Saturday, 3 June 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final

Host country: Ukraine (NTU)
Venue: International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv
Hosts: Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko
Date: Saturday 13 May 2017
Winner: Portugal - Salvador Sobral "Amar Pelos Dois" (758 points)

N.B. Any use of "tonight" or "this evening" throughout this post means Saturday 13 May 2017. Any use of "Tuesday" means Tuesday 9 May 2017, whereas any reference to "Thursday" means Thursday 11 May 2017. All times in this post are in BST.

To make this report easier to read, I've split it into sections. Click the applicable link below to jump to the section you want to read:
The Opening
The Songs
Televoting and Interval Act
Jury Results
Televoting Results
Reprise
And Finally

The Opening
After the usual Eurovision ident accompanied by Charpentier's Te Deum prelude, the Grand Final began with the flag procession, during which all 26 finalists walked on stage, one by one, in the order they were to perform (however the artist representing the host country Ukraine appeared last). The participants weren't carrying flags; instead the flags appeared graphically on the background screen. After the parade ended, the hosts Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko appeared on stage to give their opening speech.

The Songs
Eleven minutes after the show began it was time for the first song. Each song was introduced by a postcard film related to the appropriate country. Every postcard film began with the country's name in block capitals, plus the stylized neck amulet beads (used in the logo) in the country's flag colours behind it, and ended with the country name in block capitals, with shadows in the country's flag colours at the sides of the letters as the name scrolled on and off screen. Furthermore BBC One / BBC One HD viewers in the UK had Graham Norton's commentary over the postcard films. I've mentioned a few of Graham's comments at various points hereafter; if you saw the Contest outside the UK you won't have heard his comments.

Please note: once the jury and televoting points were all allocated to the scoreboard at the end, Greece and Denmark both finished with a combined total of 77 points, but Greece is said to have finished 19th, and Denmark 20th. I have quoted the following points and placings from the official Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final web page, which I believe and trust as the only official source.

Song 1: Israel - IMRI "I Feel Alive" (23rd place, 39 points)
The first song in the Grand Final was the song which was performed last in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening, that being "I Feel Alive" sung by IMRI for Israel. I particularly liked this song when watching the preview videos, listening to the CD, and live in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening; hence why I wanted this to qualify. It began with the lead singer performing alone for the first verse and first chorus. After that others entered the stage to dance along with him. From the middle eight onwards the singer was alone again. Altogether a catchy song with a well-choreographed dance routine, and very well sung again in the Grand Final. I feel this somewhat was under-rated at 21st with 34 points in the jury vote, 22nd with 5 points in the televote and 23rd with 39 points overall. 15th or 16th would have been a more appropriate final placing for this song.

Song 2: Poland - Kasia Mos "Flashlight" (22nd place, 64 points)
This was one of my favourite songs among the preview videos and on the CD album, and one of the songs I most wanted to qualify from the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening. To me this power ballad sounded very much like a James Bond movie theme. I liked the way Kasia was accompanied by the violinist in the background, and the birds on the background screen at the start of the second verse. What was the significance of the word FREEDOM on the background screen close to the end though? Altogether I thought "Flashlight" was one of the best songs of the night; it was a powerful song, and very well sung live. This was grossly under-rated by the juries at 23rd with 23 points. Although the public rated it a more deserving 12th place, it still received only 41 televote points, and hence its overall result was just 22nd place with 64 points. This masterpiece deserved a top five overall placing.

Song 3: Belarus - Naviband "Story of My Life" (17th place, 83 points)
Belarus performed its song in Belarussian this year. Although I wasn't all that keen on this song when watching the preview video or listening to the CD album, I quite liked the live performance in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening, and thus I ended up wanting it to qualify. "Story of My Life" was a very catchy song, I liked the way the man played the guitar whilst singing. I'm still mystified as to why the couple performed on a boat with fans. Although well sung again in the Grand Final, this was definitely not a winner. This finished 16th with 50 points in the jury vote, 13th with 33 points in the televote and 17th with 83 points overall, which was about right for this song.

Song 4: Austria - Nathan Trent "Running On Air" (16th place, 93 points)
One of the songs I liked when watching the online preview videos, on the official CD and in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening, this was among the songs I most wanted to qualify Thursday evening. "Running On Air" may lack the winning edge of "Rise Like A Phoenix" in 2014, but it's still a good song with a catchy chorus. What was the significance of the crescent moon on stage though? Based solely on the Grand Final performance, this was well sung, and one of the better songs in the final. After finishing a well-deserved 11th place with 93 points in the jury vote, this finished last with nul points in the televote, and consequently 16th with 93 points overall. It's diabolical this was so grossly under-rated by the viewing public. This ought to have had a top ten score in the televote in order to finish in the top ten overall, but I don't think it was good enough for a top five placing.

Song 5: Armenia - Artsvik "Fly With Me" (18th place, 79 points)
Now for a song I'd rather not have qualified to the Grand Final. I didn't think much of "Fly With Me" when I first saw its online preview video, and I didn't think much of it sung live in the First Semi-Final Tuesday evening, which is why it ended up on my "Prefer not to qualify" list that evening. It was quite a catchy song, with plenty of well-choreographed arm movements. Its lively climax at the end included flame effects, coloured lights, a flash and more arm movements. I feared this would score a top ten or even top five placing against my wishes. Anyway it finished 14th with 58 points in the jury vote, 18th with 21 points in the televote and 18th with 79 points overall. As far as I'm concerned, that was more than this deserved; I think it should have finished below 20th in both voting schemes and overall. Better still this shouldn't have even been in the final; Finland or Slovenia deserved the place this took.

