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Eurovision Song Contest 2017

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 was the 62nd annual event and was held at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine thanks to Jamala's win in Stockholm the previous year.

The dates for the contest announced by the EBU on 24 June 2016 were as follows: the two semifinals were on 9 and 11 May 2017, with the final on 13 May 2017. The dates coincide with the second leg of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League semifinals.

6 cities officially submitted bids to host the contest: Kiev, Lviv, Kherson, Dnipro, Odessa, and Kharkiv. A debate was held on 21 July 2016 to determine the top two cities to host the contest - Odessa and Kiev made the final cut, while Dnipro's bid was added to make a final three.[2] The host city was chosen by the beginning of August. A date was set for 1 August, however, there were extra requirements to review.[3]

On 25 August 2016, Dnipro took its bid out of the running citing the constant delays regarding the announcement of the host city, leaving Odessa and Kiev as the remaining two candidates. On 9 September 2016, it was finally announced that Kiev was chosen as the host city. This was the second time that the city would host the event, the first time was back in 2005.

42 countries participated. Portugal returned to the contest after a year away, as was Romania, who returned after their government agreed to pay back TVR's debts to the EBU. Australia was invited back to participate for the third time. Bosnia and Herzegovina withdrew due to financial problems. Russia had no choice but to withdraw due to their selected artist Yulia Samoilova being unable to enter Ukraine after a travel ban was issued on her.

The winner was Portugal with the song Amar pelos dois by Salvador Sobral, ending the longest wait for a first victory in contest history (53 years). Bulgaria took second place, with Moldova rounding out the top 3, all three countries recording their best ever placings. Of the Big 5, both Italy and France made the left-hand side of the scoreboard, finishing 6th and 12th respectively

Format

Presenters

On 27 February 2017, the presenters were revealed as Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko. This is historic for two reasons as it is the first time since the inaugural contest in 1956 that the event would not feature a female presenter. Additionally, it is the first time the presenting trio is all male, a complete reversal from the 2015 contest in Vienna where the hosting trio was all female.

Skichko and Ostapchuk, both popular television presenters, handled the main hosting duties. Miroshnychenko, who hosted the Junior Eurovision contest both times it was held in Ukraine and co-hosted the 2017 semifinal allocation draw, handled duties in the green room.

Theme

"Celebrate Diversity" is the theme of the 2017 contest. As former event executive producer Oleksandr Kharebin explains:

"This year, artists from over 40 different countries will come to Kyiv and contribute their music and culture to the show and we will add our unique Ukrainian flavor, together creating a celebration of Diversity and an amazing and truly memorable 2017 Eurovision Song Contest".

The design is centered around a piece of traditional Ukrainian jewellery, a wooden beaded necklace known as Namysto. It is said to be a talisman of beauty and health for the wearer, the beads representing diversity and individuality.

Postcards

This year's postcards start with a backstage shot of each artist and their entourage. It then goes into a montage of the artist enjoying a variety of different activities before returning to the opening shot where the performer heads towards the stage.

Verkavision

In a two-part sketch (one segment per semi), 2007 Ukrainian participant Verka Serduchka and her mother showcase different aspects of Kiev and Ukraine in a comedic way. She later appeared onstage at the grand final to help launch the voting window.

Incidents

Spanish final result

The Spanish national final erupted into chaos after the announcement of the result. Two of the jurors, Xavi Martínez and Virginia Diáz, both gave their top marks (and later, tiebreaking votes) to Manel Navarro while giving their lowest scores to fan favorite and televote winner Mirela, oddly enough both giving their second-highest scores to Mario Jefferson. It was later revealed that Martínez had heavily promoted Navarro's song on his radio station prior to the final, causing an outcry from the public over a potential conflict of interest over his selection as a juror and two members of the Spanish Parliament putting forward a motion for TVE to clarify the details of the selection process with a possibility of the national final results being voided.

The Spanish Head of Delegation resigned as a result.[4]

Organising committee resignations

On 13 December 2016, 21 members of the 2017 Organising Committee (including Executive Producers Oleksandr Kharebin and Victoria Romanova) resigned due to a lack of progress regarding the venue, Euroclub, TV production and other areas such as tickets not being given to OGAE fan clubs.

