Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra didn't disappoint, and the band was crowned Eurovision 2022 winner after a heartfelt performance of Stefania.
Ukraine was a top contender for bookies, with Eurovision 2022 odds tipping the band to win. However, they weren't always meant to take to the stage in Turin.
Alina Pash was initially selected to represent the country with the song Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) after being chosen by the Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne via the national selection Vidbir.
However, Pash's status as a legitimate participant of Vidbir was challenged, which resulted in her participation being ceased by the broadcaster as well as her withdrawal.
Kalush Orchestra, who were the runner-up at Vidbir, represented Ukraine instead, claiming the top spot.
Here's everything you need to know.
Who is representing Ukraine at Eurovision 2022?
Name: Kalush Orchestra
Kalush is a Ukrainian rap group. Formed in 2019, the group is made up of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, and dancer Vlad Kurochka (alias MC KylymMen, lit. 'CarpetMan'). Didenchuk is also a member of the electro-folk band Go_A.
In 2021, the group formed their new project, Kalush Orchestra, with Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, and Dzhonni Dyvnyy joining as additional members. Unlike the main band, Kalush Orchestra focuses on hip hop with folk motifs and elements from Ukrainian traditional music.
What is Ukraine's Eurovision 2022 song called?
Kalush Orchestra performed their winning song Stefania. It is the third song sung entirely in Ukrainian to represent the country at Eurovision but the second to actually compete at the contest.
The song is an ode to mothers, with the narrator in the song speaking of good memories from their mum. After talking about how much she's aged, the narrator of the song comes to realise how much their mum's done for them.
You can watch the video clip below:
Ukraine Eurovision song translation
Stefania features a powerful combination of Ukrainian folk and rap, and the lyrics are just as rousing as the music.
As mentioned, the song is an ode to the singer's mother, and begins with the verse: “Mother Stephania Stephania mother/The field is blooming, but her hair is getting grey/Mother, sing me the lullaby I want to hear your dear word.”
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Other lyrics include: "You can’t take my willpower from me, as I got it from her,” and “I’ll always find my way home, even if the roads are destroyed.”
Lullabies are also a common theme in the song, with the “lyuli lyuli lyuli” section of the rap being a reference to a Slavic folk lullaby. at the end of the rap verse is said to be a classic Slavic folk lullaby.
Where did Ukraine come in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest?
Kalush Orchestra have a lot to live up to after last year's success.
Go_A came in fifth place with the song Shum written by Kateryna Pavlenko, Taras Shevchenko and Ihor Didenchuk.
Ukraine last won the competition in 2016 with Jamala's 1944.
When is Eurovision 2022?
This year the Eurovision Grand Final will take place on Saturday, 14th May. The event will be held in Italy's PalaOlimpico Arena in Turin and will be broadcast live on BBC One.
The semi-final will air across two days on Tuesday, 10th May and Thursday, 12th May and will air on BBC Three.
Which countries are taking part in Eurovision 2022?
Here are the other countries competing in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest – click on each one to find out more.
The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will air on the BBC from Tuesday 10th May to Saturday 14th May – listen to all of this year's Eurovision songs on TIDAL, while the full album of tracks is available on CD and vinyl now.
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