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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK
Eurovision win for Greek singer
Greek entry Helena Paparizou
Greek entry Helena Paparizou was an early favourite to win
Greek singer Helena Paparizou has won the Eurovision Song Contest, after the favourite maintained an early lead in Ukrainian capital Kiev.

It was a disappointing night for UK entrant Javine, who came third from last after attracting only 18 points after a telephone poll by 39 countries.

Greece beat 23 nations with song My Number One, winning 230 points - 38 points ahead of second place Malta.

The annual song contest is one of Europe's most popular TV events.

Revolution site

This year's event was hosted in Ukraine after it won the 2004 contest with a leather-clad performance of Wild Dances by singer Ruslana, who sang during the event.

It rapidly staged the event at its capital city following last year's Orange Revolution, in which mass protests led to opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko taking office.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Kiev's Sports Palace in the build-up to Saturday's final, with free concerts being staged during the day and the competition shown on large outdoor screens.

UK Eurovision entrant Javine
Javine recovered from throat problems to represent the UK
However, Ukraine failed to score a second consecutive victory with entrant Greenjolly.

The band performed Razom Nas Bahato, the unofficial anthem of last year's protests, backed by dancers wearing hooded tops and handcuffs.

As the song progressed they broke free of their shackles and performed cartwheels, earning an ecstatic reaction from the audience.

Norway's entry also alluded to the Orange Revolution, as Wig Wam's singer waved an orange scarf throughout their rendition of In My Dreams.

Hungary band Nox opened Saturday's final with a performance that seemed to incorporate traditional Irish dancing, while Romanian band Sistem's act involved sparks flying off giant steel drums.

Moldova's Eurovision entry Zdob si Zdub
Moldova's Zdob si Zdub included a pensioner on percussion
Bosnia and Herzegovina's entry, female trio Feminnem, referred to the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest in their song Zovi.

UK representative Javine began her pop career in 2003 after narrowly losing out on a place in reality TV band Girls Aloud in 2002.

She cancelled her promotional duties on Friday after suffering throat problems in the run-up to the final, but was able to complete her performance on Saturday.

The UK last won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 with Love Shine a Light by Katrina and the Waves.

Ireland's hopes ended in failure before tonight's contest after siblings Donna and Joseph McCaul failed to make it past the semi-final.

The pair's song, entitled Love?, left phone voters across Europe unimpressed.

See highlights of the contest


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