Portugal Wins 2017 Eurovision Song Contest

The elephant in the room at Saturday's contest is Russian Federation, which is boycotting the event after Ukraine barred Moscow's contestant from entering the country - a symptom of the countries' toxic relations after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

For three years Australia has graced the Eurovision Song Contest stage and earned praise for our professionalism and our musical artistry.

She may not have won The X Factor when she competed on the show, but the UK's Lucie Jones has captured the hearts of many across Europe with her incredible rendition of her original song.

Semi Final 3 winners pose on stage at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine.

The victor this year was Portugal, and not everyone on social media is happy about it - just like most years Eurovision! The move allowed Russia-Ukraine tensions over Eurovision to fester.

Bulgaria's 17-year-old Kristian Kostov placed second, also with a ballad, albeit more techno-oriented.

The UK entry, Lucie Jones, struggled in the public vote.

But the contest's many fans, some so dedicated that they travel each year to the host city, are ready for the big finale.

Firebrace is one of two Australians in competition in Kiev, Ukraine, which is hosting the annual competition this year; the other is Denmark's Anja Nissen, who was born and raised in Australia.

Admittedly Italian Francesco Gabbani's cerebral references to Hamlet, the state of Western civilization and Desmond Morris's anthropology book "The Naked Ape" may be lost on viewers focusing on the giant gorilla-costumed dancer bogeying by his side. Portugal won the first semifinal ahead of Moldova and Sweden. Ukraine is using this year's event to take tentative steps toward breaking away from the climate of homophobia prevalent in the ex-Soviet Union.

Ireland has done best over the decades, winning seven times.

Ukraine won last year's Eurovision with its Crimean Tatar entry Jamala.

  • Zachary Reyes