015: Belgium’s Loïc Nottet

See the 2016 results now!

Most Wronged

Sometimes the results just don’t make sense. These contestants were either wronged by the jury, the televoters or both. We all remember the travesty that was Kate Ryan failing to make the Grand Final in 2006. For all you Eurovision experts, we needn’t explain anything else.

Previous winners:

2013: Romania’s Cezar Ouatu

2014: Israel’s Mei Finegold

2015: Italy’s Il Volo

Most Improved

The road to Eurovision is long and bumpy, and it doesn’t always start out with a strong song—or the ability to sing said song. For instance, when Yohanna first won the Icelandic national selection back in 2009, we thought she was gonna flop. Then she put on that blue dress, hired some back-up singers, and wowed us all the way to second place. The following contestants each demonstrated major improvement from their pre-Eurovision reveal to the actual contest. When casting your vote consider how far they’ve come—and where they finished.

Previous winners:

2013: San Marino’s Valentina Monetta

2014: Ukraine’s Mariya Yaremchuk

2015: Georgia’s Nina Sublatti

Best Dressed

This award recognises the contestant who most turned Eurovision into a runway. For instance, Sabina Babayeva wowed us at Eurovision 2012 with her technologically advanced stage dress, but also with the stunning creations she wore at press conferences, promotional events, and when hobnobbing with stars at EuroClub. From on-stage glamour to off-stage elegance, the following performers know that fashion has a place in every setting.

Previous winners:

2013: Romania’s Cezar Ouatu

2014: Ukraine’s Mariya Yaremchuk

2015: Russia’s Polina Gagarina

Best Live Vocals

In 2012 the city of Baku almost had to bring a lawsuit against Rona Nishliu: This dreadlocked diva risked public safety with her pitch-perfect high notes that could have shattered the Crystal Hall Arena! In the years that have followed, other vocalists have given her a run for her money. This year featured a number of talented singers, but only one can win the title.

Previous winners:

2013: Ukraine’s Zlata Ognevich

2014: Spain’s Ruth Lorenzo

2015: Latvia’s Aminata Savadogo

Most Memorable Staging

This award honours the contestants who took the biggest risks on stage, creating memorable—if sometimes divisive—performances. Before casting your vote, consider the creativity and originality of each performance.

Previous winners:

2013: Romania’s Cezar Ouatu

2014: Poland’s Donatan & Cleo

2015: Belgium’s Loïc Nottet

Biggest Surprise

In 2011 we almost shat ourselves as we watched the nations announce their points — we would never have thought scruffy jazz singer Raphael Gualazzi would have wowed the jury and televoters to a second place finish. This award is dedicated to the men and women who teach us never to count anyone out in Eurovision-land. Who surprised you the most in 2016?

Previous winners:

2013: Malta’s Gianluca Bezzina

2014: The Netherlands’ Common Linnets

2015: Belgium’s Loïc Nottet

Worst Live Vocals

From Ivi Adamou to Can-Linn, Eurovision features some amazing digitally re-mastered artists. This award singles out the contestant who could most use a bit of Auto Tune. Consult their live performances before voting and try not to focus on the backing.

Previous winners:

2013: Germany’s Cascada

2014: Ireland’s Can-Linn

2015: Finland’s PKN

Cruise Ship Award

In 2008 a group took to the stage literally dressed as Pirates of the Sea. The following five artists didn’t dress the part, but there’s a good chance they will be more appreciated at sea than on stage. This award honours the contestant who could have a successful run entertaining passengers stuck on large boats for weeks at a time. This is not shade. It’s just just a career suggestion.

Previous winners:

2013: Slovenia’s Hannah Mancini

2014: Belgium’s Axel Hirsoux

2015: UK’s Electro Velvet

Biggest Disappointment

In 2011 we were gossiping in the Press Centre about which French city would host Eurovision 2012. The betting agencies had put Amaury Vassili at incredibly low odds to win the whole thing…and then he finished 15th. This award honours the contestant whom we all thought would shine but instead flopped like no other. I mean, at least whoever wins this can say he/she won something, right?

Previous winners:

2013: Germany’s Cascada

2014: The UK’s Molly Smitten-Downes

2015: Spain’s Edurne

Miss/Mr Congeniality (Wiwi Jury to decide)

The Eurovision Song Contest was founded to bring Europe together following the carnage of World War II. This award honours the contestant whose press conferences and off-stage appearances did the most to honour the Eurovision tradition of peace and camraderie. Daria Kinzer flopped out in ESC 2011, but she stayed throughout the week and partied her claw-nail toes off until the wee hours of the morning with her hardcore fans. This award honours the contestants who, like Daria, embody the spirit of her song “Celebrate” — regardless of their result.

Nominees:

France’s Amir

Russia’s Sergey Lazarev

Albania’s Eneda Tarifa

San Marino’s Serhat

Bulgaria’s Poli Genova

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Dean, Dalal, Ana Rucner and Jala

Serbia’s Sanja Vucic

Previous winners:

2013: Israel’s Moran Mazor

2014: Portugal’s Suzy Guerra

2015: Tamar Kaprelian

Least Bothered by the Results (Wiwi Jury to decide)

Eurovision is serious business, with over 100 million people tuning in to watch Europe’s largest televised entertainment event. And yet every year some contestants tune out all the pressure and just show up and do their thing. We salute those acts who don’t let the drama get them down and know they have worth regardless of the outcome.

Nominees:

Norway’s Agnete

The Netherlands’ Douwe Bob

Georgia’s Nika Kocharov and the Young Georgian Lolitaz

Denmark’s Lighthouse X

Cyprus’ Minus One

Previous winners:

2013: The Netherlands’ Anouk

2014: France’s Twin Twin

2015: Austria’s The Makemakes

The Dana International Award for LGBT Equality (Wiwi Jury to decide)

This award honors Dana International, the Israeli transgender singer who won Eurovision in 1998. Conservatives at home asked Israel to withdraw from the contest, but she stood her ground and sang for all oppressed people en route to victory. The Wiwi Jury awards this prize to the contestant who did the most for the many LGBT fans who follow Eurovision. Activism is risky business, but the winner knows that doing what’s right is more important than bowing to the haters.

Nominees:

Israel’s Hovi Star

Malta’s Ira Losco

Bulgaria’s Poli Genova

Spain’s Barei

Russia’s Sergey Lazarev

Previous winners:

2013: Finland’s Krista Siegfrids

2014: Austria’s Conchita Wurst

2015: Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov

Vote in all of our Eurovision polls here