What a win for Sweden and Måns! He becomes the sixth Swedish act to win, meaning the contest will head back to Scandinavia next year again.
Perhaps it was no surprise, with The Local's Rosie Waites on the scene in Vienna saying that "despite the nail-biting finish, Sweden seemed the popular choice all along". Even I predicted it at 21:58, as you can see if you scroll down.
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Russia is the other big chance tonight. What do we know about Polina Gagarina?
She's accomplished in the music scene, had released a pair of albums, has acted in a film, and speaks Greek.
Her song was written by an international team including Swedes and even an Australian.
Despite this, they still came up with what we reckon is the most cliched chorus rhyming couplet in the whole competition:
Your heart is like a beating drum
Burning brighter than the sun
00:10 Oliver Gee, Paris
Another real chance here is Sweden and Måns Zelmerlöw. Not only is Zelmerlöw a great Scrabble score (if only names were allowed), but he's kinda big in Sweden. There, he's what's known as a svärmorsdröm (a mother-in-law's dream), a kind of clean cut, goodie goodie clean socks, who the girls like and the guys want to be friends with. Well, I wanted to be friends with him when I lived there anyway.
His name is pronounced like "Monns Sell ma lurve" and the stupidest lyric from his song is:
"I make worms turn into butterflies".
00:05 Oliver Gee, Paris
So Italy is looking more and more like a serious chance here. Read a bit more about the nation's act on The Local Italy.
Italy provides one of the very few acts to sing in a language other than English this year.
Here's an excerpt from the lyrics, translated into English.
Love, just love, it’s what I feel…
Tell me why when I think, I only think of you
Tell me why when I see, I only see you
Tell me why when I believe, I believe in you… great love
Tell me that never
That you’ll never leave me...
Better in Italian, perhaps.
00:00 Oliver Gee, Paris
Here's an idea of how seriously the Swedes take it, from The Local Sweden's reporter Emma Löfgren.
Here's how much Sweden loves #ESC: As a child I was only allowed to stay up late two nights a year, New Year's and #Eurovision. #Swe#ESCse
Now the results are streaming in. Settle in, this is going to take a long, long time. And prepare for a lot of neighbourly voting.
I'm wondering if Sweden will actually win. Maybe Europe is sick of Sweden. Could it be Italy? Or could it, could it just be Australia?
23:49 Rosie Waites, Vienna
The voting is over and the energy is starting to fade in the press room as people hunker down to get their reports in but it’s been a fantastic evening so far (apart from the spats about who had what table and why there weren’t enough chairs).
There’s a general consensus that none of the acts are as exciting as Conchita’s star turn last year¨. The strongest show of support in the press room has been for Italy, Sweden and Australia - and some of the noisiest and funnest fans are from Israel.
There’s been whispers that the voting could get political, and this might affect Russia’s chances… let’s see what happens there.
23:40 Rosie Waites, Austria
Waiting for the votes to come in, and I met this German fan wearing a strange military looking ensemble which he says he invented as “a homage to Austria”. He thinks Italy are the clear winners, with Australia coming in maybe third place.
23:25 Rosie Waites, Austria
The vibe from the crowd is that Australia could end up stealing the show. But my top three: Italy, Sweden and Russia.
Meanwhile, check out the serious faces on these three Swedish fans... They have no doubt that Sweden deserves to win but these guys are feeling nervous about the votes and think Italy's boys might beat Måns to first place...
23:20 Oliver Gee, Paris
The acts are all over, it's time to get voting. What a show!!
My tips for the winners: Sweden, Italy, Australia.
23:11 Oliver Gee, Paris
The Local Italy's reporter Sophie Inge shares her thoughts on another favourite - Italy, which to me looks like three guys who'd be better suited to being in a Dolce & Gabbana advert... but the crowd is LOVING it.
"Popera trio Il Volo (The Flight in English) actually stands a real chance of winning this year’s contest – not that Italy cares.
The country has withdrawn from the contest several times with broadcaster Rai citing lack of interest in the competition.
In a recent scathing article sarcastically titled “Five reasons why Il Volo seriously risks winning the Eurovision Song Contest”, Italian journalist Fran Altomare sais the song Grande Amore "is so mediocre that it seems perfect”.