Song 6: The Netherlands - OG3NE "Lights and Shadows" (11th place, 150 points)
I wasn't overly keen on this when watching its preview video, or hearing it on the CD album. Whilst watching the live performance of this in the Second Semi-Final on Thursday evening, I felt borderline about this qualifying. To me it seems an unusual style of singing which is not to my taste. Anyway based solely on the Grand Final performance, the three ladies sung it very well with good harmony at the relevant moments. Above all, this song which I felt borderline about qualifying definitely deserved its place in the final. Interestingly this song finished 5th with 135 points in the jury vote, but only 19th with 15 points in the televote. I think it was a bit over-rated by the juries and grossly under-rated by the viewers. After that huge disparity between the juries and public, this song finished a reasonable 11th place with 150 points overall.

A short break followed at this point. During this break Volodymyr Ostapchuk spoke to some Eurovision fans in the audience.

Song 7: Moldova - Sunstroke Project "Hey Mamma" (3rd place, 374 points)
Now for a song I definitely didn't want in the Grand Final. This was one of my most disliked entries among the online preview videos, on the CD album and in the First Semi-Final Tuesday evening. During the Grand Final I disliked this song just as much. I'm not convinced the bursts of saxophone belonged in this song, if anything I think they made a below par song worse. What was the significance of the women with the bouquets? After being grossly over-rated at 8th place with 110 points in the jury vote, this was even more over-rated at 3rd place with 264 points in the public vote, and 3rd place with 374 points overall. Having undeservedly reached the Grand Final this should have finished bottom four in both voting schemes and overall. Better still Finland or Slovenia, both of which had far superior songs, deserved the place this took.

Song 8: Hungary - Joci Pápai "Origo" (8th place, 200 points)
Another of my "prefer not to qualify" songs was Hungary's entry. From the moment I first saw an online video of the winning performance of "Origo" shortly after A Dal 2017 Final ended, I didn't like this entry. I disliked this song in the official preview video, on the CD album and in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening just as much. To me this style of singing seems very unusual. As if that's not enough, the rap made a below par song worse. Looking positively, it being performed in Hungarian added a local flavour to the song, and made it stand out from the crowd. Interestingly this finished 17th with 48 points in the jury vote, and 7th with 152 points in the televote. After that disparity between the juries and public, this finished 8th with 200 points overall. This song had more than it deserved from the juries and was grossly over-rated by the public and overall; this should have finished below 20th in both voting schemes and overall.

Song 9: Italy - Francesco Gabbani "Occidentali's Karma" (6th place, 334 points)
The first Big Five entry of the night was from Italy, with Francesco Gabbani singing "Occidentali's Karma". In the run-up to the Contest, this was strongly tipped to win. Having already liked this song in its online preview video and on the official CD album, this was among my most-liked songs in the Grand Final. It was a lively catchy song, predominantly in Italian, and very well sung live in the Grand Final. The song also featured arm movements; I waved my arms during the song. One notable gimmick was the gorilla; both the person in the gorilla costume and the coloured gorilla images on the background screen. Other background screen images included rotating geometric pattern, coloured circles, flying umbrellas and coloured arms. Altogether this was a lively, memorable performance. This finished 7th with 126 points in the jury vote, 6th with 208 points in the televote and 6th with 334 points overall. I think it should have finished top five in both voting schemes and overall, but I'm not sure whether this merited winning.

Song 10: Denmark - Anja "Where I Am" (20th place, 77 points)
One of the songs I quite liked when watching its online preview video and listening to the CD album, I also liked the live performance in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening, which is why "Where I Am" was among the songs I most wanted to qualify Thursday evening. I enjoyed the Grand Final performance just as much as the semi-final performance. Going by the Grand Final performance alone, it was a good, catchy song, and very well sung live; in fact it was one of the better songs in the final. After finishing a reasonable 13th place with 69 points in the jury vote, this was grossly under-rated by the public at 21st place and 8 points. Hence its overall result was a disappointing 20th place with 77 points. This song definitely deserved better; I think it ought to have finished 8th to 10th in the jury voting and televoting, and overall.

Song 11: Portugal - Salvador Sobral "Amar Pelos Dois" (Winner, 758 points)
When I first watched the online preview video I thought this song sounded a bit old fashioned. However I quite liked the live performance in the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening, so this became one of the songs I most wanted to qualify Tuesday evening. By the morning of the Grand Final, this was strongly tipped to win. This was one of the best songs in the Grand Final, during which it was very well sung. It was a simple song, with no dancing around, graphical effects, strobe lighting etc. That coupled with it being sung in Portuguese meant it really stood out from the crowd. Altogether a well-deserved winner of the jury vote with 382 points, the televote with 376 points and overall with a record-breaking 758 points.

Song 12: Azerbaijan - Dihaj "Skeletons" (14th place, 120 points)
I felt lukewarm about this power ballad when watching the preview videos, and borderline about this qualifying from the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening. This song had a few notable gimmicks. Firstly the chalkboard which resembled a room, but its sides were pulled down to form part of the floor towards the end of the song. Secondly the man with the horse head atop the step ladder. What was the significance of those? Based on the Grand Final performance alone, I feel "Skeletons" deserved its place in the final; it was a reasonable song and well sung in the final. This song finished 12th with 78 points in the jury voting, 11th with 42 points in the televoting and 14th with 120 points overall. That was about right for this song; it wasn't good enough for top ten in either voting scheme or overall.

