Sweden wins Eurovision Song Contest

 

Sweden's Loreen thanked voters before performing her winning track Euphoria

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Favourite Loreen has triumphed for Sweden at the 57th Eurovision Song Contest, with her club track Euphoria.

The former Swedish Idol contestant led from early on in the voting at Baku, challenged only by Russia's Buranovo Grannies, Serbia and hosts Azerbaijan.

British entry Engelbert Humperdinck, who opened the contest with his ballad Love Will Set You Free, finished second from last - despite high hopes.

The 76-year-old said he "did the best for my country".

"I've had many highs in my career and Eurovision has been a wonderful experience," he said.

"I want to thank everybody, especially my fans around the world for their words of support.

"I did the best for my country, the rest was out of my hands."

However, at least the British star was spared the humiliation of 'nil points'.

Poor draw

The crooner, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, received just 12 points - from Estonia, Latvia, Belgium and Ireland.

The UK has not won since 1997 and has come last three times in the past 10 years.

There were high hopes for Humperdinck - affectionately known as "The Hump" - given his huge global fanbase, but his draw as first to sing in the contest seemingly proved detrimental.

Viewers often tune in late and miss the early contenders, and no opening act has gone on to win since 1984.

Russia's Buranovskiye Babushki Russia's Buranovskiye Babushki were well received in Baku but it was not enough to clinch a win

Twenty six countries took part in the final in Azerbaijan's spectacular Crystal Hall, in front of a live audience of some 20,000.

Up to 125 million typically watch the annual contest on television around the world.

Loreen racked up a massive 372 points on the leader board, leaving a trail of disappointed contenders in her wake.

A combination of points from televoting and national juries decides the winner.

Each country awards points to 10 competitors based on judges' scores and a public vote, with 12 points being the maximum awarded.

"I love you so much. Thank you for believing in me," the 28-year-old Swede told her supporters, as she took to the stage to sing one final time.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without you."

Eurovision Song Contest

  • Created by Marcel Bezencon in 1955
  • First held in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1956, when the winning song was Refrain performed by Lys Assia
  • Twenty-six countries competed in the 2012 final
  • Watch clips and find out more at the Eurovision website (www.eurovision.tv)
  • Country profile: Azerbaijian

Euphoria has already topped the charts in five countries, including Sweden and neighbouring Finland. Norway had the dubious honour of last place.

Bagpipes, blindfolds and water fountains all featured in a typically extravagant contest, as well as a celebrated group of Russian pensioners, who performed Party for Everyone, a cross between a traditional folk tune and a dance track, to rapturous applause.

Ireland, who were represented by Jedward for the second year in a row, came 19th - with 46 points - an unexpected slump on their previous performance in 2011, which saw them come eighth.

Their performance of pop track Waterline closed with the 20-year-old Grimes twins jumping into a fountain in the middle of the stage.

 

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  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 334.

    Sure, there is a lot of political voting. But can anyone honestly say that Sweden got more than 350 more points than the UK PURELY because of political voting? Of course not. Generally, the most best song wins (and yes, that is a very subjective term) because no-one country has that many "friendly" countries...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 333.

    Whew, glad we didn't win, the cost of staging next years would be prohibitive.

  • rate this
    +25

    Comment number 332.

    I'm a songwriter & musician. Sweden's song was perfectly written, ticking all the right boxes, & pretty well sung. The UK entry was a poor song, & poorly performed. Yes, there is a voting bias, but the fact that the UK entry did so poorly – and the Irish for that matter too – was pure & simply the fact that the ingredients weren't good enough. Nothing to do with bias or viewers tuning in late.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 331.

    If it really were all about "political voting" then Russia would certainly not be second & Norway wouldn't have come last! Romania has large numbers of Magyars, therefore cultural/musical interest will be similar. 50% of the vote of each country is determined by a panel of judges and the remainder is the televote. Why can't we take defeat -- and improve our impression abroad?! It's a bit of fun!

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 330.

    I have watched Eurovision for over 50 years (how sad am I?) but me thinks it is time to withdraw and say goodbye to it now. Blue managed 11th place, but last and next to last - you've got to be kidding me! Poor Enge - 'cause it wasn't a bad song. Feel sorry too for the songwriters who put their reputations on the line! Auntie Beeb, it's definitely time to save money and come out of it!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 329.

    Cringe making drivel !

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 328.

    Those who describe the voting as 'political' miss the point. Most people aren't political. They vote for people they like. And after so many years of macho UK leaders putting two fingers up the rest of the world community, refusing to work cooperatively with the rest of Europe, killing millions of foreign children in illegal wars, etc. etc. there are few people left who like us.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 327.

    In the days gone by, the song writer would appear, sit at the grand piano and play his/her tune accompanied by an orchestra or band, the onus was on the live performance, also the songs would not be available beforehand to get into the charts. It has all changed, this is Eurovision 21st century with no live bands but a sort of tech karaoke backdrop.Our song was not right for this era.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 326.

    I haven't watched the Eurovision for years. However, last night, everyone was so flaked out owing to the heat of the day, we just switched on the TV and sat there like potatoes watching the proceedings.

    We absorbed the contest in awe until, after an hour or so, I couldn't stand it any longer and broke the silence by saying;

    "This is why we should never have joined Europe"

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 325.

    I just love watching ignorance in action.

    It's amazing that so many do not know what EUROVISION is!!!!

    Mind you the high standard of poor education may have a great deal to with it.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 324.

    The whole thing is past its sell-by-date. The obvious bias towards the Eastern European nations coupled with the fearful competitiveness has reduced this once camp extravaganza to an embarrassing expensive waste of time. I've been a fan for over 30 years, but this was the last time for me. The party's over - there's just a few people who don't realise it.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 323.

    275.Trumptonfireman

    Don't forget the Falklands.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 322.

    I thought Engleberts song was quite middle of the road, but "suitable" for eurovision considering that the winning songs are normally mundane pap. I was a bit dissapointed tha England never won, but wont get the hump about it.

  • rate this
    +24

    Comment number 321.

    I can't understand the choice of song for the UK. Hearing it for the first time on the radio several weeks ago, it was obvious it was not going to do well in a competition where it would have to make an instant impression. To be honest, it has grown on me, but only with time.
    I did notice that the Swedish entry was a no.1 hit in several countries at the moment!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 320.

    Funny how everybody always complains it's a political vote if their country did bad. The British entry just didn't hit the nerv of the time as a previous post said might have done well in the 70's but todays taste of music is different. Britain has a lot of great bands and singers but you don't have the courage to send them in.
    How come if votings are all so political Germany won few years back?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 319.

    As a BBC licence payer I think it is about time we stop entering this competition and wasting our money. How much does it cost for the BBC to cover this by sending the likes of Graham Norton and Ken Bruce over there. Let's just face it we will never win and like an earlier comment we could send Take That and still come last.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 318.

    It seems quite popular in most European countries. However, I wonder who is allegedly voting on behalf of Italy, as the program is not aired in Italy and pretty much no one knows about it. Only Italian people like me living abroad know it exists and still do not watch it!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 317.

    Was the plan that we would have a chance of winning or to ensure that we would not be lumbered with the expense next year?

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 316.

    Am I the only guy who thought Loreen was a bit scary looking and not at all your typical Swede?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 315.

    Humperdink's song wasn't very good, but the quality of songs in general this year was terrible. Last year things seemed pretty decent - votes seemed to be distributed more fairly, lots of really good songs (who can forgot the Moldovan rock gnomes?) but this year? There wasn't one, not one single song that held any interest for me in terms of ever wanting to hear them again.

 

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