Portugal Wins Eurovision Song Contest As Australia Scores Ninth


Salvador Sobral

Portugal has finally won Eurovision after first entering the contest in 1954.

Salvador Sobral won with his performance of a jazz-style ballad, Amar Pelos Dois, written by his sister Luisa.

Advertisements

Isaiah Firebrace, 17, performing his song Don’t Come Easy, finished in ninth place, giving Australia a top 10 finish for the third consecutive year.

After the competition, Firebrace told SBS that the experience had been “just a dream come true”.

“Fourth in the jury vote was incredible and then ninth overall was amazing,” he said.

“I said to myself before coming over to Kiev that if I make it in the top 10, I’m going to be on top of the moon … and I am over the moon.”

Some Eurovision viewers speculated that Firebrace’s score may have been affected by a streaker who ran across the stage wearing an Australian flag.

It was initially thought the streaker was an Australian, but the SBS later confirmed the man was Ukrainian Vitalii Sediuk, a self-described prankster known for accosting celebrities on red carpets.

Australia’s head of delegation Paul Clarke said the result vindicated our perseverance.

“Isaiah’s talent as a singer is as good as anybody in the contest tonight, as good as the winner,” he said.

“He’s a 17-year-old with an incredible talent and to be able to put him on that stage, and to watch what he did tonight is great for Australia.

“It’s a showcase for us and he really delivered on that. It’s wonderful that SBS had got three top 10 finishes in three years,” Clarke said.

Australian-born and raised Anja Nissen, who was representing Denmark, finished in 20th place.

Advertisements

The final rankings for the top 10 countries were Portugal (758 points), Bulgaria (615), Moldova (374), Belgium (363), Sweden (344), Italy (334), Romania (282), Hungary (200), Australia (173) and Norway (158).

Clarke said discussions over Australia’s involvement in next year’s competition begin immediately.

“We have to ensure the Portuguese are happy for us to come back,” he said. “And we have to decide how we get the strongest act into the finals.”

Clarke said it was possible we would adopt a system similar to Sweden which uses a national competition, the Melodifestivalen, to determine a “winner” who represents the country at Eurovision.

The final of the 62nd annual Eurovision Song Contest will be replayed on SBS One tonight from 7.30 and is available via SBS On Demand.