German teenager wins Eurovision contest

Sat May 29, 2010 7:26pm EDT
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By Wojciech Moskwa and Joachim Dagenborg

OSLO (Reuters) - Nineteen-year-old German Lena won the 55th Eurovision song contest with the British-styled pop song "Satellite" Saturday, beating 24 other contestants in one of Europe's most watched TV programs.

Lena, the second-ever German winner of Eurovision, was an unknown before she won Germany's qualifiers for the contest and delighted the crowd in the Norwegian capital Oslo with her youthful and energetic personality.

"This is so absolutely awesome. I feel that this is not real," said the teen-ager, whose full non-stage name is Lena Mayer-Landrut.

"I'm kind of freaking out. This feels incredibly good."

Eurovision, which drew 124 million viewers last year, parades a wide array of musical styles in original songs, mostly from relatively unknown artists.

In the self-proclaimed European song championships, flag-draped fans and outrageous outfits are par for the course and contestants mix glitz and kitsch, ballads, rock 'n' roll and disco to lure the highest number of votes.

But unlike past years when polished super-productions took center stage, Lena's fresh and untrained style appealed most.

To promote talent over politically and geographically motivated bloc voting, which has in the past decade mainly rewarded Eastern European countries, professional judges now account for 50 percent of a performer's score.   Continued...

<p>Lena Mayer-Landrut from Germany celebrates after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final in Oslo May 29, 2010. REUTERS/Cornelius Poppe/Scanpix Norway</p>