Sweden claims Eurovision with Euphoria

Sweden won the Eurovision Song Contest for the fifth time. Euphoria by 28 year-old TV talent show winner Loreen was a popular choice in the final in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Loreen pulled out all the usual Eurovision tricks with high-kicking dancers, an artificial snow storm and glitzy costumes. Unusually for a Eurovision winner though, the song was a high-tempo dance number that wouldn’t be out of place in the clubs.

Sweden has an impressive record in the competition. The 1974 winners Abba, who won with Waterloo, even enjoyed a career after Eurovision, confounding the notion that the contest is for novelty one-hit wonders who are instantly forgotten.

That might be the case with the runners-up, a bizarre group of Russian grannies belting out a disco number called Party For Everybody in English and Finno-Ugric (not one of pop’s most successful languages in the past) while dancing around a stove and tea tray.

Ireland, with its empty treasury, simply cannot afford to host another Eurovision as winners, so cannily entered Jedward, who had no chance of winning. The UK’s entry Engelbert Humperdinck scored a dismal 12 points and finished second last with his arthritic ballad Love Will Set You Free, confirming that the British ability to unite all Europe in antipathy at Eurovision time remains impressive.

"It's just a question of taste," the winner Loreen said as she collected the trophy, to widespread sniggers across the British Isles. "This year it happened to me. I know this sounds corny, but I feel euphoric."

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