Portugal's Salvador Sobral was the unlikely winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest - but it's what he did right after his win that has fans and his fellow competitors fuming.

Sobral's quiet, restrained ballad Amar Pelos Dois was in sharp contrast to the bells and whistles employed by many of his competitors, with everything from a breakdancing gorilla to a backup dancer up a ladder in a horse head mask gracing the stage this year.

But Sobral's brief acceptance speech was interpreted as a direct attack by some.

Winner Salvador Sobral, representing Portugal, poses with his award during the final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre. Photo / Getty
Winner Salvador Sobral, representing Portugal, poses with his award during the final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre. Photo / Getty

"We live in a world of disposable music; fast food music without any content. I think this could be a victory for music with people who make music that actually means something," he announced.

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"Music is not fireworks; music is feeling. So let's try to change this and bring music back."

The backlash from pop-loving Eurovision fans was swift, with many taking umbrage at the newest winner trashing 'disposable fast food' music at the climax of the world's biggest pop celebration.

After all, this is a contest where disposable pop music in all its forms reigns supreme - from the ridiculous (Verka Serduchka's gloriously camp 2007 entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai) to the sublime (Loreen's Euphoria, one of the very best Eurovision winners this century).

Now Sweden's entry Robin Bengtsson, who placed fifth in the competition with I Can't Go On - an upbeat pop song that saw the handsome singer strutting on a treadmill flanked by back-up dancers - is speaking out.

Robin Bengtsson performs the song I Can't Go On. Photo / Getty
Robin Bengtsson performs the song I Can't Go On. Photo / Getty

Sharing a picture of himself at a post-show press conference on Instagram, Bengtsson joked that he was "probably talking about 'fast food' disposable music," tagging Sobral in the post.

He then addressed the winner directly.

"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."


Australia's own Eurovision entrant Isaiah apparently agreed with the sentiment, responding under the post with a double high five emoji.

Eurovision lovers have flooded Bengtsson's Instagram with supportive comments.

"Thank you for saying what so many of us were thinking. Plenty of room for all tastes in music. Not so much room for an arrogant, rude little man with no respect for the hard work that went into producing an entertaining varied show," commented one person under his post.

"Well said. Smart and respectful response. This is my least favourite Eurovision. Not because a song I didn't like won. It's because the guy who won made me feel like an idiot for liking pop music," said another.