Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst

Mans Zelmerlow proved popular in the annual song competition

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The Independent Culture

Sweden has been announced as the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Mans Zelmerlow performed "Heroes" in the Austrian capital after being the bookies' favourite for much of the run-up before going on to win an impressive 365 points.

The 28-year-old, best known for taking part in Idol 2005, cruised through Thursday's semi-final despite some controversy over anti-gay comments he apologised for last year.

Eurovision 2015 final live blog - as it happened

It was a three-horse race between Sweden, Russia and Italy for much of the results process, with Russia coming second and Italy third. Belgium came fourth, Australian fifth and the UK a disappointing 24th.




Trans singer Conchita Wurst won last year's contest with her memorable long black hair and beard and powerful singing voice. "Rise Like a Phoenix" was praised as Bond-like and rocketed Conchita to global LGBT icon status.