Sunday, May 14, 2017

Salvador Sobral Wins 2017 Eurovision Song Contest for Portugal

As reported at The Portugal News Online, Portugal's largest circulation English language newspaper,

Portugal's Salvador Sobral won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev with the song Amar pelos dois ("Loving for the two of us"), written by his sister Louisa Sobral.

The annual competition was televised live and also You-Tube streamed to hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe as the world's reigning most popular live non-sports entertainment show. Bulgaria came in second, Moldova third, our personal favorite Belgium fourth, and Sweden fifth.

It was Portugal's first ever win since entering the Eurovision Song Contest competition in 1964.

In 1956, the first year of the contest, there were seven participating countries -- in 2017 there were 42 participants. As written at the Wikipedia under Eurovision_Song_Contest:

"In the 1950s, as a war-torn Europe rebuilt itself, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)—based in Switzerland—set up an ad hoc committee to search for ways of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a "light entertainment programme". At a committee meeting held in Monaco in January 1955 with Marcel Bezen├žon of the Swiss television as chairman, the committee conceived the idea (initially proposed by Sergio Pugliese of the Italian television RAI) of an international song contest where countries would participate in one television programme to be transmitted simultaneously to all countries of the union. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy and was seen as a technological experiment in live television, as in those days it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. The concept, then known as "Eurovision Grand Prix", was approved by the EBU General Assembly in a meeting held in Rome on 19 October 1955, and it was decided that the first contest would take place in spring 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. The name "Eurovision" was first used in relation to the EBU's network by British journalist George Campey in the London Evening Standard in 1951."

The Eurovision Song Contest has many supporters and viewers but also detractors, the latter of whom seem to expect a perfection of competition that is simply not realistic.

The Eurovision Song Contest may not be perfect -- surely everyone can agree on that point -- but it beats alternative forms of competition among nations -- need we mention wars -- by a long shot. Given a choice, we take ... MUSIC!


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