The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the 57th annual Eurovision Song Contest. Following Ell & Nikki's win at the 2011 Contest, the festival was brought to the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. The two semi-finals were held on 22 and 24 May 2012, and the final was held on 26 May 2012 at the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall. Forty-two countries announced their participation in the contest, with Montenegro returning, having last taken part in 2009, and Poland and Armenia withdrawing.
Several human rights groups protested against the restraints to express their concerns with the government regime within Azerbaijan. Armenia withdrew from the contest due to security fears over the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.
The design of the contest was built around the motto "Light your fire!", inspired by the nickname "Land of Fire", by which Azerbaijan is commonly known. The televoting system reverted to the 15-minute window format, used between the 1998 Contest and 2009 Contest, in which the phone and SMS lines open after all songs have been performed. Each country votes were decided by 50:50 system; they were split between televoting and a national jury. The contest was won by singer Loreen from Sweden with the song "Euphoria" which was written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström. "Euphoria" earned a total of 372 points, placing it in the top spot. Russia finished in second place, with Serbia finishing in third. They were followed by the host country, Azerbaijan, which reached the 4th place. Albania achieved its first top 5 placing, and finished 5th. Germany, Italy and Spain were the three members of the "Big Five" that managed to rank within the top 10, finishing in 8th, 9th and 10th places respectively.
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