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article imageEurovision to install anti-booing technology for Russian act

By James Walker     May 22, 2015 in Technology
The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are installing "anti-booing" technology for the final this year. It comes after Russia's performance was met with heavy crowd protests last year, something that organisers have called "embarrassing."
Describing the booing of Russia's Tomachevy Sisters last year during their performance of "Shine," Eurovision Communications Coordinator Jarmo Siim told the Moscow Times "It was very embarrassing for us last year when this happened, as it is not in the spirit of the contest."
Mashable reports the crowd protested Russia's actions in Ukraine and its stance on gay rights but that Eurovision organisers are keen to avoid the events being repeated at this year's final, to be shown across Europe on Saturday. Performing in Vienna, Polina Gagarina will represent Russia with "A Million Voices."
Gagarina has said Eurovision's policy of requiring singers to wear two earphones will prevent her from hearing any booing regardless of the new technology that the organisers are bringing in. Eager to ensure the atmosphere is not tainted by the rumble of politics and complex foreign policies, "sound reducers" will be used to mask unsatisfied noises from the atmosphere as required.
The details of exactly how the sound will be filtered out have not been revealed but Slim told the Moscow Times that the "Plan A is to use regular audience sound", suggesting that speakers will simply play sounds of the clapping and cheers of an ordinary crowd. There are reportedly "several options" ready to be deployed as required in the case of an unruly audience presence.
Slim explained that the intention is to ensure that Eurovision's motto holds true, explaining "We are here to build bridges, as the motto says." The 60th Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in Vienna tomorrow from 8 p.m. local time and will be broadcast live by the major TV stations throughout Europe.
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