It felt like ballads were all over Eurovision 2017 — and as we saw earlier in the week, entering a ballad is not necessarily a recipe for success. But some ballads did make it to the grand final and a couple placed extremely well. So we’re now taking a look at the ballads in the grand final.

Note: We’re roughly defining a ballad as a slow tempo song with a strong emotional theme to its lyrics. However, we’ve also included a few mid-tempo songs that have a ballad feeling to them. Your definition of what a ballad is may vary — but that’s ok.

8. Poland: Kasia Mos “Flashlight”

Grand final: 22nd (64 points)

Kasia Mos won Poland’s national final with her dramatic ballad “Flashlight”. It made it to the grand final, where it was a hit with televoters who placed it 12. Juries, however, weren’t loving the flashlight — they placed it 23rd, making an overall score of 64 points.

7. Denmark: Anja “Where I Am”

Grand final: 20th (77 points)

Danish-Australian singer Anja won Dansk Melodi Grand Prix with her song “Where I Am”. The performance showcased her powerhouse vocals and impressed juries who placed Denmark 13th. Televoters, however, put Denmark in 21st place, resulting in an overall rank of 20th with 77 points.

6. United Kingdom: Lucie Jones “Never Give Up on You”

Grand final: 15th (111 points)

Lucie Jones won the UK national final Eurovision: You Decide with her emotional ballad “Never Give Up on You”. It was a hit with the juries of Europe, who ranked the UK tenth. Televoters were less impressed and ranked the UK 20th. This resulted in an overall rank of 15th, with 111 points — the UK’s best result since 2011.

5. Croatia: Jacques Houdek “My Friend”

Grand final: 13th (128 points)

Jacques Houdek didn’t leave anything out with the outrageous and uplifting performance of “My Friend”. His popera duet with himself was a hit with viewers. Even without much support from ex-Yugoslav neighbours, Croatia still placed 13th with 128, the country’s best result in a decade.

4. Netherlands: OG3NE “Lights and Shadows”

Grand final: 11th (150 points)

The Dutch Eurovision renaissance continued with sisters Lisa, Amy and Shelley. The sisters and former Junior Eurovision stars performed the heartwarming uptempo ballad “Lights and Shadows”, a tribute to their ill mother. Their tight harmonies took the Netherlands into 11th place with 150 points — only three points behind Douwe Bob’s 2016 result.

3. Australia: Isaiah “Don’t Come Easy”

Grand final: 9th (173 points)

Dami Im’s second-placed power balled “Sound of Silence” was a tough act to follow — but Isaiah did well. While “Don’t Come Easy” was less dramatic than Dami’s entry, Isaiah was still able to deliver a cool, sophisticated performance. It was especially a hit with juries who ranked it fourth, but conversely televoters ranked it second from bottom with only two points. Overall, Australia placed ninth with 173 points.

2. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov “Beautiful Mess”

Grand final: 2nd (615 points)

Seventeen-year-old Kristian Kostov had “Beautiful Mess”, the most contemporary ballad of 2017. Along with stark but dramatic staging, he delivered a strong performance that was popular with both viewers and juries. Bulgaria placed second, with 615 points — its best result ever.

1. Portugal: Salvador Sobral “Amar pelos dois”

Grand final: 1st (758 points)

Coming into the competition, a lot of fans weren’t sure what to make of Festival da Canção winner “Amar pelos dois”. It had an old fashioned style and wouldn’t have sounded out of place at Eurovision 1957. But it worked. Singer Salvador Sobral brought his jazz-influenced vocal style and delivered three peaceful, melodious minutes in the middle of the glam of Eurovision. The performance won over both televoters and juries. It gave Portugal its first ever Eurovision victory, with a record-breaking 758 points.

What do you think? What makes a successful Eurovision ballad? Share your thoughts below!

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AngieP
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AngieP

Still can’t get why Croatia was placed so high! Australia got 9th only thanks to the juries! But it didn’t deserve top 10! “Lights and shadows wasn’t my cup of tea, but I admire these girls for how beautifully they sing. Bulgaria and Portugal are the top 2 songs of Eurovision 2017! Sometimes, when ballads do so well, I am happy people still appreciate them. Beacause most people go “oh, ballad, it’s boring” when a country sends a ballad. But not all ballads are the same! What makes a successful Eurovision ballad? I’m not sure! I don’t think there’s a… Read more »

Justin K.
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Justin K.

