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Mans the returning hero after Swedish Eurovision triumph

By AP Reporters

Published 25/05/2015

Euro star: Mans Zelmerlow
Euro star: Mans Zelmerlow

Hundreds of elated fans welcomed the Eurovision Song Contest winner Mans Zelmerlow upon his return yesterday to Sweden - a mini-superpower in the world of pop music and six-time champion of the glitzy song fest.

Sleep-deprived and smiling, the 28-year-old singer/TV host arrived at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport draped in a Swedish flag and waving the Eurovision trophy.

"I've longed for this moment for 10 years, and now here it is," said Zelmerlow, who won the contest on Saturday in Vienna with the thumping club anthem Heroes.

In his pop number Heroes, the Swede chose to forego the usual elaborate stage effects, relying instead on his strong singing and an innovative backdrop.

About 200 million people watched on TV as the 27 finalists, the most ever, battled it out musically. Approximately 10,000 people followed the contest live in Vienna's mammoth Stadthalle, with 25,000 others crowding the main public viewing venue in front of City Hall.

The UK entry by Electro Velvet - Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas, who sang Still In Love With You - flopped badly with just five points

Russian singer Polina Gagarina's performance - an event described by organisers as beyond politics - was marred by boos apparently prompted by the Ukraine conflict and the Kremlin's anti-gay attitude.

The race for the title between Gagarina and Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow went back and forth for most of the balloting as jurors from 40 countries voted, along a worldwide audience submitting their preference by phone and app. Zelmerlow finally triumphed with 365 points, with Gagarina receiving 303. Italy came third.

Belfast Telegraph

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