The resignation letter read:

"...a new actual head of the contest in Ukraine has been appointed, who got the complete control over all the Eurovision aspects in Ukraine." and that "the team can not accept such an appointment"[5]

Street dog controversy

A German Eurovision page posted a story about the mass culling of street dogs in Kiev, causing animal rights activists, mostly representing the German rescue organization Tierschutz, to start complaining on social media connected to the contest such as the official Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as several national broadcasters' and artists' pages calling for boycotts against the contest and starting petitions directed at the contest organizers and the EBU against the acts. It was later revealed by another ESC news outlet along with the mayor of Kiev that the acts were false and that the graphic pictures in many of the activists' complaints were not taken in Kiev itself, but in Romania in 2009. The mayor of Kiev stated that the accused culling was not done by city workers, but by illegal hunters doing it for sport.

Russia

The Russian delegation chose Yulia Samoilova to represent them with the song Flame is Burning. Eventually, it was discovered that Samoilova had performed in Crimea after its annexation to Russia. As a result, the Ukrainian Government chose to block Samoilova from entering Ukraine (by law). The EBU attempted to have Russia appear via satellite, but that idea was rejected. Despite this, Samoilova has still rehearsed and prepared her postcard. 

On 13 April 2017, Channel One Russia received a letter from the EBU as follows, signifying their formal withdrawal from the contest:

"The First Channel has received a letter from the European Broadcasting Union with a message that the EBU was unable to resolve the issue of participation in the Eurovision Song Contest-2017 participant from Russia, Julia Samoylovoy.[sic] About this EBU reports with reference to the decision of the intelligence services of Ukraine. First Channel considers the refusal of the Ukrainian side completely unfounded. The reason is the attempt of Ukraine to politicize the competition, whose goal throughout his 62-Year-old history was to bring people together.
The European Broadcasting Union continues to offer the option of remote participation of Julia Samoylovoy or replacing it with the other party. But First Channel believes that the other option is inadmissible.
A remote presentation discriminates against the Russian marching and is contrary to the rules and principles of the competition. The option of replacing Julia Samoylovoy[sic] at another artist, in our view, can't even be considered.
In the current situation, the First Channel does not consider it possible to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest 2017."
[6] [7]

Following this, the EBU provided an official statement via eurovision.tv, formally declaring that Russia will not take part in the 2017 Contest:

"These proposals were to either take part via satellite or to change their chosen artist to one who could legally travel to Ukraine for the duration of the Contest. Sadly both proposals have been rejected by Channel One and they have now announced they do not intend to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. Unfortunately, this means Russia will no longer be able to take part in this year’s competition. We very much wanted all 43 countries to be able to participate and did all we could to achieve this."[8]
On 4 May 2017, the head of the EBU Reference Group told a German media outlet that both Russia and Ukraine will face sanctions immediately following the contest, as Ukraine breached statutes by not allowing Russia to participate, and Russia failed to attend the compulsory Head of Delegation meetings. Both countries could face massive fines or even a participation ban of 3 years.

Stage invasion

During Jamala's performance of "I Believe In U" in the grand final, a man wearing an Australian flag invaded the satellite stage and briefly mooned the camera before being dragged off by security. It turned out to be the work of Ukrainian serial prankster Vitalii Sediuk, who now faces at least 5 years in prison for his disruptive act.

Geo-blocking issues

As was the case in 2016, Eurovision fans in the United States, Canada and other countries outside Europe were unable to watch the live streams of the 2017 opening ceremony, the semifinals and the grand final, as well as the individual live performance clips from the shows on the Eurovision YouTube channel due to geo-blocking (all backstage content, supplementary features and official music videos were left unblocked). The likely cause for the United States was the fact that Viacom, which owns Logo TV, bought the American broadcast rights, which in turn affected their neighbor Canada's ability to watch the official content on YouTube.

Participants

The semi-final allocation draw was held on 31 January 2017 at the Column Hall of Kiev's City State Administration, and hosted by Nika Konstantinova and Timur Miroshnychenko. The insignia handover ceremony took place before the draw began, officially beginning the countdown to the contest.

