Family

Wave of love from across Europe carries Ukraine to Eurovision VICTORY


Ukraine staved off a stirring effort from Britain’s Sam Ryder to win the Eurovision title this evening on the back of a huge outpouring of support from the European public. 

Britain topped the jury vote and had led for most of the night before Ukraine took the lead with a huge 431 points in the public vote. 

The folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra had earlier delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania, which has become an anthem for the war-torn nation. 

The band was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country, with both Russia and Belarus banned from competing in the contest.  

After their earlier performance, the band’s front man, Oleg Psiuk, took advantage of the enormous global audience to make impassioned plea to free fighters still trapped beneath a sprawling steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol. ‘I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,’ he said.

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave signs that he was watching from Kyiv, and rooting for the Ukrainian band.

‘Indeed, this is not a war, but nevertheless, for us today, any victory is very important,’ Zelenskyy said. ‘So, let’s cheer for ours. Glory be to Ukraine!’

Britain’s Sam Ryder had looked on course for a shock victory before the public vote saw him knocked into second – which was still the UK’s best result for 20 years. 

Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest with folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra’s Stefania, with Sam Ryder second for the UK with Space Man

The folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra celebrate wildly after winning Eurovision for Ukraine in Turin this evening

The folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra celebrate wildly after winning Eurovision for Ukraine in Turin this evening

Kalush Orchestra had earlier delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania for Ukraine. The band was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin's invasion of their country

Kalush Orchestra had earlier delivered an emotional rendition of their song Stefania for Ukraine. The band was the favourite to win amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country

Britain's Sam Ryder had looked on course for a shock victory before the public vote saw him knocked into second - the UK's best result for 20 years

Britain’s Sam Ryder had looked on course for a shock victory before the public vote saw him knocked into second – the UK’s best result for 20 years

The members of Kalush Orchestra dressed in elaborate outfits, including long multi-coloured fringed ensembles, a pink bucket hat and traditional patterns as they took to the stage.

Their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, went down well with the audience of 7,000 in the Pala Olimpico, who cheered the group on with many waving Ukrainian flags.

At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

The band’s song, ‘Stefania,’ was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mother, but has transformed since Russia’s invasion on February 24 into a war anthem.

The lyrics ‘I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed,’ written by frontman Oleh Psiuk, are said to have taken on a special meaning in light of the war. 

The six-member, all-male band received special permission to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture at the music contest. One of the original members stayed to fight and the others plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

Members of the band "Kalush Orchestra" perform on behalf of Ukraine during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

Members of the band ‘Kalush Orchestra’ perform on behalf of Ukraine during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

The stage is lit in the colours of the Ukraine flag as Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

The stage is lit in the colours of the Ukraine flag as Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine singing Stefania performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine singing Stefania performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin

Members of the band "Kalush Orchestra", Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka, who perform on behalf of Ukraine

Members of the band ‘Kalush Orchestra’, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka, who perform on behalf of Ukraine

Britain's Sam Ryder (pictured) and Sweden's Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning

Britain’s Sam Ryder (pictured) and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning

The 32-year-old TikTok star performed his uplifting pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang

The 32-year-old TikTok star performed his uplifting pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang

Ukrainian service members watch the performance of Subwoolfer from Norway during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

Ukrainian service members watch the performance of Subwoolfer from Norway during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

Singer Chanel performs on behalf of Spain during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 in Turin this evening

Singer Chanel performs on behalf of Spain during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 in Turin this evening

The contest is underway this evening with 25 bands performing in front of a live audience in the northern Italian city of Turin

The contest is underway this evening with 25 bands performing in front of a live audience in the northern Italian city of Turin

WRS from Romania performs during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

WRS from Romania performs during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

The Rasmus from Finland singing Jezebel perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin

The Rasmus from Finland singing Jezebel perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin

Members of the band "Subwoolfer" perform on behalf of Norway during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

Members of the band ‘Subwoolfer’ perform on behalf of Norway during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

 

Graham Norton, who is once again anchoring the contest on BBC One, said: ‘We weren’t sure they were going to make it but they have made it.

‘Their commentator did not make it, he is commentating from a bomb shelter.’

Formed in 2019, the group consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.

During the show, fellow folk band Iceland’s Systur, who performed ballad Meo Haekkandi Sol, ended their performance saying: ‘This is for Ukraine, we love you.’ 

