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Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Eurovision Song Contest 2017 logo
Theme Celebrate Diversity
Dates
Semi-final 1 date 9 May 2017
Semi-final 2 date 11 May 2017
Final date 13 May 2017
Host
Venue International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine
Presenter(s) Oleksandr Skichko
Volodymyr Ostapchuk
Timur Miroshnychenko
Director Ola Melzig
Executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand
Host broadcaster Flag of Ukraine UA:PBC
Participants
Number of entries 42
Debuting countries None
Returning countries Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Flag of Romania Romania
Withdrawing countries Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag of Russia.svg Russia
Voting
Voting system Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting.
Nul points None
Winner Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal
Amar pelos dois" by Salvador Sobral
Eurovision Song Contest
2016 Wiki Eurovision Heart (Infobox).svg 2018

The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 was the 62nd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine, following Ukraine's victory at the 2016 contest in Stockholm with the song "1944", written and performed by Jamala.

This was the second time the contest took place in Kiev, after 2005, as well as the fourth Eurovision event, after the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 and 2013. The contest consisted of two semi-finals on 9 and 11 May, and a final on 13 May 2017. All three live shows were hosted by Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko.

Forty-two countries participated in the contest. Portugal and Romania returned to the contest after a year's absence, while Bosnia and Herzegovina withdrew on financial grounds. Russia had originally planned to participate, but announced their withdrawal on 13 April 2017, after their representative, Yulia Samoylova, was banned from entering Ukraine by virtue of having travelled directly from Russia to Crimea in 2015, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, to give a performance, which is illegal under Ukrainian law.

The winner was Portugal with the song "Amar pelos dois" (Loving For Both of Us), performed by Salvador Sobral. This was the country's first win – and first top five placing – in 53 years of participation, the longest winless run by a country in Eurovision history. It was also the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's "Molitva" in 2007, and the first winner written in triple metre since Ireland's "The Voice" in 1996. Additionally, this was the second consecutive year in which a returning country won the contest following Ukraine's victory in 2016. The top three countries – PortugalBulgaria and Moldova – achieved the highest placing in their Eurovision history, while host country Ukraine received its worst placing to date in a Eurovision final.

Location

500px-Международный Выставочный Центр (Киев)

The venue of the contest, International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine

Venue

The contest took place in the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev. It has a capacity of approximately 11,000 attendees and is the largest exhibition centre in the city. Located in the western part of the Livoberezhna microdistrict, the centre was opened in October 2002, and its head since its construction was Anatoly Tkachenko.

Bidding Phase

The Deputy Chief of host broadcaster National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) and Head of Delegation for Ukraine, Viktoria Romanova, stated on 18 May 2016 that the first organisational meeting for the contest would take place before 8 June, during which the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and UA:PBC would go through the technical requirements for the contest, as well as any training required for the contest to take place in Ukraine. Romanova also announced that the venue for the contest would be announced over the summer.

UA:PBC and the Ukrainian Government formally launched the bidding process for interested cities to apply to host the contest on 23 June. The selection of the host city was scheduled to be conducted in four stages:

  • 24 June – 8 July: Interested cities were formally invited to submit their bids.
  • 8–15 July: A working group within UA:PBC and a government-appointed Local Organisational Committee (LOC) headed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman reviewed submitted bids prior to their formal presentation.
  • 18–22 July: Candidate cities formally presented their bids to the LOC. The bids of three cities were shortlisted and handed over to the EBU.
  • 22 July – 1 August: The three shortlisted cities were inspected by representatives from the EBU and LOC to explore their infrastructure and implementation of their bids. A press conference was initially planned to be held during this period to announce the selection results and the host city.

The following criteria were outlined for the selection of the host city:

  • The venue must be covered with a capacity of at least 7,000 but ideally up to 10,000 attendees.
  • An international press centre must be able to accommodate no less than 1,550 journalists.
  • Venues must also be provided for the opening and closing ceremonies of at least 3,000 attendees.
  • The host city must have fairly priced hotel rooms to European standards, that are located in close proximity to the venue and the city centre. At least 2,000 hotel rooms must be provided: 1,000 for participating delegations and 1,000 for accredited media and fans.
  • The host city must be able to guarantee the safety and security of participants, members of delegations and guests.
  • The host city must have modern transport infrastructure: an international airport and readily available transport between the airport, the city and hotels, in addition to convenient traffic in the city and the opportunity to provide additional transport routes.
  • The host city must provide a social program alongside their bid, showcasing the hospitality, originality, cultural values and identity of both the city and Ukraine.