Song 13: Croatia - Jacques Houdek "My Friend" (13th place, 128 points)
I had mixed views about Croatia's "My Friend" when I first saw the preview video; at the time I thought this song seemed very unusual. After this song grew on me with repeat viewings of the preview video, and hearing it on the official CD, this was one of the songs I most wanted to qualify from the Second Semi-Final on Thursday evening. Based on the Grand Final performance alone, it was quite a good song, featuring a clever blend of singing styles from one person, and very well sung live in the final. What was the significance of the sunflowers and rainbow at the end? This masterpiece was grossly under-rated by the juries at 22nd place with 25 points. Fortunately this fared much better in the public vote at 9th place and 103 points, thereby leading to a well-deserved final result of 13th place and 128 points overall.

Song 14: Australia - Isaiah "Don't Come Easy" (9th place, 173 points)
Australia, which was originally a one-off guest participant in 2015 was invited back in 2016, and again in 2017. Just like last year, Australia went for a ballad this year. I liked this song in the preview video, on the CD and the live performance in the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening, and therefore this was among the songs I most wanted to qualify Tuesday evening. Based on the Grand Final performance alone, it was quite a good song, and very well sung, but I don't think it was as good as Australia's 2016 entry "Sound of Silence". Were the flashing effects and fireworks really necessary for this kind of ballad? Bizarrely this song finished 4th with 171 points in the jury voting but 25th (second-last) with just 2 points in the televoting, which was an extreme disparity to say the least. I think this was over-rated by the juries and under-rated by the public, but its combined result of 9th place with 173 points was about right for this song. Although it was good enough to be just inside the top ten, it wasn't good enough for top five.

A short break followed at this point. During this break Timur Miroshnychenko spoke to some of the artists in the Green Room.

Song 15: Greece - Demy "This is Love" (19th place, 77 points)
I quite liked this song in the preview video and on the CD album, and I liked it even more in the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening, which is why this was one of the songs I most wanted to qualify that evening. It was a lively power ballad, and quite a catchy one at that. What was the significance of the singer standing on the rising platform, and the two men doing actions in the shallow pool though? Altogether "This is Love" was a much better song than Greece's 2016 entry. Based on the Grand Final performance alone, I thought this was one of the better entries in the final, and quite well sung; although Graham Norton said the singer performed better in the rehearsal, I didn't notice any faults. Anyway this finished 18th with 48 points in the jury voting, 16th with 29 points in the televoting and 19th with 77 points overall. I think should have finished higher than that; 8th to 12th in both voting schemes and overall would have been more appropriate.

Song 16: Spain - Manel Navarro "Do It For Your Lover" (26th place, 5 points)
The second Big Five entry of the night, "Do It For Your Lover" sung by Manel Navarro from Spain. I didn't think much of this song from the moment I first saw its online preview video, or when listening to it on the official CD album. Although it was a lively catchy song, the live performance in the Grand Final still failed to impress me. I did like the simulated surf boards on stage and the background scene though. It's hardly surprising this finished last with nul points in the jury voting, 23rd with 5 points (all of which were from Portugal) in the televoting and last with 5 points overall. Although this deserved to be near the bottom of the Grand Final pecking order, I would have preferred to have seen the entries from Moldova, Norway, Romania and Ukraine placed below Spain.

Song 17: Norway - JOWST "Grab The Moment" (10th place, 158 points)
Now for a song I definitely didn't want in the final. This was one of my least-liked 2017 entries among the preview videos and on the official CD, and I disliked it just as much in the Second Semi-Final on Thursday evening. Contrary to my wishes, and much to my disgust, "Grab The Moment" qualified for the final. Consequently this was one of my least-liked songs in the Grand Final. Undeniably the chorus was memorable, but overall I think the song was somewhat below par. What was the significance of the pixilation at various moments in the song? This was grossly over-rated by the juries at 6th place and 129 points. Even the public's 15th place and 29 points was more than it deserved. This disparity between the juries and viewers led to an overall result of 10th place and 158 points, which was way too high. Having undeservedly reached the final this should have finished bottom four in both voting schemes, and overall. Better still this didn't belong in the final; Estonia or Ireland, whose entries were far superior, deserved the place this took.

A short break followed at this point. During this break Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Oleksandr Skichko gave a short speech, and introduced a short film featuring Måns Zelmerlöw (who won for Sweden in 2015).

Song 18: United Kingdom - Lucie Jones "Never Give Up On You" (15th place, 111 points)
The third Big Five entry of the night was the UK's entry "Never Give Up On You". I liked this song in the UK national final at the end of January, as well as in the official online preview video and on the CD album. Of course, the Grand Final performance is what counted. This song was an excellent ballad and very well sung live in the final. The flying stars in the background added to the impact of the song. Altogether, this song was one of the better entries in the Grand Final. After scoring a reasonable 10th place with 99 points in the jury vote, this was grossly under-rated by the public at just 20th place and 12 points. Consequently this finished 15th with 111 points overall. This song definitely ought to have finished in the top ten in both jury and public voting, and overall, maybe it could even have merited a top five overall placing but it was clearly not worthy of winning the Contest.

