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Portugal wins Eurovision for the first time

14 Mai 2017

Portugal's Salvador Sobral won the Eurovision Song Contest, the wildly popular annual competition that pits singers from nations in the European Broadcasting Union.

Another favourite with the bookmakers was Bulgaria's big-voiced 17-year-old singer Kristian Kostov who gave a confident performance of "Beautiful Mess".

Australia's Isaiah Firebrace came in fourth place - higher than the initial favourite Italy - after the jury votes, but got just three points from the viewers' votes with many people blaming a mooning man who stormed the stage during a half-time performance with an Australian flag for the drop in votes.

"Music is not fireworks, music is feeling", he said after winning.

"We live in a world of fast food music".

The song was written by Sobral's sister, Luisa, who also filled in for her brother during the first and second rehearsals because of his heath condition.

Portugal's win means the 2018 "Eurovision Song Contest" will be held in Lisbon.

Sobral's jazz-style ballad has been named the victor of Eurovision 2017.

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After Ukraine won in Sweden in 2016, with a song that was controversial in its own right, there were concerns that the security situation in the country's east - where the Ukrainian military is fighting Russia-backed separatists - might rule out holding the next contest in Kiev.

To the untrained eye, then, the Eurovision Song Contest is best described as an all-singing Logie Awards crossed with the Brownlow Medal Count.

Kiev barred Russia's wheelchair-user singer Yuliya Samoilova because she had illegally entered Crimea to perform there after Moscow's disputed 2014 annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine.

A top Ukrainian official said Saturday that "Russian invading forces" had killed four civilians in shelling hours before the contest started.

Ukraine banned Samoylova from traveling to the capital of Kiev after allegations emerged she illegally entered Crimea to perform in 2015.

Ukraine is hosting the competition while the country is fighting a war, hundreds of kilometers away in the east, against Russian-backed separatists, after its Crimean Tatar entry Jamala won the competition previous year. It launched a year before the foundation of the European Economic Community, forerunner of the European Union.

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final will be broadcast on Sunday at 5am (AEST) live on SBS and repeated at 7.30pm. Unfortunately for Israel, they finished with a result of 23rd.

The 21-year-old Denmark representative proved practice makes ideal because she delivered a flawless vocal although her production was light-on with a waterfall of pyros the only concession to Eurovision's special effects agenda.

Portugal wins Eurovision for the first time