News Update :

Sweden triumphs in controversial song contest

Monday, May 28, 2012

SWEDEN: Swedish star Loreen beat off a challenge from dancing Russian pensioners on Saturday to win a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan that the host hoped would banish qualms over its rights record. Loreen, 28, wowed voters with a catchy dance number called “Euphoria” featuring an upbeat chorus accompanied by a high-kicking dance duet and a storm of artificial snow.

She brandished the glass microphone trophy in a shower of gold ticker-tape at a post-contest news conference.

“It's just a question of taste. This year it happened to me,” she modestly explained her victory.

She hugged her mother and smiled, referring back to the title of her song as she explained she felt at her win: “I know this sounds corny, but euphoric.”

The victory brings Eurovision back to one of its heartlands.

Sweden's most famous band Abba gained worldwide fame after winning the contest in 1974 with “Waterloo” -- for many the song that defined the kitschy contest for all time.

“Hallelujah!” exlaimed the head of the Swedish delegation in Baku, Christer Bjorkman at the news conference.

Loreen's win took Sweden's total of Eurovision trophies to five, making it one of the most successful countries at winning the quirky contest. But it last struck gold more than a decade ago in 1999.

Second place on Saturday went to Russia's heartwarming Buranovskiye Babushki, a choir of elderly women from a village who performed a disco song “Party for Everybody” in English and their local Finno-Ugric language with a stove and a tray as props.

Third was Serbian Eurovision veteran Zelijko Joksimovic who had already competed in three previous contests, once as a singer and twice as a composer.

Eurovision is the biggest event ever hosted by energy-rich Azerbaijan as it seeks to present a glitzy front to the world despite the intolerance of dissent and opposition under the rule of the Aliyev dynasty.

AFP
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