In a symbolic victory more than three months after the Russian invasion, Ukraine received top honors at this year’s Eurovision.
The annual songwriting and performance competition is often seen as an opportunity to celebrate a diverse range of musical styles, to appreciate his sometimes enjoyable presentations, and to feel national pride. The winner is voted on by panels of professional musicians and television viewers across Europe, though the public cannot vote for his or her country’s candidate.
Participants are advised to refrain from political topics, however, popular sentiment of the day could shake votes and Ukraine was recognized as the favorite in this year’s race.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the group on Instagram seconds after Ukraine’s victory was announced.
“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” he said in the post. Referring to the rule that a winner of last year’s contest can host the contest, he said: “Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe – not the last. We will do “our best to one day welcome the participants and guests of Eurovision in the Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!”
The entry of Ukraine was a group called the Kalush Orchestra, performing a folk / hip-hop song called “Stefania”, for the mother of the lead singer.
Kalush is the name of the town where singer Oleh Psyuk grew up, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains about 375 miles west of Kiev.
The popular rap group initially finished second in Ukraine’s national selection competition, but they rose after it emerged that the initial winner had previously traveled to annexed Crimea by Russia. They were discovered as the country’s entrance on February 22, two days before Russian troops invaded Ukraine.
“As we speak, our country and our culture are under threat. But we want to show that we are alive, Ukrainian culture is alive, it is unique, diverse and beautiful,” Oleg Psyuk, the group’s frontman, told CNN. .
Eurovision is one of the most watched events in the world, excluding sports, with hundreds of millions of viewers, and often launches or restarts the careers of songwriters, artists and songs presented thanks to such wide exposure.
Traditionally, the winning nation hosts next year ‘s event, attracting thousands of entertainment spectators and journalists and drawing attention to the country’s tourism industry.
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