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!