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The winner of the contest was Ukraine with the song "1944", written and performed by Jamala.

This was Ukraine's second win and its first since 2004.

Twenty-six countries competed in the final, which was the first to be broadcast on live television in the United States.

The Czech Republic managed to qualify for the final for the first time in five attempts since its debut in 2007, while both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece failed to qualify from the semi-finals for the first time ever, the latter being absent from the final for the first time since 2000.

A record-breaking 204 million viewers worldwide watched the contest, beating the 2015 viewing figures by over 5 million.

The contest took place in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, following Sweden's victory at the 2015 contest in Vienna with the song "Heroes", performed by Måns Zelmerlöw.

The Director General of Radiotelevisione della Repubblica di San Marino (SMRTV), Carlo Romeo, stated on 23 February that the use of a substitute televoting result discriminated against microstates like San Marino, which only used a professional jury due to their use of the Italian phone system and would therefore have its voting representation diminished under the new system, and criticised the EBU for not contacting its members before making the decision.

Eurovision The Party, hosted by Sanna Nielsen, allowed fans to watch the final on a big screen and featured backstage material from the Ericsson Globe such as Nielsen conducting exclusive interviews and appearing with hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw.

The contest was also the first to implement a voting system change since 1975: each country's professional jury points were announced largely as before, while the results of each national televote were combined and announced in reverse order.

SVT proposed a change of start time of the contest from CEST to CEST on 9 September, arguing that such a change would help to promote family viewing of the contest, especially in eastern Europe when it would run late into the night.

The EBU announced on 23 September that rather than using clips from their respective music videos, extended clips from the dress rehearsals of the six acts who qualified directly to the final (the "Big Five" and Sweden) would be shown as previews during the semi-final in which they were allocated to vote.

The three live shows were directed by Sven Stojanović and the contest was produced by Christer Björkman.

The EBU announced on 18 February 2016 that a new voting system would be implemented at the contest for the first time since 1975.

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