Zelmerlow was crowned the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on Saturday night (May 23)
Sweden’s Eurovision winner Mans Zelmerlow has been criticised for homophobic remarks made prior to Saturday’s contest.
Zelmerlow was crowned the winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on Saturday night (May 23), holding off competition from Russia’s Polina Gagarina with his song ‘Heroes’. The singer performed his song in front of thousands at the Wiener Stadthalle with a high-tech performance incorporating video animation.
Mans Zelmerlow, who was the favourite to win throughout the build-up to this year’s contest, has seen a backlash following the revelation of anti-LGBT comments he made in 2014.
According to Pink News, Zelmerlow appeared on celebrity cooking show Pluras kök in Sweden last year, where he expressed his views that “it isn’t equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another”. He also reportedly said that “the more natural thing of course is that men and women make children together.”
Zelmerlow later apologised for his remarks, saying: “I want to apologise to all who take offence. I believe and hope that the vast majority know that I respect differences and all forms of love.”
In receiving his prize from last year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, Zelmerlow said during his acceptance speech: “I’m so extremely happy. I want to thank everyone for voting for me. We are all heroes. No matter who we are, who we love or what we believe in. We are all heroes.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s entry, swing duo Electro Velvet, fared less well and finished 24th out of 27 with just 5 points. Their song ‘I’m Still In Love With You’ failed to impress voters and makes it 18 years since Britain last won the competition. Australia were invited to join Eurovision this year to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary and finished fifth.