Sweden has won the Eurovision Song Contest.
Bookies favourite 28-year-old Loreen topped the leader board with 372 points for her club hit ‘Euphoria’, which has already reached number one in the charts back home.
“I couldn’t believe it. It was like everything just stopped. And still, I can’t really believe it. It will take me a couple of hours before I do,” said the former Swedish Idol winner.
There was a collective sigh of relief from many European countries when Sweden took the crown on Saturday night. The triumph means Stockholm
will arrange next year’s song contest.
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Though normally an honour for the winning nation, it’s seen as an unnecessary expense for some cash-strapped countries in these austere times.
While Sweden celebrates its fifth Eurovision win, its main challenger – Russia’s bread-baking Babooshkas – will be heading back to the remote republic of Udmurtia having come second in the poll.
Buranovskiye Babushki’s agent Maria Tolstuhina says the ladies don’t mind not winning: “If we had won, we would have had to complete a European tour and sing from morning till night,” she said. “Now though, we can have a break and get back to tending our gardens.”
The elderly Russians’ folksy hit ‘Party for Everybody’
beat Serbia and host nation Azerbaijan into third and fourth place respectively.
The UK’s entry by 60s crooner Engelbert Humperdinck could only manage second from last position.
Our reporter Galina Polonskya was in the Azeri capital: “Baku’s Chrystal Hall welcomed a crowd of about 20,000 people for this year’s song contest.
It became clear early on in the voting that Sweden would take the Eurovision trophy. So the Scandinavian country will be proudly hosting next year’s finals.”
Also read: Eurovision: the great voting conspiracy