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Portugal wins Eurovision for the first time, as the UK comes in fifteenth

By | Published on Monday 15 May 2017

Eurovision Song Contest

Salvador Sobral became Portugal’s first ever Eurovision winner on Saturday night, with a song written for him by his sister Luisa, called ‘Amar Pelos Dois’. The UK, meanwhile, came fifteenth, which is bullshit mate.

The winning song and Sobral stood out among this year’s entrants for a variety of reasons. Not least because Portugal was the only country not to attempt to fill the massive main stage at the event, opting for an intimate performance on a smaller stage surrounded by the audience. With Sobral also presenting himself off stage as deadpan and unenthusiastic, the decision to go small where everyone else went big ultimately paid off. Also, the song was good.

“People listen to songs because they’re thrown at you”, he said at a press conference after his win. “You have to like this because we’re going to play it sixteen times a day and force you to like it. [But ‘Amar Pelos Dois’] is music with content, an emotional song with a beautiful lyrical message and harmony – things people are not used to listening to these days. If I can help to bring some change to music I would be really joyful. And I hope it will encourage people to bring different things and all sorts of music to future editions of this contest”.

The UK entry was another song that stood out at this year’s competition – not least because we put forward something good for the first time in a very long time. Lucie Jones’ ‘I Will Never Give Up On You’ was one of the stand out songs and performances of the night, but still ended up in fifteenth place. Good compared to recent UK performances at Eurovision, but still disappointing. It had been top ten following the jury votes, but was dragged down once the public votes were added.

Speaking to The Sun, Jones said that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union had probably scuppered her chances, remarking: “I had no idea how Brexit was going to affect the vote until I was there. I did notice lots of Brexit comments. I mean the Aussies were the only ones to give us twelve points out of everyone – now that was pretty awkward”.

Even more awkward was the response from Conservative councillor Nick Harrington, when Ireland failed to award the UK twelve points. “Thanks Ireland”, he tweeted. “You can keep your f’king gypsies. Hard border coming folks!”

He has now been suspended by the political party, pending an investigation. So his weekend didn’t go as well as he’d hoped, I imagine. Still, at least he isn’t now facing five years in a Ukrainian prison, unlike ‘prankster’ Vitalii Sediuk. He got up on stage draped in an Australian flag and mooned the audience during a performance by last year’s winner Jamala. This did not go down well.

Sediuk’s previous pranks apparently include attempting to accept a Grammy Award meant for Adele and attacking other celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Brad Pitt. On this occasion though, his japes ended up in his arrest. According to reports, he now faces a fine or a jail sentence of up to five years on charges of aggravated battery.

On the whole though, the event went pretty well. And accusations of political voting aside, the UK did get low level points from a lot of countries, suggesting that we’re not entirely hated. We also came below some yodelling and a guy duetting with himself, which seems in the spirit of Eurovision, so we shouldn’t feel too bad about it.