Moran Mazor brought lungs as big as her bosoms. Eythor Ingi proved that men can channel emotion as well as the divas. And Birgit Oigemeel showed us how to stay in tune even when you’re five months pregnant. But in the end our readers were most impressed with the power and tonality of Zlata Ognevich, the pitch-perfect vocalist from Ukraine who wowed audiences all the way to third place at Eurovision 2013. After counting 1,969 votes, we are pleased to announce that Zlata is the winner of the 2013 Rona Nishliu Award for Best Vocals.
Zlata Ognevich: 622 votes, 31.59%
Eythor Ingi: 616 votes, 31.28%
Birgit: 254 votes, 12.9%
Dina Garipvoa: 244 votes, 12.39%
Moran Mazor: 233 votes, 11.83%
Zlata, who also won our annual search for Eurovision’s Next Top Model, has previously told us that holding her breath under water as a child helped her develop the firepower we’ve come to admire. She later advised us to drink warm water with honey every morning to protect our vocal chords and strengthen our diaphram. We wonder if grocery stores in Kyiv have noticed an upsurge in honey sales since we published that interview on YouTube!
The Rona Nishliu Award honours Albania’s 2012 contestant who brought down the house in Baku. We’re being literal. Her ability to hit the high notes had us worried that the Crystal Hall Arena might collapse! Rona delivered “Suus” with unrivalved emotion and somehow managed to stay in tune while working every inch of her expansive register. Rona, we salute you!
This award is just one of a dozen awards we have launched as part of the inaugural Valentina Monetta Awards. Our 12 categories—from best dressed to most most wronged at ESC—identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.
Did Zlata deserve to win best vocals? Who would you have ranked second?