The pots were as follows, calculated by the EBU's voting providers Digame and based on historical voting patterns:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6 Finalists
Flag of Albania Albania
Flag of Croatia Croatia
Flag of Macedonia FYR Macedonia
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
Flag of Serbia Serbia
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia
Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
Flag of Denmark Denmark
Flag of Estonia Estonia
Flag of Finland Finland
Flag of Iceland Iceland
Norway Norway
Flag of Sweden Sweden
Flag of Armenia Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus Belarus
Flag of Georgia Georgia
Flag of Israel Israel
Flag of Russia Russia
Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
Flag of Cyprus Cyprus
Flag of Greece Greece
Flag of Hungary Hungary
Flag of Moldova Moldova
Flag of Romania Romania
Flag of Australia Australia
Flag of Austria Austria
Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic
Flag of Malta Malta
Flag of Portugal Portugal
Flag of San Marino San Marino
Flag of Belgium Belgium
Flag of Ireland Ireland
Flag of Latvia Latvia
Flag of Lithuania Lithuania
Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands
Flag of Poland Poland
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine (Host)
France France
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Flag of Spain Spain
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom

Pre-Allocations

  • Due to scheduling conflicts on the day of semifinal 1, Switzerland was pre-allocated to semifinal 2 as per a request from SRG SSR. It was approved by the Reference Group.
  • Germany was pre-allocated to vote in and broadcast semifinal 2 as per a request from ARD/NDR.

Returning Artists

Artist(s) Previous Year(s)
O'G3NE JESC 2007
Omar Naber 2005
Sunstroke Project 2010 (with Olia Tira)
Koit Toome 1998
Laura Põldvere 2005 (with Suntribe)
Valentina Monetta 2012, 2013, 2014

Semi-Final One

Flag of Italy Italy, Flag of Spain Spain and Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom voted in this semi. It took place on 9 May 2017. 

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Sweden Sweden Robin Bengtsson I Can't Go On English -- 3 227
02 Flag of Georgia Georgia Tamara Gachechiladze Keep the Faith 11 99
03 Flag of Australia Australia Isaiah Firebrace Don't Come Easy 6 160
04 Flag of Albania Albania Lindita Halimi World 14 76
05 Flag of Belgium Belgium Blanche City Lights 4 165
06 Flag of Montenegro Montenegro Slavko Kalezić Space 16 58
07 Flag of Finland Finland Norma John Blackbird 12 92
08 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan DiHaj Skeletons 8 150
09 Flag of Portugal Portugal Salvador Sobral Amar pelos dois Portuguese Love for us both 1 370
10 Flag of Greece Greece Demy This Is Love English -- 10 115
11 Flag of Poland Poland Kasia Moś Flashlight 9 119
12 Flag of Moldova Moldova Sunstroke Project Hey Mamma 2 291
13 Flag of Iceland Iceland Svala Paper 15 60
14 Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic Martina Bárta My Turn 13 83
15 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Hovig Gravity 5 164
16 Flag of Armenia Armenia Artsvik Fly With Me 7 152
17 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Omar Naber On My Way 17 36
18 Flag of Latvia Latvia Triana Park Line 18 21


Semi Final Two

France France, Flag of Germany Germany and Flag of Ukraine Ukraine voted in this semi. It took place on 11 May 2017.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Serbia Serbia Tijana Bogićević In Too Deep English -- 11 98
02 Flag of Austria Austria Nathan Trent Running on Air 7 147
03 Flag of Macedonia FYR Macedonia Jana Burčeska Dance Alone 15 69
04 Flag of Malta Malta Claudia Faniello Breathlessly 16 55
05 Flag of Romania Romania Ilinca ft. Alex Florea Yodel It 6 174
06 Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands O'G3NE Lights and Shadows 4 200
07 Flag of Hungary Hungary Joci Pápai Origo Hungarian Origin 2 231
08 Flag of Denmark Denmark Anja Nissen Where I Am English -- 10 101
09 Flag of Ireland Ireland Brendan Murray Dying to Try 13 86
10 Flag of San Marino San Marino Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson Spirit of the Night 18 1
11 Flag of Croatia Croatia Jacques Houdek My Friend English, Italian 8 141
12 Norway Norway Jowst ft. Aleksander Walmann Grab the Moment English 5 189
13 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland Timebelle Apollo 12 97
14 Flag of Belarus Belarus NAVI Historyja majho žyccia Belarusian Story of my life 9 110
15 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Kristian Kostov Beautiful Mess English -- 1 403
16 Flag of Lithuania Lithuania Fusedmarc Rain of Revolution 17 42
17 Flag of Estonia Estonia Koit & Laura Verona 14 85
18 Flag of Israel Israel Imri Ziv I Feel Alive 3 207

