Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow beats out Russia and Italy to win this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
An off-key contestant wasn't the only sound Eurovision 2015 organisers were dreading at the grand final in Vienna on Saturday night (local time).
The song contest's techies took the unprecedented precaution of installing anti-booing technology to protect the Russian contestant Polina Gagarina from copping the same anti-Russian sentiment as her predecessors.
The sour greeting was widely considered a response to Russia's heavily criticised military actions in Ukraine, and its stance on homosexuality.
"It was very embarrassing for us last year when this happened, as it is not in the spirit of the contest," Eurovision communications coordinator Jarmo Siim told The Moscow Times on Monday.
Siim refused to go into detail about how their sound-reducing technology worked, saying only that the buffer was a "plan B" and would stifle booing on the broadcast.
"It is the first time we have prepared in this way, we want to be ready in all scenarios [but] we have high expectations that nothing like this will happen," he said.
Europe's displeasure over Russia's domestic and international policies still hung over this year's Eurovision.
Russia's anti-gay marriage legislation (Thumbs up here) directly conflicted with changing attitudes across Europe. Most recently Ireland voted 'yes' in its referendum on legalising gay marriage. And economic sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its actions in the Ukraine are still in place.
The Eurovision hosts asked the crowd not to boo several times throughout the broadcast and when last year's winner Conchita Wurst asked the green room of Eurovision contestants to cheer Russia the response was meager.
But the mysterious anti-booing buffer seemed to hamper the boos in the broadcast to some extent.
Mans Zelmerloew celebrates winning the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden.While media attending the grand final at Vienna's Wiener Stadthalle reported hearing some booing from the 11,000-strong crowd, cheers and applause almost overwhelmed the boos that made their way into the lounge rooms of the international audience who had tuned in to watch the live broadcast.
The level of anti-Russian sentiment paled in comparison to last year, according to reports from the Eurovision arena, with British Eurovision host Graham Norton saying "the cheers were real" following Gagarina's performance of her song A Million Voices.
For its part, Russia seemed to be placating its detractors with its song choice this year, appealing for peace and acceptance.
Gagarina openly wept during the cheers and applause that followed her grand final performance, which clinched the songstress' place among the favourites to win the competition.
But the songstress managed to attract criticism from conservatives at home after she posted a backstage video of herself hugging and blowing air kisses to last year's drag queen winner Conchita Wurst.
Prominent St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov who spearheaded Russia's anti-gay legislation responded by saying "Don't you dare soil Russia by hugging the europervert," Russia's NTV.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Cyrill said he hoped Russia lost, calling the song contest "a hotbed of sodomy", and "all those bearded female singers [are] repulsive to our soul and our culture".
Despite the acrimony from both the left and the right, Russia's good odds were not surprising and not far off the mark.
Even in 2014 the animosity towards the superpower was not enough to overwhelm Eurovision's credentials as an arena of soft politics as much as entertainment. A strong former-soviet voting bloc helped secure seventh place for the Tolmachevy sisters.
And when all the votes were counted on Saturday night, the buffered Gagarina nabbed second place.