UKRAINE – Welcome to Kyiv and the International Exhibition Center where the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final is taking place. Everything is set in the arena and the press area for the show. Fans all over the world are anticipating to have an exciting night as favourite Italy, Portugal and Bulgaria are expected to fight hard for the trophy. Dark horses tonight, Moldova and the United Kingdom. Good luck all! Let the show begin! Europrediction just closed with more than 14k voters predicting Italy (online users) and Portugal (invited juries) to fight for the trophy.

WELCOME TO THE 2017 EUROVISION SONG CONTEST LIVE FROM THE IEC PRESS AREA #eurovision #celebratediversity #oikotimes

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The journey begins in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with the first set of countries. Israel opens the Grand Final with a sexy act by Imri. The show starts in a very energetic way with Imri. You have the whole package here: biceps, killing smile, dance tune, oriental sounds, fireworks, gimmicks… Well it’s very Eurovision and very gay-friendly. No surprise from Israel this year. The public will go for this one, but juries may be a bit more reluctant. Poland: The diva of the night is taking the stage now. Once again, no surprise there, it’s a very descent powerful Eurovision ballad with some modern elements and a pleasant staging. The voice is strong and voiceless but to be honest, the emotion of the act does not really reach me. Anyhow, just like last year, Poland may do well with the public and diaspora voting. Belarus: Naviband is bringing Belarussian folk on stage in a very nice way. The audience (as well as the press centre actually) cannot help but singing along. (Eh h Ya Ya Eh…!) It’s a very clever entry mixing tradition and modern rhythm (a bit repetitive though). We can expect one of the best Belarussian results ever tonight. Austria: This entry from Nathan just put a smile on my (tired) face. It’s groovy enough, and with a clear happy feeling all along the act. The singer is flawless and does seem to enjoy the experience. The “Le Petit Prince” staging is very nice on screen and suits Nathan very well. Well done Austria! Armenia: Once more, we have the whole package here: charming singer, strong sounds and staging, originality and ethnic elements. To make it simple, Armenia wants its first victory, and many see Artsvik like a dark horse this year with her powerful “Fly With Me”.

POLAND 🇵🇱 #eurovision #celebratediversity #oikotimes

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The Netherlands: It definitely is the best melody this year, and one of the strongest performances vocally speaking. The three sisters are so in harmony, that it makes us forget the cheesy aspect of their entry. They’ve always been perfect during rehearsals, and tonight is no exception. Well done girls! Moldova is next on stage. This definitely is the best Moldovan entry in years. It’s professional, fun and very catchy. It’s also well produced. The epic sax guy is back, but in a much nicer way. Sunstroke Project are giving their best tonight, and it shows. People love this one! Hungary: In this year when we want to “Celebrate Diversity”, having a Roma on stage is a nice symbol. In a very clever way, Joci is performing an entry that shows gypsy rhythms in a modern way, mixing them with rap. The staging fits the song very well and Hungary should do well this year! Italy: Here is the bookies’ favourite from the very first day. Francesco and his fun “philosophical” entry have conquered our hearts. It’s fun, professional, catchy, with clever gimmicks. Italy will do well for sure, it has to. Let’s just hope that being a clear favourite won’t be a burden on his way to victory (like for Il Volo two years ago). Denmark: Performing after Italy is not an easy thing to do. Indeed, Anja’s entry, though powerful and flawless, sounds very Eurovisionesque, not to say a bit weak. The young girl has an impressive voice and the staging looks great. I’m not sure that the lack of originality of the entry will help Denmark be remembered.