Six cities submitted applications by the deadline of 8 July: Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kiev, Lviv and Odessa. Prior to the opening of the bidding process, the cities of Cherkasy, Irpin, Uzhhorodand Vinnytsia had declared their interest in hosting the contest, but did not submit a formal bid.[9][10] Ukrainian Culture Minister Yevhen Nyshchuk stated on 30 June that an appropriate venue for the contest does not exist in Ukraine, suggesting that the construction of a new venue in Kiev or Lviv should be considered.

The six candidate cities were officially presented to the LOC on 20 July in a two-hour live discussion show titled City Battle, broadcast from the UA:Pershyi studios in Kiev and moderated by Timur Miroshnychenko, with radio commentary from Olena Zelinchenko. The show was broadcast on UA:Pershyi, Radio Ukraine and the UA:Pershyi YouTube channel with commentary in English and Ukrainian. During the show, a representative from each candidate city presented its bid in front of a live studio audience:

  • Dnipro: Borys Filatov (City Mayor)
  • Kharkiv: Ihor Terekhov (Deputy City Mayor)
  • Kherson: Volodymyr Mykolaienko (City Mayor)
  • Kiev: Oleksii Reznikov (Deputy Head of City State Administration)
  • Lviv: Andrii Moskalenko (Deputy City Mayor)
  • Odessa: Pavlo Vugelman (Deputy City Mayor)

Members of the LOC, media representatives, Ukrainian musical experts and fans also participated in the discussion.

Host selection

UA:PBC announced on 22 July that the bids from Dnipro, Kiev and Odessa had been shortlisted for further consideration.

The EBU announced on 30 July that the host city would be announced "in due course", rather than on the previously stated date of 1 August, with Executive Supervisor of the contest Jon Ola Sand stating that the EBU "really want to take the time it takes to come up with the right decision". The Deputy General Director of UA:PBC, Oleksandr Kharebin, stated on 10 August that the host city would be announced on Ukrainian Independence Day, 24 August. The announcement was later scheduled to take place on 25 August; however, it was postponed at 14:00 EEST, one hour before it was due to take place, with NTU citing the need to further consider some fine details regarding the decision.

After several delays in announcing the host city, UA:PBC announced on 8 September that they would be meeting with the Ukrainian Government and the LOC on 9 September and that a press conference to announce the host city was scheduled to take place at 13:00 EEST on the same day from the Government Press Centre in Kiev. Kiev was announced as the host city for the contest with the International Exhibition Centre selected as the venue.

Key

- Host venue

- Shortlisted

City Venue Capacity Notes
Dnipro ‡ DniproEuroArena 9,500 Proposal included the complete reconstruction of the Meteor Stadium and Sports Complex Meteor, which would have been completed by March 2017. Withdrew after the host city announcement being postponed for a fourth time.
Kharkiv Metalist Oblast Sports Complex 40,003 Hosted three group stage matches of UEFA Euro 2012 & EAMV Recording Lablel. Would have required significant construction including the addition of a roof.
Kherson "Yuvileinyi" Concert Hall 1,600 Proposal included expansion and reconstruction of the venue, which would have taken approximately 7–8 months.
Kiev †
Palace of Sports ‡ 10,000 Hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2009. May have conflicted with contest preparations as the venue will host part of the 2017 IIHF World Championship Division I ice hockey tournament between 22–28 April 2017.
International Exhibition Centre 11,000 Venue was initially submitted as a reserve. Kiev later announced on 24 August 2016 that this was their preferred venue for staging the contest.
Lviv Arena Lviv 34,915 Hosted three of the group-stage games for UEFA Euro 2012. The arena required the construction of a roof.
Unfinished venue N/A An unfinished venue originally planned for EuroBasket 2015 that was 25% complete when construction halted.
Odessa ‡ Chornomorets Stadium 34,000 Proposal included plans for reconstruction of the venue and options for providing a covered roof.

