Portugal wins Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev

Andrew Cummings
May 16, 2017

Salvador Sobral, singer of the winning entry Amar Polos Dois, described the triumph as a 'victory for music'.

But he says that Ronaldo is the real "hero" after he helped fire his country into the Euro 2016 final, limping off as Portugal shocked hosts France to clinch their first major trophy.

Runner-up Kristian Kostov of Bulgaria wasn't short on feeling - his powerful song "Beautiful Mess" was awash in melodrama, the singer appearing nearly wrung out by romantic turmoil.

Hosted by Ukraine in Kiev, the contest featured a familiar high-tech stage using projections, fireworks and pyrotechnics to illustrate the 26 songs.

Yet heightened security has seen officers patrolling with semi-automatic machine guns and camouflaged police vans on the streets.

As the shelling goes on there, the impact of the hostilities echoes in the contest with neighbour Russian Federation conspicuously absent. 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.

The 27-year-old singer only arrived in Kiev a week before the grand final, prevented from attending the earlier rehearsals because of a life-threatening heart condition and is reportedly awaiting a heart transplant.

Russian Federation responded by refusing to air the contest and viewers in separatist eastern Ukraine were also unable to watch.

Admittedly Italian Francesco Gabbani's cerebral references to Hamlet, the state of Western civilisation and Desmond Morris's anthropology book "The Naked Ape" may be lost on viewers focusing on the giant gorilla-costumed dancer boogeying by his side.

"I'm happy my romantic song won, and I hope the gala stops being a popularity contest". The union, however, has been criticized for not barring "1944" past year, allowing Russia-Ukraine tensions to fester.

The song didn't do that well, given the United Kingdom came in 15th with 111 points, but it's still the best result the country has had in five years.

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

The authorities handed out a map of gay-friendly venues to fans of the contest with a massive gay following.

"A page of history has been written in Portuguese this evening at Eurovision".

This post was syndicated from The Independent Uganda:.

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