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Sunday, 26 May, 2002, 04:54 GMT 05:54 UK
Pop Idol's Jessica third in Eurovision
Jessica Garlick
Jessica Garlick came joint third
Britain's Eurovision Song contest entrant came joint third as Latvia celebrated its first win in the country's history.

Jessica Garlick netted 111 points to share third place with the hosts Estonia for singing Come Back.

The contest was won by Latvia's Marija Naumova's Latin-influenced song I Wanna with the last vote of the competition.

Marija Naumova
Latvia's song won European hearts

Despite backing from UK punters, Swansea-born Garlick managed only to earn the top 12 points from Austria, with five countries giving the song, Come Back, no points at all.

But the 21-year-old told BBC Liquid News she had no regrets

"I am really proud I came third.

"I have done the job I came to do."

The singer, from Kidwelly in south west Wales, reached the final 10 of the UK television talent search Pop Idol earlier this year.

Crucial votes

On Saturday the votes of Lithuania decided the competition with just seven votes between Malta and Latvia after the penultimate round of results.

Latvia finished with 176 points, ahead of Malta with 164 points and Estonia and the UK, both with 111 points.

The small Baltic country only entered the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2000.

Malta's Ira Losco
Malta's Ira Losco was pipped at the post
Marija Naumova is well-known in her home country and has had several hits on the Latvian music scene.

Her song and her dance antics, reminiscent of Bucks Fizz in 1981, won over the 23 other competing countries.

Latvia will now host the Eurovision contest next year.


Singers representing 24 countries, from Slovenian female impersonators to a Greek boy band, competed in front of 7,000 flag-waving fans at the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

The winner was chosen by television viewers who called special hotlines to vote.

As the voting began, Malta and Latvia quickly established themselves as the countries to beat and easily fended off a late surge of votes for France and Spain.

Pre-competition favourites Spain and Germany finished seventh and 20th.

The British hopeful said before going to Estonia that she had always dreamed of singing in the contest.

"When I was younger I remember sitting watching Eurovision on TV and my mum telling me that one day I would be there singing for the UK.

"I think that has helped drive me and made it an ambition."

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The BBC's Olivia MacLeod
"As usual much of the voting seemed to follow a vote for your neighbour rule"

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