The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 was the 56th annual Eurovision Song Contest and was won by Eldar & Nigar performing "Running Scared" for Azerbaijan. The event took place in the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, following Germany's win in the previous year. The two semi-finals took place on 10 May and 12 May 2011, while the final took place on the evening of 14 May 2011.
Forty-three countries participated in the contest, with those returning including Austria, which last participated in 2007; Hungary, which last competed in 2009; and San Marino, which last participated in 2008. Italy also returned to the Contest, marking its first participation since 1997. No country has withdrawn.
The runner up was Italy, and Sweden finished in third place. Italy (2nd) and Germany (10th) were the only members of the "Big Five" to make it into the top 10, with the United Kingdom close behind at 11th place. However, out of the 25 countries who made it into the final, the remaining two of the "Big Five", France and Spain, failed to make it into the top half of the leader board coming 15th (82 points) and 23rd (50 points) respectively.
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