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Saturday 14 December 2019

Another Eurovision disaster for UK

Engelbert Humperdinck performs during the final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)
Engelbert Humperdinck performs during the final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)
Sweden's Loreen won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)

The UK's hopes of breaking its Eurovision curse came crashing down when veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck scraped into last-but-one place in this year's contest.

He opened the show in Baku, Azerbaijan, with ballad Love Will Set You Free - but seemed to have been forgotten by the time voting started, 25 songs later.

Not even a lucky necklace given to him by Elvis Presley could help Humperdinck, who scored points from only Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Ireland and ended up languishing near the bottom of the leader board.

The singer, nicknamed The Hump, scored a total of 12 - ending up just one position above Norway, famous for gaining "nul points" in the annual competition.

The contest was won by Swedish singer Loreen with dance track Euphoria. She had been the bookies' favourite and romped home with a landmark victory, scoring 372 points. Speaking after the win, she said: "I want to say that I love you so much. Thank you for believing in me."

Popular act Buranovskiye Babushki - the six strong group of pensioners nicknamed The Russian Grannies - came second with Party for Everyone and were notable for performing with a revolving oven on the stage.

Speaking after his performance, Humperdinck said: "I had a great time, a very wonderful time. I hope everyone listening to the song... we shared the song with every generation. I sang it from my heart."

Humperdinck's song was written by Sacha Skarbek - who teamed up with James Blunt to compose You're Beautiful - and record producer Martin Terefe. There was a UK link to another act as jazz musician Jamie Cullum wrote the German entry, Standing Still.

PA Media

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