On May 14, Turin, Italy hosted the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, in which representatives of 25 countries competed. The Kalush Orchestra took first place and brought the third victory in history to Ukraine.
Even before the start of the competition, the Kalush Orchestra was considered the favorite, and by no means for political reasons, as some claim. Stylish combination of folk and modern music, as well as concise and expressive graphics of the number became the components of success.
The rap group Kalush Orchestra was not known in Ukraine until recently, it was created two years ago. The name is based on the hometown of musicians Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region. The artists presented the song “Stefania” – that is the name of the mother of the soloist Oleg Psyuk. In an interview with the media, he said that the song was originally written for mom, and then got into the competition and became a “protest.” The style of the composition can be described as hip-hop with ethnic motives.
The professional jury gave Ukraine 192 points, from the audience it received 439 points. British representative Sam Ryder took second place with the song “Space man”, in the final he scored 466 points. Third place went to Spanish singer Chanel with the song “SloMo” (459 points).
Amanda Tenfjord, selected by the closed internal selection, tenderly and sensually represented Greece in the competition with the emotional ballad “Die Together”. According to the voting results, she entered the top ten and took 8th place.
The results of the Eurovision 2022 final look like this:
The Eurovision final opened with John Lennon’s song Give Peace a Chance (Give peace a chance). And at the end of his speech, the leader of the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra, Oleg Psyuk, appealed to Europe and the world to help save the defenders of Mariupol, blocked at the Azovstal plant.
Russian media, including the publication URA.RU, reported that the participants of Eurovision-2022 from Ukraine violated the rules of the competition and were at risk of disqualification. They issued a call to rescue the fighters blocked at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, although according to the regulations, participants are prohibited from making political statements.
However, the Eurovision organizers justified Ukraine’s violation of the rules and considered that such an appeal was of a humanitarian nature, expressing understanding and sympathy for the war-torn country. The organizing committee of Eurovision noted:
“We understand the deep feelings towards Ukraine now and believe that the comments of the Kalush Orchestra and other artists who express support for the Ukrainian people are more humanitarian than political in nature.”
Some performers openly expressed their sympathy for Ukraine – the sisters from Iceland shouted “Peace for Ukraine” at the end of the performance, Malik Harris from Germany performed with a guitar with the inscription “Peace” on a blue and yellow background.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky responded to victory Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra:
“Our courage amazes the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe it won’t be the last time. We will do everything so that one day the participants and guests of Eurovision will be hosted by Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt! Thank you for the victory of the Kalush Orchestra and everyone who voted for us! I am sure that our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off.”
By tradition, the winning country gets the right to host the next competition. However, the European Broadcasting Union may transfer Eurovision to another country if there are no conditions for its holding, writes dw. In an interview with the publication, the soloist of the Kalush Orchestra Oleg Psyuk expressed the hope that Eurovision 2023 will be held in Ukraine. The European Broadcasting Union has not made official statements about the possibility of holding Eurovision in a country subjected to Russian aggression. Despite the annexation of Crimea and hostilities in the Donbass, in 2017 the competition was held in Kyiv.
Belarus and Russia were deprived of the right to take part in Eurovision. The day after the start of the special operation to protect the Donbas, the representatives of Russia were denied a speech at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest. It was previously reported that the 18-year-old blind jazz singer Yaroslav Simonova was supposed to go to the competition, writes “News”.
The Russians could not speak or vote. In response, Russian federal TV channels decided to withdraw from the European Broadcasting Union. The joint statement noted that such actions are “an inappropriate political sacrifice in a music forum.”