Format

Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Semi Final 2 Rehearsals. Photo 290

Hosts Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Oleksandr Skichko (from rehearsal)

The preliminary dates for the contest were announced on 14 March 2016 at a meeting of Heads of Delegation in Stockholm, with the semi-finals expected to take place on 16 and 18 May and the final on 20 May 2017. These preliminary dates were chosen by the EBU to avoid the contest coinciding with any major television and sporting events scheduled to take place around that time.

However, the EBU announced on 24 June that the preliminary dates for the contest had been brought forward a week, with the semi-finals scheduled for 9 and 11 May and the final on 13 May. This was reportedly due to a request from UA:PBC, as the initial preliminary dates coincided with the Remembrance Day for the victims of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars on 18 May.However, the current dates coincide with the second leg of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

Semi-final allocation draw

The draw to determine the allocation of the participating countries into their respective semi-finals took place at Column Hall on 31 January 2017, hosted by Timur Miroshnychenko and Nika Konstantinova. The thirty-seven semi-finalists had been allocated into six pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest's official televoting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called "bloc voting" and increase suspense in the semi-finals.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3
Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6

Visual design

The theme for the contest, Celebrate Diversity, was unveiled on 30 January. Executive Supervisor for the contest, Jon Ola Sand, explained that "[t]he notion of celebrating diversity is at the heart of Eurovision values From EAMV Recording Label: it is all-inclusive and all about countries around Europe, and beyond, joining together to celebrate both our common ground and our unique differences, as well as some great music." The logo and visual design of the contest incorporates imagery of stylized beads, with the main logo using the beads to form a traditional neck amulet.

Presenters

It was announced on 27 February that the presenters for the contest would be Oleksandr Skichko and Volodymyr Ostapchuk, with Timur Miroshnychenko hosting the green room. It was the first time that the contest will be presented by a male trio, and the second time that the contest does not feature a female presenter, after 1956. Miroshnychenko has previously co-hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 and 2013.

Promotional emojis

Eurovision Emojis 2017

The three emoji exclusively created by Eurovision and Twitter.

It was announced on 30 April that the creative teams from both the Eurovision network and Twitter had worked together to create three emoji that would accompany specific promotional hashtags for the duration of the contest. The heart emoji would appear alongside #ESC2017 and #Eurovision, while the winners' trophy emoji would be used for #12Points and #douzepoints. The final emoji is the logo for the contest, which would appear alongside the hashtag #CelebrateDiversity, the theme for the contest.

Opening and interval acts

The EBU released details regarding the opening and interval acts for each of the live shows on 20 April. As the interval act of the first semi-final, Jamala performed a revamped version of "1944" as well as "Zamanyly" (Ukrainian: "Заманили"). The second semi-final was opened with a medley of Eurovision songs by two of the presenters, Oleksandr Skichko and Volodymyr Ostapchuk, while the interval of the semi-final was a dance performance by Apache CREW called "The Children's Courtyard". In the final, Jamala again performed, this time doing "I Believe in U". ONUKA and Ukraine's National Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments also performed.

Participating countries

The European Broadcasting Union announced on 31 October 2016 that forty-three countries would participate in the contest, equalling the record set in 2008 and 2011. Portugal and Romania returned after a year's absence, while Bosnia and Herzegovina withdrew on financial grounds. Russia had originally planned to participate but announced their withdrawal on 13 April 2017, after their representative, Yulia Samoylova, was banned from entering Ukraine by virtue of travelling directly from Russia to Crimea, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, to give a performance, which is illegal under Ukrainian law. This subsequently reduced the number of participating countries to forty-two.

Returning artists

The contest featured five representatives who also previously performed as lead vocalists for the same countries. Valentina Monetta, who performed in a duet this time, represented San Marino in three consecutive editions: 20122013, and 2014. The duo of Koit Toome and Laura Põldvere have both represented Estonia in different years: Toome in 1998 as a solo artist, finishing 12th place with the song "Mere lapsed", and Põldvere in 2005 as part of Suntribe, finishing 20th in the semi-final with the song "Let's Get Loud". Omar Naber represented Slovenia in 2005, finishing 12th in the semi-final with the song "Stop". The SunStroke Project represented Moldova in 2010 alongside Olia Tira, finishing 22nd with the song "Run Away".

