Eurovision 2017 took place on Saturday night as contestants from 24 of our continental neighbours (plus Israel and Australia, for some reason) descended on Kiev, Ukraine for a night of pyrotechnics, Europop bangers and sheer weirdness. Britain’s poor showing (15th) was no surprise post-Brexit, and in fact was one of our bigger points hauls in recent years – but we certainly didn’t forsee any of this happening…
1. The hosts didn’t get the memo about the ‘diversity’ theme
If you’re a Eurovision host and not making some cringe-worthy dad jokes all night long – you’re doing it all wrong. So for the most part, Oleksandr Skichko and Volodymyr Ostapchuk nailed that bit. But as noted by Britain’s commentator Graham Norton, not really sure how two white men fits the ‘Celebrate Diversity’ theme this year’s contest was going for.
2. There was a horse up a ladder
They say you can lead a horse up stairs, but can’t get it down again (something to do with their joints, apparently). Clearly that applies to ladders too, which is the only explanation for why a rubbery-masked horse was sat on top of a ladder during Azerbaijan’s menacing performance.
3. Romania’s not-very-romantic kiss
As if Romania’s blend of yodeling and second rate rapping wasn’t odd enough, the act finished with an unceremonious, and super-creepy kiss from one performer to another.
4. A man did a duet with himself – and it was actually not that bad
Duets have only won the competition a handful of times in its 61-year history, so to win over voters, you’re going to have to do things a little bit differently to scoop the prize. Enter Croatia’s entrant Jacques Houdek, who flipped the script and did a duet with himself – with Houdek switching from baritone operatic pipes, to ear piercing falsetto. The gimmick didn’t quite come off, with the nation placing slap-bang in the middle at 13th – but it did spawn a half decent meme, so who’s the real winner here?
5. Someone got their arse out
As Eurovisions go, this year’s performers were a bit tamer than perhaps we’d like. So it was relieving that an audience member took it upon himself to spice things up a bit by baring his arse to hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide, while draped in an Australian flag. But don’t worry pals Down Under, you’ll still be invited back next year – it was actually the work of serial Ukranian prankster Vitalii Sediuk.
6. The interval act almost stole the show
After The Arse, and before the winner was announced, Ukranian electro-folk act Onuka nearly stole the show with their dizzying blend of traditional folk, horns and some serious techno vibes. 12 points from us.
7. Portugal’s winner badmouthing what makes Eurovision fun
Most winning songs Eurovision either fit into either of these categories. A) A big old Euro-pop banger or B) A soppy power-ballad with epic final-chorus key change. Portugal’s winning song, ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ which was sung by Salvador Sobral was neither, with a stripped-back piano ballad that wouldn’t of appeared out of pace on the La La Land soundtrack.
But though the song amassed a whopping 724 points – many of which were from the jury votes – Sobral used his winning speech to have a pop at what Eurovision is all about. “We live in a world of fast food music” he said, in a thinly veiled attack at the cartoonish Euro-trance bangers that littered the evening. “This is a victory for music… music isn’t fireworks, music is feeling.”