The Netherlands and The U.K. were sandbagged by the voting public–both entries actually deserved way more, and I normally hate using the word ‘deserve’. At this rate, Bulgaria is honing in for a win sometime VERY soon. If there were betting odds on ‘which country will be the next new winner’, their odds would be off the charts. Croatia is surprisingly getting into a groove (although technically the language has won before… 😉 ), and Australia actually stayed in the Top 10 for the third year in a row. Are we going to enter another period of a bunch of… Read more »

Lusoviking
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Lusoviking

A “period of first-time winners”: I hope so! Next in line is Malta. 😀

KYLLITO
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KYLLITO

Netherlands did not deserve more because the song was a blatant ripoff of Wilson Phillips from the 90’s. The song was very dated and had been done twenty years before. The sisters sounded great and I think was a good choice by the Netherlands. They just needed a better original song that could showcase their wonderful harmonies. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of other first time viewers at my watch party.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Poland and Hungary had huge debuts in 1994 and then they flopped for a decade. If a country does well once or twice, it doesn’t mean it’ll do the trick every year. Sure, Bulgaria is taking it seriously, but Gery-Nikol has exposed BNT enough for us to understand that it was mostly luck they got a somehow strong entry submitted… otherwise they wouldn’t try that hard.

Napaw
Guest
Napaw

Eurovision had it’s own rules. Many of these entries should have ranked much higher.

And Finland should have made it to the Final in the first place while we’re at it.

4li3n
Guest
4li3n

Finland is one of my favourites entries of this year (this song is so emotional for me), the piano solo is much better than screaming hight notes!
So Finland you’re welcome to Portugal (ESC’18) and qualify to the final and even win this!

Jana
Guest
Jana

Portugal,Australia, The Netherlands, Denmark overrated with juries, Poland again underrated.

Jana
Guest
Jana

Poland 2016, Austria 2016,Serbia 2016, Czech 2016, Slovenia 2017 was outdated for juries, but not Portugal 2017, Denmark 2017, The Netherlands 2017

#Sorry
Guest
#Sorry

Thank God Douwe Bob did better than the sisters. Their harmonies were great, but the song was bit bland..meh..Douwe’s song was my favourite last year.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They both came 11th lol

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

The UK got praised the most by juries but destroyed in the televote #Brexit

Kai
Guest
Kai

again “amar pelos dois ” as a old fashioned style????? its timeless honey! Wake up

Jo
Guest
Jo

It is old fashioned. Bossa Nova isn’t a current music style.

Kai
Guest
Kai

amar pelos dois is not bossa nova at all lol….

Jo
Guest
Jo

Yeah. Maybe funk or R&B. Reggae perhaps.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

Step out of your own box. It’s a French style chanson

M_K
Guest
M_K

I don’t think it’s a Bossa Nova in terms of composition, a Bossa Nova is usually in 2/4 or 4/4 time whereas “Amar pelos dois” is in triple time (you can actually hear it very well, especially if you listen to Alexander Rybak’s cover version). So it’s actually more of a waltz. However, the mood of the song is similar to that of a Bossa Nova. 🙂

Jo
Guest
Jo

I’m not a composer, but I noticed the “Jazzy” Bossa Nova vibes in this song, even though it’s not purely that style. Then a Waltz may be the best definition for it.
Anyway, define the music style of this song isn’t the essence of my original comment.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Most of the ballads this year were really bland and useless, but I’m glad the most oustanding ones (Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia) made it far. Shame for Finland, though… Australia inexplicably robbed its place 🙁

Michael
Guest
Michael

The only ballads I’m still listening to after eurovision are from Bulgaria & Australia.

James
Guest
James

The 2017 Kuula of the Year award goes to both Portugal and Bulgaria!

😀

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Is this award for the “ballad no one expected to go far”? Because Bulgaria and Portugal were always top 5 in the betting odds. That would go to Croatia which was 30-35th before the semi-final.

esc24
Guest
esc24

Excactly!Those are the only ones that i downloaded and i still listen to!

esc24
Guest
esc24

sorry i was supposed to write that as a response to michael

Robert
Guest
Robert

When I read Dutch Eurovision Renaissance I got goosebumps.. haha Loved OG3NE

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

I’m all for Dutch Renaissance but the last 2 songs were trash

Buffy
Guest
Buffy

I love how you “forgot” to mention that Australia was second to last in the televote with 2 points (from Denmark).

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

I have a really hard time calling an Anthemic song “a ballad”.

The Netherlands sent a Wilson Phillips anthem. The entire point was to belt it out as intensely as possible, knowing that someday somebody’s gonna make you wanna turn around and say goodbye, but also knowing that until then, baby, don’t let them hold you down and make you cry.

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