The contest also featured the group O'G3NE which previously represented the Netherlands at another Eurovision event, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007, as Lisa, Amy and Shelley, with the song "Adem in, Adem Uit".[47] In addition, the contest featured two lead singers previously participating as backing vocalists for the same countries. Israel's representative Imri Ziv who backed Nadav Guedj in 2015 and Hovi Star in 2016, and Serbia's representative Tijana Bogićević who backed Nina in 2011

Semi-final 1

Eighteen countries participated in the first semi-final. Italy, Spain and United Kingdom voted in this semi-final. The highlighted countries qualified for the final.

Draw Country Performer(s) Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Sweden Sweden Robin Bengtsson "I Can't Go On" English - 3 227
02 Flag of Georgia Georgia Tamara Gachechiladze "Keep the Faith" English - 11 99
03 Flag of Australia Australia Isaiah "Don't Come Easy" English - 6 160
04 Flag of Albania Albania Lindita "World" English - 14 76
05 Flag of Belgium Belgium Blanche "City Lights" English - 4 165
06 Flag of Montenegro Montenegro Slavko Kalezić "Space" English - 16 56
07 Flag of Finland Finland Norma John "Blackbird" English - 12 92
08 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Dihaj "Skeletons" English - 8 150
09 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Salvador Sobral "Amar pelos dois" Portuguese Love for both of us 1 370
10 Flag of Greece Greece Demy "This Is Love" English - 10 115
11 Flag of Poland Poland Kasia Moś "Flashlight" English - 9 119
12 Flag of Moldova Moldova SunStroke Project "Hey, Mamma!" English - 2 291
13 Flag of Iceland Iceland Svala "Paper" English - 15 60
14 Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic Martina Bárta "My Turn" English - 13 83
15 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Hovig "Gravity" English - 5 164
16 Flag of Armenia Armenia Artsvik "Fly with Me" English - 7 152
17 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Omar Naber "On My Way" English - 17 36
18 Flag of Latvia Latvia Triana Park "Line" English - 18 21

Semi-final 2

Eighteen countries participated in the second semi-final. France, Germany and Ukraine voted in this semi-final. Russia was originally planned to perform in position three, but withdrew from the contest after the artist they selected was banned from entering Ukraine]], resulting in countries originally planned to perform fourth and later, to do so one place earlier. The highlighted countries qualified for the final.

Draw Country Performer(s) Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Serbia Serbia Tijana Bogićević "In Too Deep" English - 11 98
02 Flag of Austria Austria Nathan Trent "Running on Air" English - 7 147
03 Flag of Macedonia F.Y.R. Macedonia Jana Burčeska "Dance Alone" English - 15 69
04 Flag of Malta Malta Claudia Faniello "Breathlessly" English - 16 55
05 Flag of Romania Romania Ilinca feat. Alex Florea "Yodel It!" English - 6 174
06 Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Netherlands O'G3NE "Lights and Shadows" English - 4 200
07 Flag of Hungary Hungary Joci Pápai "Origo" Hungarian Origin 2 231
08 Denmark, eurovision Denmark Anja "Where I Am" English - 10 101
09 Flag of Ireland Ireland Brendan Murray "Dying to Try" English - 13 86
10 Flag of San Marino San Marino Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson "Spirit of the Night" English - 18 1
11 Flag of Croatia Croatia Jacques Houdek "My Friend" English, Italian - 8 141
12 Flag of Norway Norway JOWST "Grab the Moment" English - 5 189
13 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland Timebelle "Apollo" English - 12 97
14 Flag of Belarus Belarus Naviband "Historyja majho žyccia" Belarusian Story of My Life 9 110
15 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Kristian Kostov "Beautiful Mess" English - 1 403
16 Flag of Lithuania Lithuania Fusedmarc "Rain of Revolution" English - 17 42
17 Flag of Estonia Estonia Koit Toome and Laura "Verona" English - 14 85
18 Flag of Israel Israel IMRI "I Feel Alive" English - 3 207

Final

Twenty-six countries participated in the final, with all 42 participating countries eligible to vote. The running order for the final was revealed after the second semi-final qualifiers' press conference on 11 May.

