x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Azerbaijan hits the high notes

Eurovision has broken new ground after crowning Azerbaijan the winner of the song contest, the final of which took place on Saturday.

Eurovision has broken new ground after crowning Azerbaijan the winner of the song contest, the final of which took place on Saturday.

The competition, now in it's 56th year, began last week with two semi-final rounds, and saw 38 countries competing. Next year it will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, after the country's performers, Ell and Nikki, stormed home with 221 points for their duet Running Scared.

This was Azerbaijan's first Eurovision victory since it joined the competition in 2008.

Italy made a triumphant Eurovision return after a 14-year absence from the competition, scoring second place with its crooner Raphael Gualazzi. Rounding out the top three was Sweden's Eric Saade.

Eurovision voting is split between television viewers and a five-member jury from each competing nation. This year's host nation, Germany, finished in seventh place with Taken by a Stranger, performed by last year's winner Lena Mayer-Landrut.

The Irish competitors, X-Factor winners Jedward, defied expectations by coming in at a respectable eighth place with 119 points.

But the night belonged to the Azerbaijan duo who could not hide their surprise at their victory.

"I am the happiest man in the world," shouted Eldar Gasimov (Ell) when receiving the trophy.