Ukraine has won the 61st Eurovision Song Contest with the song “1944” performed by Jamala.
26 countries took part in the Grand Final of the world’s longest running annual television music competition, hosted by EBU Member Sveriges Television (SVT) on Saturday 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden
Jamala also wrote her haunting song “1944”. She finished the night with 534 points, 23 points ahead of 2nd placed Australia represented by Dami Im singing "Sound of Silence". Russia finished in third place.
A new voting system was introduced for the 2016 competition which saw each country award two sets of points. The results of 42 national juries who voted on Friday’s dress rehearsal were given first.
This was followed by an exciting sequence where viewers’ televotes for each competing country were combined and added to the scoreboard resulting in a thrilling finale that saw Ukraine jump to the top of the scoreboard to be declared the winner.
It is the second time that Ukraine has won the event which has been staged annually since 1956. Ruslana took the title for the country in 2004. An estimated audience of 200 million viewers watched the Grand Final which was broadcast live in the 42 participating countries and in China, Portugal, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and New Zealand.
Viewers in the United States also saw the Grand Final live for the very first time on LogoTV.
The 26 finalists performed live in front of an audience of 10,000 inside the Globe Arena in the Swedish capital. In total, 42 EBU Members competed in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. 16 nations were knocked out in two Semi-Finals held on 10 and 12 May.
9-times Grammy award winning singer Justin Timberlake performed his new single “Can’t Stop The Feeling” during the interval between performances and voting.
The Director General of the EBU Ingrid Deltenre said, “We congratulate Jamala and Ukraine on their win. Tonight we have seen 26 artists who have celebrated their diversity – this event is a signal for openness and tolerance and we are very proud of that.”
EBU Media Director Jean Philip De Tender said about the event: “You forget about politics at the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s about fun; it’s about uniting countries with a single live television event.”
Around 15,000 people, across the whole city of Stockholm, were accredited to work on the event at on the day of the Grand Final. In total 150 tonnes of technical equipment and over 30 cameras were used inside the Arena to bring the show to the millions watching around the world.
Over 1,500 journalists from 80 countries were also in the host city Stockholm to cover the event.
The 61th Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast live in the 42 participating countries by EBU Members: ORF (Austria), PTV (Armenia), RTSH (Albania), ICTIMAI (Azerbaijan), BTRC (Belarus), VRT (Belgium), RTBF (Belgium), BHRT (Bosnia-Herzegovina), BNT (Bulgaria), HRT (Croatia), CyBC (Cyprus), ČT (Czech Republic), DR (Denmark), ERR (Estonia), YLE (Finland), GPB (Georgia), ARD (Germany), ERT (Greece), MTV (Hungary), RÚV (Iceland), RTÉ (Ireland), IBA (Israel), RAI (Italy), LTV (Latvia), LRT (Lithuania), RTCG (Montenegro), MRT (FYR Macedonia), PBS (Malta), TRM (Moldova), RTCG (Montenegro), AVROTROS (The Netherlands), NRK (Norway), TVP (Poland), RTR (Russia), SMRTV (San Marino), RTS (Serbia), RTVSLO (Slovenia), RTVE (Spain), SVT (Sweden), SRG SSR (Switzerland), NTU (Ukraine), BBC (United Kingdom) and Associate Member SBS (Australia).
19 EBU radio members broadcast the Grand Final live: PRA (Armenia), BNR (Bulgaria), HRTR (Croatia), ERR (Estonia), BR, NDR, RB, SR (Germany), RTÉ (Ireland), RAI (Italy), LR (Latvia), LRT (Lithuania), TRM (Moldova), RTVS (Slovakia), COPE (Spain), RTVSLO (Slovenia), SR (Sweden), NTU (Ukraine), and the BBC (United Kingdom). RFM radio in France also broadcast the Grand Final live.
The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was a co-production between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Sveriges Television (SVT).
The full list and profiles of participants for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, with high resolution photos, can be found on the official website, Eurovision.tv.