Euphoria for Sweden as it wins Eurovision Song Contest
Loreen, from Sweden, won the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 last night with her performance of Euphoria.
The 28-year-old singer performed barefoot on the stage in a live act that was broadcast to more than 100 million people.
Juries and television viewers from across Europe awarded Loreen a total of 372 points, handing her an easy win in an event that ended in the early hours of this morning in host country Azerbaijan.
Russia’s Buranovskiye Babushki finished in second place in the 57th annual edition of the contest. Their folksy dance on Party for Everybody couldn’t quite match Sweden’s more contemporary offering and ended up scoring 259 points.
Željko Joksimović, a Eurovision regular from Serbia, came in a distant third with his slow and stripped-down song choice, Nije Ljubav Stvar.
The UK’s Engelbert Humperdinck, who Scottish comedian Robert Florence remarked on Twitter looked “like an inaccurate waxwork of Johnny Cash,” proved to be a failure, scoring a disappointing 12 points. Only Norway’s Tooji did worse, coming 26th with seven points.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you. Thank you so much,” Loreen said after her victory was announced.
To promote talent over politically encouraged bloc voting, professional judges now account for 50 per cent of a performer’s score. The other half comes from the number of telephone and SMS votes each contestant receives, with fans unable to vote for their own country’s entry.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been a launchpad for many international careers. Swedish pop group Abba became famous after winning in 1974 with Waterloo. Canada’s Celine Dion won in 1988 while competing for Switzerland.
As the winners, Sweden will be hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Watch Loreen’s performance of Euphoria here: