Skip to content
Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision


Ukrainian folk rap group Kalush Orchestra delivered an impressive and moving rendition of their song Stefania in the Eurovision Grand Final tonight.

The Ukrainian act is the current favorite to win, having been the favorite since the invasion of Russia – prompting organizers to ban the country from competing.

The group was dressed in elaborate outfits, including long ensembles with multicolored fringe, a pink bob and others with traditional patterns.

They are among 25 artists vying for the top prize after the week-long competition in Turin, Italy. Their performance, which mixed rap and Ukrainian folklore, was well received by the 7,000 spectators at the Pala Olimpico, who cheered on the group by waving many Ukrainian flags.

At the end of the show, which included breakdancing, the band thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

The band’s song, “Stefania,” was written as a tribute to the singer’s mother, but has since morphed since the February 24 invasion of Russia into a hymn to the war-ravaged nation.

The lyrics “I will always find my way back, even if all the roads are destroyed”, written by leader Oleh Psiuk, have taken on special meaning since the invasion.

The all-male group, consisting of six members, received special permission to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture in the music competition. One of the original members stayed to fight, and the others plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

Members of the group ‘Kalush Orchestra’ perform on behalf of Ukraine during the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine singing Stefania during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico Arena, Turin

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Members of the ‘Kalush Orchestra’ group, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka, who perform on behalf of Ukraine

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Britain’s Sam Ryder (pictured) and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs each receive a 10% chance while Italian duo Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning.

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Singer Chanel performs on behalf of Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final in Turin tonight

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

The competition is underway tonight with 25 bands performing in front of a live audience in the city of Turin, northern Italy

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Romania’s WRS perform tonight at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final in Turin

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Finland’s Rasmus singing Jezebel during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico Arena, Turin

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Members of the band ‘Subwoofer’ perform on behalf of Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final

At the end of the show, which included breakdancing, the band thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

Graham Norton, who is once again hosting the competition on BBC One, said: “We weren’t sure they were going to pull it off, but they did.”

“Their commentator did not survive, he is commenting from an air-raid shelter.”

Their song, Stefania, is an ode to mothers and the hardships they face raising their families, and the band’s live performance included synchronized dance moves, breakdancing and flutes.

Formed in 2019, the group consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.

The finale opened with an energetic performance with strobe lighting and projections of the sculpture of David by Michelangelo of We Are Domi from the Czech Republic singing Lights Off.

Finnish rock band The Rasmus kicked off the first performances with a powerful version of Jezebel, ripping their shirts off mid-show.

Marius Bear from Switzerland delivered a raw interpretation of his track Boys Do Cry against a simple lighting backdrop while Frenchmen Alvan and Ahez had the fire on stage to perform their track Fulenn.

Subwoofer from Norway dressed in yellow wolf costumes while performing a synchro dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.

Armenia’s representative Rosa Linn gave a moving performance with her song Snap on a stage with a bed, lamp and chair seemingly wrapped in white toilet paper.

Spanish entrant Chanel gave a jazzy performance at SloMo while the whole crowd sang along with Italians Mahmood and Blanco singing Brividi, which featured a powerful rap, behind a backdrop of twinkling lights.

The winner is chosen equally by panels of music experts in each competing nation and voted on by the public, leaving room for surprise.

Britain’s Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs each have a 10% chance of winning while Italian duo Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning. All eyes are also on nations that may not vote for Ukraine, after Russia and Belarus were barred from the invasion.

The winner takes home a glass microphone trophy and a potential career boost.

The event is hosted by Italy after Italian rock band Maneskin won last year in Rotterdam.

The victory propelled the Rome-based band to international fame, opening for the Rolling Stones and appearing on Saturday Night Live and numerous magazine covers in their typically sexless costume code.

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Chanel from Spain singing SloMo during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico Arena

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Alvan and Ahez from France perform live during the grand final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin tonight

Tears and cheers as Ukraine take the stage at Eurovision

Alvan & Ahez from France singing Fulenn during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico Arena

Twenty groups have been chosen in two semi-finals this week and will compete with the Big Five from Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, who have permanent places due to their financial support of the competition.

Russia was excluded this year after its invasion of Ukraine, a move organizers said was intended to exclude politics from the competition that promotes diversity and friendship between nations.

Ukrainian music fan Iryna Lasiy said she felt worldwide support for her country during the war and “not just for the music”.

Back in Ukraine, in the battered northeastern city of Kharkiv, Kalush Orchestra’s participation in the competition is seen as giving the nation another platform to garner international support.

“The whole country is rising up, everyone in the world is supporting us. It’s extremely pleasant,” said Julia Vashenko, a 29-year-old teacher.

“I believe that wherever there is Ukraine now and there is an opportunity to talk about the war, we have to talk?” said Alexandra Konovalova, a 23-year-old make-up artist in Kharkiv. “All competitions are important now, thanks to them more people learn what is happening now.”

Anastasia Khardikova, a 24-year-old Ukrainian living in Sweden, said she intends to vote for the Kalush Orchestra and is persuading her friends abroad to do the same.

Graham Norton returned for his 13th contest to keep a watchful eye on the proceedings while delivering his usual barbs.

Eurovision contestant Sam Ryder will take to the stage, 22nd in the running order, in a bid to improve the UK’s position in tonight’s grand final.

The 32-year-old TikTok star will perform his uplifting pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.

This year’s final includes the 20 winning nations from the week’s two semi-finals, plus the so-called big five of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain .

dailymail us

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.