Last year Conchita Wurst was an incredible role model, showing Eurovision fans that regardless of who you are, you can be happy, successful, and loved. As Conchita has said many times, she may have a beard but she “deserves a fabulous life.” At Eurovision 2015 we met several more role models who gave us a dose of inspiration. Here are four of my favourite.

1. Monika (Poland)

In the 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest there had never been a physically disabled contestant until Monika, who emerged from a car crash as a paraplegic. At Eurovision Monika placed 15th in the televote (let’s ignore the juries). Equally important, she presented a song of joy and love with a message that transcended her handicap. She is an incredible example to everyone that a physical handicap is not a limit to succeeding at Eurovision or in life.

2. Genealogy (Armenia)

Their song carried an amazing message about the need to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Despite the rules that say no songs may be of a political nature (they appear to have changed the name of their song from “Don’t Deny” to “Face the Shadow” to skirt that issue), this was a brilliant way to recognize history. They embraced the Armenian diaspora by recruiting singers from around the world, which was really beautiful. The video carried you from the loss that resulted from the genocide through to the present-day, which saw the members of Genealogy come together. It was a deeply moving message for all of us: remembering is the first step in “never again.”

3. Voltaj (Romania)

The pop-rock band chose to highlight the unfortunate side effects of economic migration: Parents leaving to go work abroad in order to secure a better future for their kids, and having to leave the kids behind in the process. The message of their song “De la capat (All Over Again)” is not just about leaving the children behind and about reuniting families. “De la capat” is also a project aimed at improving the lives of migrants’ children. It was born long before the band decided to compete at Eurovision.

4. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Finland)

After winning their national final, PKN made an impact in Austria, not just as the first act with learning disabilities to perform at Eurovision, but also the first punk band. Their abrasive song wasn’t for everyone, but when they took to the stage and lead singer Kari expressed his frustrations at life as an adult with Down Syndrome and autism, it had a strong impact. The raw punk of “Aina mun pitää” might not have impressed the jury, but it did well with viewers, placing 10th in the televoting of semifinal one. PKN proved themselves to be four men who weren’t even close to letting their learning disabilities get in the way of delivering one of the most memorable performances of 2015.

You can read more of our lists here

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iamawarrior
Guest
iamawarrior

Bianca Nicholas has cystic fibrosis, Mans Zelmerlow was bullied and Ann Sophie have to move a bunch of time in order for her music career to kick-off… And yet, they are not on the list! why is that?

iamawarrior
Guest
iamawarrior

Bianca Nicholas has cystic fibrosis, why is she not on the list?

Leon
Guest
Leon

@Oostenrije – Actually, blindness is medically recognized as a physical disability. And it’s pretty obvious why. Your definition of physical disability is too narrow.

Nott
Guest
Nott

Guys, c’mon – physical disability as in related to motion / movement.
In that case Monika’s performance has been a first on the Eurovision stage.
God bless her heart, she’s such a sweetheart.

Oostenrijk
Guest
Oostenrijk

OMG, I hate ignorant people. Blindness is not a physical disability. Physical disabilities have to do with not being able to move some part of the body, which normally would move.

Leon
Guest
Leon

@Ajit – hahahaha so true! But, this is wiwibloggs

Ajit
Guest
Ajit

Monika is the first artist with physical disability? Does blindness (Spain 1992 & 2000, Austria 1996, Georgia 2008) not count?

Oostenrijk
Guest
Oostenrijk

Monika from Poland moves me. I listen to her song everyday.

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

Yes, Daniel, Bianca from “Electro Velvet” (UK) has cystic fibrosis. And yes, as a carrier, I think she should be on the list, too, because she gave me a lot of hope about the future of my daughters and their children!

