Portugal's Salvador Sobral talks to press after winning Eurovision

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It was the first time Portugal, who didn't take part in last year's series, have ever won the contest.

Salvador Sobral, 27, won the competition with his love song "Amar Pelos Dois", receiving a combined score of 785 points. "If I can help to bring some change to music, I will be really joyful". "This is a victory for music. music isn't fireworks, music is feeling", Sobral. The third place went to SunStroke Project from Moldova, who received 374 points.

The song got 758 points - much higher than last year's victor which only got 534 points.

Eurovision, in its 62nd year, is aimed at apolitical entertainment.

"Russia's participation was scuttled by host Ukraine over the two nations' diplomatic and military conflict". But this year's Russian entrant, Yuliya Samoylova, was blocked from competing by Ukraine because she had toured in Crimea after Russia's 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

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"The Moscow-Kiev split is a headache for Eurovision's producer, the European Broadcasting Union, which strives mightily to keep pop and politics separate".

In 2009, the EBU banned the Georgian entry We Don't Wanna Put In, a thinly-veiled dig at Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In the late 1990s, however, Eurovision underwent some modernisation, ditching the traditional orchestra accompaniment to songs, introducing a free language rule to end the advantage for English-speaking countries and introducing a televote to allow the TV audience to register a preference.

This year, Ukraine has used the contest to take tentative steps to soften the climate of homophobia prevalent in the ex-Soviet Union.