In part nine of our Stockholm Revisited series we look back at the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest which took place on Saturday 14th May in Stockholm's Globe Arena. 26 acts took to the stage, global megastar Justin Timberlake performed as one of the interval acts and a new voting format injected fresh excitement into the show which was broadcast in the United States for the first time. Unlike in 1969, there can only be one winner and Ukraine's Jamala emerged victorious after one of the most thrilling voting procedures for years.
The show opened with the customary flag parade, introducing the participating countries. The flag parade in 2016 had a twist, and was tribute to Swedish fashion design and dance music with artists introduced as part of a catwalk fashion show. The opening sequence set the tone for what is largely seen as the most contemporary production of the Eurovision Song Contest to date.
Before the show got underway hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw acknowledged the challenges facing Europe. "This competition was created in 1956 to unify a continent torn apart by war and right now Europe is once again facing darker times. That reminds us just how important this evening actually is", said Måns. "Tonight we set aside any differences we might have and unite through our love for music, this is what is so beautiful about this contest" added Petra. Whilst the Eurovision Song Contest is not a political event, arguably it may have been remiss of host broadcaster SVT to ignore the wider political situation facing Europe.
An interval to remember
After the artists had performed Justin Timberlake took to the stage to entertain the crowd performing his number one hit Can't Stop the Feeling. Hosts Petra and Måns also took to the stage to perform Peace, Peace, Love, Love, which has already gone down as one of the more memorable intervals acts in the eyes of the fans.
New voting format
An exciting new voting format was introduced where by the public and jury points were presented separately. Under this new format the winner was not known until the final moments of the live broadcast, injecting new excitement into the show. As the public votes were presented only three countries remained in the running; Australia, Russia and Ukraine.
The winner takes it all
The night belonged to Jamala from Ukraine who took victory with 534 points, providing her country with its second Eurovision win. The favourite of the juries, Dami Im's Sound Of Silence for Australia, finished second with 511 points, and Russia's Sergey Lazarev came third with 491 points for his song You Are The Only One.
Jamala returned home to a hero's welcome, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Sweden's national broadcaster SVT hosted a slick, modern and professional show in Stockholm and set the bar high for future productions.