The final opened with an energetic performance featuring strobe lighting and projections of the sculpture of David by Michelangelo from Czech Republic’s We Are Domi singing Lights Off.

Finland’s rock group The Rasmus kicked off the first few performances with a powerful version of Jezebel, ripping their shirts off mid-show.

Marius Bear from Switzerland delivered a raw rendition of his track Boys Do Cry backdropped with simple lighting while France’s Alvan and Ahez had fire on stage to perform their track Fulenn.

Norway’s Subwoolfer dressed in yellow wolf costumes while performing a synchronised dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.

Armenia’s representative, Rosa Linn, gave an emotional performance with her song Snap on a stage with a bed, lamp and chair all seemingly wrapped in white toilet roll.

Chanel from Spain singing SloMo performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena

Chanel from Spain singing SloMo performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena

Alvan and Ahez of France perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

Alvan and Ahez of France perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

Singer Jeremie Makiese performs on behalf of Belgium during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

Singer Jeremie Makiese performs on behalf of Belgium during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022

Alvan & Ahez from France singing Fulenn perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena

Alvan & Ahez from France singing Fulenn perform during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena

Sheldon Riley from Australia performs the song 'Not The Same' during the Grand Final of the 66th annual Eurovision Song Contest

Sheldon Riley from Australia performs the song ‘Not The Same’ during the Grand Final of the 66th annual Eurovision Song Contest

Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord from Greece performs during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord from Greece performs during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

Nadir Rustamli of Azerbaijan singing 'Fade To Black' performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Nadir Rustamli of Azerbaijan singing ‘Fade To Black’ performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest

 Spain’s entrant Chanel gave a jazzy performance to SloMo while the entire crowd sang along with Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco who sang Brividi, which featured a powerful rap, behind a back drop of twinkly lights.

The winner is chosen in equal parts by panels of music experts in each competing nation and votes by the viewing public, leaving room for an upset. 

Britain’s Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning. All eyes are also on the nations who might not vote for Ukraine, after Russia and Belarus were excluded amid the invasion. 

The winner takes home a glass microphone trophy and a potential career boost.

The event is hosted by Italy after the Italian rock band Maneskin won last year in Rotterdam. 

The victory shot the Rome-based band to international fame, opening for the Rolling Stones and appearing on Saturday Night Live and numerous magazine covers in their typically genderless costume code.

Twenty bands have been chosen in two semifinals this week, and will compete along with the Big Five of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent berths due to their financial support of the contest.

Russia was excluded this year after its invasion of Ukraine, a move organizers said was meant to keep politics out of the contest that promotes diversity and friendship among nations.

Sam Ryder of United Kingdom performs live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

Sam Ryder of United Kingdom performs live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

Konstrakta of Serbia perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

Konstrakta of Serbia perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin this evening

Twenty bands have been chosen in two semifinals this week, and will compete along with the Big Five of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent berths due to their financial support of the contest

Twenty bands have been chosen in two semifinals this week, and will compete along with the Big Five of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent berths due to their financial support of the contest

Singer Monika Liu performs on behalf of Lithuania during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 this evening

Singer Monika Liu performs on behalf of Lithuania during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022 this evening

Members of the band "Subwoolfer", Jim, Keith and DJ Astronaut performs on behalf of Norway during the final of the Eurovision Song contest

Members of the band ‘Subwoolfer’, Jim, Keith and DJ Astronaut performs on behalf of Norway during the final of the Eurovision Song contest

Malik Harris from Germany singing 'Rockstars' performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Malik Harris from Germany singing ‘Rockstars’ performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 

Ukrainian music fan Iryna Lasiy said she felt global support for her country in the war and ‘not only for the music.’

Back in Ukraine, in the battered northeastern city of Kharkiv, Kalush Orchestra’s participation in the contest is seen as giving the nation another platform to garner international support.

‘The whole country is rising, everyone in the world supports us. This is extremely nice,’ said Julia Vashenko, a 29-year-old teacher.

‘I believe that wherever there is Ukraine now and there is an opportunity to talk about the war, we need to talk,? said Alexandra Konovalova, a 23-year-old make-up artist in Kharkiv. ‘Any competitions are important now, because of them more people learn about what is happening now.’

Anastasia Khardikova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian living in Sweden, said she intends to vote for Kalush Orchestra, and is persuading her friends abroad to do the same.

Sam Ryder will take to the stage, 22nd in the running order, in a bid to improve the UK’s standing during the grand final tonight. 

The 32-year-old TikTok star performed his uplifting pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.