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Chat Awards 2018: The winners!

by | Dec 31, 2018

Chat Awards 2018: The winners!

by | Dec 31, 2018 | Chat Awards, Featured |

The voting is over and we can now present the winners of the #esc Chat Awards for 2018!

Like usual, we closed the door on the previous year by asking our regular chatters to vote for their favourites in a selection of categories. And this is how they chose to remember the 2018 season:

Best official preview video for an ESC 2018 song
Despite tough competition from Netta’s colourful extravaganza and Cesár Sampson cavorting in the snow, the winner in this category was Ireland. “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy came with a memorable preview video featuring same-sex dancers on the streets of Dublin, a performance that was subsequently recreated on the Lisbon stage. Indeed, one of the dancers, Alan McGrath, was nominated in the hottest person category – but more about that later!

Best national final of the 2018 season
National finals are important to this site, as they provide the calendar around which we gather in the #esc chat, enjoy the shows together and give the votes that ultimately feed into our annual SongHunt. When it came to the best national final of the season, our chatters were in little doubt – they gave the award to France, which reactivated its public selection for the first time in many years in the shape of Destination Eurovision. Three songs from that selection also made it into the final of SongHunt 2019, so the French victory in this category wasn’t a huge surprise.

Best song at ESC 2018
Always a tough category to judge – we all have our top ten list (or even a top 43), but how to pick just one favourite song from the most recent Eurovision Song Contest? Unsurprisingly, then, the votes were all over the place. The top two from our ChatVote, Albania and Hungary, remain popular with our chatters and both put up a strong fight, but the winner in this category ended up being Portugal. “O jardim” by Cláudia Pascoal and songwriter Isaura may have finished at the bottom of the final scoreboard back in May, but #esc decided that the host country’s entry deserved some love right at the end of the year!

Best artist (solo or group) at ESC 2018
This is where our ChatVote winner showed its worth. Eugent Bushpepa from Albania destroyed all competition in this category and was duly crowned #esc’s favourite artist at ESC 2018. Only Eleni Foureira from Cyprus put up any kind of a fight, but in the end it was more “po, po, zjarr” than “yeah, yeah, fire”.

Best visual concept at ESC 2018
Was there ever any doubt? DoReDos from Moldova made a splash in the press centre with the very first rehearsal of their six-person hide-and-seek game – and their Carry On Up The Dniester antics won them the 2018 Chat Award for best visual concept by some distance. Here’s how it was done:

Hottest person at ESC 2018 or in a national final
Reviewing the year in hotness is never an unpleasant task, and our voters were keen to get stuck in, with no fewer than eight nominations in this category. It was a tight contest in the end, with Sergiu Mita from Moldova coming close (so to speak), but the #esc hottie of the year is Aron Veress, the drummer from Hungarian band AWS. Viszlát nyár? Viszlát phwoar, more like.

#esc cult of the year
Don’t tell anyone, but this final category is probably our favourite. The “#esc cult of the year” rewards the thing that we enjoyed or laughed at the most in the chat. There were some incredibly strong nominees this year, including classic trashpop from Albania, the legendary Sammarinese robots, the beautiful(ly weird) Romanian audition by Gabriela Garlonta, Alekseev’s bizarre stage show (and oversized mouth) for Belarus, the immortal words of Eleni Foureira, and the pharmacy advert that soundtracked six wonderful weeks of the Romanian selection process. However, the win went to another standout from Romania: guest judge Ilinca, who not only spent her time in the Turda salt mine getting progressively colder, but who also found an ingenious way to transcend the language barrier live on air:

Congratulations to all of our wonderful winners, and thanks to our #esc chatters for their votes. It was a memorable ESC year – now let’s see what 2019 brings!

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