ITALY 🇮🇹 #eurovision #celebratediversity #oikotimes

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Portugal: That’s the “dangerous” entry of the year. Salvador came without notice with his sweet, a bit old dated ballad, but it has become viral and he’s clearly one of the favourite now. It’s clearly something unexpected and different, but it works and stands out. The reactions in the audience help the song in becoming a true moment of emotion. Are we heading off to Portugal for the first time in 2018? Azerbaijan: Dihaj is an alternative artist similar to Sia, and it shows. Her song “Skeletons” could be called contemporary pop, and it’s very good on radio. On screen, it’s something different. The singer looks very dark, and you need much more than 3 minutes to get the staging. Anyhow, that’s modern, and an Azerbaijani victory would lead the contest into the 21st century. Croatia: Can a vocally challenging and perfectly performed song can save a cheesy act? Well, that’s the Croatian equation this year. Jacques is just impressive in performing those two voices, but the outcome of the performance (song, staging) is very out dated. That could be the opening song of the Care Bears cartoon… But many love this kind of song. Australia: This is the weakest Australian entry in 3 years, and yet t qualifies. Young Isaiah is perfect, but the song is a very average popish ballad, not to say a dull one, and so is the staging. Such a voice deserved something better in my opinion. Greece: well Demy and the song This is Love is much appreciated here, unlike what the Greek Twitter says and the bookies predict. The Greek team can be proud they did their job in dignity and professionalism. It’s up to the audience to feel the love or not.

GREECE 🇬🇷 #oikotimes #celebratediversity #eurovision

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Spain: well Manel is having fun in Kyiv and enjoys every minute not annoyed by any negative comment. No matter what happened he represents Spain as professionally as possible. A happy summer song that will not score well but we have to respect him now that he managed to get to the final stage of Eurovision 2017. I truly hope for better approach on Eurovision by Spain in 2018. Norway: another radio hit for this summer with an excellent presentation and futuristic approach. The Norwegian entry is a pure club entry. Well produced, well performed, it has it all. Unfortunately, Eurovision is a TV show and not a night-club. Not sure it is as efficient on screen than on radio… United Kingdom: Thanks to a magnificent staging, the British have managed to turn an average ballad into a beautiful act. The voice is sooooo nice that it’s THE ballad of the year. Nevertheless, did Lucy had to do those faces on the camera to deliver the song? The best UK entry in years, for sure! Cyprus: Cyprus’ qualification was a surprise for me. The singer and the song aren’t bad at all, but it’s rather dull, and not memorable in my opinion (and quite repetitive). The staging is nice but too much inspired from Belgium 2015. The song clearly lacks a melody to my ears, and I cannot see Cyprus doing incredibly well tonight I’m afraid.

UNITED KINGDOM 🇬🇧 #oikotimes #celebratediversity #eurovision

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Romania: Romania is back this year, and it’s back in a big way, with a veeeeery Eurovision-friendly act. Loud (and flawless) voices, a little bit of rap, a little bit of Tyrolean singing, a lot of noise, of gimmicks and of glitter. Well, we’re back at Romania 2014. It will do well with the public. But for me t’s just nice but too noisy, I’m sorry. Germany: Just like the UK, the Germans have transformed their average song into something more than descent. Though Guetta inspired, it’s very radio friendly and is good to watch too. It’s simple, classy, modern, all this song needed actually. The final ranking of Germany this year could be a pleasant surprise after two last places on the scoreboards. Ukraine: Well ,the host country is offering us something different… rock. If you like this type of music, I guess it’s quite a descent act. But it’s not my cup of tea (or glass of vodka) I’m afraid…Will it conquer the popular votes? Not certain though…

UKRAINE 🇺🇦 #oikotimes #celebratediversity #eurovision

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Belgium: The Belgian act this year is a veeeery modern and good one, so radio friendly that, in case of victory, it will be become a hit. The staging is quite simple, but “City Lights” doesn’t need more. The young singer, who was often reproached with being a true poker face, is way better tonight. Belgian definitely is a dark horse!!! Sweden: “I Can’t Go On” is very Swedish: good looking “Ken doll” singer, catchy tune, perfectly produced staging and precise and telegenic choreography. It is very effective and will bring Sweden once again high on the scoreboard. Not a winning song though in my opinion. Bulgaria: From his performance, who could guess Kristian is only 17? “Beautiful Mess” is a very good song that could also become a hit, a flawless voice, a classy staging. The boy has it all! Well, that’s a serious contender for victory, even is the staging is a bit “cold” at some point. France: just like 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, France concludes the competition part in Eurovision 2017. A decent presentation with a song which at least will make the French proud.

That’s all folks. Time for Verka Serduchka, re cap videos, Ruslana, Jamala and many more until we get to know the winner. Stay tuned for the winner announcement post.



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