The 2022 Eurovision song contest was won by Ukraine after the folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra scored a landslide victory after performing their song Stefania.
After the jury votes were handed in, their song — a melancholy blend of hip-hop and traditional music – had fallen behind the UK, Sweden, and Spain. However, it quickly became clear that the Ukrainians would be the victors, thanks to the televoters from Europe and Australia.
The contest national juries voted after the second dress rehearsal on Friday night, and the viewers, who had a 15-minute opportunity to vote after the final performance of the Grand Final, split the Eurovision voting 50/50. This is not the first time the country has one the Eurovision contest, either. Ukraine also came out top in 2003 and 2016.
However, due to the continuing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, it is not certain whether Ukraine will be able to host the 2023 Eurovision contest. According to a post by President Zelensky, there is no doubt that next year’s contest would be hosted by them. Here it is, translated to English via Metro:
“Our courage impresses the world our music conquers Europe!
Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe – not for the last time.
We will make sure that one day the participants and guests of Eurovision host Ukrainian Mariupol.
Free, peaceful, restored! Thank you for the victory Kalush Orchestra and everyone who voted for us! Sure, our winning chord in the battle with the enemy is not far away.
Glory to Ukraine!”
What makes their win even more extraordinary is that members of Kalush Orchestra were actually fighting on the frontline in the Ukraine war before being given special permission to compete in this year’s Eurovision. However, one member stayed behind to fight.
According to Lad Bible, Kalush Orchestra said:
“We feel a big responsibility, since we received permits to leave Ukraine to be here. We have a duty to be useful to our country at this moment. We didn’t have any opportunity to rehearse together for a long time, but now, we’ve gone into ‘extra mode’.
“We’re all very hard working, and we’re all doing what we can to make this happen. We’ve enjoyed seeing people singing our song, even if they didn’t know all the words. We really appreciate seeing people supporting Ukraine, and supporting us.”
Of course, not everyone is as optimistic about Ukraine being able to host the 2023 competition on home soil. Martin Österdahl, who is the contest European Broadcasting Union supervisor, was less definitive. According to The Journal, he said:
“Obviously, there are unique challenges involved. However, as in any other year, we look forward to discussing all the requirements and responsibilities involved in hosting the competition with UA:PBC and all other stakeholders to ensure we have the most suitable setup for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.”
“We have milestones of criteria that have to be met by anyone in terms of where it’s going to be – venue, financing, safety – across all of these issues.”
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