Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Portugal win Eurovision for first time

Portugal win Eurovision for first time

The Eurovision Song Contest has gone back to basics, with a stripped-down jazz ballad taking the prize in the 2017 edition of the world-famous competition.

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.

Brace yourself! One of the greatest entertainment events of the year is headed your way on Saturday: The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

Portugal was followed by Bulgaria's Kristian Kostov, who won the second Semi-Final.

Sobral, 27, had a message to pass on when he went on stage after winning the title, claiming his win as a victory for "music that actually means something".

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

Bank of England keeps interest rates on hold but lowers growth forecast
Together with the Bank's trimmed United Kingdom growth forecast and weak industrial output data, that helped pull the pound below $1.28.

Third was Moldova's SunStroke Project with a raucous song called "Hey, Mamma" featuring a saxophonist in sunglasses and dancers in wedding dresses and veils. No prizes for guessing that this was his doodle of Italy's act.

The elephant in the room at Saturday's contest is Russian Federation, which is boycotting the event after Ukraine barred Moscow's contestant from entering the country - a symptom of the countries' toxic relations after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. But the sweet intentions were soured for this 62nd edited when Russia's participation was scuttled by host Ukraine over the two nations' diplomatic and military conflict. Ireland have won the most times - seven in all - following by Sweden.

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". Overtly political flags and banners are banned, and lyrics are monitored for provocative content. This dwarfed Jamala's win previous year for Ukraine with 534 points.

"And I think isn't it the whole point of Eurovision to help bring Europe together?"

The six-decade old song competition has served as the launchpad for a string of high-profile artists, notably ABBA, who won in 1974 with Waterloo, Celine Dion, who won with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi in 1988 and Brotherhood of Man, who won in 1976 with Save All Your Kisses For Me.

Like this: