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Eurovision joy for Latvia's Marija

Celebrations for Marija and her dancers
Celebrations for Marija and her dancers  

TALLINN, Estonia (CNN) -- Latvian singer Marija Naumova has won the Eurovision Song Contest on a night of colour, glitz and kitsch that was decided on the final vote.

The blonde artist known as Marie N who also wrote her song "I Wanna," burst into tears as the victory was confirmed in Tallinn, Estonia, in the 47th song contest watched by a TV audience of about 200 million.

The 24 rounds of voting soon became a two-horse race between Marija and Malta's singer Ira Losco.

Just three points separated them going into the final round, but it was no surprise that Lithuania awarded Latvia maximum points to seal the victory.

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In other instances of neighbourly love, Cyprus and Greece awarded each other maximum points to boos among the audience in Tallinn, while Estonia favoured Latvia and Russia.

Marija, wearing a tight pink dress, composed herself for the reprise of her upbeat Latin song, flanked by dancers wearing white hats.

"I'm very happy and lucky. I have no words," said the winner.

Estonia and the UK tied for third place.

Across Europe, thousands of people held Eurovision parties to celebrate an annual event which has evolved from a staid show of poor euro-pop into a lively exhibition of glamour and outrageous costumes.

In Hamburg, 30,000 people partied in the streets watching the contest on big screens.

Latvia's first Eurovision victory means next year's contest will be hosted by Riga.


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