The UK was holding out for a hero - but in the event Bonnie Tyler was totally eclipsed by bookies' favourite Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest tonight.
The 61-year-old singer, who represented the UK with the country tune Believe In Me, finished 19th out of 26 acts, with 23 points.
Ireland's entry, the dance track Only Love Survives by Ryan Dolan, came in last place with just five points.
The winner was Denmark's Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest, which was predicted to win with odds of 4/6.
It topped the table with 281 points, followed by Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
Speaking after the votes came in the Welsh singer, who topped charts around the world in her 80s heyday, said that despite her final score the experience had been "fantastic".
She said: "I got the feeling tonight that I got at the Grammy awards. I'm sure a lot of people will be disappointed on my behalf but I have really enjoyed my Eurovision experience.
"I did the best that I could do with a great song. I don't feel down and I'm ready to party.
"The songs at the top of the table totally deserve to be up there. Of course I would have liked to bring it back to the UK but it's been a night to remember."
Tyler's effort fared better than veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck last year, who came second from the bottom when he represented the UK in Baku, Azerbaijan.
But she failed to live up to boy-band Blue who finished in 11th place two years ago.
The last time the UK won the competition was in 1997, with Love Shine A Light by Katrina And The Waves.
Watch Emmelie de Forest's reaction to winning:
The Total Eclipse star had told journalists earlier in the week: "I don't think it would affect my career if I didn't win, because I'm already booked up to the end of the year just about anyway.
"Of course I wouldn't like to be last, but I hope I have a respectable score. I'm not expecting to win. I hope I come somewhere respectable, like 10, 12 or something."
Bookies had her at 50/1 to claim the Eurovision title before the show.
The Welsh singer had been the 15th act to take the stage at the annual pan-European kitsch-fest.
Her performance was pared-down compared to many in the competition, with Tyler, accompanied by backing vocalists but no dancers, singing the country tune in an off-the-shoulder black number with silver detail.
The only nod to the camp which often characterises the contest was Tyler being lifted up on a platform in the middle of the 11,000-crowd for the end of the song.
The performance was watched by an estimated international audience of 120 million.
Eurovision is famed for its over-the-top acts, and this year was no exception.
More reaction from Emmelie de Forest:
The UK entrant followed the Romania's Cezar, who wore a shimmering, high-collared cape for the falsetto performance of his pop-opera song It's My Life.
Alyona Lanskaya emerged from a giant disco ball to perform Solayoh for Belarus, while Ukraine's entry was carried on stage by a giant.
Earlier in the evening Black Sabbath rocker Tony Iommi appeared in the group Dorians, Armenia's offering for the contest, performing the song Lonely Planet, which he co-wrote.
Meanwhile Krista Siegfrids, representing Finland, performed the song Marry Me - with the lyrics, "I'll play your game, I'll change my last name, I'll walk the walk of shame" - before kissing her female backing singer.