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Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 08:45 UK
Behind the scenes at Eurovision 2009

By Sarah Jane Griffiths
Newsbeat entertainment reporter in Moscow

A triumphant Jade Ewen is back in the UK and they've finally stopped playing the Eurovision CD on repeat in the press centre at the Olympiski stadium in Moscow. It can mean only one thing: the Eurovision Song Contest is over for another year.

Alexander Ryback and the Norweigan Eurovision team
Norway's entry broke a Eurovision record with 387 points

And what a year for the UK - with a very respectable fifth place for Jade's performance of It's My Time.

After years in the Eurovision wilderness - last place last year, Gemini, Scooch - probably best not to continue - Jade and Andrew Lloyd Webber managed to achieve goose bumps in the auditorium on Saturday night, not to mention quite a lot of points.

Not nearly as many as 2009's winner though - the firm favourite Alexander Ryback from Norway.

The singer/songwriter/super-fiddler steamed ahead right from the start, breaking a Eurovision record for the most points ever.

With 387, he was more than 150 ahead of his closest rival, second-place Iceland.

Norway scales top Eurovision spot

They certainly loved Alexander in Moscow - with huge cheers whenever his name was mentioned, the place was literally dripping with Norwegian flags.

His encore of Fairytale was a definite highlight with nearly every one of the 16,000 strong crowd out of their seats and crazily clapping along as confetti showered down.

Moscow pulled out all the stops - spending more than £30m putting the whole thing on.

They roped in Cirque de Soleil to interpret the story of last year's Russian winner Dima Bilan.

That involved him attached to a high wire as he alternated between smashing through giant walls and singing.

Knocked out?

The first comedy moment of the night came right there in the opening sequence, when he got his coat all tangled up in the wire.

Another came when our own Jade Ewen got knocked by one of her violinists - much funnier on TV than when she's a tiny dot on a massive stage though.

A minor blip in a great performance, she got a huge cheer at the end.

Jade Ewen
Jade Ewen had a minor collision with one of her violinists on stage

Meanwhile Jade's fans seemed to be having a competition of their own - who could look more British.

Lauren and Nick - who are both studying Russian at University in Leeds - were just two such fans Newsbeat stumbled upon. They were dressed in red, white and blue and even had the flag painted on their faces.

"We've got our face painted with a little glittery Union Jack," Lauren said after the results were in. "I've got a little Union Jack bag and Nick's got a massive big Union Jack towel."

Jade said she was delighted with her performance but disappointed she didn't win. But the UK Euro fans reckon she should relax a bit.

"To come fifth is really fantastic for England, we usually come last!" Lauren said. "We've definitely got something to be proud of. I think she's easily as good as Leona Lewis. She's got such a good voice and is really, really pretty."

"I think we can hold our heads up," added Nick, "but I think there is definitely some political voting going on there. I think we can all see that, certainly."

Surreal moment

Nick had a point. The new voting system didn't seem to have changed that much, with plenty of countries still awarding their neighbours the famous 12 points.

Back to the winner though, and the evening took on an even more surreal edge when the Norwegian delegation danced in to the press conference.

The 700 strong crowd of European journalists seemed pretty impressed by their moves, jumping around and clapping as Fairytale blasted out over the speakers.

This went on for the full three minutes, as Alexander stood on the table to play the fiddle along with his winning track, and his backing dancers backflipped and Russian-danced across the stage. Two words: very Eurovision.

Alexander Ryback at the press conference
Alexander and his dancers carried on their act in the press centre

He told the crowd he'd changed his mind about whether winning is important. And guess what - it is!

He also explained why he crashed out of Norwegian Idol so early - but is now a global superstar in the making.

"I went straight out of Idol because I wasn't that good. To be honest I still think I'm far from the best singer in this competition. I guess people liked my story. And I play the violin, I guess that helps," he said.

FYI his favourite was the Ukraine's Svetlana Loboda, who bought him flowers to say congratulations. Oh, and should you be so inclined he's bringing his album out in June.

Congratulations too to Azerbaijan, who managed to come up with one of the most annoyingly catchy songs of the competition - and came in third.

Also to Dita Von Teese who failed to boost Germany's points by getting her kit off. Not impressed on her Twitter - "stunned and amazed" in fact.

She tweeted: "The best performances were nowhere near the top rankings! Denmark, Ukraine, Estonia? All great shows and songs. Shocking!"

Hopefully the Ukraine's Svetlana can take some comfort in the fact she was Newsbeat's favourite act.

Sadly it seems the Anti-Crisis Girl may have remortgaged her house in vain. Thank goodness that Hell Machine she was dancing in can now be used as a... No, sorry. It's gone.



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