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. The host city was chosen by the beginning of August. A date was set for 1 August, however, there were extra requirements to review.
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.
It was the first time since 2014 that both the jury and the televote agreed on the winner.
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.
"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.
During Eurovision week, three special Twitter emojis were released to promote the contest. They are as follows, along with the associated hashtags:
- #ESC2017 or #Eurovision: the ESC heart logo in gold
- #CelebrateDivesity: the 2017 necklace logo in red
- #12Points or #douzepoints: the winner's trophy in blue surrounded by three gold stars
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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."  
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."
- 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.
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, whose punishment was the surrender of his Ukrainian passport and being forced to remain in the country.
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 and pre-song postcards 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 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|
| Ukraine (Host)|
- 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.
|Sunstroke Project||2010 (with Olia Tira)|
|Laura Põldvere||2005 (with Suntribe)|
|Valentina Monetta||2012, 2013, 2014|
|01||Sweden||Robin Bengtsson||I Can't Go On||English||--||3||227|
|02||Georgia||Tamara Gachechiladze||Keep the Faith||11||99|
|03||Australia||Isaiah Firebrace||Don't Come Easy||6||160|
|09||Portugal||Salvador Sobral||Amar pelos dois||Portuguese||Love for us both||1||370|
|10||Greece||Demy||This Is Love||English||--||10||115|
|12||Moldova||Sunstroke Project||Hey Mamma||2||291|
|14||Czech Republic||Martina Bárta||My Turn||13||83|
|16||Armenia||Artsvik||Fly With Me||7||152|
|17||Slovenia||Omar Naber||On My Way||17||36|
Semi Final Two
|01||Serbia||Tijana Bogićević||In Too Deep||English||--||11||98|
|02||Austria||Nathan Trent||Running on Air||7||147|
|03||FYR Macedonia||Jana Burčeska||Dance Alone||15||69|
|05||Romania||Ilinca ft. Alex Florea||Yodel It||6||174|
|06||The Netherlands||O'G3NE||Lights and Shadows||4||200|
|08||Denmark||Anja Nissen||Where I Am||English||--||10||101|
|09||Ireland||Brendan Murray||Dying to Try||13||86|
|10||San Marino||Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson||Spirit of the Night||18||1|
|11||Croatia||Jacques Houdek||My Friend||English, Italian||8||141|
|12||Norway||Jowst ft. Aleksander Walmann||Grab the Moment||English||5||189|
|14||Belarus||NAVI||Historyja majho žyccia||Belarusian||Story of my life||9||110|
|15||Bulgaria||Kristian Kostov||Beautiful Mess||English||--||1||403|
|16||Lithuania||Fusedmarc||Rain of Revolution||17||42|
|17||Estonia||Koit & Laura||Verona||14||85|
|18||Israel||Imri Ziv||I Feel Alive||3||207|
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.
- RTVA confirmed that Andorra will not return for 2017.
- 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.
- 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.
- RTL confirmed that Luxembourg will not return for 2017, equaling the record of 24 consecutive non-participations set by Monaco.
- TMC confirmed that Monaco will not return for 2017.
- According to sources such as the OGAE branch and the RTVS Facebook page, Slovakia will not participate in 2017.
- The Director General of NTU confirmed on 23 October 2016 that Turkey will not return for 2017.
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- Hunan TV will broadcast the contest in China with its own commentary team.
- KNR will broadcast the grand final in Greenland on a 4-hour time delay.
- 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.
- ↑ http://esctoday.com/136980/portugal-rtp-confirms-participation-eurovision-2017
- ↑ https://escviews.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/cityscrape-a-review-of-the-battle-of-the-cities-debate/ This article includes opinions from the author but has the facts nonetheless.
- ↑ http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=230133
- ↑ http://bluper.elespanol.com/noticias/federico-llano-abandona-eurovision
- ↑ https://eurovoix.com/2017/02/13/esc17-majority-eurovision-2017-organisational-team-resigns/ The full translated letter can be read here.
- ↑ https://eurovoix.com/2017/04/13/russia-withdraws-eurovision-song-contest/
- ↑ https://www.1tv.ru/news/2017-04-13/323468-pervyy_kanal_ne_budet_translirovat_evrovidenie_2017 Article in Russian. Translation by Google Chrome auto-translator
- ↑ https://eurovision.tv/story/russia-unable-to-participate-2017-ebu-statement