Traditional rivalries between Norway and Sweden were cast aside Saturday night when Sweden won the annual and much-hyped Eurovision Song Contest and Norway came in eighth. Many Norwegians clearly agreed that Sweden performed the best song, and even gave their cross-border rivals the highest number of points possible in the voting.
“Tonight we’ll celebrate Sweden and Måns (Zelmerlöw),” Kjetil Mørland, of the Norwegian duo Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) when the Eurovision final ended after a nearly four-hour-long broadcast live from Vienna.
Mørland’s own song (he wrote it, as well as performed it with Scarlett) won 102 points in the voting by 40 countries, compared to Zelmerlöw’s 365 points. Both he and Scarlett, though, claimed they were “extremely satisfied” with ending up eighth.
“Just think that there were 40 countries (in the Eurovision competition) and we came in eighth,” Scarlett told NRK. “It was so incredibly great to stand on the stage here tonight, with so many people. I’m so touched that so many countries (including Sweden, which itself gave Norway seven points) voted for us.”
Many more voted for Sweden, but it was a tight race with Russia leading after the first 10 countries delivered their results. A trio from Italy who performed for the first time in Saturday’s final also wowed the crowd and viewers all over Europe with their song, and ended up in third place with 292 points, not far behind Russia with 303. Belgium placed fourth and Australia, making a special appearance on the occasion of Eurovision’s 60th anniversary, placed an impressive fifth.
It was the ever-smiling Måns Zemerlöw and his catchy Heroes song that that stole the show and confirmed its standing among the pre-final favourites. “We’re all heroes,” he declared after winning and being showered with confetti in classic Eurovision style. His victory means that Sweden will host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest once again.
Even Norway’s Eurovision fan club was happy for the Swedes. “We’ll be good neighbours and thank them for the points we got,” Morten Thomassen, president of the fan club for the Eurovision preliminaries in Norway, told NRK. “And we’re very glad that Debrah and Mørland repeated last year’s result at eighth place.” Mørland also won the songwriter’s prize at this year’s Eurovision for “best and most original composition” of his song, A Monster Like Me, that he and Debrah Scarlett performed.