My Top Highlights From The Eurovision 2017 Final
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My Top Highlights From The Eurovision 2017 Final

With incredible music, comedic hosts and memorable interval acts, this year's contest was better than I thought it'd be.

My Top Highlights From The Eurovision 2017 Final
ESC Today

Eurovision 2017 has officially come to a close with the Final, which aired last Saturday, May 13th. Having been my 12th year watching Eurovision with my family, I undoubtedly held high expectations for this year’s Eurovision Final. But of course, no one could really predict what was in store. It was lively, entertaining, full of surprises, and celebrated artists from all of Europe with the return of special guest, Australia. The voting process was very tense, as we waited anxiously for the results to appear on the screen. It is especially more frustrating with the new voting system that was implemented last year, in which contestants are first given the jury votes, and then the televotes or the votes from viewers. (Viewers are not allowed to vote for their own country.) I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by the results, and with positive criticism toward the outcome of this year's contest, here are my highlights from the Eurovision 2017 Final.

1. The Hosts

Three handsome men arrive on stage in classic suits, and immediately they catch the attention of both my mother and I. Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk, and Timur Miroshnychenko were this year’s Eurovision hosts. Timur was also the host for The Green Room, the area where artists hang out after their performances and await the results. This was actually the first time in the history of the contest that the event was hosted by three men.

Despite being unknown to us, they are familiar faces on Ukrainian television:

- Alex (Skichko) is a comedian and popular TV show host for various shows in Ukraine. Fun Fact: He got his start in entertainment on “Ukraine’s Got Talent” where he became a semi-finalist with his comedic parody act.

- Vova (Ostapchuk) is an experienced TV host and has been involved with “Morning with Ukraine,” as well as several other shows. Fun Fact: He also works as a voice artist, and played the part of Hans for the Ukrainian dub of "Frozen" (WHOA).

-Timur has hosted the Ukraine national selection many times in the past and has also hosted Ukraine’s two presentations of Junior Eurovision. His quick humor led fans to insist that he be part of Eurovision 2017.

Although this was their first time working together, they’ve known each other in the industry for five years! This was apparent as they truly brought out each other’s personality and sense of humor throughout this year's Eurovision. Vova and Alex would finish each other’s jokes and flash their wide grins together, acting as if they had been friends for quite a while. I thought they were fantastic hosts; I enjoyed their comedy and how they interacted with the fans in the audience and with the artists. (Much love for these Ukrainian hosts).

2. The Fun Sketch With Måns Zelmerlöw

In 2015, Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest, representing Sweden. Last year, he co-hosted the contest with Petra Mede in Stockholm. From winner to presenter, what else could he do to get involved in this year’s Eurovision? I honestly gasped with glee when I saw Måns appear on the Eurovision screen once again. During the Final, he joined the hosts for a comedic sketch in the form of a much-needed coaching session. Speaking from experience and acting like a real smooth-talker, he brought them his charm and helped the hosts with fitness, language skills, and team building.

3. All The Interval Acts With Verka Serduchka

The, one and only, drag queen of Ukraine and pop superstar Verka Serduchka received her very own segment during the Final (and the semi-finals too!). I barely contained my excitement. I grew up listening to her music and have loved her since I first became immersed in Russian music growing up. “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” is truly iconic. With her hilarious and fabulous performance, Verka won 2nd place for Ukraine in Eurovision 2007, exactly 10 year ago! As of today, the video has almost 10 million views! Verka was unapologetically herself in every moment of her segment this year, and I think all fans would agree it’s a shame she didn’t fully reprise her 2007 hit in this year’s Eurovision.

4. The Electro-Folk Interval Act With ONUKA

With help from the NAONI Orchestra, Ukrainian electro-folk band ONUKA surprised fans and new viewers alike with their amazing performance. Combining the sound of electronic drums, trombones, and several Ukrainian folk instruments, ONUKA nearly stole the show and won us over with their epic megamix. I've been listening to their hits on repeat on Spotify since Saturday, and countless fans are joining the fanclub as well! Many called ONUKA's act the best performance of the night, and I never knew I needed this unexpected blend of genres in my life. #Blessed for this incredible and truly memorable interval act.

5. Salvador Sobral's Beautiful Duet With His Sister After His Win

Sobral represented Portugal for this year’s Eurovision and his heartfelt performance in the Final already has over 10 million views. However, for the first time, after the results were announced, the winner did not reprise his winning song alone. Sobral had his sister, who composed the winning song, join him on stage for an unforgettable duet (which is sadly unavailable on YouTube for American viewers). With tender vocals, they moved the audience with their strong sibling bond, and he even watched proudly on the side during her moments with the mic. Sobral is undoubtedly his sister’s biggest fan and together they showed millions of viewers a simple performance with no background singers or dancers or images- no “gimmicks.”

Along with his controversial speech at the end, there is a long debate as expected regarding his win, claiming it’s a “boring” song, since it isn’t a ballad or pop song or overly produced. Just because it’s not in English and is a slow song, that does not make it boring. If the haters bothered to look up the lyrics and comprehend the melancholy nature and emotional impact of the song, Sobral did deserve his win. The outcome of his win is very similar to last year’s Jamala with “1944” and Serbia’s win for “Molitva” in 2007, which also sparked numerous arguments. The meaning of the song and the strong emotions within the performance are significant, and although I love pop hits, I will repeat: the songs mentioned deserved their wins.

Bonus: The Return Of #EpicSaxGuy

With his sax, he became a popular meme, trending on social media. But I wonder if any of those people who shared the meme knew he's from Eurovision. The amazing man with the sax is a member of The SunStroke Project, a dance/pop trio who represented Moldova in Eurovision 2010. They made their awaited return to Eurovision this year with "Hey Mama," and the official music video has almost 4.5 million views. However, the song is honestly not as memorable as their 2010 hit "Run Away," which included an incredible intro and melody thanks to their electric violinist. I've heard that song probably over a million times by now and I'm pretty sure my dad even made it his ringtone back in 2010. #MajorFlashback. With the group's return this year, the meme, of course, has been reborn and your love for the sax can reach new heights.

For more Eurovision comments from fans across the world, check out this tumblr!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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