Portugal's Sobral Wins Eurovision Contest With Tender Ballad

Portugal's Salvador Sobral performs with the song

Portugal has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever.

His gentle romantic ballad Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both) conquered all in Saturday night's extravaganza, which was watched by millions of spectators around the world.

Bulgaria's Kristian Kostov took the second place with 615 points, followed by Moldova's participant with 374 points.

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

While accepting the award, Sobral said, "Music is not fireworks, music is feeling".

The UK finished 15th out of 26 countries with the song "Never Give Up On You", performed by the 26 year old from Pentyrch near Cardiff.

Many fans at the venue were brought to tears as Salvador was joined on stage by his sister Luisa to receive the price and to perform their winning song.

The final outcome was decided by a 50:50 split between professional juries and televoting from all 42 participants. The union, however, was criticised for not banning 1944 previous year, allowing Russia-Ukraine tensions to fester.

The song attained 758 points, ahead of Bulgaria in second on 615 points and Moldova in third on 374 points, and way up from last year's victor Jamala for Ukraine, which received 534 points.

Ukraine first hosted Eurovision in 2005 when the contest symbolised the country's quest to open up to Europe after the 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution. Whatever Jamala spotted on the other side, it wasn't enough to put her off her performance, and she continued to sing, undistracted.

The stage invader, wrapped in an Australian flag, was swiftly wrestled off the stage by a security guard.

BBC commentator Graham Norton apologised to United Kingdom viewers, who only saw the back of the uninvited performer.

The contest this year took place in the Kiev International Exhibition Centre in Ukraine.

Francesco Gabbani of Italy had led bookmakers' tallies for most of the days leading up to the final, but he ended up placing sixth even though his act seemed the epitome of Eurovision's cheerfully tacky aesthetics - singing a driving number about spirituality while accompanied by someone in a gorilla suit.

Portugal will now host the contest next year.

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