Portugal's Sobral wins Eurovision contest with tender ballad

Calvin Saunders
May 24, 2017

Blanche had been one of the early favourites with this contemporary pop song before rehearsals started in Kiev, but the 17-year-old slipped in the pundits' list of top songs after some nervous performances.

"But beside that, I want to be very honest about this - you embrace this experience of Eurovision with the aim of living a great adventure and not necessarily thinking of the first or second place". Portugal also won the first Semi-Final on Tuesday, had the judged vote and the popular vote so the win was absolute.

Portugal's win means the 2018 "Eurovision Song Contest" will be held in Lisbon.

Portugal's Salvador Sobral won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest narrowly beating Bulgaria and Moldova, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene. With less than a week since their victory, RTP wasted no time in announcing the Portuguese capital as the 2018 host city.

Eurovision organizers condemned Ukraine's decision to ban Samoylova but said Russian could instead take part in the competition via satellite or simply choose a different contestant who could legally travel to Ukraine.

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Although Eurovision supposed to be non-political, this year's contest saw its share of political controversy. The move allowed Russia-Ukraine tensions over Eurovision to fester. Portugal returned after a years absence, and won over the viewers at home. Romania fielded a duo that combined rap and yodelling.

But last year's victor Jamala, whose victory brought the 2017 competition to the Ukrainian capital, struck a more serious note with a song about the 1944 forced relocation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

More than 10,000 have been killed in the war between Ukraine and pro-Russian fighters that erupted in 2014 following the Maidan street protests that ousted a pro-Russian president, and the annexation of Crimea.

"And yes, there is a war going on, but it's further, further out", said Stephanie Novak, a visiting fan from Australia. "I think that Ronaldo is a real hero", he joked.

The acrimony is ironic, since Eurovision was founded in 1956 to bring the recently warring countries of Europe together.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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