Leon
Guest
Leon

@Danny – Hi Danny. You are very wrong about my knowledge about the Karabagh war. I did my college thesis on collapse of the Soviet Union and extensively studied the Karabagh war. First of all, I empathize with both Azeris and Armenians who lost their lives during the war – it is estimated that over 30,000 people died during the war. I also empathize with the Azeris who had to flee their homes in Karabagh and Armenians who had to flee their homes in Baku and Sumgait. I am well aware of the tragedy that befell on Azeris in Khojaly… Read more »

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

oh sorry ? saw now that you are azeri pardon mene, amma men sizinle raz?yam

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Danny: thank you for your support and love understanding the truth for Azerbaijan – you are good person, may peace be with you we welcome people like you here to Azerbaijan with open arms

Danny
Guest
Danny

? am so happy that Azerbaijan never makes Eurovision to a political event, we will never make a song like this. We will just ignore some countries but we will never try to get some points from our genocides. Because it has nothing to do with this Contest and we respect countries and people

Danny
Guest
Danny

@Leon see my friend, because of people like you we will never have a peace full world. Only talking like the whole things happend to armenia. ? am sure you dont even know the karabakh progress 1992. 1 million Azerbaijanis left their homes, still 23 years later we cant go to our homes because armenians has occupied it. ?n every Azerbaiijani family there is someone who was killed by armenians.
But probaly people like you will never look from the Azerbaijani side.let me give you the reason Because of the “hidden” islamophobia or turkophobia.

Danny
Guest
Danny

@drag and what will be the name of the Azerbaijani genocide made in 1992 to by armenians? Muslim genocide ? Or turkic genocide? Because we all know that armenians did this to Azerbaijan because of religion and etnicy.

Today every country in the world rezogniced that Armenia has occupied 25% of Azerbaijani lands, and not even 1 country(only armenia and russia) supports armenia in occupying Azerbaijan. Armenians took the lands of Azerbaijan with help of the Soviet union. Every one knows the hate against muslims during the soviets.

drag
Guest
drag

in fact is not a armenian genogide, but a christian genoicide, the ottoman have killed armenian for their religion

Leon
Guest
Leon

This is such a great article. May be one of the best wiwibloggs articles. Yet, again in the comments section we see so much hate. I think all four acts were very inspirational but I want to address the people who say Armenian genocide never occurred or Armenians are not human. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Armenian genocide like the Jewish holocaust is historically acknowledged atrocity. May be some people cannot understand the magnitude of murdering and deporting over a million people from their homes to die? In order for us as humans to progress and stop future atrocities… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Monika’s song was one of my favourites leading up to the contest and it did have a very moving message. I only wish she had performed it better during the contest.

Krinos
Guest
Krinos

@Daniel – I believe that was Bianca from the UK. For some reason she’s always looked over, though with her condition it’s a miracle in itself that she can sing at all.

danny
Guest
danny

1st of all europe already showed armenians that no one wants political songs in Eurovision. Not even the patriot armenian diaspora has voted for their song, it wasnt in top 10 in televoting! 2nd every country has a sad history in Eurovision but no one make this music festival to a political event. Serbians murdered thousands of bosnians, back to 1992. But they gave even each other 12 points. The same Serbians massacred croatians, albanians. And the serbian government of today, still do nothing against the massaces. Germans murdered 6 million jews, but Israel never supports racism and politics in… Read more »

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I thought there was a girl with cystic fibrosis. Shouldn’t she be on the list then? Or was she from one of the countries mentioned?

I did not like the Armenian song, at all, but the message was powerful and i liked the idea of bringing together a super group.

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

All four are an inspiration.
We should all be impressed by Genealogy who, according to Arianator, are not even human. It just goes to show how we humans sometimes need a reminder how to be human, to show respect for life & each other, and to acknowledge mistakes & atrocities in our past.

Mario
Guest
Mario

* WW (World Wars)

Mario
Guest
Mario

Of course…I condemn all the atrocities/killings that Armenians possibly have done as well…I’m not on the side of either Armenians or Azerbaijanis on this field alone..
But in this cruel world you have to fight fire with fire how many times…We all know that..

