Another night to forget for UK at Eurovision Song Contest

Veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck opened the show in Baku, Azerbaijan. Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/AP/Press Association Images

The UK's hopes of breaking its Eurovision curse came crashing down when veteran crooner Engelbert Humperdinck scraped into last-but-one place in this year's contest.

He opened the show in Baku, Azerbaijan, with ballad Love Will Set You Free - but seemed to have been forgotten by the time voting started, 25 songs later.

Not even a lucky necklace given to him by Elvis Presley could help Humperdinck, who scored points from only Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Ireland and ended up languishing at the bottom of the leader board.

The singer, nicknamed The Hump, scored a total of 12 - ending up just one position above Norway, famous for gaining "nul points" in the annual competition.

Questions will be asked about the decision to hand the Eurovision Song Contest baton to a 76-year-old, leading to one of the worst outcomes for the UK.

Until 2011, the public had a say in who represented the UK and with which song, but that was abandoned when boy-band Blue were chosen to sing I Can, in the hope an established name could bring home the title.

They managed to come 11th last year, a respectable position in comparison to this year.

The last UK win was in 1997 when Katrina And The Waves - fronted by American singer Katrina Leskanich - took the honours with Love Shine A Light.

Humperdinck, who used the name Gerry Dorsey during the early years of his career, kept the Beatles off the number one spot in the singles chart with Release Me in the 1960s.

Speaking after his performance, he said: "I had a great time, a very wonderful time. I hope everyone listening to the song... we shared the song with every generation. I sang it from my heart."

He added: "I've had many highs in my career and Eurovision has been a wonderful experience. I want to thank everybody, especially my fans around the world for their words of support. I did the best for my country, the rest was out of my hands."

Humperdinck's song was written by Sacha Skarbek - who teamed up with James Blunt to compose You're Beautiful - and record producer Martin Terefe. There was a UK link to another act as jazz musician Jamie Cullum wrote the German entry, Standing Still.

Former X Factor stars Jedward performed at the Eurovision Song Contest for the second successive year. Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/AP/Press Association Images

Irish twins John and Edward Grimes - otherwise known as Jedward - couldn't improve on their eighth place scored in last year's Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland.

They came 19th despite an enthusiastic performance of Waterline, which saw them singing around a fountain in the middle of the stage and jumping into it at the end of the song.

The duo reacted to the night on Twitter: "We have the Best fans in the World" and "Thank you to everyone you are all our winners! Jedward fans!"

The contest was won by Swedish singer Loreen with dance track Euphoria. She had been the bookies' favourite and romped home with a landmark victory, scoring 372 points. Speaking after the win, she said: "I want to say that I love you so much. Thank you for believing in me."

Popular act Buranovskiye Babushki - the six strong group of pensioners nicknamed The Russian Grannies - came second with Party for Everyone and were notable for performing with a revolving oven on the stage.

The show, watched in the Crystal Hall by 20,000 people, started at midnight local time, finishing in the early hours of the morning.

Swedish Loreen performs during the final show of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest at the Baku Crystal Hall in Baku. Credit: AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev