Ukrainian rap and folk group Kalush Orchestra, which garnered a record number of votes from the public and a kinetic song that became a song for suffering mothers, surpassed the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain to win the 66th Eurovision Song Contest at a nail-biter in Turin, Italy.
While oddsmakers, experts and fans point to Ukraine as the clear favorite to win the finals on Saturday, it doesn’t look good after the jury vote, when Ukraine is in fourth place with 192 points. and the UK was the first to have 283.
The jurors were not very kind to Ukraine, with some countries, such as the Netherlands, not giving them points. Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania – all countries concerned about a possible Russian military invasion of their territory – each gave Ukraine 12 points. (Votes from small jurors of music professionals in each country make up 50% of a country’s score. The public also votes during the live broadcast, which makes up the other half of the total.)
Ukraine’s victory was not guaranteed until a short time later, when public tele-votes were added. With a record-setting 438 points from the public, Ukraine surpassed the United Kingdom. With 40 countries voting, the highest possible score from the public is 480, so a score of 438 means that Ukraine received the highest score of 12 from almost every country.
Public votes give Ukraine a combined total of 631 to the United Kingdom’s 466. Ukraine’s overall score is the second-highest overall point in Eurovision history, ahead of only Portugal’s Salvador Sobral, who scored 758 combined points in 2017 with his simple saying, “Amar Pelos Dois,” quietly sang in Portuguese.
It was a win for the Kalush Orchestra, signed by Sony Music’s Columbia Germany imprint, just to show off the competition in Turin due to their country’s brutal invasion of Russia in February – a war that continues to unfold. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video statement that a victory for Ukraine could be a symbol for his country winning the war against Russia.
Ukraine’s deadly conflict with Russia is at the forefront and center of this year’s Eurovision season. The show opened with Rockin ’1000, a gathering of rock musicians mostly from Italy, singing John Lennon’s“ Give Peace a Chance ”in Piazza San Carlo, one of the main public squares. in Turin. At the end of their show, the Icelandic trio Sisters said, “Peace for Ukraine.” And after announcing Kalush as the winner, host Laura Pausini said, “Everyone wants peace. And music is peace.”
Even if it is the policy of the European Broadcasting Union to avoid politics during Eurovision, many artists wear bands featuring the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine or waving small prints of the country’s flag. . And this year, the EBU banned Russia, one of Ukraine’s traditional rivals, from the song contest after Russia’s President. Vladimir Putinthe forces attacked on 24 February.
At the winner’s press conference after the live broadcast, Kalush Orchestra founder/rapper, Oleh Psyuk, was asked if Ukraine will be able to host the competition in 2023, as is the tradition of the winning country. “Next year, Ukraine will be happy to host Europe’s newly integrated and happy Ukraine,” he replied. He said his personal favorite songs this year are “Italy, United Kingdom, Poland and Moldova.”
Before the end of Saturday, European oddsmakers betting on the outcome of the competition had Ukraine in first place and the UK in second, and that’s exactly how the game went.
Whether it was a vote of sympathy or just a love of the song, “Stefania,” Ukraine finally scored its third victory in the country after the victories of Ruslana in 2004 with “Wild Dances” and by Jamala with “1944” in 2016. After their second victory, Ukraine already has the record for most wins in an Eastern European country, so this new victory expands that record.
“Stefania” was intended to be an ode to Psyuk’s mother, but by the time she took the stage at Eurovision, the song took on new meaning, honoring all Ukrainian mothers as they lived through the hardships. missile attacks and deaths and destruction of schools, hospitals and residential buildings as well as Mother Ukraine’s love for all her children.
The six members of the Kalush Orchestra are dressed in authentic clothes from the Bukovyna region of Ukraine, though Psyuk added the unique bubblegum pink bucket hat that he always wears. Tima Muzychuk, another member of the group, was captivated as he played the traditional woodwind Ukrainian folk instrument known as the telenka, and the six -man costume was constantly moving, producing a kinetic display of energy.
Sam RyderThe show “Space Man” went on for second place, bringing redemption for the UK after years of low marks. The UK finished with zero points from the jury and the public last year, standing as one of the last five places to finish this millennium (on Saturday Germany finished last with six points).
