Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra prepares to win Eurovision Song Contest – Deadline

UK bookies are currently offering odds of 7/18 for Ukraine to win the Eurovision Song Contest tonight in Turin, Italy, with the Kalush Orchestra’s distinctive blend of rap and folk music combined with the country’s current courage in the face of the Russian invasion, which is expected to unite voters across Europe in support.

Frontman and writer Oleh Psiuk – distinctive this week in Turin with his pink hat – told the BBC before the band reached their semi-finals:

“It is so important for our country to have victories in every aspect. So if we win, it will be another opportunity to show Ukraine to the world, remind people of Ukraine and boost morale across the country.”

The band’s song Stefanie was originally inspired by Psiuk’s mother, but lines like “I’ll always walk to you on broken roads” have been interpreted in the context of the country’s current plight.

Psiuk told the BBC separately this week: “The song was originally about my mother. Not a single text was about the war. But now for many Ukrainians it has become a symbol of this war. Even my perception of the song has changed.

Although the Eurovision Song Contest is officially apolitical, since its inception in 1956, competing artists have happily disrupted the system by incorporating political lyrics into their songs. Politics is playing a more open role this year, as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced in February that Russia would be banned from the competition following its invasion of Ukraine.

And the Kalush Orchestra was only Ukraine’s second choice in the national competition, but found themselves en route to Turin when it was discovered that Ukraine’s original winner, Alina Pash, had made a 2015 trip to Crimea, a territory , which was conquered by Russia the year before. and was therefore deemed ineligible to participate.

In another mark up for the books, this year’s British entrant Sam Ryder is currently believed to be the bookmakers’ second favorite to win.

This marks a sea change for the UK, which – despite being one of the six countries allowed to go straight to the final without having to play in any of the semi-finals thanks to its longstanding investment in the EBU – has endured almost more than one Decade of humiliatingly low scores. Whether this reflects the UK’s political isolation during the Brexit years – the country’s decision to leave the European Union – or whether the music on offer was simply subpar, we’ll never know for sure.

However, this year has seen a tremendous effort both creatively and in support of the artist. Songwriter for Ryder’s song spaceman including Grammy-winning actress Amy Wadge, who previously co-wrote Ed Sheeran think out loud, and Max Wolfgang, who has previously written with John Legend and others. Additionally, Sam Ryder has over 12 million followers on TikTok, already enjoying a higher profile and following across Europe than many previous UK entries.

Ryder will be lucky to be on the left-hand side of the board after so many failed contributions from the UK, but the night will surely belong to the Kalush Orchestra and their country.

https://deadline.com/2022/05/eurovision-ukraine-kalush-orchestra-stefania-uk-sam-ryder-1235023809/ Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra prepares to win Eurovision Song Contest – Deadline


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