MALMOE: Twenty-year-old barefoot singer Emmelie de Forest was the toast of Denmark on Sunday after winning this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Swedish city of Malmoe Her song, “Only Teardrops” confirmed its status as the bookmakers’ afavourite to register a comfortable win at on Saturday night’s finals, scoring 281 points at a glittering ceremony watched by millions of viewers.
Azerbaijan was the runner-up on 234 points, followed by Ukraine with 214 points.
“Europe adores Emmelie,” Denmark’s tabloid newspaper Ekstrabladet declared on its website soon after the result.
“Denmark’s darling was the big favourite and she met all expectations,” public broadcaster DR wrote on its website. Broadsheet Politiken chimed in too, noting that “Only Teardrops” was “the best song in Europe.”
Denmark last won the contest in 2000 with “Fly on the wings of love” by Olsen Brothers, also in Sweden. There was no shortage of Danish support in the Malmoe Arena, located just minutes away from Sweden’s southern neighbour across the eight-kilometre Oeresund bridge.
“I believed in the song, but the exciting thing about Eurovision is that you never know what’s going to happen,” de Forest told reporters after the competition. In the past the contest has produced surprise winners, such as the monster-mask clad Finnish rockers Lordi in 2006.
This time however, 20-year-old Danish singer confirmed her status as odds-on favourite, performing the winning entry barefoot — her trademark since she began performing in her early teens — against a flaming backdrop.
The Danish singer took the crown from last year’s Swedish winner Loreen.
Although it was never a serious threat to de Forest’s dramatic pop number about the state of the world, Azerbaijan earned top marks from several countries, propelling Farid Mammadov to second place.
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.
Ukrainian entry “Gravity” had drawn media attention after it became clear that singer Zlata Ognevich would be carried on stage by a 2.34-metre (7 feet 8 inches) tall “giant” meant to symbolise her inner strength.