Sweden wins Eurovision Song Contest
Published 24/05/2015 | 00:26
Sweden has been crowned the winner of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest for Mans Zelmerlow's performance of Heroes.
It is the sixth time in the contest's history that Sweden has come out on top, this time fighting off strong competition from Russia and Italy to take home the prize and be confirmed as the host of next year's competition.
UK act Electro Velvet came away with a disappointing five points for their track Still In Love With You, which saw primary school teacher and Mick Jagger tribute Alex Larke perform alongside former Voice contestant Bianca Nicholas for an electro-swing number.
Australia was welcomed to the competition for the first time as a special guest to mark the 60th anniversary, with Guy Sebastian, a successful musician in his home country, offering Tonight Again as the country's debut track and ending up in fifth place.
Lithuania drew praise for what appeared to be its support of gay rights by including a double same-sex kiss during the performance.
Serbia impressed with Bojana Stamenov singing Beauty Never Lies, a song penned by Charlie Mason who wrote last year's winning song Rise Like A Phoenix for Austria's Conchita Wurst.
Russia, Belgium and Latvia were also among the favourites and drew in the votes from across Europe.
Other notable acts included show opener Slovenia, whose act wore headphones throughout the performance and featured a dancer on air violin.
Voting followed the typical bloc system often seen in Eurovision, with neighbouring Balkan and former USSR countries awarding each other top points. However, many countries strayed from their traditional voting patterns to send Russia, Sweden and Italy into the lead.
Austria and Germany were the only countries to receive the embarrassing Eurovision score of nul points.
This year, TV cook Nigella Lawson called in the UK's votes, showing off her German, Italian and French language skills as she read out the results which included 12 points for Sweden, 10 for Australia and eight for Italy.
The contest this year was held at the Wiener Stadthalle and saw 2014's victor Wurst as one of the hosts, who also kicked off the competition with a song based around the competition's theme, building bridges, and gave a performance of a new track later in the evening.
Graham Norton hosted the UK's TV coverage of the contest for BBC One.
Electro Velvet said: "Obviously it is disappointing to finish on the right hand side of the board but we have had the most amazing, brilliant, unforgettable time being part of this unique competition in this special year.
"We put our hearts and souls into representing our country and would like to thank everyone back at home and around the world that got behind us, it really means a lot and of course we also want to congratulate Sweden and Mans Zelmerlow on their well-deserved victory."