Song 19: Cyprus - Hovig "Gravity" (21st place, 68 points)
A song I thought was reasonably OK in its online preview video and on the CD album, it sounded better sung live in the First Semi-Final on Tuesday evening, which is why "Gravity" was one of the songs I most wanted to qualify Tuesday evening. The Grand Final performance impressed me just as much as the semi-final performance. Based on the Grand Final performance alone, it was a good song overall, with a really powerful catchy chorus. This was under-rated by the juries at 20th with 36 points. In the public vote it finished a more deserving 14th place, but still only received 32 points. Consequently its overall result was 21st place with 68 points. This deserved better than that, I think this should have finished top ten in both voting schemes and overall, but this was not good enough for top five.

Song 20: Romania - Ilinca ft. Alex Florea "Yodel It!" (7th place, 282 points)
After Romania's unexpected last-minute withdrawal last year, they were back this year. Sadly this time they went for a song featuring a considerable amount of rap and yodelling. I didn't like this song whilst watching its online preview video, when hearing it on the official CD or when sung live in Second Semi-Final on Thursday evening; hence this was one of Thursday's songs I definitely didn't want in the final. Against my wishes "Yodel It!" qualified and I disliked its Grand Final performance just as much. Although catchy, it's a rather silly song really; I don't think rap and yodelling go together. What was the significance of the canons (which were physically on stage) and the assorted background screen images (e.g. drumming soldiers, clouds, coloured butterflies)? After getting more than it deserved from the juries, 15th place with 58 points, this was grossly over-rated by the public at 5th place with 224 points. Even with that disparity between the juries and public, this finished 7th with 282 points overall, which was way too high. This should have finished bottom four with the juries and public, and overall. Better still this shouldn't have even been in the final; Estonia or Ireland, whose entries were far superior, deserved the place this took.

Song 21: Germany - Levina "Perfect Life" (25th place, 6 points)
The fourth Big Five entry of the night was from Germany, with Levina singing "Perfect Life". I wasn't overly impressed with this song when watching its online preview video or hearing it on the official CD. Judging this song by its live Grand Final performance alone, it was a reasonable ballad which was quite well sung during the final, but not particularly memorable. Surprisingly Levina began by singing most of the first verse whilst lying down on the stage, but she got up just before the first chorus and sang the rest of the song standing. Was there really a need for her to perform the first verse lying on the stage? Were the flashes of light near the end really necessary for a ballad of this style? By the time this song finished I guessed it would finish near bottom of the pecking order. Unsurprisingly this finished 25th (second last) with just 3 points in the jury vote, 24th (third last) with just 3 points in the televote and 25th (second last) with 6 points overall. Although a bottom 6 result was expected, I would have preferred to have seen the entries from Moldova, Norway, Romania and Ukraine placed below Germany in the jury and public votes, and overall.

A short break followed at this point. During this break Timur Miroshnychenko announced, from the Green Room, the upcoming Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017 from Riga. A trailer for that contest was also shown.

Song 22: Ukraine - O.Torvald "Time" (24th place, 36 points)
The fifth direct qualifier of the night was the host country Ukraine. This year Ukraine entered a lively rock song. Whilst I admit this style of rock is not my taste in music, I think this was one of the worst songs in the Grand Final. Was the strobe lighting used at certain points in the song really necessary? What was the significance of the giant head? 24th place and 12 points was just what this entry deserved in the jury voting. After finishing 17th with 24 points (a higher placing than it deserved) in the televoting, "Time" still ended up where it belonged, 24th place with 36 points overall.

Song 23: Belgium - Blanche "City Lights" (4th place, 363 points)
This was one of my favourite 2017 entries among the preview videos and when listening to the CD album. In fact based on that experience I favoured this winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 outright! Sadly I was somewhat disappointed with Blanche's live performance in the First Semi-Final Tuesday evening, and thus I felt borderline about whether or not this ought to be in the final. Anyway it qualified, and although I feel Blanche's Grand Final performance was a significant improvement on her semi-final performance, I still think her voice wasn't strong enough for most of the song and she still looked nervous. Put it this way, I think the preview video and CD versions of this beautiful ballad are better than either the semi-final or Grand Final performances. This finished 9th with 108 points in the jury vote, 4th with 255 points in the televote and 4th with 363 points overall. I feel this placed too highly in the televoting and overall; 9th or 10th would have been a more appropriate combined placing for this.

Song 24: Sweden - Robin Bengtsson "I Can't Go On" (5th place, 344 points)
When I first saw the official preview video, I was disappointed with Sweden's song choice this year compared to "Heroes" two years ago. Just like in the preview video, Robin began back stage, and having entered the stage part way into the song, he performed on a treadmill, along with four others. What was their reason for performing on treadmills? Whilst watching the First Semi-Final Tuesday evening, I felt borderline about "I Can't Go On" qualifying, but now I'm glad it did. Another great performance from Sweden, a catchy song and very well sung. This song finished 3rd with 218 points in the jury vote, 8th with 126 points in the televote and 5th with 344 points overall. The televote placing is a closer indication of where this should have placed with the juries and overall; I don't think this was good enough for top five.

Song 25: Bulgaria - Kristian Kostov "Beautiful Mess" (2nd place, 615 points)
One of my most-liked ballads among the preview videos and on the CD, I liked the live performance in the Second Semi-Final Thursday evening, which is why "Beautiful Mess" was one of the songs I most wanted to qualify that evening. Kristian's Grand Final performance was as good as, if not better than, his semi-final performance. Staging was good too, but what was the significance of the shaky visuals at times? Altogether this was a first class performance of an excellent ballad, definitely one of the best songs in the Grand Final. It's hardly surprising this was one of the three songs most likely to win. This song achieved a well-deserved second place in the jury voting with 278 points, second place in the public vote with 337 points and second place overall with 615 points; I wouldn't have minded if this had had been the outright winner.

