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Ukraine Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra to ‘return to frontline’ after gaining record public vote in competition

  • Ukraine win the Eurovision Song Content 2022, with United Kingdom in second, Spain in third and Sweden in fourth place
  • Zelensky congratulates Eurovision winners: ‘Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe’
  • Kalush Orchestra say they will return to the frontline in war against Russia on Monday
  • Martin Osterdahl, Eurovision’s executive supervisor, said attention now turns to next year’s competition and its “unique challenges”.

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine walk during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine walk during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Ukraine have been crowned the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, after a massive public vote.

In one of the tensest finals in a long time, the public vote swung it and Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra triumphed with their song “Stefania”.

The act have been the frontrunners since Russia’s invasion – which prompted organisers to ban the country from competing.

The country joined the contest in 2003 and its three wins make it one of the most successful of the newer competitor countries – having triumphed in 2004 and 2016.

Receiving the coveted trophy, Kalush Orchestra said: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraini.”

During their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, the group were dressed in elaborate outfits, including long multi-coloured fringed ensembles.

The band made a direct appeal from the stage to “Help Mariupol”.

And in their victory speech, said they would be back on the frontline on Monday in the war since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

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President Zelensky has congratulated Kalush Orchestra on their win for Ukraine.

"Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe," he wrote on Telegram.

"We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt," he added.

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine walk during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine walk during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine walk during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

The Indo Daily: Geopolitics and glitz: The Eurovision gets political and it’s not the first time

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The UK’s Sam Ryder came in second place with his uplifting pop song Space Man, marking the first time in 20 years that the UK has placed in the top three.

Graham Norton, who commentated the contest on BBC One, said: “This is a red letter moment. I am so happy for him, for the UK and for the BBC who have worked so hard to turn our fortunes.”

The 32-year-old Tik Tok star won over the audience, dazzling in a one piece suit encrusted with beads and pearls.

After topping the national jury vote with 283 points, beating out favourites Spain and Sweden, Ryder said: “There is so much gratitude, what an experience.”

The singer-songwriter beat fellow favourites Spain, whose 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 grand 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.

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.”

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.

Estonia closed the show with Stefan performing a catchy rendition of Hope, adding at the end of his performance: “Don’t lose your hope for a better tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, lead singer of last year’s winning act Maneskin advised Eurovision contestants “don’t get too close to the table”, referring to allegations that he was caught on camera taking drugs at the competition last year.

The Italian rock band had “strongly refuted the allegations of drug use” that emerged on social media after Damiano David appeared to bend over a table in the contest’s green room while on camera.

Following Maneskin’s win last year, David denied that he used drugs and said he bent over because another band member had broken a glass at their feet.

The European Broadcasting Union later confirmed the frontman had returned a negative result in a drugs test since the event.

During the Eurovision song contest final 2022, the reigning champions took to the stage to perform their new single Supermodel.

Following their powerful performance, a limping David was asked to give this year’s contestants advice, to which he quipped: “Two things. Have fun and don’t get close to the table guys.”

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine perform during the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Singer-songwriter Mika also took to the stage performing an incredible medley of songs including Love Today, Grace Kelly, and Happy Ending surrounded by heart flags, a floating heart balloon while he danced on the piano.

Martin Osterdahl, Eurovision’s executive supervisor, said in a statement that the organisation’s attention turned to next year’s competition and its “unique challenges”.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is the only cultural event that truly unites Europe. This year it’s been more important than ever to bring millions together through our common values and love of music.

“Now we will begin planning for 2023 with winning broadcaster UA:PBC.

“Obviously, there are unique challenges involved in hosting next year’s competition.”

Ireland was not competing in last night’s grand final after disappointment when Brooke Scullion’s entry “That’s Rich” did not progress from Thursday night’s semi-final.

Brooke later tweeted that she was “beyond proud of this experience”, adding, “thank you to my wonderful team. I will never forget @eurovision.”


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