A total of forty-three countries took part in the 2011 contest held in Düsseldorf. The city emerged as the winner of an open selection process which saw several cities compete for the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
The biggest news of this contest was the return of Italy, after more than ten years. Italy joined France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom to form the so-called Big Five countries that have automatic qualification to the Grand Final.
One of the most famous German comediennes, Anke Engelke, TV anchor Judith Rakers and all-round showman Stefan Raab hosted the event. Raab had also been part of Lena’s winning team in 2010.
Azerbaijan's Ell and Nikki triumphed in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Italy's Raphael Gualazzi finished second and Sweden's Eric Saade finished third. It was the very first victory for Azerbaijan and meant that the contest would go to its most eastern location in the history of the competition the following year.
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