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Eurovision 2017 Kyiv Finalists Announced

eurovision2017Tonight, Saturday 13th May will see the much awaited final of the Eurovision Song ContetThe Ukrainian capital Kiev has been able to put on a real visual spectacle for the two semi-finals so the conclusion of the event is bound to be a great spectacle.

This year’s event was in the news well before its start first because of the delays in the preparations and the official tickets release and then more recently when Russia decided to withdraw from the contest, following the ban on their chosen performer, Julia Samoylova, accused of having entered in occupied Crimea via Russia (and having performed there) - which is illegal according to Ukraine’s law.

Without Russia, the remaining 36 countries not getting automatic admission to the final (the ‘big 5’ plus the host country are pre-qualified) competed in two semifinals last Tuesday and Thursday and the final lot of 26 finalists is now getting ready for tonight’s soiree.

The controversial entry for Montenegro Slavko Kalezic, with its explicit lyrics did not make it to the final, possibly because of a lacklustre performance on the night. However the very handsome Imri gained a place in the final for Israel. The extremely cute and huggable Nathan Trent also secured a place in the final for Austria. Compared to last year’s exceptional performer Dami Im, Australia’s choice for this year wasn’t so remarkable, however they managed to secure a place in the final. Overall, this year’s entries have been noticeable for the large number of ballads and a lot fewer upbeat and dance tunes. However an exception was the very danceable “This is Love” by Greece’s Demi and “Hey Mamma” from Moldova’s Sunstroke Project.

A controversy has been raised about Croatia’s entry, Jaques Houdek, who is on record for having said, in a 2005 interview that ‘the gay and lesbian population cannot be equal with other citizens because it means a return to Sodom and Gomorrah’. The singer has since denied being homophobic and denied that he actually made such statements. He even added that he has ‘gay friends’ - a pretty lame excuse, which we’ve all heard before to polish away any whiff of homophobic statement

The 20 qualifiers will tonight perform with remaining 6 pre-qualified countries. The big 5 have this years pulled all the stops and feature some really good numbers. France is competing with the delightful Alma and a fantastic song Requiem, which will transport viewers in a sparkling Paris. Germany’s Levina is also a strong contestant with her song “Perfect Life”. The UK’s entry, Lucy Jones with her song "Never Give Up on You” is probably one of the best entries for the country in years. And then there’s Italy’s Francesco Gabbani with his ‘Occidentali’s Karma”, which is still the bookies favourite to win the contest, at 1.75, though it appears France is gaining momentum.

In the end, it may well be that the competition will be decided by the quality of the performance on the night. We can’t wait.

Running Order

01 Israel IMRI I Feel Alive
02 Poland Kasia Moś Flashlight
03 Belarus Naviband Story of My life
04 Austria Nathan Trent Running on Air
05 Armenia Artsvik Fly With Me
06 The Netherlands OG3NE Lights and Shadows
07  Moldova Sunstroke Project Hey Mamma
08 Hungary Pápai Joci Origo
09 Italy Francesco Gabbani Occidentali's Karma
10 Denmark Anja Where I Am
11 Portugal Salvador Sobral Amar Pelos Dois
12 Azerbaijan Dihaj Skeletons
13 Croatia Jacques Houdek My Friend
14 Australia Isaiah Don't Come Easy
15 Greece Demy This Is Love
16 Spain Manel Navarro Do It For Your Lover
17 Norway JOWST Grab The Moment
18 UK Lucy Jones Never Give Your Up
19 Cyprus Hovig Gravity
20 Romania Ilinca ft. Alex Florea Yodel It!
21 Germany Levina Perfect Life
22 Ukraine O.Torvald Time
23 Belgium Blanche City Lights
24 Sweden Robin Bengtsson I Can't Go On
25 Bulgaria Kristian Kostov Beautiful Mess
26 France Alma Requiem