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Tender ballad by Portugal's Sobral wins Eurovision

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/13/2017 By IULIIA SUBBOTOVSKA and JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press
Francesco Gabbani from Italy performs the song ""Occidentali's Karma" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © The Associated Press Francesco Gabbani from Italy performs the song ""Occidentali's Karma" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Portugal's Salvador Sobral won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday with a gentle romantic ballad that challenged the event's decades-long reputation for cheesy, glittery excess.

Blanche from Belgium performs the song "City Lights" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © The Associated Press Blanche from Belgium performs the song "City Lights" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Sobral sang his Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both) in a high, clear tenor accompanied by quiet strings and a piano. Unlike the 25 other competitors who performed on a wide stage backed by flashing lights, bursts of flames and other effects, Sobral sang from a small elevated circle in the middle of the crowd, an intimate contrast to others' bombast.

Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria performs the song "Beautiful Mess" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) © The Associated Press Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria performs the song "Beautiful Mess" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

"Music is not fireworks, music is feeling," he said while accepting the award.

Francesco Gabbani from Italy performs the song ""Occidentali's Karma" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Francesco Gabbani from Italy performs the song ""Occidentali's Karma" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 12, 2017. The final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 13. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
© The Associated Press
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