Not all Italians are as negative though. The fact is the boyband are incredibly popular in Italy, and even won the Sanremo Song Contest earlier this year (the most popular singing contest in Italy). They’ve also toured in the US and South America."
23:03 Rosie Waites, Vienna
Just been speaking to a very stylish French fan who’s dressed like Marie Antoinette - he’s here to support France, of course, but otherwise he’s a big fan of Georgia’s Nina Sublatti - “she’s got the best costum, kind of edgy and dark”.
22:54 Oliver Gee, Paris
Here comes Elnur Huseynov from Azerbaijan. The choreography from this song was clearly inspired by Catherine Zeta Jones in the movie Entrapment. You know, the bit where she does yoga through the lasers?!
Still don't know I'm talking about? Ok, here's a YouTube clip of it. Incidentally, the horrible song on this YouTube video is better than the song from Azerbaijan.
22:48 Rosie Waites, Vienna
I can confirm that the press centre is an alcohol free zone… journos here are fuelling themselves on the free pretzels and Mannerschnitten chocolates, there’s going to be a lot of snacks eaten tonight
22:30 Oliver Gee, Paris
Here are some thoughts on the Spanish entry from (big fan) Fiona Govan, Editor of The Local Spain:
This year’s hopeful is Edurne, who is not only beautiful but she can actually sing too, although it is probably a grave mistake to sing in Spanish, especially when she actually has a reasonable command of English.
Although she may not have endeared herself to everyone especially not those hailing from Manchester. She caused controversy by describing the adopted city of her boyfriend (David de Gea, goalie for Mancester United) as “uglier than the back of a fridge”. She may also fell foul of animal rights activists who were outraged at the use of a real tiger in the promotional video for the song “Amanecer”
But we at the Local love her after meeting her at a bash at the Austrian Embassy in Madrid when she recorded a little message especially for us and gave us a blast of her Eurovision chorus.
22:30 Oliver Gee, Paris
This picture is all you need to know about the Latvian entry.
Story continues below…
22:05 Rosie Waites, Vienna
Been chatting to an Austrian journalist (whilst trying to hold on to my half a seat) and she thinks Eurovision has been amazing for Vienna - “it’s given it a personality transplant - it’s more fun and more friendly than it’s ever been”. How long will it last?
22:10 Oliver Gee, Paris
HERE COMES BRUNO MARS FOR AUSTRALIA. Hang on, that's not Bruno Mars, it's Guy Sebastian, the wildcard entry from Australia. He appears to have absolutely killed it, the crowd has gone crazy.
Could Australia and Bruno... I mean Guy... actually win?
As an Australian myself, I hope so.
22:09 Rosie Waites, Vienna
I met an Australian fan earlier, here's what they had to say:
"This is amazing for Australia, people back home are so excited… it’s like Mardi Gras in Sydney. Of course I want Australia to win… you’re gonna vote for them right? It would be such a bloody coup. Sweden is looking like the favourite though."
21:58 Oliver Gee, Paris
Here's Måns Zelmerlöw from Sweden. He is tipped as the winner, and I fancy his chances. In fact, I'm calling it now. Måns will bring back Eurovision glory to Sweden (not long after Loreen won, in fact, with Euphoria).
The gay community has tipped him too:
More from our reporter in Sweden, Emma Löfgren, on Måns:
"Rare though an army of digital stick-figure blob gnomes may seem, Måns Zelmerlöw's tech team has had to give his 'Heroes' gnomes a clothing makeover after the digital special effects were accused of plagiarising performance artist A DandyPunk's 'Alchemy of Light'.
Zelmerlöw himself has created a social media buzz in Europe, not least thanks to a saucy press kit featuring an image of him in just blue and yellow underwear, ready to be dressed in accompanying lederhosen and Conchita Wurst-style beard.
(oh, and The Local's reporter still likes to drop into conversation every now and then how she played volleyball against him in a school tournament some ten years ago. He was just as ridiculously attractive then)"
21:57 Rosie Waites, Vienna
I can confirm that the press centre is an alcohol free zone… journos here are fuelling themselves on the free pretzels and Mannerschnitten chocolates, there’s going to be a lot of snacks eaten tonight.
21:55 Oliver Gee, Paris
Here comes Norway. They win the prize for the most mysterious lyrics:
"Honey, I’m telling the truth
I did something terrible in my early youth
My mind went blank, I lost control
I was just a little boy, I did not know"
What on earth could they be talking about?