Grand Final

All countries voted. The final will take place on 13 May 2017. Ukraine's place in the running order was decided during the Head of Delegations meetings on 13 March 2017.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Israel Israel Imri Ziv I Feel Alive English -- 23 39
02 Flag of Poland Poland Kasia Moś Flashlight 22 64
03 Flag of Belarus Belarus NAVI Historyja majho žyccia Belarusian Story of my life 17 83
04 Flag of Austria Austria Nathan Trent Running on Air English -- 16 93
05 Flag of Armenia Armenia Artsvik Fly With Me 18 79
06 Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands O'G3NE Lights and Shadows 11 150
07 Flag of Moldova Moldova Sunstroke Project Hey Mamma 3 374
08 Flag of Hungary Hungary Joci Pápai Origo Hungarian Origin 8 200
09 Flag of Italy Italy Francesco Gabbani Occidentali's Karma Italian Westerners' karma 6 334
10 Flag of Denmark Denmark Anja Nissen Where I Am English -- 20 77
11 Flag of Portugal Portugal Salvador Sobral Amar pelos dois Portuguese Love for us both 1 758
12 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan DiHaj Skeletons English -- 14 120
13 Flag of Croatia Croatia Jacques Houdek My Friend English, Italian 13 128
14 Flag of Australia Australia Isaiah Firebrace Don't Come Easy English 9 173
15 Flag of Greece Greece Demy This Is Love 19 77
16 Flag of Spain Spain Manel Navarro Do It For Your Lover Spanish, English 26 5
17 Norway Norway Jowst ft. Aleksander Walmann Grab the Moment English 10 158
18 Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom Lucie Jones Never Give Up On You 15 111
19 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Hovig Gravity 21 68
20 Flag of Romania Romania Ilinca ft. Alex Florea Yodel It 7 282
21 Flag of Germany Germany Levina Perfect Life 25 6
22 Flag of Ukraine Ukraine O. Torvald Time 24 36
23 Flag of Belgium Belgium Blanche City Lights 4 363
24 Flag of Sweden Sweden Robin Bengtsson I Can't Go On 5 344
25 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Kristian Kostov Beautiful Mess 2 615
26 France France Alma Requiem French, English 12 135

Withdrawing

  • Flag of Andorra RTVA confirmed that Andorra will not return for 2017.
  • Flag of Kosovo It was highly unlikely that Kosovo would debut in 2017 as their broadcaster RTK is not a full or associate member of the EBU. Under Rule 3.3 of the EBU statutes, RTK must be part of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) before applying for active EBU membership.
  • Flag of Liechtenstein 1FLTV confirmed that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2017. However, they did say they were seeking future participation once their financial matters are straightened out.
  • Flag of Luxembourg RTL confirmed that Luxembourg will not return for 2017, equaling the record of 24 consecutive non-participations set by Monaco.
  • Flag of Monaco TMC confirmed that Monaco will not return for 2017.
  • Flag of Slovakia According to sources such as the OGAE branch and the RTVS Facebook page, Slovakia will not participate in 2017.
  • Flag of Turkey The Director General of NTU confirmed on 23 October 2016 that Turkey will not return for 2017.
  • Flag of Russia Channel 1 Russia have formally withdrawn from the contest on 13 April 2017, following Ukraine's decision to ban Yulia Samoilova from the country on the grounds of her appearance in Crimea, and that they will not broadcast the contest. A statement from the EBU can be found here
  • Flag of Kazakhstan Despite the rumors and their broadcaster, Khabar Agency, becoming an associate EBU member on 1 January 2016, Kazakhstan will not debut in 2017. They will broadcast the contest, and the EBU is currently discussing whether to invite other associate member countries to participate in future editions.

Other Countries

  • Flag of Canada OUTtv confirmed that it will not air the 2017 contest in Canada, despite it being rumored that it would be broadcast live (the 2014 and 2015 contests were aired on delay).
  • Flag of China Hunan TV will broadcast the contest in China with its own commentary team.
  • Flag of Greenland KNR will broadcast the grand final in Greenland on a 4-hour time delay.
  • Flag of the United States Despite it not being a EBU member or associate station, Logo TV will once again air the final in the United States with commentary by Michelle Visage and Ross Matthews.

References

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