"Beyond the limits"
8 - 27 April 2017
Universong 98 was the ninety-eighth staging of the Universong Contest, held for the fourth time in Australia, and for the second time in Sydney, after the winning of Ben Hazlewood and Mali-Koa Hood with the song "Paint me black" on the previous edition held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
50 countries competed in this edition, without any debuting country, but counting on the returns of Estonia and Venezuela after one edition of break; Kosovo, who's been absent from USC 92 and Uzbekistan, whose last partaking was in USC 91.
From the very beginning of the voting, it became quite evident that Italy would be in its way to win its eighth Universong title. Albanian-born singer Ermal Meta became the eighth Italian winner thanks to the song "Vietato morire". At the end of the voting, it won with a great total of 183 points and four sets of 12 points - from Russia, Kosovo, Brazil and Azerbaijan. This winning for Italy was the eighth for this country, which is an all-time record for the country with most winnings in the history, as well as being the only country to win the USC title twice during the last ten editions (its latest winning occured just four editions ago in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg). Ermal Meta was also nominated for the Best Non-English award, being the fourth USC winner to receive a nomination for this award, after Cassandre in USC 76, Mahan Moin in USC 77 and Camila Gallardo in USC 91. Even though, Meta did not have the same luck as the three latter nominees, since it got the third place in the voting for this award.
The runner-up was France, a prize that was earned by it for the sixth time in the whole history. "Roule" by rapper Soprano got 158 points, 25 points less than winner Italy, and also four sets of 12 points, as Italy - from Cyprus, Spain, South Korea and Germany. For France, this is their best placement after its latest winning in USC 87. While the third place went to the United States, represented by Rachel Platten with the song "Better place". Platten got at the end 151 points and three sets of 12 points - from Bulgaria, Wales and Greece, in order to capture their best placement since USC 94. It's important to remark that the entry was chosen by the US manager from four possible options suggested by the admins as a penalty for voting late on the previous edition.
The top 5 was completed by the song of Big 3 member England and Spain, while the top 10 was completed by Israel (represented by The Young Professionals), Iceland, Azerbaijan (both countries getting their third top 10 placements in a row - a record for both countries), South Africa (represented by USC 73 runners-up Monark) and Poland (with folk inspired band Brathanki). Hosts Australia got 11th place.
About the city
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds the world's largest natural harbour, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Residents of Sydney are known as "Sydneysiders". Together with the capital Canberra, Sydney is the de facto joint seat of government of Australia with the Governor-General of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia and many federal government ministries maintaining substantial presences in Sydney.
The Sydney area has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years. The first British settlers, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, arrived in 1788 to found Sydney as a penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Since convict transportation ended in the mid-19th century, the city has transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. As at June 2016 Sydney's estimated population was 5,005,358. In the 2011 census, 34 percent of the population reported having been born overseas, representing many different nationalities and making Sydney one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney and about one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.
Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing and tourism. Its gross regional product was $337 billion in 2013, the largest in Australia. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs.
In addition to hosting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney is amongst the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Its natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, and the Royal Botanic Garden. Man-made attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also well known to international visitors.
In this semifinal, the 24 semifinalists plus England shall vote in this semifinal. Australia will decide in which semifinal it'll vote. The rest of the countries can vote too, but their votes will be counted as Rest of the World.
In this semifinal, the 23 semifinalists plus Peru shall vote in this semifinal. Australia will decide in which semifinal it'll vote. The rest of the countries can vote too, but their votes will be counted as Rest of the World.
Split Results Finalists/Non-Finalists
|Place||Finalists Votes||Points||Non-Finalists Votes||Points|
|Poland||Brathanki||"Mamo ja nie chcę za mąż"||10th||Winner|
|Czech Republic||Generace O||"Společný svět"||27th||Nominée (2nd)|
Best Non-English Award
|Cyprus||Ivi Adamou||"Afto te kairo"||13th||Winner|
|Moldova||Carla's Dreams||"Imperfect"||18th||Nominée (2nd)|
|Italy||Ermal Meta||"Vietato morire"||Winner||Nominée (3rd)|
|Kosovo||Yll Limani||"Shiu"||15th (SF1)||Winner|
|Philippines||Inigo Pascual ft. KidWolf & Theo Martel||"That hero"||22nd (SF1)||Nominée (2nd)|
|Mexico||Renee Santana||"Baby"||17th (SF1)||Nominée (3rd)|
|Finland||Nightwish||"Endless forms most beautiful"||15th (SF2)||Nominée (4th)|