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Posted by portugalpress on May 10, 2018

Portugal’s Eurovision ‘hero’ Salvador Sobral - the young man with the heart condition who won national glory for the first time in the contest’s history last year - is suddenly ‘totally out of favour’ as this year’s extravaganza approaches Saturday’s grand final in Lisbon.

Sobral’s antipathy towards what he dubs “fast food music without content” has been no secret since his unprecedented win with 758 points.

But his comments as this year’s contestants perform at the Altice Arena have been interpreted as “talking down the competition”.

And his criticism of Israel’s “hugely popular entry Toy” as being a “horrible song” has seen former Croatian competitor Jacques Houdek resort to a bitter Twitter tirade.

Quoted in full by the UK’s Metro, Houdek simply said: “SHAME ON YOU, Salvador Sobral!!! Is this how a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is supposed to speak out?

“You tried so hard to portray yourself as a humble man, as a true artist, and you may have tricked the entire Europe, but you did not fool me!

“Let me tell you something Salvador Sobral - last year, when you missed out on ALL of the song contest rehearsals, and your sister did them for you - the European Broadcasting Union should have disqualified you! It was unprofessional and extremely unfair to all of us who were there, doing all the hard work! It was also very sad and unfortunate that you were sick, I have to say, but if you are having health issues - YOU DON‘T TAKE ON such a huge project like Eurosong!

“Even in your own victory speech you were unpleasant to all of us, your fellow Eurosong contestants - but NOW, you are being far more rude by picking on Israel‘s representative Netta Barzilai and her song, it is just outrageous! So patronising and completely inappropriate”.

Houdek pulled no punches, commenting that if Sobral was so against the concept of Eurovision he should never have competed in the first place.

“You may think you are a true artist, that is your right, but to me you just seem like a poser… Do you really believe that this kind of behaviour makes you a bigger artist in the public eye? It just shows us all that you are fake, just like you were a year ago when you won the ESC 2017. You may have won the ESC, but to me you are not a winner!”

This is not the first time Sobral’s comments have caused a stir, but elsewhere too hostess Catarina Furtado has been “slated” say reports for her “bad English”.

Despite the controversies, 10 acts made it through to Saturday’s final (including Portugal's). And despite Salvador Sobral’s comments, Netta Barzilai’s Toy is still the bookies’ favourite.

Quips Metro: “If Netta wins the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Salvador will have to present her with the trophy. That could be an interesting moment".

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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