Multitalented and modest Mans Zelmerlow, winner of Sweden’s sixth Eurovision Song Contest, is not the sort of guy to throw in the towel.
The 28-year-old singer and musician failed to get into music college and was twice rejected to represent Sweden in Eurovision, succeeding on his third attempt in March.
He also came fifth in the talent show “Idol” in 2005, but his good looks, charm and voice have made him a regular feature on Sweden’s screens ever since.
His refusal to give in has endeared the son of a doctor and university professor born in Lund, southern Sweden to his countrymen.
And at the same time, despite being a television presenter, a musician and a dancer too, winning the “Let’s Dance” competition in 2006, Zelmerlow is anything but arrogant.
Speaking in Vienna after narrowly beating Russia’s Polina Gagarina in Eurovision, he said that he was sure someone else would win.
“I couldn’t believe it. I really thought either Russia or Italy would win,” he said.
His performance of his song “Heroes” featured an small figure projected behind him on the stage.
The animation, he said, “was me when I was 10 or 11, when I was bullied”.
He has also set up a charity with former tennis player Jonas Bjorkman, the Zemerlow & Bjorkman Foundation, to help disadvantaged children develop their talents.
Not everything he has said has gone down well, however, most notably when in 2014 he found himself in hot water over comments made about homosexuality.
He quickly and profusely apologised and earlier this month told a newspaper that he could “absolutely” imagine being in a relationship with another man — provided he was “attracted” to him.
In fact his love life often fills the tabloids.
“I have tried (dating app) Tinder but I realised that I won’t find the girl of my dreams there,” he told a magazine recently.