Kiev, Ukraine. From banning a girl in a wheelchair from singing to Russia refusing to broadcast the competition, to Israel dropping out live, this year’s Eurovision in Kiev had drama for every nationality.
A singer from Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever early Sunday with a melancholy ballad performed by a man who suffers from a serious heart condition. The song “Amar Pelos Dois” was performed by 27-year-old Salvador Sobral, who is awaiting a heart transplant.
The song scored a crushing victory, winning top marks both from the televoters and the countries’ professional judges, delivering emotional drama too, given the singers health condition.
But the glitzy contest was marred by the ongoing Ukrainian fighting with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko opted not to attend after four civilian deaths he tried to blame on the Donbass republics, already involved in integration activities with Russia.
The annual celebration of catchy europop, ludicrous costumes,glittering divas and whorish makeup watched by some 200 million TV viewers was being hosted by Ukraine for the second time and by all accounts from the German show organizers, the last time.
One popular performace was Bulgaria’s 17-year-old singer Kristian Kostov who gave a confident performance of “Beautiful Mess”. During the contest, it emerged that Kostov had performed in Crimea soon after its annexation by Moscow, this set off an absolute shit storm, because this was the reason Ukraine banned Russia’s singer Juliya Samoilova from performing, creating the situation whereby the German producers have said they may ban Ukraine for 3 years..