By Nigar Orujova
The winners of the first international song contest Univision-2013 among university students, organized in Baku by the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Union of Azerbaijan Student Youth Organizations, have been named.
The winner of the inaugural contest is Monika Linkyte, a student of the Vilnius State University, while the second place was claimed by Claudia Popina from the Bucharest National University, and the third-place winner is a representative of Russia, Anastasia Merishan from Tyumen State Oil and Gas University.
Azerbaijani student from Qafqaz University Zerrin Mahmudzade, the winner of the second national Univision 2013 contest, took fourth place at the international contest.
The final competition involved students from 20 countries of Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Representatives of the participating countries were included in the contest jury, which evaluated the performances on a 12-point scale.
The Univision contest under the "Be the first" slogan was held in the format of the Eurovision Song Contest, however, there was no SMS voting and the finalists were chosen by a secret ballot of the board of the universities, which were not allowed to vote for their students.
The prize fund of the contest, which amounted to 6,000 euros, was divided among the three top place winners, with 3,000, 2,000 and 1,000 euros awarded respectively.
Special guests of the show were Eurovision 2011 winner Eldar Gasimov, Eurovision 2013 second place winner Farid Mammadov and popular singer Chingiz Mustafayev.