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Ernman upbeat after Eurovision loss

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09:22 CEST+02:00
Sweden and Malena Ernman could only manage a 21st place and 33 votes in Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest. Scandinavian neighbour Norway had a perfect start to national day celebrations by claiming the title.

Malena Ernman with "La Voix" was the fourth entry performed in the Moscow final. She followed three slow ballads and prior to the tournament this was seen as an advantage as it was argued to help her lofty operapop number to stand out from the crowd.

But alas it was not to be for Ernman and a disappointed Sweden, denied a fifth Eurovision crown by pre-tournament favourites and neighbourly rivals, Norway, represented by Alexander Rybak with "Fairytale".

Ernman, at a press conference after her crushing loss, explained that she was "happy anyway" with her performance and Eurovision experience.

"I am happy and satisfied and now I shall go home to my profession that I love. This week has been an exciting episode in my life," Ernman said to news agency TT.

May 17th is Norway's national day - a massive celebration of all things Norwegian in the towns and cities of the oil-rich nation, and even in some parts of Sweden where expatriate communities exist.

The day was given the perfect start for when Rybak confirmed pre-tournament expectations and took home the 54th Eurovision crown.

Ernman was generous in her praise for Rybak and magnanimous in defeat.

"Fantastic for Norway. He was my favourite before the tournament. And fantastically cheap for us next year who only have to travel to Norway," Ernman said to news agency TT.

Norway claimed 387 points followed by runner-up Iceland and Yohanna with "Is it true" on 218 points. Azerbaijan came in third with their Swedish-backed duet Always on 207 points.

Almost a third of Sweden's nine million population were glued to their television sets on Saturday night as Moscow put on a glittering show.

Norway now takes over the mantel with the 55th Eurovision Song Contest planned for Oslo in May 2010.

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