Page last updated at 23:39 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 00:39 UK

Norway voted winner of Eurovision

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Norway scales top Eurovision spot

Norway has emerged as the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in the Russian capital, Moscow.

Singer and violinist Alexander Rybak, 23, smashed the record for the most points awarded during the competition.

Iceland came second in the vote, followed by Azerbaijan which took the third place.

The UK's Jade Ewen, singing an Andrew Lloyd Webber song, ended in fifth position - a marked improvement on last year's finish at the foot of the table.

For the first time, voting in the final was split between televoting and panels of musical experts, which was supposed to reduce the incidence of predictable and neighbourly votes.

A total of 42 countries voted on the 25 songs, with Norway scoring a record 387 points.

Jade performs UK's Eurovision song

Alexander Rybak, who was born in the former Soviet Union, is a well-known musician in Norway.

A classically trained violinist and pianist, he wrote his country's winning entry, Fairytale.

The previous biggest points haul was scored by Finland's Lordi with Hard Rock Hallelujah in Greece in 2006.

No country suffered the indignity of receiving "nul points" this year but Finland finished in last place.

Denmark's entry - Brinck singing Believe Again - was written by Boyzone's Ronan Keating and was performed in the Irish singer's style.

Germany's act featured US cabaret artist Dita von Teese, who used to be married to rock star Marilyn Manson.

Her costume was slightly more demure than her outfit at the dress rehearsal after she was reportedly told to cover up by the European Broadcasting Union, which runs Eurovision, because it was unsuitable for a family audience.

Graham Norton was making his debut as commentator for the BBC, replacing Sir Terry Wogan, who bowed out last year.

'Greatest talents'

Speaking in the Russian capital, Norton revealed that he had spoken to his predecessor, who commentated on every Eurovision final from 1980.

Yohanna
Iceland's Yohanna finished in a closely-fought second place

"Terry rang me to wish me good luck," said the TV presenter. "He advised me to resist having a drink until the fifth song," he added.

Jade Ewen was chosen to represent the UK through a TV talent contest, with the winning song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Diane Warren.

Her fifth place was a highlight for the UK, which has had a dismal record in recent years, with 2008's entry, Andy Abraham, finishing last with 14 points.

It was the second time in five years the UK had finished at the bottom, with Jemini's 2003 effort famously scoring "nul points".



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