Ukraine wins Eurovision as UK’s Joe and Jake hail ‘incredible’ experience

Ukraine's Jamala celebrates with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final with the

Ukraine's Jamala celebrates with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final with the song '1944' in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) - Credit: AP

The UK's hopes of a Eurovision Song Contest triumph were dashed as Ukraine was crowned winner of the competition.

Britain's Joe and Jake perform the song 'You're Not Alone' during the Eurovision Song Contest final.

Britain's Joe and Jake perform the song 'You're Not Alone' during the Eurovision Song Contest final. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) - Credit: AP

Jamala won with her political song 1944 and pleaded for 'peace and love' as she collected her trophy.

Australia came second while Russia came third.

British hopefuls Joe and Jake came a disappointing 24th out of 26th in the contest with their pop song You're Not Alone.

Australia had previously led the competition but was knocked into second place after the public vote was taken into account.

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Ukraine's Jamala said her song 1944 is dedicated to her great-grandmother and is reportedly about Stalin, Crimea and claims of ethnic cleansing.

After accepting the Eurovision trophy, she said: 'I know that you sing a song about peace and love, but actually, I really want peace and love to everyone.'

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Thrusting the glass microphone in the air she yelled: 'Thank you Europe - welcome to Ukraine.'

Joe and Jake described performing their number as 'incredible' and tweeted: 'Regardless of the result, our main aim was to make the UK proud! We hope we did that!'

Despite finishing so close to the bottom of the table, many voiced their support for the pair.

Phillip Schofield tweeted in consolation that, despite them doing a great job, 'you'll never beat the politics'.

The competition kicked off amid promises it would allow countries to 'set aside any differences we have' as Europe faces 'darker times'.

Hosts Petra Mede and Mans Zelmerlow welcomed the audience to the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, with a reminder the competition was founded in 1954 after Europe had been ravaged by war.

Zelmerlow said: 'Once again, Europe is facing darker times.'

Mede added: 'Now we set aside any differences we have.'

Graham Norton, who guided UK viewers through the grand final on BBC One, led a toast to his predecessor Sir Terry Wogan during song number nine - which this year was host country Sweden's entry, If I Were Sorry, performed by Frans.

Norton took over the job in 2009 and was narrating his first Eurovision since Sir Terry died in January.

The late broadcaster was the BBC's Eurovision commentator for almost 35 years.

As Sweden's hopeful took to the stage for the ninth song, Norton said the contest was 'bittersweet' for him.

He added: 'Eight years ago, when I was lucky enough to get this job of commentating, Sir Terry very kindly and graciously phoned me, and the only bit of advice he had for me was 'Don't have a drink before song nine'.

'Well this is song nine.'

He added: 'So while the crowd here in the Globe Arena cheer on their home boy, I would urge you back in the UK at home to raise a cup, a mug, a glass, whatever you have in front of you, and give thanks for the man who was, and always will be, the voice of Eurovision, Sir Terry Wogan. Sir Terry, this is song nine.'

Australia, which had been invited to participate for a consecutive year after joining the show as a one-off in 2015 to celebrate the event's 60th anniversary Building Bridges theme, was an early favourite with singer Dami Im performing Sound Of Silence.

The country had the same rights as any other competing country, with votes from a professional jury and the voting public contributing to the final scoreboard.

Russia, also a favourite to win, put in an impressive performance, with Sergey Lazarev singing You Are The Only One with huge black wings projected behind him.

Justin Timberlake provided half-time entertainment during the competition, opening his special guest performance with his hit Dance With Me before moving on to his new single Can't Stop The Feeling.

The audience in Stockholm were on their feet and waving flags from all over Europe as Timberlake performed one of his signature high-energy dance routines in front of a brass section and backing singers.

After his performance, commentator Graham Norton said Timberlake will not be the last big American star to appear at the music competition 'now they have realised this is the Super Bowl of Europe'.

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