Last night saw the crowning of a brand new Eurovision champion, and it was a humble Portuguese teenager who was put on the throne, with his sweet ballad offering ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ that wowed both the judges and the audiences across Europe.
Salvador Sobral won with 758 points, calling it a “triumph for real music”.
Even before Salvador picked up his trophy, however, there was plenty to enjoy in an evening in the arena in the Ukrainian capital. For example...
1. Remembering Terry
In what has already become a tradition, commentator Graham Norton paused at song 9 and included everyone in a toast to Terry Wogan - “the man who was and who always will be the voice of Eurovision”.
2. Graham’s aside
Even before the songs got going - with a smirk to the presenters of what was billed the Diversity Contest, “let’s look who they’ve chosen to host... it’s three white men.” Whatever column inches get produced today, this was all that was required.
3. Poland’s violin
A man Marcel Marceau-ing desperately with a fiddle. Keen....
4. Moldova’s sax
... but just the warm up as it turned out, for this guy. Gifs appeared within seconds, sadly overshadowing an equally hardworking fiddler over on the other side. As for the charismatic saxophonist, when he did actually play, did his fingers actually move at all? Just wondering...
5. Hungary’s milk churn
A stage extra that helped frontman Joci Papai stay in time with the music, unlike the ‘trained’ dancer alongside.
6. Croatia’s outfit…
7. Vitaly Klitschko’s appearance
Of course, never mind being a former champion of the ring and the brother of the recently conquered Wladimir, turns out he’s also the mayor of Kiev! Who knew?* *Probably everybody, but we’d forgotten with all this camp.
8. Salvador’s victory moment
Never mind his impassioned “it’s about music” speech to the masses, it was his desperate request for his sister to be on stage for the reprise that was truly touching. Turns out she’s been singing for him at some rehearsals this week, as he has a heart condition and couldn’t always perform. This film script is surely beginning to write itself.
9. The streaker during the interval act
Say what you like about whether the Aussies should be in the contest, they certainly secured their place in the arena with that malarkey. It was a brief but perfectly timed stage invasion, for which Graham Norton had to hastily apologise. Fortunately, interval act Jamala did not appear too distracted by the frontal view.
10. Oh, and the gorilla
Italy’s furry friend. Inside was ‘Italy’s best choreographer’... couldn’t you tell?