Disappointment for The Ark in Helsinki

Sweden's The Ark came 18th in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night - a major disappointment for a band which was one of favourites to win.

Sweden will have to qualify for the final next year.

The contest was won by Serbia’s Marija Serifovic with the song ‘Molitva’.

Early on in the voting it became apparent that The Ark’s explosion of glam rock had not captured the ears of Europe. At the final count, their song, ‘The Worrying Kind’, had been awarded points from just six of the 42 countries involved. Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway were among those.

The unexpectedly poor showing meant that the band did not make the coveted top ten, which ensures participation in next year’s final.

Winner Marija Serifovic was also one of the hot favourites before the competition and her dramatic ballad struck a chord with Europe’s telephone voters.

It was a good night for eastern European countries. Hot on the heels of Serbia, which romped home with 268 points, came Ukraine with 235 points and Russia’s Britney Spearsalike band Serebro with 207 points.

The Ark put in an energetic, professional performance which was rewarded with a resounding ovation from the audience in the Helsinki arena. But it was not enough.

Neverthless, before the competition lead singer and songwriter Ola Salo had said that the band “wouldn’t cry if they came first and wouldn’t cry if they came last”.

He noted that the chance of playing in front of 200 million TV viewers across Europe was a victory in itself.