Bring on the 'gorilla:' Eurovision final brings glittery fun

Tomas Mccoy
May 14, 2017

The charismatic wheelchair-bound singer was barred for performing on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula a year after it was annexed by Russian Federation in 2014.

As CNN noted, fans who watch the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 live online may see an event that veers into new territory - political activism.

The Eurovision Song Contest final kicked off in Kiev on Saturday with a melancholy Portuguese ballad tipped to beat off hot competition from a Bulgarian teen and a gorilla-suited number from Italy, while Russian Federation sat out after a controversial ban on its singer.

The Eurovision competition was founded in a spirit of bringing together a post-World War II Europe, author Chris West told the CBC. The move allowed Russia-Ukraine tensions over Eurovision to fester. Samoylova has already been announced as Russia's Eurovision candidate for 2018.

His fellow Australian at Eurovision, Anja Nissen and her backing singers could be heard warming-up ahead of the telecast with the opening line "laying down my armour", repeating it so many times those closest to her dressing rooms were praying she would move to the next lyric.


After Ukraine won in Sweden in 2016, with a song that was controversial in its own right, there were concerns that the security situation in the country's east - where the Ukrainian military is fighting Russia-backed separatists - might rule out holding the next contest in Kiev.

"Regardless of whether we're in the final or not I think we've done Australia's future in Eurovision a world of good". Like every year, 26 performers were chosen to compete in the final round.

"I hope that our culture will improve so that one day, we too can take part in competitions", Chkhan said.

Those who wanted to stay included 65 percent of those who voted to remain in the European Union, 70 percent of those who intend to vote for the pro-EU Liberal Democrats and 69 percent of 18-24-year-olds. The host nation Ukraine, as well as representatives from the "Big Five" group of the contest's major economic contributors (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy), were rewarded with automatic spots in the final.

Francesco Gabbani from Italy performs the song "Occidentali's Karma" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017". Israel won the competition three times, most recently in 1998, when Dana International, a trans woman, won with "Diva".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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