19 May 2013

Eurovision Song Contest won by Denmark

12:43 pm on 19 May 2013

Denmark has won this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Emmelie de Forest was crowned for Only Teardrops.

She was widely tipped to win the annual music competition, which began in 1956 to help foster a spirit of unity after World War II. Seven countries took part.

"I could feel the fans and all the energy in the arena .... I'm just the happiest girl in the world," de Forest, 25, said after the event.

She said she was proud to win in Sweden as her late father was Swedish and a Eurovision fan. She grew up in Stockholm.

Denmark previously won the contest in 1963 and 2000. It will host the contest next year.

Second in the vote was Farid Mammadov of Azerbaijan with Hold Me, followed by Ukraine with Gravity.

The event in Malmo, Sweden, was watched by an estimated 125 million viewers on Saturday night.

Sweden has won the title five times since Waterloo by Abba in 1974.

Former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjoern Ulvaeus wrote a special Eurovision anthem to open the show.

Singer Sarah Dawn Finer performed ABBA's classic The Winner Takes It All before the votes were revealed.

Disco station

To help arriving fans get into the Eurovision spirit, Malmo's main train station was on Saturday decked with disco balls and a small dance floor.

Several countries including Portugal, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia withdrew this year due to austerity.

Greece initially said it would not take part, but reversed its decision after a private broadcaster financed the production of the national final.

Professional judges account for 50% of a performer's score. The other half comes from the number of telephone and SMS votes each contestant receives during the event.

Eurovision has been a launching pad for performers like Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias and Olivia Newton-John.