The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the 57th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, following Ell & Nikki’s win at the 2011 contest in Düsseldorf, Germany with the song “Running Scared” — marking the first time that the country had won the contest. The contest was held at the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall, with semi-finals held on 22 and 24 May 2012, followed by the final held on 26 May 2012. Forty-two countries competed in the contest — one less than the record number of 43 set at the previous contest, with Montenegro returning for the first time since 2009, and the withdrawal of Armenia due to security concerns in relation to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan, and Poland due to financial concerns.
The contest was won by singer Loreen from Sweden with the song “Euphoria” — written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström, the song scored a total of 372 points. Russia finished in second place, with Serbia finishing in third. They were followed by the host country, Azerbaijan, which reached the 4th place. Albania finished 5th, achieving its first top 5 placing. Germany, Italy and Spain were the three members of the “Big Five” that managed to rank within the top 10, finishing in 8th, 9th and 10th places respectively.
The lead-up to the contest was met with political concerns and protests surrounding the host country, including its human rights record and allegations by advocacy groups that Baku was carrying out forced evictions in the construction of the contest’s venue, along with objections to the contest’s presence by Iranian officials—who felt that the event was anti-Islamic because it was, according to them, a “gay parade”.