Eurovision 2017 has come and gone again, this time being hosted in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, following on from Jamala’s win last year. And no- we didn’t win, but we did the best we’ve done since 2011, placing 15th. There hasn’t been much of a “Brexit” effect, but we’ll see what happens next year. This year’s success has definitely reinvigorated Britain, so I really think that we’ll be back in the years to come. It may take a little while, but I reckon the UK can reclaim Eurovision glory within the next few years. Here’s our entry, a power ballad performed by Lucie Jones. Both the performance and the staging was gorgeous and definitely looked amazing.
Now, onto the well-deserved winner. Last year, things were a little contested between Ukraine and Australia, but this year Portugal was way out in front. They were lapping up 12 points from the get go. The song was performed in Portuguese, called Amar Pelos Dois (Loving for the two of us), by singer Salvador Sobral (and written by his sister, Luisa Sobral). The song was performed beautifully, taking away all of the usual flash and glamour of typical Eurovision. Instead, it was just him, singing the song. This instantly made it much better, and their win was well very deserved. Congratulations to Portugal (especially as this is their first win!), Salvador and Luisa (who, in a very sweet moment, shared singing the song with him for the winner’s performance).
The newly introduced system of separating the televotes and jury votes was in full force yet again, and whilst I still have some issues with it, this year the voting system fitted in much better and worked well, awarding the two front runners (Portugal and Bulgaria) well, and giving a much needed boost to countries like Croatia, and Romania, both which had standout performances. All I can say is- Croatia sung a duet with himself, and Romania mixed rapping and yodelling. Both are classic Eurovision, and both are worth a listen, if only for the entertainment value. Another classic Eurovision song was Italy’s entry, involving a dancing gorilla (“because at the end of the day, we are all apes”, so says Italy’s entrant). The song was actually a favourite, but only ended up placing 6th.
I have to admit, after last year’s amazing show, I was hoping for a lot more from the hosts. I was disappointed. Whilst last year’s hosts, Mans and Petra, were naturally funny and able to go from serious to hilarious quickly, this year’s hosts did not live up. With this year’s theme being “Celebrate Diversity”, the fact that three white men were hosting (for only the second time in Eurovision history) did not help. It didn’t help that the hosts weren’t funny either. They did try, especially green room host Timur, but failed miserably. For most of the show, you just felt that the hosts would rather be anywhere else. The only funny part of their hosting involved Mans from last year “training” them- even that failed (as Graham Norton noted, “they sound exactly the same, Mans”). Even the crowd seemed to agree: at one point, one of the hosts asked for a cheer in the green room and was met with silence. Here’s to hoping Portugal can do a better job of hosting next year.
After everything is said and done, I have to add that I feel much more satisfied with this year’s competition. Portugal got their first win after 53 years, with a beautiful song, and The UK did very well, all things considered. Whilst the hosts fell a little flat, the rest of the evening was charming and entertaining. See you in Portugal next year!