Draw Country Performer(s) Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Israel Israel IMRI "I Feel Alive" English - 23 39
02 Flag of Poland Poland Kasia Moś "Flashlight" English - 22 64
03 Flag of Belarus Belarus Naviband "Historyja majho žyccia" Belarusian Story of My Life 17 83
04 Flag of Austria Austria Nathan Trent "Running on Air" English - 16 93
05 Flag of Armenia Armenia Artsvik "Fly with Me" English - 18 79
06 Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Netherlands O'G3NE "Lights and Shadows" English - 11 150
07 Flag of Moldova Moldova SunStroke Project "Hey, Mamma!" English - 3 374
08 Flag of Hungary Hungary Joci Pápai "Origo" Hungarian Origin 8 200
09 Flag of Italy Italy Francesco Gabbani "Occidentali's Karma" Italian Westerner's Karma 6 334
10 Denmark, eurovision Denmark Anja "Where I Am" English - 20 77
11 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Salvador Sobral "Amar pelos dois" Portuguese Love for both of us 1 758
12 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Dihaj "Skeletons" English - 14 120
13 Flag of Croatia Croatia Jacques Houdek "My Friend" Italian, English - 13 128
14 Flag of Australia Australia Isaiah "Don't Come Easy" English - 9 173
15 Flag of Greece Greece Demy "This Is Love" English - 19 77
16 Flag of Spain.svg Spain Manel Navarro "Do It for Your Lover" Spanish, English - 26 5
17 Flag of Norway Norway JOWST "Grab the Moment" English - 10 158
18 Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom Lucie Jones "Never Give Up on You" English - 15 111
19 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Hovig "Gravity" English - 21 68
20 Flag of Romania Romania Ilinca feat. Alex Florea "Yodel It!" English - 7 282
21 Flag of Germany Germany Levina "Perfect Life" English - 25 6
22 Flag of Ukraine Ukraine O.Torvald "Time" English - 24 36
23 Flag of Belgium Belgium Blanche "City Lights" English - 4 363
24 Flag of Sweden Sweden Robin Bengtsson "I Can't Go On" English - 5 344
25 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Kristian Kostov "Beautiful Mess" English - 2 615
26 France France Alma "Requiem" French, English - 12 135

Incidents

French song submission

France 2 announced on 9 February 2017 that they would participate at the contest with the song "Requiem", performed by Alma. However, it was discovered during the week of 17 February "Requiem" had been recorded and performed prior to 1 September 2016, the submission deadline set by the EBU, potentially violating the rules of the contest. Further investigation shows that "Requiem" had been performed at the end of January 2015. While France 2 had claimed not to be in breach of the rules of the contest, no ultimate decision had been made regarding their potential disqualification. It was reported on 21 February 2017 that Alma and her production team were producing a bilingual version of "Requiem"—the two languages being French and English—which implies that France 2 have not been disqualified from the contest.

Russian withdrawal

Channel One Russia (C1R) announced on 12 March 2017 that they would participate at the contest with "Flame Is Burning", performed by Julia Samoylova. However, Samoylova was issued a three-year travel ban on entering Ukraine by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on 22 March, by virtue of illegally travelling directly from Russia to Crimea, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, in 2015 to give a performance. Entry to Crimea by non-Ukrainian citizens via Russia is illegal under Ukrainian law; however, Samoylova confirmed that she performed in Crimea in 2015.

The EBU responded by stating its commitment to ensuring that all participating countries would be able to perform in Kiev, while expressing their disappointment at the lack of compromise from C1R and UA:PBC. C1R were offered the opportunity to allow Samoylova to perform via satellite from a venue of their choice, but such a compromise was rejected by both C1R and the Ukrainian Government.

The Director General of the EBU, Ingrid Deltenre, condemned Ukraine's actions, describing them as "abusing the Contest for political reasons" and "absolutely unacceptable" C1R announced their withdrawal from the contest on 13 April, stating that they also might not broadcast the contest. C1R had not organised accommodation before their artist announcement, as is typically the case, and refused to attend the meeting of Heads of Delegation. By announcing their artist just before the deadline for entry submission to the contest and not booking a hotel, it was speculated that C1R had not intended to go due to audiences booing Russian artists in previous contests.

