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Portugal jubilant after singer's Eurovision victory

19 May 2017

Portugal won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time on Saturday with a gentle, romantic ballad that challenged the event's decades-long reputation for cheesy, glittery excess.

27-year-old Sobral, who was seen as the frontrunner of the contest by European bookmakers, performed with the song Amar Pelos Dios (Love for Two), composed and written by his sister Luisa Sobral.

Bulgaria's Kristian Kostov came second with 615 points and Moldova's SunStroke Project placed third, 374 points.

"I hope to keep making music that means something and remain happy, playing it. Emotion always prevails", Sobral said.

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"Music is not fireworks, music is feeling. bring music back which is what matters".

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and Lucie Jones managed to score a respectable 111 points, finishing in 15th place between Azerbaijan on 120, and Austria on 93.

Jones secured the UK's highest placing since 2011, when boyband Blue came 11th with 100 points.

Blanche had been one of the early favourites with this contemporary pop song before rehearsals started in Kiev, but the 17-year-old slipped in the pundits' list of top songs after some nervous performances.

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This year, Ukraine has used the contest to take tentative steps to soften the climate of homophobia prevalent in the ex-Soviet Union.

It's the first time Portugal have won the contest in 53 years of trying.

It wasn't all about the singing, though - last year's victor Jamala had her performance briefly interrupted by a man flashing his bottom. Jamala continued to sing "unfazed", the broadcaster 1+1 TV said. The ending was not improvised at all - the singers made a decision to kiss on stage in the Eurovision final 3 years ago. But the sweet intentions were soured this year when Russia's participation was scuppered by host Ukraine over the nations' diplomatic and military conflict.

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Portugal jubilant after singer's Eurovision victory