Loreen of Sweden has won the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, while the UK’s Mae Muller finished second from last.
The singer, who previously triumphed in 2012, made history as the first woman, and only the second person, to win the contest twice. She scored a total of 583 points after the public and jury votes were combined, narrowly beating Finland’s Kaarija who scored 526.
The win also ties her native Sweden with Ireland as the nation with the most wins, with seven apiece. It also means the contest will take place in the home nation of Eurovision legends Abba on the 50th anniversary of their win in 1974.
After she was announced as the winner at the M&S Bank Arena, Loreen returned to the stage and was handed the trophy by last year’s winners Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine. She said: “This is overwhelming. I’m so happy and I’m so thankful.”
Addressing the crowd, she added: “Thank you for this, this is for you.”
Has an artist ever won Eurovision twice?
Loreen had performed her anthemic dance-pop song Tattoo for the international voting public, singing from an illuminated enclosed space on the stage. Her win means she equals the record held by Irish singer Johnny Logan, who triumphed at the contest in both 1980 and 1987.
Johnny Logan also wrote the winning track in 1992 as well as his own winner in 1987. At a press conference after the final, Loreen was asked if she would consider a project with the Irish singer.
She said: “If he wanted to, but what if he says no? That would be nice, a ballad maybe.”
How did Loreen react to the win?
Ukrainian presenter Julia Sanina, who is lead singer of the band The Hardkiss, was hugged by her co-hosts, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, as the show came to a close. Dixon said this year’s contest was something “that will live in our hearts for a very long time”.
Loreen then took to the stage to perform her song Tattoo for a second time. Later, she added: “Not in my wildest dreams did I think this was going to happen.”
Asked why she thought Sweden was so successful at song writing, she joked: “I don’t know if it’s the bad weather. If we had beaches we’d probably sit on them.”
She said she thought Ukraine, which was unable to host this year because of the Russian invasion, should “absolutely” have the chance to host in the future and expressed her love for the country. She added: “It hurts me to see what’s going on.”
Asked by a Ukrainian journalist about the power of creativity, she said: “For me creativity is spirituality. It does things to us. It is a powerful tool. It can create movements. Look at John Lennon.” She then sang the line “Imagine all the people”, from Lennon’s song written during the Vietnam War.
She added: “Art is our way of expressing and it is very spiritual because it makes us feel. So use it constructively and collectively we can do some good changes.”
The singer said her experience this year had been different to 2012, when she “didn’t know to expect”. She said: “It’s like going back to a family, we have had an 11-year relationship, we know each other by now.
“This experience was more motherly and effortless.”