United Kingdom: Countdown to Eurovision’s Greatest Hits – Part 5

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This is the fifth and last part of a series of articles on the artists performing at the 60th Anniversary show in London, to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest.
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Loreen sang Euphoria in 2012.

Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1983.

Loreen’s parents are Moroccan Amazigh and she was brought up in a Liberal Muslim home. Her home is Västerås in central Sweden.

Her first appearance on television was in 2004 when she took part in Swedish Idol. A wildcard from the judges saw her through to the main part of the show and she ended up placing fourth. From that came the opportunity to make a single entitled The Snake along with Rob’n’Raz (Robert Wåtz and Rasmus Lindwall) but it was only for promotional purposes. The Swedish television channel Kanal 11 was formerly called TV400 and it was there that she had the opportunity to present a music programme called Lyssna. She also produced programmes for TV3 and TV4.

She first set her eyes on Melodifestivalen in 2011 when she entered the competition with her co-composed song My Heart Is Refusing Me. She went to the Andra Chansen but was unsuccessful in qualifying for the Final. The song was a Swedish Singles Chart success achieving 9th position.

In 2012 she went back to the Swedish Final and won the first heat in Växjö by a margin of over sixty thousand votes. In the final she repeated this success, and much more, as the televote gap was over 112,000 more than second place, with Danny Saucedo placing second but seventy votes behind her. 268 points as against 198.

Next came Eurovision and her win, beating off the challenge from the Russian Grannies.

Euphoria went on to achieve Number 3 on the UK Official Singles Chart. Her presence continued for several weeks. The album Heal followed and was certified platinum in Sweden.

She toured in 2014, going to many European countries and is constantly in demand.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the fifty seventh edition of the event.

The venue was the Baku Crystal Hall in Azerbaijan.

The construction of the building only started after the contest had been won in May 2011. The formal decision to host it there was only taken in January, 2012. There was much speculation that it would not be completed in time and some surprise that an untested venue had been approved for such a major first event. When members of the Press arrived for the first day of rehearsals people were still working on the surrounding areas, both inside and outside.

Forty two countries participated with Montenegro returning. Also Armenia and Poland withdrew.  The number in the final was twenty six.

The voting window returned to the fifteen minute period after the songs had been performed rather than at the start of the songs for the previous two years.

Artists performing again included Kaliopi from FYR Macedonia, who had been unsuccessful in the 1996 pre-selection and Jónsi from Iceland who had been in the 2004 edition. Also Jedward from Ireland returned for a second, consecutive, year having come eigth in 2011 and Željko Joksimović from Serbia was there hoping to go one better than his second place in 2004.

The first semi final was won by the group who had become known to many as the Russian Grannies, Buranovskiye Babushki. Five of the voting countries placed them at the top of their points. Close behind was Albania and their singer Rona Nishliu.

The second semi had two countries achieving points well in excess of the others. Second place was Serbia’s Joksimović and the unsurprising leader was Loreen from Sweden.

When it came to the final, the result was, again, no surprise. You had to add 365 points to Norway’s last place to find the winning total. The Russians only missed out getting points from one country, Switzerland but getting only a single douze points. An historical total of eighteen top marks were given to Loreen from Sweden with only Italy not giving her anything. This beat the sixteen douze points that Alexander Rybak claimed in 2009 but his total of 387 was still a record fifteen points higher than the 372 Loreen achieved.

So the contest headed to Malmö.

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