POR­TU­GAL’S SOM­BRE BAL­LAD MAKES HIS­TORY

Sal­vador So­bral’s ‘Love for Two’ beats front-run­ners Italy, Ro­ma­nia

New Straits Times - - World -

KIEV

So­bral, 27, per­formed the song in Por­tuguese, dressed in an over­sized din­ner jacket, and of­ten clasped his hands in front of his chest as he sang.

It was a far cry from the other per­for­mances, which in­cluded shirt­less men splash­ing in a pool; a per­former wear­ing a horse head sit­ting atop a lad­der; another strad­dling a full-sized can­non; and, sev­eral in­stances of fire­works.

He beat some more favoured acts, in­clud­ing front-run­ners Francesco Gab­bani from Italy, whose per­for­mance fea­tured a break danc­ing ac­tor in a go­rilla suit, and “Yodel It!” a rap and ad­viser and then econ­omy min­is­ter — was then driven away from the palace to ap­plause from his staff and the new pres­i­dent.

The for­mer in­vest­ment banker, who had never con­tested an elec­tion be­fore, was then pro­claimed pres­i­dent by Lau­rent Fabius, pres­i­dent of the Con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil.

“To be the man of one’s coun­try, one must be the man of your time,” Fabius told him.

“You are now the man of your time... and by the sov­er­eign choice of the peo­ple, you are now, above all ... the man of our coun­try.” yo­delling mashup from Ro­ma­nia.

Bul­garia’s en­trant, Kris­tian Kos­tov, who sang a syn­thy love song Beau­ti­ful Mess, came in sec­ond place.

Spain’s chip­per Manel Navarro per­formed Do It For Your Lover and fin­ished in last place.

The Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test’s win­ner is cho­sen through an in­tri­cate process that com­bines votes from judges from the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries with votes sent in by view­ers.

The an­nounce­ment process,

In his first speech, Macron said the French peo­ple had cho­sen “hope” and shown a will­ing­ness to change in the elec­tion.

He promised that the EU, hit by the de­par­ture of Bri­tain, would be “re­ju­ve­nated and re­launched” dur­ing his time in of­fice.

“The world and Europe need France now more than ever, and they need a strong France with a sense of its own des­tiny.”

To un­der­line his Euro­pean am­bi­tions, Macron will visit Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel in Berlin to­day in his first for­eign trip. which was broad­cast around the world, took roughly an hour.

Euro­vi­sion, which draws nearly 200 mil­lion view­ers each year, be­gins with a se­ries of con­tests and of­fi­cial ap­point­ments in each of the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries to de­ter­mine who will go to the fi­nals.

Euro­vi­sion win­ners usu­ally have a shoot­ing star-like tra­jec­tory that flares out shortly after their vic­tory, but the con­test has launched some tal­ents with long­stand­ing ca­reers, most no­tably Abba and Ce­line Dion.

Macron’s wife, Brigitte Trogneux, 64, who was his high school drama teacher, lis­tened to his som­bre 12-minute speech wear­ing a light blue Louis Vuit­ton out­fit.

After the for­mal­i­ties, a 21-gun sa­lute rang out from the In­valides mil­i­tary hospi­tal on the other side of the River Seine.

The new pres­i­dent faces a host of daunt­ing chal­lenges, in­clud­ing tack­ling high un­em­ploy­ment, fight­ing Is­lamist-in­spired vi­o­lence and unit­ing a di­vided coun­try.

So­cial­ist Hol­lande’s five years in power were plagued by a slug­gish

So­bral’s sis­ter, Luísa So­bral, wrote his song, which trans­lates as “Love for Two”.

She joined him on stage after he won for a fi­nal per­for­mance.

Luísa had served as her brother’s am­bas­sador in Kiev, at­tend­ing me­dia events and re­hearsals for him as he re­cu­per­ated from health prob­lems.

“I think this could be a vic­tory for mu­sic, for the peo­ple that make mu­sic that ac­tu­ally means some­thing,” So­bral said as he col­lected his award. NYT econ­omy and ter­ror at­tacks that killed more than 230 peo­ple and he left of­fice after one term.

Se­cu­rity was tight, with around 1,500 po­lice of­fi­cers de­ployed near the presidential palace and the nearby Champs El­y­sees av­enue and sur­round­ing roads blocked off.

After a for­mal lunch, Macron would visit Paris’s town hall, a tra­di­tional stop for any new French pres­i­dent in his “host” city.

He is ex­pected to re­veal the closely-guarded name of his prime min­is­ter to­day, be­fore fly­ing to Berlin. AFP

EPA PIC

Sal­vador So­bral from Por­tu­gal cel­e­brates with his sis­ter, Luísa, after he wins the Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test in Kiev on Satur­day.

REUTERS PIC

French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, wav­ing to out­go­ing pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande as he leaves El­y­see Palace in Paris yes­ter­day.

AP PIC

French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron bid­ding farewell to out­go­ing pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande as the lat­ter leaves El­y­see Palace after the han­dover cer­e­mony in Paris yes­ter­day.

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