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Winner's Press Conference with Portugal's Salvador Sobral

14 May 2017 at 02:15 CEST
Salvador Sobral - Amar Pelos Dois (Portugal 2017) Andres Putting
For the first time ever Portugal, represented by Salvador Sobral, won the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest broadcast from the International Exhibition Center in Kyiv, Ukraine. The song 'Amar Pelos Dois' (For the Both of Us) was penned by his sister Luisa Sobral.

Shortly after the resounding victory, where he won both the public and jury votes, Salvador received a huge ovation on his way to press conference where he was welcomed by international media. "I didn’t understand the votes. Someone from our team told us we won!" 

Salvador said that his plans for this summer would remain unchanged following his win. "I have a summer tour in Portugal, I’ll just continue with my life. This is fun, let’s not forget that you win today and nobody remembers you tomorrow," he added jokingly. The singer also said that he will be working on a second album. 

Salvador on his song

"I never wrote  a song to be played on the radio stations," he explained. "After this festival and this beautiful song people got to know me better, I guess it works this way and I’m happy the way it’s happened."

During the press conference following the second Semi-Final, Salvador explained what he meant when he discussed the refugee crisis. "I sent out a message about the refugees after the Semi-Final but it was not a political message, it was just humanitarian, but I think I said everything I had to say about it."

Hopes for the future of Eurovision

"I hope my victory makes a change not only in Eurovision but also in pop music," he said. "If I can bring some sort of change to the pop music in the world in general, because people only listen to the music that is thrown at us from the radio stations, I’ll be more than happy." Salvador also paid tribute to his sister Luisa who wrote his winning song.

The making of a national hero?

"I’m very thankful to the people that supported the song, for all the messages I’ve got from Portugal, from Europe and from all around the world. I did feel the love!”

When asked if he would become a national hero in Portugal he jokingly replied: "Me the national hero of my country? I thought the real hero of Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo," he said laughing. "It's an amazing thing, I want to live a peaceful life, maybe there will be some fuss at the beginning, but I don’t know if I'd call myself a national hero. If I thought of myself as a hero of Portugal it would be a bit weird."

"For a song like this to win, it is for sure, celebrating diversity. I think Eurovision is about the music and that's all I want to do," he added. Salvador was also asked about singing in English: "I just thought about singing my beautiful song the way it is, and it was not in English."

The composer's thoughts

Salvador's sister, Luísa wrote his song and is the mastermind behind the 2017 Eurovision winner. Why does she think they won? "I think it maybe was the simplicity that made this song a winner, sometimes I think that maybe Salvador's interpretation was the biggest thing in the song. The simplicity was also a key because it was so different to everything else. This performance I think I could see all his feelings combined and I thought it was a brilliant performance."

Portugal here we come!

Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU then gave the invitation to the Portuguese broadcaster, RTP, to host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest: "Here is the Welcome Package with all the information needed about hosting the Eurovision Song Contest," he said to the Portuguese Head of Delegation. Turning towards Salvador, he said: "I was very touched by your performance. It was, as you said, bringing music back to the Eurovision Song Contest. It was a moment that captured Europe, and it captured both the expert juries and the people who were watching on television at home. Good luck to all of you!"