The Marcel Bezençon Awards were founded by Christer Björkman and Richard Herrey of the group Herreys in 2002 and named after the late Swiss broadcaster who founded the concept of the Eurovision Song Contest. They are given out annually to the best competing songs in that year's grand final. The trophy design remains similar from year to year, but is designed with the flag of the host country as the central theme.
Although sanctioned by the contest itself, they are not presented during the live broadcast of the final. They are often presented either before the final or at an after-party following the event.
The awards are divided into 3 categories:
This award is given to the best song as voted on by all members of the accredited media each year, both digital and print. The current holder of this award is Barbara Pravi of France for the song Voilà.
This award is given to the best artist of that year. Prior to 2010, the award was voted on by a panel of past Eurovision winners, but since 2010 it is voted on by all of the national commentators. The current holder of this award is Barbara Pravi of France.
This award is given to the song deemed the best and most original by a panel of the competing composers of that year. It replaced the Fan Award in 2004, which was voted on by members of the OGAE. The current holder of this award is Gjon's Tears of Switzerland for the song Tout l'univers.
In 2008, a special award was given out called the "Poplight Fan Award", given to the best young performer under the age of 25 and voted on by fans of the contest.