The Unsung Heroes of Eurovision
May 25, 2015 7:13 AM   Subscribe

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest winner has now been crowned (previously), but the real stars of the contest were the fabulous and entertaining International Sign interpreters.

For the first time ever, viewers of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest had the option to watch the entire contest with International Sign (IS) interpretation. A team of interpreters, almost all of them Deaf themselves, spent months extracting key themes from each song and creating recorded interpretations to be incorporated into the live broadcasts. The resulting performances, including hosting duties handled by Sandra Schügerl and Georg Marsh, are often more entertaining than the original, and have a lot to offer even hearing audiences. However, team leader Delil Yilmaz differentiates their work from that of interpreter Tommy Krångh (previously), whose gestures could "produce visual overload" for Deaf viewers.

Watch the full IS recordings of the first semifinal, second semifinal, and Grand Final, or check out individual performances:

Camilla Abelgren-Michaelsen
-- Albania
-- Belarus
-- Czech Republic
-- Denmark
-- Germany
-- Latvia
-- Poland

Jonas Akanno
-- Belgium
-- Finland

Xiaoshu Alice Hu
-- Australia
-- Georgia
-- Lithuania
-- Moldova
-- Netherlands
-- San Marino
-- Serbia
-- Slovenia

Ragna Huse
-- Armenia
-- Hungary
-- Iceland
-- Malta
-- Portugal
-- Russia
-- Spain

Karin Lang
-- Austria
-- Estonia
-- Greece
-- Ireland
-- Montenegro
-- Norway
-- Switzerland

Delil Yilmaz
-- Azerbaijan
-- Conchita Medley
-- Cyprus
-- France
-- FYR Macedonia
-- Israel
-- Italy
-- Rise Like a Phoenix, Part I and Part 2
-- Romania
-- Sweden
-- United Kingdom
posted by zebra (15 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Noooo.... the links are broken!
posted by hoyland at 7:14 AM on May 25, 2015

(To clarify, the country-by-country ones are.)
posted by hoyland at 7:14 AM on May 25, 2015

Ugh, sorry. I've asked this to be deleted and I will repost ...
posted by zebra at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2015

They're working for me. Xiaoshu Alice Hu spends a lot of the Australian one doing shots. Fantastic!
posted by kjs4 at 7:20 AM on May 25, 2015

The links work if you replace the (first) '&' with a '?'.
posted by you at 7:57 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I missed the UK song due to a late dinner on Saturday so this was the first time I'd seen it delivered. We would have been better off sending just the signing guy.

Any idea what they are signing when they do stuff before the lyrics starts?
posted by biffa at 8:27 AM on May 25, 2015

In passing: according to the people who were actually there, there was a lot of booing whenever Russia got points. And apparently Eurovision used anti-booing filters, and if that didn't do the trick, the cheering you heard was pre-recorded.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:47 AM on May 25, 2015

Damn, wrong thread. Meant to post it in the other one. Anyway, it's an interesting fact nonetheless.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:49 AM on May 25, 2015

Mod note: Swapped out the links, should work better for folks now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:59 AM on May 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

thanks again, cortex!
posted by zebra at 9:00 AM on May 25, 2015

Round of applause for the post title.

Also: nice to have fresh reasons to listen to Belgium on loop for a bit
posted by garlicsmack at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2015

I watched it live and the audience were indeed very quiet during and after Russia's performance. Also the audience was waving rainbow flags with "PACE" overwritten, dominating over the country flags that had been waving previously. The cameras didn't spend much time on the audience -- but having said that they did the same after most acts, cutting to the audience and then to the next act backstage.
posted by tracicle at 10:29 AM on May 25, 2015

I hope the signers for Belgium and Australia went out for drinks together! I loved seeing the way each of them signed pounding a beer...
posted by TwoStride at 11:07 AM on May 25, 2015

Also the audience was waving rainbow flags with "PACE" overwritten, dominating over the country flags that had been waving previously. The cameras didn't spend much time on the audience […]
I seem to specifically recall a shot from the back of the stadium, over the audience’s heads, showing the Russian performance on stage, with 4 non-waving, raised rainbow flags in the middle of my TV screen. I even wrote a Facebook status specifically about it. But the moment they are on screen in the front-post linked video seems to be much shorter than I remember it.

Still, that moment stuck with me, and hopefully with many others.

I feel bad for Ms Gagarina though, the song wasn’t even that bad, fitted very well with what we have come to know from Eurovision. It was definitely worth the high points it got. Still I was rooting for them to lose, simply because I didn’t want them to organise Eurovision next year.
posted by Martijn at 12:28 PM on May 25, 2015

Seems like they should use two interpreters for a duet.
posted by adamrice at 4:08 PM on May 26, 2015

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