Bring on the 'gorilla:' Eurovision final brings glittery fun

Kelly Massey
May 14, 2017

Isaiah Firebrace from Australia is introduced during the Final for the Eurovision Song Contest.

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

Though the event has run smoothly, it has done so under the watchful eye of an nearly overwhelming police and army presence at the venue, Kiev's International Exhibition Centre, and key locations in the city, such as Independence Square.

Ukraine's O. Torvald performs the song "Time" during the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev May 14, 2017.

"I think politics shouldn't intervene", said Liza Ignatieva, a 21-year-old university student in Moscow.

Sobral, who has a serious heart condition that saw him miss the first week of rehearsals, reprised his song at the end of the show and was joined by his sister Luisa for a duet.

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - A gentle romantic ballad challenged the Eurovision Song Contest's decades-long reputation for cheesy, glittery, unbridled excess - and won easily. The move allowed Russia-Ukraine tensions over Eurovision to fester.

Russian Federation retaliated by refusing to broadcast Eurovision - and created its underground cult following in Ukraine's war zone in the process. Some have remarked that the Eurovision Village, where visiting fans can gather to watch the shows live on big screens, is in central Khreshchatyk Street and Independence Square, scene of bloody protests little more than three years ago.

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

He eventually made it all the way to the finals of the show, going on to finish seventh. In the past, songs that had been publicly available before the deadline, but had not been accessible by a wide audience, had been granted permission to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest by the Reference Group. Other non-European entrants include Israel and Azerbaijan.

In response to the move, Russian broadcaster Channel One has chose to cancel the broadcast of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and turned down the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)'s proposal to select another contestant or to allow Samoilova to perform via a video linkup.

Britain has won the contest five times, two times less than Ireland. The winning nation must host the contest the following year, which doesn't come cheap.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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