Song 26: France - Alma "Requiem" (12th place, 135 points)
The final song in the line-up, and the last of the Big Five entries, was France. This was one of my most-liked songs among the online preview videos and on the CD album. Going by the Grand Final performance alone, it was quite a nice song and very well sung live in a mixture of French and English. The graphics were impressive too, including the tops of some Paris buildings on stage early in the song and rotating views of Paris including the Eiffel Tower on the background screen later. All in all, this was one of the better songs in the final, but by the end of the performance it was obvious to me this wouldn't win. Anyway this finished 19th with 45 points in the jury vote, 10th with 90 points in the televote and 12th with 135 points overall. I think this was somewhat under-rated by the juries; this should have finished 8th to 10th in both voting schemes and overall.

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Televoting and Interval Act
As soon as Alma finished singing, Oleksandr Skichko and Volodymyr Ostapchuk reappeared. Oleksandr said "We have just seen the last act in tonight's competition. For us they're all winners, but there is only one Eurovision trophy. Now is the time to vote." Graham Norton outlined the voting procedure for UK viewers. After a few more words from Oleksandr and Volodymyr, Verka Serduchka (who represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007) appeared on stage to say "Europe, start vote now!" The voting lines opened and a recap of the songs followed with the phone numbers at the bottom of the screen. Viewers had approximately 35 minutes in which to cast their votes. When the UK's song extract appeared, a caption at the bottom of the screen stated "UK VIEWERS CANNOT VOTE FOR THE UK ENTRY" and "Your vote won't count and you may still be charged." Were any UK viewers foolish enough to try dialling the voting stem with 18 at the end? Knowing that the lines would almost be extremely busy during this recap, I delayed voting until later.

After the first recap of the songs Timur Miroshnychenko announced the first interval act: Ruslana - "It's Magical". Ruslana was joined by a troupe of dancers. During this performance, the voting numbers for the competing Grand Final entries appeared, one by one, at the bottom of the screen again.

Once Ruslana finished performing, a second recap of the competing songs was shown, complete with the voting numbers. During this recap, UK viewers heard Graham Norton reading out viewers' messages.

After the second recap of the songs Timur announced the second interval act: ONUKA featuring the NAONI Orchestra – Megamix. This act featured contemporary sounds of the musical heritage of Ukraine. During this act the voting numbers for the competing Grand Final entries appeared, one by one, at the bottom of the screen again. A series of Ukrainian words, in Cyrillic script, appeared one by one on the background screen; each word was read aloud when it appeared.

After ONUKA's performance ended, Volodymyr spoke to Mariam Mamadashvili, who won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 for Georgia with the song "Mzeo". Mariam Mamadashvili gave a short speech and announced a reminder of the competing songs. Another recap of the competing songs was shown, complete with the voting numbers. During this recap, UK viewers heard Graham Norton reading out viewers' messages.

After that recap, Oleksandr and Volodymyr announced the final interval act, Jamala who performed "I Believe in U". During this performance, the voting numbers for the competing Grand Final entries appeared, one by one, at the bottom of the screen again.

When Jamala finished her performance, Oleksandr and Volodymyr returned to the main stage. There was now just one minute of voting time left. During this minute Oleksandr and Volodymyr told viewers this was their last chance to vote, a 60 second countdown appeared on the background screen and the voting numbers for the competing Grand Final entries appeared in sequence one last time. Oleksandr and Volodymyr counted down the final ten seconds aloud. When the countdown reached zero, they said "Stop voting now", a ring of fireworks around the main stage went off and a caption appeared "Lines are now closed – Please don't vote as it won't count and you may be charged".

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Jury Results
The voting system first used in 2016 was used again this year, in that the jury results from each country yielded one set of 1 to 12 points, and each country's televoting results generated a completely separate set of 1 to 12 points. Immediately after the voting lines closed, Oleksandr and Volodymyr said it was almost time to start the presentation of the voting results. Jon Ola Sand stated that the EBU had a valid result from the 42 professional juries, and they were ready to present the jury results. The points from the jury voting were about to be presented in the traditional way first, by spokespersons in each of the participating 42 countries (including the 16 which failed to qualify).

All 42 countries, including the 16 non-qualifiers, voted in the Grand Final. The voting order was: Sweden, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Latvia, Israel, Montenegro, Albania, Malta, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Armenia, Bulgaria, Iceland, Serbia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Georgia, Cyprus, Belarus, Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Belgium, Poland, United Kingdom, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ukraine.

The points announced by each country's spokesperson, e.g. Sweden, were from that country's' jury voting only. Just like in 2016 the 1 to 10 point scores were displayed on screen when the spokesperson appeared, added to the scoreboard as a block and the spokesperson only announced the 12 point score.

Sweden, which announced its jury points first, gave 12 jury points to eventual jury vote winners Portugal, but only 7 jury points to Bulgaria. The top four after just one set of results was 1st Portugal, 2nd Australia, 3rd Moldova, 4th Bulgaria. Next Azerbaijan gave only 8 jury points to Portugal and 10 jury points to Moldova, keeping Portugal in the lead with 20 points when Azerbaijan's 1 to 10 jury points were added to the scoreboard. The only country which could have leapfrogged Portugal (for now anyway) with Azerbaijan's 12-point score alone was Australia, but anyway, Azerbaijan gave its 12 jury points to Belarus (whose score was still zero) and nothing to Australia. The top four was now 1st Portugal, 2nd Moldova, 3rd Belarus, 4th Australia. San Marino, which was third in the voting order, gave its 12 jury points to Portugal thereby taking Portugal's running total to 32 for now. Moldova was already a relatively distant 2nd place with 18 points, Belarus was 3rd with 12 points, and Bulgaria was 4th with 11 points. Thereafter Portugal held its lead whilst all the remaining 39 countries announced their jury points.

