|Eurovision Song Contest 2017|
|Semi-final 1 date||9 May 2017|
|Semi-final 2 date||11 May 2017|
|Final date||13 May 2017|
|Venue||International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine|
|Presenter(s)|| Oleksandr Skichko|
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Number of entries||42|
|Returning countries|| Portugal|
|Withdrawing countries|| Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|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.|
Amar pelos dois" by Salvador Sobral
|Eurovision Song Contest|
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
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 April 13, after their representative, Yulia Samoylova , was banned from entering Ukraine by virtue of having traveled 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 meter since Ireland 's " The Voice " in 1996. Additionally, this was the second consecutive year in which a returning country won the contest following Ukraine ' . The top three countries - Portugal , Bulgaria and Moldova - achieved the highest placing in their Eurovision history, while host country Ukraine received its worst placing to date in a Eurovision final.
The contest took place in the International Exhibition Center in Kiev. It has a capacity of approximately 11,000 attendees and is the largest exhibition center in the city. Located in the western part of the Livoberezhna microdistrict, the center was opened in October 2002, and its head since its construction was Anatoly Tkachenko.
|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.|
|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.|
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3|
|Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
|Valentina Monetta||Represented San Marino from the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, successfully qualifying for the latter with the song "Maybe", finishing in 24th place with 14 points.|
|Koit Toome||Represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 in Birmingham with the song "Mere lapsed", finishing in 12th place with 36 points.|
|Laura Põldvere||Represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev as part of the group Suntribe with the song "Let's Get Loud", finishing in 20th place in the semi-final with 31 points.|
|Omar Naber||Represented Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev with the song "Stop", finishing in 12th place in the semi-final with 69 points.|
|SunStroke Project||Represented Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo with Olia Tira, performing the song "Run Away", finishing in 22nd place with 27 points.|
|O'G3NE||Represented The Netherlands in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007 on home soil in Rotterdam, performing under their real names with the song "Adem in, adem uit", finishing in 11th place with 39 points.|
|IMRI||Provided backing vocals at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna for his country's representative Nadav Guedj and again the following year in Stockholm for Hovi Star.|
|Tijana Bogićević||Provided backing vocals at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf for her country's representative Nina.|
|01||Sweden||Robin Bengtsson||"I Can't Go On"||English||-||3||227|
|02||Georgia||Tamara Gachechiladze||"Keep the Faith"||English||-||11||99|
|03||Australia||Isaiah||"Don't Come Easy"||English||-||6||160|
|09||Portugal||Salvador Sobral||"Amar pelos dois"||Portuguese||Love for both of us||1||370|
|10||Greece||Demy||"This Is Love"||English||-||10||115|
|12||Moldova||SunStroke Project||"Hey, Mamma!"||English||-||2||291|
|14||Czech Republic||Martina Bárta||"My Turn"||English||-||13||83|
|16||Armenia||Artsvik||"Fly with Me"||English||-||7||152|
|17||Slovenia||Omar Naber||"On My Way"||English||-||17||36|
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.
|01||Israel||IMRI||"I Feel Alive"||English||-||23||39|
|03||Belarus||Naviband||"Historyja majho žyccia"||Belarusian||Story of My Life||17||83|
|04||Austria||Nathan Trent||"Running on Air"||English||-||16||93|
|05||Armenia||Artsvik||"Fly with Me"||English||-||18||79|
|06||The Netherlands||O'G3NE||"Lights and Shadows"||English||-||11||150|
|07||Moldova||SunStroke Project||"Hey, Mamma!"||English||-||3||374|
|09||Italy||Francesco Gabbani||"Occidentali's Karma"||Italian||Westerner's Karma||6||334|
|10||Denmark||Anja||"Where I Am"||English||-||20||77|
|11||Portugal||Salvador Sobral||"Amar pelos dois"||Portuguese||Love for both of us||1||758|
|13||Croatia||Jacques Houdek||"My Friend"||Italian, English||-||13||128|
|14||Australia||Isaiah||"Don't Come Easy"||English||-||9||173|
|15||Greece||Demy||"This Is Love"||English||-||19||77|
|16||Spain||Manel Navarro||"Do It for Your Lover"||Spanish, English||-||26||5|
|17||Norway||JOWST||"Grab the Moment"||English||-||10||158|
|18||United Kingdom||Lucie Jones||"Never Give Up on You"||English||-||15||111|
|20||Romania||Ilinca feat. Alex Florea||"Yodel It!"||English||-||7||282|
|24||Sweden||Robin Bengtsson||"I Can't Go On"||English||-||5||344|
|25||Bulgaria||Kristian Kostov||"Beautiful Mess"||English||-||2||615|
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.
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
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.
- Media related Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at Wikimedia Commons
- News related Salvador Sobral wins Eurovision for Portugal at Wikinews.
- Official website
- Eurovision Song Contest 2017 CD at Amazon
- Eurovision Song Contest 2017 DVD at Amazon