Sweden’s Eurovision star Måns through to final

Sweden's Eurovision hope, Måns Zelmerlöw, sailed through with his track 'Heroes' in a semi-final that was mostly lined with rock goth-inspired ballads. But will he nail his gnome fist bump in time for Saturday's final?

Sweden's Eurovision star Måns through to final
Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw is through to the Eurovision 2015 final. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

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As one of the favourites in the competition, the Swede's chances to make it through to the next round were perhaps never really in danger, and he was easily voted through to the final along with Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Norway, Montenegro, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Israel.

“I'm so insanely happy and proud. And relieved. It felt great, super energy and I sang well. I was slightly too quick in the second verse, maybe, but nothing that will be noticed too much,” said the 28-year-old singer after his performance on Thursday evening.

Zelmerlöw's advanced digital effects act, in which he parades and interacts with what can best be described as a small army of stick-figure gnomes, had been hyped ahead of the competition. And despite being somewhat out of sync at the start of the song, he – and the gnomes – nailed it towards the end.

READ MORE: Five top facts about Sweden's Eurovision entry

Some of his main competitors in Saturday's final are likely to be Italian tenor group Il Volo and Guy Sebastian of Australia, which will be entering as part of a special 60th anniversary edition of the contest.

The 28-year-old singer himself, from Lund in southern Sweden, has stirred up quite the media buzz in Vienna, not least thanks to a saucy press kit featuring an image of him wearing only underwear released last week.

If Zelmerlöw wins on Saturday, he will follow in the footsteps of several other of his countrymen. Sweden is one of the most successful Eurovision competitors, with previous winners including Abba in 1974, the Herreys brothers in 1984, Swedish icon Carola in 1991 and Charlotte Nilsson with 'Take Me to Your Heaven' in 1999. More recently, Sweden saw young star Loreen take home the heavily sought out award for her song 'Euphoria' in 2012.

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IN PICS: Thousands protest in Malmö against Israel’s participation in Eurovision

Thousands of people joined a demonstration in Malmö on Saturday afternoon protesting Israel's participation in the Eurovision song contest.

IN PICS: Thousands protest in Malmö against Israel's participation in Eurovision
The protesters gathered at Malmö’s Stortorget Square, with many waving Palestinian flags or wrapping their necks with the Keffiye, the scarf that is a symbol of the Palestinian struggle against occupation.
According to police, between 6,000 and 8,000 people took part in the demonstration. 

“Everything as gone according to expectations. Everything is calm and there are no disturbances so far,” Jimmy Modin, the police’s press spokesperson told Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Some signs reference the disqualification of the The Netherlands’ entry Joost Klein, even though the European Broadcasting Union has asserted that the member of the production team who has accused him of threatening behaviour was not connected to a national delegation in any way. 

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The youth wing of the Left Party carried a sign saying, “Genocide: Nul points — no occupying powers at Eurovision”. 

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The protesters than moved in a procession down Södergatan and Södra Förstadsgatan, Malmö’s two main pedestrianised shopping streets, to the the Triangeln shopping, before moving down towards Slottsparken, the park where the protest is due to finish. 


Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Members of other communities in Malmö carried banners, such as this one saying “Latinos for Palestine”. 

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Some of Malmö’s Jewish community also joined the march, with one protester carrying a Jews for Palestine banner.  

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Danish police had provided riot vans to help Swedish police control the protest, but at the time this article was posted, there had been no reports of violence. 

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
When the protest reached the Triangeln shopping centre it dispersed and spread out over the square in front.  

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
When The Local was leaving Malmö Arena in Hyllie, there were a handful of demonstrators staging an unsanctioned protest, who police were asking to stop. 

Photo: Richard Orange