As part of the Russian Victory Day celebrations on 9 May, Samoylova gave another performance in Crimea, including the song which was intended to represent Russia at the contest.

Israeli broadcaster compromise

Under a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is currently being reorganised into two separate entities: the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC), with responsibility for "general programming" such as entertainment, and another with responsibility for news and current affairs programming. The IPBC would also be branded as "KAN" (Hebrew: כאן‎, lit. 'Here'‎). The EBU informed the IPBC executive board on 7 April that such a compromise would render them unable to remain a member without an outlet for news and current events programming. It has been reported that the IBA may cease to be a member of the EBU.

The IBA was expected to close down on 15 May 2017 before the IPBC was expected to launch. However on 9 and 10 May 2017 the IBA unexpectedly closed down most of their operations in news and current affair programs. This Eurovision was the last program that Channel 1 aired under the IBA, where minimal staff of twenty people remained to ensure a smooth transmission on Channel 1. After the Eurovision the station displayed a slide about its closure. During the voting portion of the live telecast of the final Ofer Nachshon, Israeli voting spokesperson since 2009, bid farewell on behalf of the IBA before revealing their jury points. This was incorrectly reported by several British media outlets and in other countries as Israel leaving the Contest.

IPBC is expected to apply for EBU membership later this year and if accepted, Israel will continue to participate. The government passed a law splitting new corporation into two entities - one in charge for entertainment programs and the second is for news, which may create an obstacle for either entity joining EBU. However, the High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction, blocking the split. If the split is cancelled permanently, the new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation meets all requirements for joining EBU.

Argument for using pre-recorded vocals live

Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK) had discussions with the EBU regarding the abolition of the rule prohibiting pre-recorded vocals during live performances at the contest. Such a rule is intended to guarantee the authenticity of live performances. The discussion stems from when Norwegian representative JOWST stated his displeasure at the rule in an interview on 24 March, in reference to the sampling technique of chopped vocals in his song "Grab the Moment" which cannot be attributed in the live performance.

Such discussions were also in place in 1999, when pre-recorded vocals during the Croatian entry, "Marija Magdalena", performed by Doris Dragović, led to objections by the Norwegian delegation — led at the time by Jon Ola Sand. Such objections led the EBU to consider deducting a third of Croatia's final score, reducing it from 118 points to 79. However, such a deduction never occurred. The possible abolition of the rule, alongside the abolition of the live orchestra in 1999, has led some fans and critics of the contest to argue that the contest has become too commercialised and the authenticity of live performances has been compromised

After discussing the matter with the EBU, NRK were granted an exception to the rule. JOWST stated that "[the Norwegian delegation] have now been allowed to use the recorded vocal tracks, [...]. But [they] have also practiced a plan B with the backing vocalists, if there are big protests from others in Kiev." Both JOWST and Aleksander Walmann think that had "Grab the Moment" been in the semi-final of the 2018 contest following an abolition of the rule, they would have had an advantage. NRK stated on 2 May that JOWST are aiming to perform the song acoustically as a back-up, bringing with them two additional backing vocalists who will perform the pre-recorded vocals live using a filter applied by the sound engineering team so as not to compromise on sound quality.

Norwegian jury placement

Norwegian jury member Per Sundnes made comments on NRK preview show Adresse Kiev on 17 April 2017 against Irish representative Brendan Murray, saying: "It's been a long time since they've gotten up and I do not think they'll do it again. They try the same formula year after year." The comments were not welcomed by the Irish delegation, who subsequently reported the matter to the EBU.

The Irish Independent reported on 8 May that Sundnes had been replaced due to an alleged breach in jury rules. Commenting on the decision, the Head of Delegation for Ireland, Michael Kealy, said: "I'm glad that the European Broadcasting Union have reacted swiftly to this situation and that all jury members are impartial. It's only fair that each song in the Eurovision Song Contest is judged on its individual merits on the night." Sundnes was subsequently replaced by Erland Bakke.

Sundnes stated in an interview with Verdens Gang on 9 May: "I do not know anything about the jury stuff, just that I'm not [in it]. It was not really surprising. The same thing happened in Sweden last year with the Swedish professional jury."

