Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra wins Eurovision

Turin, Italy-Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the “Stephania” entry at the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy on Saturday, riding the wave of public support and being welcomed by the president of the country. Insisted on a great victory.

Sung in Ukrainian, the song is a fusion of rap and traditional folk music, a homage to the band’s frontman Oleh Psiuk’s mother.

Bookmakers have clearly favored Kalush Orchestra, an annual contest that normally attracts nearly 200 million TV viewers, based in part on its popularity with Ukraine after the February invasion of Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately congratulated him.

“Our courage impresses the world and our music conquers Europe! Ukraine will host the Eurovision Song Contest next year,” he said in an online message.

Winners will traditionally host the event the following year, and Ukraine hopes to be in a position to host it in 2023.

“Thanks to Kalush Orchestra for this victory and everyone who voted for us! The sound of victory in the fight against the enemy will not be too far away,” he added.

Ukraine was fourth based on a jury trial, but at an event attended by 40 countries, it won a record-breaking vote by viewers. The British Samrider was second and the Spanish Chanel was third.

“Victory is very important, especially for Ukraine this year. Thank you very much. Glory to Ukraine!” Band Pushuk said at a press conference through an interpreter.

Ukraine is the third to win the annual competition, and the song, featuring breakdance in a mix of traditional flute and classic Eurovision style, was a competitor even before the conflict began. Said.

Call for help

The band’s frontman pleaed the city of Mariupol and its Azofustari factory at the end of the live performance.

“Help Mariupol, Ukraine. Help Azovstal now,” Pushuk shouted in English from the front of the stage.

In a post-event speech, Pushuk said he and the band would return to Ukraine within two days, uncertain about the future.

“It’s hard to say exactly what to do because this is the first time we’ve won the Eurovision Song Contest, but like all Ukrainians, we fight as much as we can and go to the end. I’m ready, “he said.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which hosts the contest, said no action would be taken against the band to speak on stage.

“We understand the deep emotions around Ukraine at this point and believe in the comments of the Karsh Orchestra and other artists who support the people of Ukraine to be humane rather than political in nature. “We are,” EBU said.

Tara Oaks