Ballad beats glitz as Portugal's Sobral wins Eurovision

Henrietta Brewer
May 16, 2017

In a news report earlier this afternoon on RTP, the national broadcaster confirmed that the Portuguese capital of Lisbon will indeed host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, revealing that 'it is certain that Lisbon will receive the edition for 2018′.

Portugal had been one of the favourites to win, along with Italy's entry, which came sixth.

Graham Norton guided United Kingdom viewers through the contest on BBC One, and described her performance as "stunning", adding: "It has to be one of our strongest entrants in years".

Portugal's Salvador Sobral with Amar Pelos Dois won the contest for 2017.

Speaking after his win, Salvador - who has fought ill health to take part in the competition - dedicated his triumph to "music that means something".

Unlike the 25 other competitors who performed on a wide stage backed by flashing lights, bursts of flames and other effects, Sobral sang from a small elevated circle in the middle of the crowd, an intimate contrast to others' bombast.

He said: "We live in a world of disposable music, fast food music without content and I think this can be a victory for music that means something".

"Music is not fireworks, music is feeling", the 27-year-old said as he accepted the award. This is considerably better than previous year, when Romania was barred from the contest because of debts owed by the country's national broadcaster.

Sobral captured 758 points in the contest, 143 more than second-placed Kristian Kostov, from Bulgaria.

In the late 1990s, however, Eurovision underwent some modernisation, ditching the traditional orchestra accompaniment to songs, introducing a free language rule to end the advantage for English-speaking countries and introducing a televote to allow the TV audience to register a preference.

Russian Federation - one of Eurovision's heavy hitters - is tied with Sweden for the most top-five finishes this century.

The song attained 758 points, ahead of Bulgaria in second on 615 points and Moldova in third on 374 points, and way up from last year's victor Jamala for Ukraine, which received 534 points. This year's contestant however, Yuliya Samoylova, was banned from competing by Ukraine because she had toured in Crimea after Russia's 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

In response, Russia's state-owned Channel 1 television is refusing to broadcast the contest, replacing Saturday's final with a screening of the film "Alien".

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