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ENTERTAINMENT
16 May 2011
AZERBAIJAN WINS THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST

Azerbaijan has been crowned the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Germany, while the UK came 11th.

Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal of Ell/Nikki were voted Europe's favourites, after scoring 221 points with their love song, Running Scared.

Newly reformed band Blue notched up 100 points, whilst Ireland's entry, X Factor twins Jedward, finished eighth.

Italy's Raphael Gualazzi took second place, followed by Eric Saade from Sweden.

Happiest man'

It is the first time that Azerbaijan has won the contest in its 56-year history, having only joined Eurovision in 2008.

Although Jamal was born in Azerbaijan, she currently lives in north London with her husband and two daughters.

On receiving the trophy, Gasimov said he was the "the happiest man in the world".

It was another disappointing year for the UK, which has not won the competition since 1997, when Katrina and the Waves triumphed with Love Shine a Light.

However, Blue managed to notch up a respectable score compared with last year's entry, who came last with only 10 points.

At one early stage during the voting process Bulgaria and Italy both awarded the UK high scores, making it briefly top of the results table.

Host Graham Norton joked: "Quick, someone take a picture."

Last year's winner Lena Mayer-Landrut, who represented Germany again, beat the UK by seven points to finish 10th.

Viewers at home in all 43 competing nations voted for their favourite song by phone or text message, which accounted for half of each country's vote.

The other 50% was determined by five-member expert juries in each participating country.

Two rounds of semi-finals held earlier in the week whittled the competitors down to 25 finalists.

The event, which was hosted by Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab, attracted 35,000 to the Fortuna Düsseldorf Arena.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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