The UK has won Eurovision five times, but not since 1997 when Katrina and the Waves came out on top with “Love Shine a Light.” The UK set second a record 16 times, but not since 1998, when Imaani made a last minute move to the runner-up spot with “Where Are You.”
Ryder’s performance was enhanced by stage designers Dan Shipton and Marvin Deetman, who surrounded the singer with a sculpture of lights, inspired by Queen and David Bowie’s stage work, to make it feel like Ryder floating in space. While Ryder didn’t stop, he didn’t move much from his mark, letting the light move him.
The 2022 contest showcases the usual mix of camp, awesome costumes and incredible production costs. in Spain Chanel sizzles on stage while performing “Slo Mo,” with a costume that barely covers her back (emphasis on nudity). Her male dancers also wore revealing costumes and the figure was one of the sexiest performances in Eurovision history. It was the best show in Spain since then Anabel Conde placed second in 1995 with “Vuelve Conmigo.”
in Sweden Cornelia Jakobs won votes with a performance of “Hold Me Close” that was small at first but turned out to be a shocking crescendo. He first performed the song in February for the Swedish national final, Melodifestivalen. His stage routine has been locked ever since. “He’s a pro,” co-writer Isa Molin speaking Billboard. “Why change a winning show?”
in Serbia Contractual got 225 votes from the public with a creative show full of message. He sat with a basin in front of him as he washed his hands several times while singing “In Corpore Sano” (Latin for “in a healthy body”), which some have translated as a satirical commentary. in health care systems and beauty standards. “What’s the secret to Meghan Markle’s healthy hair?” the song begins. “What is this? I think it’s all about deep hydration. ”
Monika Liu from Lithuania channeled Sally Bowles from Cabaret, sang the jazzy “Sentimentai” in a slinky, sexy gown with her hair cut in a bob. The show was reminiscent of France’s second-place win in 2021 but Lithuania did not double the result, finishing 14th.
in Norway Subwoolfer The closest to parodying a Eurovision song, wearing a yellow paper balloons mask-suggests that in order to distract a balloon from eating your grandmother, you should give her a banana. And if viewers aren’t sure what the song is, they add captions to the screen to make it clear.
Mahmood & Blanco in Italy looked like they were going to share a kiss on stage at the end of their song, “Brividi,” but they set out in a warm hug.
Sheldon Riley of Australia vented his emotions on “Not the Same,” a song about growing up with Asperger’s and being secretly gay and not like other kids. She wore a mask composed of strands of jewelry that she removed near the end of her show, which finally revealed her face. But the public did not reward him; he received only two points from tele-voting.
in Poland I’m hungry gives a powerful performance of “River,” without any additional bells and whistles. If his English is perfect, it’s because he was born in Massachusetts.
in Portugal MARO (“Saudade, Saudade”) and in Switzerland Marius Oso (“Boys Do Cry”) both sing understated ballads without dance, pyro or glitzy costumes.
Between the performances and reporting the votes, last year’s winner Måneskin was surprised by a cover of Elvis Presley’s 1969 hit “If I Can Dream,” with a lyric related to 2022: “ There has to be peace and harmony sometimes. ” The Italian group recorded the song for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmannfuture biopic Elvis.
Måneskin hasn’t avoided cover versions in the past, as their remake of The Four Seasons ‘‘ Beggin ’” was rather a global hit. But the fact that the 2021 Eurovision champions sang an Elvis song in a Luhrmann film at the director’s request illustrates how winning the competition could translate into worldwide fame.
More Reporting By Silvia Danielli on Billboard Italia.
Here’s how the 25 countries competing in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest ranked after jury and public votes were combined for the final mark:
1. Ukraine 631 points
2. United Kingdom 466
3. Spain 459
4. Sweden 438
5. Serbia 312
6. Italy 268
7. Moldova 253
8. Greece 215
9. Portugal 207
10. Norway 182
11. Netherlands 171
12. Poland 151
13. Estonia 141
14. Lithuania 128
15. Australia 125
16. Azerbaijan 106
17. Switzerland 78
18. Romania 65
19. Belgium 64
20. Armenia 61
21. Finland 38
22. Czech Republic 38
23. Iceland 20
24. France 17
25. Germany 6