The Eurovision Song Contest 2011 was the 56th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, following Lena’s win at the 2010 contest in Oslo, Norway with the song “Satellite”. This was the first contest to take place outside the host nation’s capital city since the 2004 contest in Istanbul. The event was held at the Esprit Arena, with semi-finals held on 10 and 12 May, and the final held on 14 May 2011.
Forty-three countries participated in the contest, with those returning including Austria, which last participated in 2007; Hungary, which last competed in 2009; and San Marino, which last participated in 2008. Italy also returned to the Contest, marking its first participation since 1997. No country withdrew from the contest.
The winner was Azerbaijan with the song “Running Scared” performed by Ell & Nikki. The runner-up was Italy, and Sweden finished in third place. Italy (2nd) and Germany (10th) were the only members of the “Big Five” to make it into the top 10, with the United Kingdom close behind at 11th place; France and Spain, failed to make it into the top half of the leader board coming 15th (82 points) and 23rd (50 points) respectively. 2010 Hosts Norway were eliminated in the first semi-final. Azerbaijan obtained its first ever victory in any Eurovision since its debut in 2008. Azerbaijan won the viewers voting with Sweden in second place, and Greece in third place. Italy won the jury voting, with Azerbaijan in second place and Denmark in third place. This is the first time since the juries were reintroduced alongside the televoting in 2009 that the winner did not place first in the jury voting.
The broadcast of the final won the Rose d’Or award for Best Live Event.