As expected there were a few exchanges of 12 jury points within certain country groups. Greece and Cyprus gave each other 12 jury points. Denmark and Finland both gave 12 jury points to Sweden. On the other hand, Sweden gave no jury points at all to Norway which was a surprise, and unsurprisingly Armenia and Azerbaijan gave each other no jury points. A more detailed analysis of bloc voting is available here.

A break occurred between Armenia and Bulgaria. During this break Verka Serduchka and the audience did the actions to an instrumental of "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" (which represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007). I joined in with the actions.

The 36th country to announce its jury points, Slovenia, awarded 12 points to Portugal and 8 points to Bulgaria. The top two was now 1st Portugal 321 points, 2nd Bulgaria 243 points. Six countries had yet to announce their jury points. Both Bulgaria and Portugal had already announced their jury points earlier, so the maximum number of jury points still available to Bulgaria was 6 x 12 = 72. Even if Bulgaria had received all those remaining 12s, and Portugal had received no more jury points, the final jury result would have been 1st Portugal 321 points, 2nd Bulgaria 315 points. Portugal had just become uncatchable on jury points alone, and had effectively won the jury voting at this point. Had the EBU done jury voting only this year, and not bothered with televoting at all, Portugal would have been the outright winner at this point. Of course, with televoting totals to follow after the jury results were all announced, countries placed lower than Bulgaria could still possibly have been in with a chance of winning outright.

Once the spokespersons from all 42 countries had announced their jury voting points, the scoreboard looked like this on screen:

Portugal
382
Armenia
58
Bulgaria
278
Romania
58
Sweden
218
Belarus
50
Australia
171
Hungary
48
The Netherlands
135
Greece
48
Norway
129
France
45
Italy
126
Cyprus
36
Moldova
110
Israel
34
Belgium
108
Croatia
25
United Kingdom
99
Poland
23
Austria
93
Ukraine
12
Azerbaijan
78
Germany
3
Denmark
69
Spain
0

Portugal was currently in the lead, with a margin of 104 points ahead of Bulgaria. The top five was briefly displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Oleksandr and Volodymyr said that all the national juries had voted, and thus half the total number of points had been awarded. Graham Norton pointed out to UK viewers that the juries watched a different performance; they voted on the Friday evening dress rehearsal. Altogether announcement of the jury points took about 35 minutes.

Of course, anything could happen next when the televoting points were announced. At this stage even Germany or Spain could have still won, if a) they received 12 televoting points from a large enough number of other countries (not necessarily all 41) and b) Portugal and the other currently high placed countries all received very low televoting totals.

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Televoting Results
Oleksandr and Volodymyr explained how the televoting works. Timur asked Jon Ola Sand if the televoting had gone according to plan. He said it had, and the EBU had a 100% correct result. In each of the 42 countries, the public's phone / text / app votes were totalled up, and converted to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 points to the top 10 voted-for songs. However instead of going around all the 42 countries and having the spokespersons announce each country's televoting points in the same manner as the jury points, all 42 countries' televoting points were added together behind the scenes to produce one total televoting score for each finalist. Oleksandr and Volodymyr announced the total amount of televoting points each finalist had received from each of the other 41 countries.

Oleksandr and Volodymyr began by announcing the bottom 16 countries of the televote, from 26th to 11th, in rapid succession as follows. The scoreboard on the left hand side of the screen, and Volodymyr and Oleksandr appeared in a window on the right. Oleksandr and Volodymyr announced the countries alternately. Graham Norton's comments are shown in brackets at the applicable points.

With 0 points it is Austria (Oh no, oh)
With 2 points it is Australia
With 3 points it is Germany
With 5 points it is Spain
With the same amount of 5 points it is Israel
With 8 points it is Denmark
12 points to the United Kingdom (Oh!)
15 points to The Netherlands
21 points to Armenia
24 points to Ukraine
With 29 points it is Greece
With the same amount of points of 29 it is Norway (Very bad for them with the public vote)
With 32 points it is Cyprus
With 33 points it is Belarus
With 41 points it is Poland
With 42 points it is Azerbaijan

In each case, the applicable country name was highlighted in blue, the televoting points total was displayed briefly at the left of the country name, the running score to the right of the country name was increased to the final total it would get, and the country was moved to the correct place on the scoreboard.

Once the bottom 16 countries had been announced, the scoreboard looked like this (countries which had received their televote totals so far are shown in bold):

Portugal
382
Armenia
79
Bulgaria
278
Greece
77
Sweden
218
Denmark
77
Australia
173
Cyprus
68
Norway
158
Poland
64
The Netherlands
150
Romania
58
Italy
126
Hungary
48
Azerbaijan
120
France
45
United Kingdom
111
Israel
39
Moldova
110
Ukraine
36
Belgium
108
Croatia
25
Austria
93
Germany
6
Belarus
83
Spain
5

At this point Graham Norton said "Now, can we stay on the left hand side? It is possible that we can stay on the left hand side." He was referring to the UK. The United Kingdom, and the 15 other countries which had received their televoting totals so far were not going to get any more points, whereas 10 countries had yet to receive their televoting points. The country placed 10th in the televote was now going to get at least 42 points, so Moldova (currently on 110 points) and Belgium (currently on 108 points) were going to overtake the UK whatever happened next. The highest position the UK could now finish on was 11th if Romania, Hungary, France and Croatia all finished with 110 points or less. For that to happen, their televoting points would have to be: Romania 52 or fewer, Hungary 62 or fewer, France 65 or fewer, Croatia 85 or fewer. Failing that, the UK could only stay on the left hand side at 12th or 13th if a maximum of two out of Romania, Hungary, France and Croatia leapfrogged the UK with televoting totals higher than those specified above.