WAR is just the worst thing that can happen to our world…
Just look at the millions dead victims of both http://WWW..
Both sides lost too much casualties…No one wins really & all everyone lose one way or another..

Mario
Guest
Mario

Well the armenian genocide did not happen by turks but ottomans…It has total difference.. The today living turks are not involved at all on this massive massacre that their ancestors did 100 years ago.. I think that the ordinary people back then living in ottoman Turkey would not approve of these killings & genocide…Of course it was the f**king military army of Ottoman empire that was responsible for these murders.. And Azerbaijanis although being brothers of Turks are different nation than Turkey let alone the Ottoman Empire.. The nazis did all this bloody horrific holocaust even 25 years later than… Read more »

brad
Guest
brad

I was inspired a lot by Melanie from Switzerland and Mans from Sweden. Their songs have really positive messages.

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

I only respect people who have respect for my country and you are not the one..and if you were me you will feel the same about this but now you are not in my position you don’t understand how we feel about this

Lena
Guest
Lena

I will not countinue this.You do not know what means to speak without harow.I am not animal ,I am normal person.First of all learn to respect others.

Afrivision
Guest
Afrivision

I agree that those 4 were inspirational. I would also include Polina Gagarina on this list. She gave a heartfelt performance on a song about unity, which she elaborated further in a very moving way at the press conference following semi-final 1. Irrespective of the boo-ing she (or her country) received, she handled it with poise and the bravery she displayed was inspirational. From what we gathered in Viena, Polina is a beautiful human being inside and out and that makes her a role model. If we have to think of other songs of inspiration, Hungary and France should also… Read more »

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Lena: LISTEN the armenia genocide is fake it never happen!!!! Okay and if you so know whole story you should know what them did in Canakkale AND YOU should know what they did to us Azeris they are real animals they have done nothing but bad things to us and then they spread lies to the world about a genocide that never happen.. and you are the real animal and salak if you say that khojaly genocide never happen because it did happen and my country is in pain for what they did to us

Lena
Guest
Lena

I am not Armenian but I know the whole story. To say that the Armenian genocide didn’t happen is just nonsense. I can show you milons of facts. But I am not going to argue with you. Respect me. And finally this is music.

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Lena: IT DIT HAPPEN you salak you are real salak if you don’t see real that what armenian did to us and our country it DID HAPPEN In 1992 and then they occupied so you are armenian if it said it did not but i can say that the armenia genocide NEVER HAPPEN

Lena
Guest
Lena

Arianator. Genocide of Khojalu? It didn’t happen. Go and read the history. There was a photographer, he gathered people and shot them, as the victims of that genocide. But then he recognized his son sin and said that he was paid for that

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Also how armenian forced Azerbaijanis out of our own homes and genocide against us they are real animals and they genocide never happen

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Mario: pleas look at khojaly genocide and so many bad armenian have done to Turkey and Azerbaijan… they have done genocide to us 3 times.. But no one knows you just know fake armenia “genocide” for exemple Canakkale 1915 – why no one notice this? Or that armenia occupied 20% of our Azerbaijani nagorno karabakh land.. They are not human and armenia genocide is not real and it never will be real

Mario
Guest
Mario

@ Well today i was informed how many Armenians managed to survive back then..
880.000 only Armenians out of the 2.300.000 overall escaped from their death from Ottomans..
Just only the 38% of the whole armenian population lived from the genocide unfortunately..
1,500.000 others were just not lucky enough & were lost..
Hundreds thousands children including the still unborn babies inside the womb along with women & elderly people were brutally killed..
So it really IS a genocide just honestly speaking..
Even many turks admit that & don’t deny that this did happen..

The page of G-ene-A-olog-Y on facebook is gone now as i noticed..

Mario ~ 4Get The Past & Live 4 Today
Guest
Mario ~ 4Get The Past & Live 4 Today

Personally i choose G-ene-A-olog-Y & Monika <3
Tie 4 me.. 🙂

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Great article and four great choices <3

Arianator
Guest
Arianator

Armenia genocide is not