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 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 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.