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Principale » Italy, Portugal lead the pack as Kiev hosts Eurovision final

Italy, Portugal lead the pack as Kiev hosts Eurovision final

13 Mai 2017

Of those planning to watch, 26% of people said their reason for watching was the "amusing commentary", which will again be provided by Graham Norton, 19% are planning to make fun of the show and just 9% say they tune in because they like the music. In particular, I love Romania's entry, "Yodel It!" which features some weird sing talking and a yodelled chorus.

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

Ukraine is hosting the competition while the country is fighting a war, hundreds of kilometres away in the east, against Russian-backed separatists, after its Crimean Tatar entry Jamala won the competition past year. Since the victor was from Ukraine a year ago, the competition is slated to take place in Kyiv.

But the emotional force of his singing has touched a nerve in Portugal, which has never won higher than sixth place in the Eurovision contest, in 1996, since it first started competing in 1964. Overtly political flags and banners are banned, and lyrics are monitored for provocative content.

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final is on Saturday on BBC One at 8pm. In 2009 the EBU nixed the Georgian entry "We Don't Wanna Put In", a dig at Putin.

300 students hospitalised after gas leaks from chemical container
As the news broke, Union Health Minister JP Nadda instructed all Centre-run hospitals to be ready to help the victims. It is suspected that the chemical, imported from China, spilled when the containers were being loaded or unloaded.

You'll be able to follow the action online on any device via the Eurovision YouTube channel's live stream, which we've embedded right here at the top of this article.

The acrimony is ironic, since Eurovision was founded in 1956 to bring the recently warring countries of Europe together. Other non-European entrants include Israel and Azerbaijan. Sweden has won the contest six times, while Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom have won five times.

Someone previous winners have been shocks to the eyeballs - such as Finland's monster-masked Lordi in 2006 or bearded drag-queen chanteuse Conchita Wurst of Austria in 2014.

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. The result of this poll says more about the people voting than Eurovision itself.

Oh, Britain. Daz Sampson and his tragically-named Sampsonites (young women dressed as schoolgirls) was perhaps one of the worst songs inflicted on the rest of Europe. "But I think if Adele or Ed Sheeran entered the competition they could still win it". To get some perspective on what it's like to live in a country that does participate, I asked Kotaku's Luke Plunkett.