NRK admits that they made a mistake by letting Sundnes sit in both the professional jury and the judging panel of Adresse Kiev. However, when they were informed by the EBU that this was against the rules, they rectified the situation quickly. Project manager for Melodi Grand Prix, Stig Karlsen, stated: "We have received some concerns from several teams that Per has been in the jury, while at the same time he has been meaningful in the program. Therefore, we took a new assessment.".

Estonian technical issues

On 11 May 2017, during the transmission of the second semi-final, the microphone of the Estonian representative seemed to have malfunctioned as singer Laura Põldvere could not be heard for approximately two seconds by viewers at home. It was later revealed that the Estonian delegation considered appealing to the EBU to allow Laura and Koit Toome to perform their entry "Verona" again as a result of the error, but later decided against it. Mart Normet, the Head of Delegation for Estonia, explained "If there has been such a powerful performance for three minutes and given an absolute maximum, then this energy again does not come back when you go on stage again". The EBU responded to the situation, reportedly describing the error as purely technical, as the microphone was supposed to automatically come on. Instead, a sound technician was forced to respond by manually switching on the microphone via the sound desk. The country ultimately failed to reach the grand final, with Põldvere expressing her annoyance, however stating "I do not think it’s so tremendously influenced when a few words remain unheard".

Salvador Sobral's political message

Salvador and Luísa Sobral, May 2017

Salvador Sobral and Luísa Sobral at the first semi-final winners' press conference

Portugal's representative, Salvador Sobral drew attention to the European migrant crisis by turning up to the first semi-final winners' press conference in an "S.O.S. Refugees" shirt. "If I'm here and I have European exposure, the least thing I can do is a humanitarian message", Sobral said. "People come to Europe in plastic boats and are being asked to show their birth certificates in order to enter a country. These people are not immigrants, they're refugees running from death. Make no mistake. There is so much bureaucratic stuff happening in the refugee camps in Greece, Turkey and Italy and we should help create legal and safe pathways from these countries to their destiny countries", he added, earning a round of applause. Later on, EBU ordered a ban so that he could not wear it for the remainder of the contest. The EBU explained that Sobral's jumper was used as a means of "political message," which violates the rules of the contest. However, Sobral argued in his winning press conference that it was not political, but a message of humanitarianism.

Jamala stage invasion

A performance by Jamala during the voting interval of the final was disrupted by a man draped in an Australian flag who invaded the stage and briefly mooned the audience before being removed by security. He was later identified as Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk. Following the incident the EBU released a statement reading: "A person took to the stage at the beginning of Jamala’s performance of I Believe in U at tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. He was quickly removed from the stage by security and out of the arena. He is currently being held and questioned by the police at the venue police office." The last time an unauthorised person gained access to the stage was in 2010 when the Spanish performance was disrupted by Jimmy Jump.

Gallery


External links

Eurovision Song Contest
Winning Songs
RefrainNet als toenDors, mon amourEen beetjeTom PillibiNous les amoureuxUn premier amourDanseviseNon ho l'etàPoupée de cire, poupée de sonMerci, chériePuppet on a StringLa, La, LaVivo cantandoBoom Bang-a-BangDe troubadourUn jour, un enfantAll Kinds of EverythingUn banc, un arbre, une rueAprès toiTu te reconnaîtrasWaterlooDing-a-DongSave Your Kisses For MeL'oiseau et l'enfantA-Ba-Ni-BiHallelujahWhat's Another YearMaking Your Mind UpEin bißchen FriedenSi la vie est cadeauDiggi-Loo Diggi-LeyLa det swingeJ'aime la vieHold Me NowNe partez pas sans moiRock MeInsieme: 1992Fångad av en stormvindWhy Me?In Your EyesRock 'n' Roll KidsNocturneThe VoiceLove Shine a LightDivaTake Me to Your HeavenFly on the Wings of LoveEverybodyI WannaEvery Way That I CanWild DancesMy Number OneHard Rock HallelujahMolitvaBelieveFairytaleSatelliteRunning ScaredEuphoriaOnly TeardropsRise Like a PhoenixHeroes1944Amar pelos doisToy
Contests
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Countries
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