The Eurovision Song Contest might be over for another year, but the fallout from Saturday night’s final in Kiev is still rumbling on.
Swedish Eurovision entry Robin Bengtsson has slammed Portguese winner Salvador Sabral over controversial comments about “disposable” pop music made as the singer collected his trophy at the Kyiv International Exhibition Centre, saying his acceptance speech was “below the level of a true winner.”
The climax of the annual singing competition saw Portugal’s Sabral sweep to victory with unassuming but poignant entry ‘Amar Pelos Dois’, which racked up an impressive 758 points from the jury and audience at home.
Sabral claimed the win was a victory for “music that actually means something”, telling an estimated TV audience of 200 million people during his acceptance speech: “We live in a world of disposable music; fast food music without any content.”
The 27-year-old – who rose to fame on the Portuguese version of Pop Idol – continued: “I think this could be a victory for music with people who make music that actually means something.
“Music is not fireworks; music is feeling. So let’s try to change this and bring music back.”
The comments proved immediately divisive, and now Sweden’s Bengtsson – who finished in fifth place with colourful pop entry ‘I Can’t Go On’ – has made his own feelings clear.
Sharing a picture of himself on Instagram, Bengtsson pointedly captioned the image: “From a press conference in Kiev, probably talking about ‘fast food’ disposable music.”
Tagging former rival Sobral, the singer continued: “@sobralsalvadormusic Congrats on your victory, I really like your song and the way you sing it, but I think your speech after winning the ESC [Eurovision Song Contest] was below the level of a true winner.
“‘Fast food’ pop music can be the best thing in the world at the right place and time, so can a song beautiful as yours. There is room for everyone.”
📸 From a press conference in Kiev, probably talking about “fast food” disposable music @salvadorsobral.music 😉 Congrats on your victory, I really like your song and the way you sing it, but I think your speech after winning the ESC was below the level of a true winner. “Fast food” pop music can be the best thing in the world at the right place and time, so can a song beautiful as yours. There is room for everyone. To all my new friends from all over Europe, hope to see you again soon❤ Had a blast and the experience of a lifetime🎉 #celebratediversity #esc2017
Australia’s entrant Isaiah appeared to agree, responding to Bengtsson’s post with a double high-five emoji.
‘Real’ or not, Sabral’s Eurovision victory was Portugal’s first since the country made its debut in the competition in 1964.
Meanwhile, Portuguese national broadcaster RTP has already confirmed the capital of Lisbon as the host city for Eurovision 2018 – if the disposable music can last ’til then, that is…