One of the world’s foremost entertainment newspapers, the Hollywood Reporter, today noted the 2012 contest and Loreen’s victory in Baku:
“BAKU, Azerbaijan – Swedish singer Loreen won the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in the early hours of Sunday, easily outdistancing a field that included a Russian folk group made up of six dancing grandmothers and 1960s and 1970s crooner Englebert Humperdinck.
Television and online viewership estimates ranged from 100 million to as many as 160 million viewers, nearly twice the audience of the average Super Bowl. The event, which first starting pitting singers representing different countries against each other in 1955, is by some measures the world’s most watched non-sporting event.
Loreen won the title just days after angering local Azerbaijani authorities by meeting with civil rights activists protesting ahead of the gala event. Those protests and the resulting police crackdown somewhat marred the glitzy — and often quirky and kitschy — acts.
This year’s contest featured many superlatives: it was the farthest east the contest was ever held (because of the three time-zone difference between Baku and central Europe, the event got underway at midnight local time and lasted well into Sunday morning, so that it could take place during prime time in Europe). With 26 acts, the finals also featured the largest Eurovision field ever.”