27 May 2012

Sweden wins Eurovision song contest

1:09 pm on 27 May 2012

Swedish contestant Loreen has won the Eurovision Song Contest, edging out a popular choir of elderly women from a remote village in Russia.

Loreen's club anthem Euphoria won a total of 372 points, easily outscoring entries from her nearest rivals from Russia, Serbia and hosts Azerbaijan.

Second was Russian choir Buranovskiye Babushki (Buranovo grannies), a group of elderly women who warmed the hearts of audiences with their disco song in traditional dress.

Serbia, represented by the hugely popular Eurovision veteran Zeljko Joksimovic came third in the competition held this year the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

The victory earns Sweden the right to host the competition next year.

Sweden has won the annual music extravaganza five times since it first took part in 1958.

It first won the contest in Brighton in England in 1974 with the instantly memorable hit Waterloo by iconic group ABBA - for many the band and the song that defined the competition forever.

British entry Engelbert Humperdinck, who opened the contest with his ballad Love Will Set You Free, finished second from last, the BBC reports.

The 76-year-old 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 decade.

The contest is decided by a combination of votes cast by text by people in Eurovision member nations and decisions of professional juries in each country.