The editor at The Local Norway, Richard Orange, explains more:
"We kind of wanted to bring something new," says Kjetil Mørland, the reformed Indie rocker who wrote and sings in Norway's entry A Monster
like Me. But on the face of it, it's exactly what Norway submitted last year, another slow ballad backed by piano and orchestral strings.
The format must have seemed brilliantly original when Mørland submitted it to Norway's Melodi Grand Prix last year, but it is going up against no fewer than five other boy-girl duets in the contest -- from Estonia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, the UK, and, um, San Marino.
Anyone who listens to the lyrics properly ends up begging to know what the "something terrible" is that Mørland has committed. It must be pretty bad.
Like Norway's chances of winning, perhaps?
21:40 Oliver Gee, Paris
The UK's act is on stage now. Their electroswing song sounds like a car insurance ad crossed with the recent Great Gatsby soundtrack. Chances of winning? Slim to none, say the bookies. Our reporter in Austria Rosie Waites sent in this pic of at least one UK fan in the press room:
21:39 Rosie Waites, Vienna
Just been chatting to the BBC team here - they’re exhausted from a week of Eurovision reporting and are drinking tea to stay awake. Not much confidence in Britain’s entry… they seem to think Electro Velvet is going to do pretty poorly. Indeed, they're on now. Let's see how they go.
21:33 Oliver Gee, Paris
This entry from Israel wins three awards from me. One - worst prop with the golden shoes. Two - most blatant theft of another Eurovision winners' idea (the shoes again, they're from the Herreys, who won for Sweden back in 1984 singing about their golden shoes - see pic below). Three - oldest looking 16 year old in the competition. In fact, he's the only 16-year-old in the comp, and the youngest of all.
21:30 Oliver Gee, Paris
And that was France's entry. Which will probably come last. But that's ok, because the French don't care about Eurovision and definitely aren't watching. France has actually won five times though, read a lot more about their entry here.
21:23 Oliver Gee, Paris
Imagine a woman with the voice of Duffy and the headphones of Dr Dre. You've just imagined the entry from Slovenia. And you'd be forgiven for thinking her oversized headphones are the weirdest accessory of the night, but then again, you haven't seen the shoes on the contestant from Israel yet...
21:18 Oliver Gee, Paris
I think it's pretty clear who the fan favourites are. As the countries were announced, there were MASSIVE roars for both Sweden and Australia. That's where the smart money is (though bookmakers have also tipped Russia and Italy).
21:09 Rosie Waites, Vienna
An Australian reporter for ABC has kindly let me share her chair, it’s all about building bridges here. And a TV team from Australia’s SBS just gave me a team T-shirt. Are they trying to influence my vote?
And see if you can guess where the loyalties of this fan lie:
21:08 Rosie Waites, Vienna
The cheering and the clapping is getting deafening in here… 1,700 members of the press and fan sites here, from all over the world!
21:02 Rosie Waites, Vienna
And we’re off lots of shouting and cheering in the press area… I’m sitting on the floor as there are no chairs left. Everyone is clapping along.
21:00 Oliver Gee, Paris
AND IT HAS BEGUN, with a song from last year's winner, Conchita Wurst.
20:50 Rosie Waites, Vienna
It may be grey and drizzly in Vienna but the atmosphere is feeling pretty electric and the press hall is packed. There’s space for 1,500 journalists but a lot of people here are also blogging for fan sites.
There’s quite a bit of competition for seats with people reserving places well ahead of time and I just saw a bit of standoff between an Australian team and a Serbian team about whose table it was…
20:45 Oliver Gee, Paris
Hello and welcome to our live blog of the Eurovision song contest. I'm Oliver Gee, and I'll be guiding you through the evening from our Paris office, with help from our reporter Rosie Waites who is on the scene in Vienna.
The show is set to kick off at 9pm, with Sweden the red-hot favourites to win. Another favourite is Australia (yes, Australia), who were allowed to compete as a wildcard entry as the Aussies love this competition, and to recognize the 60th anniversary.
The tourism industry in major cities across Europe has been affected by the string of attacks across the continent in recent months, yet the tourist industry in Oslo and Norway in general appears to be heading for another record year.
Reindeer collisions are a frequent occurence on Norway's roads, but rarely on this scale. Photo: Alcino/Flickr