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Reactions - Watch again - Eurovision: Ira Losco 12th, Ukraine victorious

See reactions below by Education Minister Evarist Bartolo and the head of One TV -

Ira Losco finished 12th in the Eurovision Song Contest last night, as Ukraine emerged victorious on the night, stealing victory right at the last from Australia who had led for most of the night.

Malta’s entry Walk on Water obtained 153 points on the night, following a characteristically strong and confident performance by Losco. The song performed well in the jury vote, earning 137 points and ranking fourth overall. The country, however, faltered in the televote, garnering just 16 points and tumbling to 12th place.

In the jury vote, Malta got 12 points from Montengro and 10 each from Austria, Serbia and Hungary, as well as eight points from Russia and Armenia. Malta gave its top points to Italy (eight), Bulgaria (10), and the UK.

The big story on the night, however, was victors Ukraine, who dramatically overhauled Australia at the very end, thanks to a massive swing in the televote. Australia had led the voting by a big margin from start to finish.

Ukraine’s song 1944, which had also been ranked among the favourites for the competition for the past few weeks, was heavy with political significance. Singer Jamala, who is Crimean-Tartar, entered with a song is about the deportation of the Tartars from their homeland by the Russian army in 1944. Giving comments immediately after her victory, Jamala said her song was an ode to peace.

There was big disappointment for Russia, who had been the overwhelming favourites in the weeks leading up to the competition but could only manage third.

Meanwhile, in a field of entries described by many observers as one of the strongest the Eurovision has seen in years, Losco’s finish outside the Top 10 will not be seen as a major disaster by the Maltese delegation, which had for a few days attempted to cool expectations, warning that a Top Five finish may be out of reach and Top 10 still difficult.

Malta had been consistently ranked around seventh place by bookmakers in recent weeks, and saw its odds of victory lengthen further in the last few days.

Nevertheless, the result will be met with disappointment by Maltese fans, many of whom had maintained hopes that Losco could come close to matching, or even bettering, her second place finish with Seventh Wonder in Tallinn in 2002, Malta’s joint-best result in the competition.

The country’s best result since Chiara managed second place in 2005 with Angel was obtained by Gianluca Bezzina’s Tomorrow, which placed eighth in 2013.

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