24 May 2015

Eurovision: Sweden victorious, Australia fifth

12:30 pm on 24 May 2015

Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow has won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, beating Russia and Italy in the world's biggest international music show.

Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow holds the throphy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow holds the throphy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: AFP

The 28-year-old singer and TV presenter, who had been a bookmakers' favourite, performed his winning electro-pop ballad 'Heroes', dancing in front of a black screen with animated gnomes.

Todd Niall and Wallace Chapman

Todd Niall (left) with Wallace Chapman Photo: Wallace Chapman

The win means his home country will stage next year's event.

This year's theme was "building bridges", which many artists interpreted as an appeal for tolerance in performances that included a gay kiss scene by Lithuania.

"We are all heroes no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in," Zelmerlow said, after a hug from last year's victor, bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst of Austria.

The annual kitsch-fest was watched last year by more than 195 million people in 45 countries.

Viewers are often puzzled by the inclusion of countries outside Europe such as Israel, and the net was cast even wider this year.

To mark 60 years since the first Eurovision in 1955, Australia was given a wild card entry for this year only. Singer Guy Sebastian finished fifth, behind Belgium.

Sweden last won the 60-year-old competition in 2012.

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