Denmark won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Swedish city of Malmoe early Sunday with the song “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest.
Denmark, widely tipped to win the annual music competition, took the honours ahead of the 25 other finalists in a glittering ceremony watched by millions of viewers across Europe.
The Scandinavian country last won the contest in 2000 with “Fly on the wings of love” by Olsen Brothers, also in Sweden.
The 20-year-old singer performed the winning entry barefoot — as has been her trademark since she began performing in her early teens — against a flaming backdrop.
After winning Tuesday’s semi-final she became the bookmakers’ only odds on candidate.
Azerbaijan took silver in Saturday’s competition.
Farid Mammadov’s emotional ballad “Hold me” was one of several eye-catching performances during the evening, the singer’s moves mirrored by a dancer inside a glass cage.
Crisis-stricken Greece pulled ahead in early voting but soon fell back, calming fears it would have to host the costly event next year.
The country had initially ruled out taking part this year because of the costs involved, but reversed its decision after a private broadcaster stepped in to finance the production of the country’s national final.
Their song, “Alcohol Is Free”, by Koza Mostra and Agathon Iakovidis, used metaphors to describe Greece’s suffering during the economic crisis.
Sweden had pledged to scale back the spectacular music fest after costs soared in recent years, vowing to stage a sparkling show for a fraction of what last year’s host Azerbaijan spent.
Some estimates put the price tag for regenerating Baku at one billion dollars (780 million euros).
By comparison, Swedish organisers had a budget of 125 million kronor (14.5 million euros, $18.7 million.)