Following an exciting vote, Portugal and Salvador Sobral has been crowned the victor of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Amar pelos dois, receiving a final combined total of 758 points tonight.
Sobral won with a song written by his sister, "Amar Pelos Dois", and was a favourite with both the global jury and the public. After failing to convince Ukraine to reverse its decision to bar Samoylova, Eurovision organizers gave Russia the option to have her perform remotely or for Russia to choose a different artist, an offer rejected by the Russian channels which selected her. According to the bookmakers, third favorite is Bulgaria's Kristian Kostov, the youngest entrant at 17 years old.
He dominated the jury vote as expected, but then stunned everyone by crushing the jury vote to bring Portugal its first-ever victory in the contest.
Julia Samoylova, meant to be Russia's Eurovision envoy this year, was banned by Ukrainian authorities from entering the country after the host country learned she'd performed in Crimea without permission from Ukrainian authorities following the territory's annexation in 2014.
Other hopefuls this year included Italian Francesco Gabbani. But the sweet intentions were soured for this 62nd edited when Russia's participation was scuttled by host Ukraine over the two nations' diplomatic and military conflict.
"If I can bring some sort of change to the pop music in the world in general, because people only listen to the music that is thrown at us from the radio stations, I'll be more than happy". Which Portuguese city will we be flying to in 2018 for the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest?
Bloc voting remains a key characteristic of Eurovision, but the trend hit a sour note with the punters this year as the crowds booed obvious vote-swaps between Greece and Cyprus during the jury vote.
The contest also saw a streaker interrupt the programme.
The song, performed by Jamala, was possibly one of the most controversial winners in the competition's history. Overtly political flags and banners are banned, and lyrics are monitored for provocative content. Their closing declaration - "We are a tolerant, open, and modern country"- seems a pointed response to the criticisms and controversies that have courted Ukraine and the Kyiv production in the lead-up to this year's competition. The move allowed Russia-Ukraine tensions over Eurovision to fester.
From its launch with seven countries, Eurovision has grown to include more than 40, including non-European nations such as Israel and, somewhat controversially, far-off Australia, where the event has a huge fan following.