The countries placed 10th to 5th were announced at a much slower pace, still with the scoreboard on the left, and Volodymyr and Oleksandr in a window on the right. Volodymyr and Oleksandr announced the recipients of the top ten scores alternately. Each time the country name appeared in the bottom right hand corner (in the same typeface as appeared during the jury voting), the applicable country name on the scoreboard was highlighted in red, the televoting points total was displayed briefly at the left of the country name, the running score to the right of the country name was increased to the final total it would get, the country was moved to the correct place on the scoreboard and its name highlighted in blue. After that, viewers were given a brief shot of the applicable artist in the Green Room. N.B. for some reason, France's name didn't appear when it was the first country in this group to be announced. Once again, Graham Norton's comments are shown in brackets at the applicable points.

Volodymyr: The country that has got the 10th highest score from the televote is, with 90 points it is France. (Oh, I fear we (UK) will end up on the right hand side of the scoreboard, but very high on it. So close to the left)
Oleksandr: The country that received the 9th highest score from the televote, with 103 is Croatia.
Volodymyr: The nation that has got the 8th highest score, with 126 points is Sweden.
Oleksandr: The country with the 7th highest score from the televote, with 152 points is Hungary.
Volodymyr: The country with the 6th highest score, with 208 points is Italy. (That's it, they're doomed.).
Oleksandr: The country awarded the 5th highest score, with 224 points is Romania.

At this point the scoreboard looked like this (countries which had received their televote totals so far are shown in bold):

Portugal
382
Moldova
110
Sweden
344
Belgium
108
Italy
334
Austria
93
Romania
282
Belarus
83
Bulgaria
278
Armenia
79
Hungary
200
Greece
77
Australia
173
Denmark
77
Norway
158
Cyprus
68
The Netherlands
150
Poland
64
France
135
Israel
39
Croatia
128
Ukraine
36
Azerbaijan
120
Germany
6
United Kingdom
111
Spain
5

With just four countries (Portugal, Bulgaria, Moldova, Belgium) still awaiting their televoting points, Portugal was still in the lead on 320 points. Green Room shots of the artists representing those countries were briefly displayed one by one. Graham Norton said "I wonder if Belgium could do it, if they really scored highly". Actually it was now mathematically impossible for Moldova or Belgium to win. Even if Portugal finished 4th in the televote, with 224 points (just like Romania), their final total would have been 606 points. Belgium would then have needed 499 points to overtake Portugal, and Moldova would have needed 497 points to overtake Portugal, both of which would have been impossible because the maximum either country could score on the televoting would have been 492 points (12 from each of the other 41 countries). The only country which could have overtaken Portugal in that scenario was Bulgaria, requiring a minimum of 329 points to pass Portugal's hypothetical final total of 606 points. Therefore it was now a two-horse race between Portugal and Bulgaria.

The next four countries were announced in the same manner as those placed 10th to 5th, but at an even slower pace. Oleksandr announced all the remaining totals and Volodymyr gave additional comments in between.

Oleksandr: The country that received the 4th highest score from your votes, with 255 points is Belgium.

Volodymyr: And still it was not enough to pass the leader and currently Portugal is in the first place with 382 points.

With just three countries left to receive their televoting totals, (Portugal, Bulgaria, Moldova), Green Room shots of artists representing these countries were briefly displayed in in windows across the screen.

Oleksandr: The country given the 3rd highest score, with 264 points is Moldova.

With just Portugal and Bulgaria left to receive their televoting totals, Green Room shots of artists representing these countries were briefly displayed in windows side by side on screen.

Volodymyr: So there are only two countries left to receive their points from your televote. The two top songs, according to the televote, are Portugal and Bulgaria. Will they get enough points right now, and who will win the Contest this year?

Oleksandr: The country that got the 2nd highest score, with 337 points is Bulgaria. Graham Norton said "It's all over!" Although that momentarily put Bulgaria in the lead with 615 points, Portugal was now going to get at least 337 televoting points and win with at least 719 points.

Oleksandr: … and this actually means that we have our winner. Tonight we still have 376 points for Portugal, and that means that Portugal is the winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

Once Portugal's televoting points were added, the final scoreboard looked like this (countries which had received their televote totals so far are shown in bold):

Portugal
758
Azerbaijan
120
Bulgaria
615
United Kingdom
111
Moldova
374
Austria
93
Belgium
363
Belarus
83
Sweden
344
Armenia
79
Italy
334
Greece
77
Romania
282
Denmark
77
Hungary
200
Cyprus
68
Australia
173
Poland
64
Norway
158
Israel
39
The Netherlands
150
Ukraine
36
France
135
Germany
6
Croatia
128
Spain
5

Graham Norton said "Wow, what an amazing result! They've been waiting 53 years to win this competition, so there's hope for us all ladies and gentlemen." Announcement of the televoting totals took about 9 minutes.

