DHAKA: Favourite Loreen has triumphed for Sweden at the 57th Eurovision Song Contest, with her club track Euphoria.
The former Swedish Idol contestant led from early on in the voting at Baku, challenged only by Russia’s Buranovo Grannies, Serbia and hosts Azerbaijan.
British entry Engelbert Humperdinck, who opened the contest with his ballad Love Will Set You Free, finished second from last - despite high hopes.
The 76-year-old said he ‘did the best for my country’.
‘I’ve had many highs in my career and Eurovision has been a wonderful experience’, he said.
‘I want to thank everybody, especially my fans around the world for their words of support.’
‘I did the best for my country, the rest was out of my hands.’
However, at least the British star was spared the humiliation of ‘nil points’.
The 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 10 years.
There were high hopes for Humperdinck - affectionately known as ‘The Hump’ - given his huge global fanbase, but his draw as first to sing in the contest seemingly proved detrimental.
Viewers often tune in late and miss the early contenders.
Twenty six countries took part in the final in Azerbaijan’s spectacular Crystal Hall, in front of a live audience of some 20,000.
Up to 125 million typically watch the annual contest on television around the world.
Loreen racked up a massive 372 points on the leader board, leaving a trail of disappointed contenders in her wake.
BDST: 1246 HRS, MAY 27, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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