Shortly afterwards the UK's televoting results were displayed in a panel at the bottom of the screen, and Graham Norton read each of the ten scores out. Did other countries' broadcasters present their own televoting points in as similar manner?

Portugal won with a final score of 758 points. With a possible maximum of 12 jury points from each of the other 41 countries (including the 16 non-qualifying semi-finalists), i.e. 492, plus 12 televoting points from each of the other 41 countries, i.e. 492, the maximum achievable score was 984 points. Thus Portugal won with 77.03% of the maximum possible score, which is quite high. The record for the winner with the highest percentage of the maximum possible score since 1975 still rests with United Kingdom - Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses For Me"; 80.4% in 1976.

An in-depth analysis of the jury voting and televoting is available here.

A sortable table, with all the jury, televoting and final points and placings, is shown below.

#
Participant
Jury Points
Jury Place
Televoting Points
Televoting Place
Final Points
Final Place
1
Israel
34
21
5
22
39
23
2
Poland
23
23
41
12
64
22
3
Belarus
50
16
33
13
83
17
4
Austria
93
11
0
26
93
16
5
Armenia
58
14
21
18
79
18
6
The Netherlands
135
5
15
19
150
11
7
Moldova
110
8
264
3
374
3
8
Hungary
48
17
152
7
200
8
9
Italy
126
7
208
6
334
6
10
Denmark
69
13
8
21
77
20
11
Portugal
382
1
376
1
758
1
12
Azerbaijan
78
12
42
11
120
14
13
Croatia
25
22
103
9
128
13
14
Australia
171
4
2
25
173
9
15
Greece
48
18
29
16
77
19
16
Spain
0
26
5
23
5
26
17
Norway
129
6
29
15
158
10
18
United Kingdom
99
10
12
20
111
15
19
Cyprus
36
20
32
14
68
21
20
Romania
58
15
224
5
282
7
21
Germany
3
25
3
24
6
25
22
Ukraine
12
24
24
17
36
24
23
Belgium
108
9
255
4
363
4
24
Sweden
218
3
126
8
344
5
25
Bulgaria
278
2
337
2
615
2
26
France
45
19
90
10
135
12

A more detailed comparison between the jury and televoting results is available here.

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Trophy Presentation
At this point Salvador Sobral proceeded from the Green Room to the small stage to receive the winner's trophy, which was presented by last year's winner Jamala. Next Salvador proceeded to the main stage to meet the hosts Oleksandr, Volodymyr and Timur. Salvador took the opportunity to give a short speech about music. Afterwards Oleksandr, Volodymyr and Timur gave their closing speech.

Reprise
Finally Salvador returned to the small stage to sing the winning song "Amar Pelos Dois" again. This time he performed it as a duet with his sister and composer of the song Luísa Sobral. I must say, comparing this performance with his solo version in the main part of the Grand Final, I prefer his solo version.

After they finished, the closing credits scrolled upwards at the left hand side of the screen. UK viewers also saw the BBC's own additional credits at the bottom of the screen. As the credits scrolled, Graham Norton said "A huge thank you and congratulations to Lucie Jones, who did the UK proud, she came 15th which is perfectly respectable, and a big thank you to her from everyone on the BBC Delegation and I'm sure everyone back in the UK for representing us so brilliantly". Finally the Eurovision ident accompanied by Charpentier's Te Deum prelude "Marche en rondeau" marked the end of the show.

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And Finally
Altogether another great Contest. Many thanks to NTU for producing such a spectacular Grand Final. As always it was good to have a mixture of song styles in the final. Most of the songs were OK or very good; there were just a few that I'd rather not have qualified to the final (Armenia, Moldova, Norway, Romania). I still think Finland and Slovenia deserved the places taken by Armenia and Moldova on Tuesday evening, and that Estonia and Ireland deserved the places Norway and Romania took Thursday evening.

Congratulations to Portugal for winning the Contest with a record-breaking score of 758 points. Interestingly Portugal won both the jury vote with 382 points and the televote with 376 points; the first time a country has won both halves of the voting since this system was introduced in 2016. I'm surprised Salvador Sobral's "Amar Pelos Dois" won, because when I first saw its online preview video I thought it sounded old fashioned and would therefore be unlikely to get votes from other countries juries and viewers, but well done to Salvador anyway. This means Portugal have now achieved their first ever win since their debut entry in 1964. Portugal - winners 2017. Portugal now takes the record for longest wait for a first win: 53 years (1964 to 2017), previously held by Finland: 45 years (1961 to 2006).

Commiserations to Lucie Jones who represented the UK. The UK finished a reasonable 10th out of 26 with 99 points in the jury vote, and I was hoping for a top ten televoting score. Sadly when the televoting results were announced, the UK was the seventh finalist called out with just 12 points, i.e. it finished 20th place in the televote. Once all the televoting totals had been added to the scoreboard, the UK's final score was 111 points, putting the UK 15th out of 26 finalists. That's an improvement on last year in terms of jury, televoting and overall points and placings, but I think "Never Give Up On You" really ought to have finished top ten in the jury voting, televoting and overall. Looking positively, 15th out of 26 finalists still nothing to be ashamed of; 11 finalists finished below the UK, and a further 16 countries failed to reach the final. At the end of the day, the important thing is not to win, but to participate.

Roll on the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest from Portugal. Can RTP do as well or better? Time will tell. Mark my words, next year's Contest will tell another story as far as the results are concerned, especially if the EBU retains the method of separate jury and televoting points from each country. Who knows, the UK might win next year!

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