Ukraine Rides Sentiment to Win in File-Setting Style – Billboard

Ukraine’s rap and folks group Kalush Orchestra, using a file variety of votes from the general public and a kinetic music that turned an anthem for struggling moms, overtook the UK, Sweden and Spain to seize the 66th Eurovision Music Contest in a nail-biter in Turin, Italy.



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Whereas the oddsmakers, pundits and followers pegged Ukraine because the clear favourite to win going into Saturday’s ultimate, it didn’t look good after the jury vote, when Ukraine was in fourth place with 192 factors and the U.Okay. was in first with 283.

The juries weren’t particularly sort to Ukraine, with some nations, just like the Netherlands, giving them no factors in any respect. Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania — all nations which are involved about attainable Russian navy incursions on their territory — every gave Ukraine 12 factors. (Votes from small juries of music professionals in every nation make up 50% of a rustic’s rating. The general public additionally votes in the course of the dwell broadcast, making up the opposite half of the totals.)

Ukraine’s victory wasn’t assured till a short while later, when the general public’s tele-votes have been added in. With a record-setting 438 factors from the general public, Ukraine blew previous the UK. With 40 nations voting, the highest attainable rating from the general public was 480, so a rating of 438 meant that Ukraine acquired the highest mark of 12 from virtually each nation.

The general public votes gave Ukraine a mixed whole of 631 to the UK’s 466. Ukraine’s whole rating was the second-highest level whole in Eurovision historical past, topped solely by Portugal’s Salvador Sobral, who earned 758 mixed factors in 2017 along with his merely acknowledged, “Amar Pelos Dois,” sung quietly in Portuguese.

It was a victory for Kalush Orchestra, which is signed to Sony Music’s Columbia Germany imprint, simply to point out up on the contest in Turin given the brutal invasion of their nation by Russia in February — a struggle that continues to grind on. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated in a video assertion {that a} win for Ukraine can be symbolic for his nation profitable the struggle in opposition to Russia.

Ukraine’s lethal battle with Russia was entrance and middle throughout this 12 months’s Eurovision. The present opened with the Rockin’ 1000, an assemblage of rock musicians who’re principally from Italy, singing John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Likelihood” in Piazza San Carlo, one of many principal public squares in Turin. On the finish of their efficiency, Iceland’s trio Systur stated, “Peace for Ukraine.” And after Kalush was introduced because the winner, host Laura Pausini stated, “Everybody needs peace. And music is peace.”

Though it’s European Broadcasting Union coverage to keep away from politics throughout Eurovision, many artists wore bands displaying the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine or waved small replicas of the nation’s flag. And this 12 months, the EBU banned Russia, one in all Ukraine’s conventional rivals, from the music contest after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded on Feb. 24.

On the winner’s press convention following the dwell broadcast, Kalush Orchestra’s founder/rapper, Oleh Psyuk, was requested if Ukraine would be capable to host the competition in 2023, as is custom for the profitable nation. “Subsequent 12 months, Ukraine can be comfortable to host Europe within the new built-in and comfortable Ukraine,” he replied. He stated that his private favourite songs this 12 months have been “Italy, the UK, Poland and Moldova.”

Earlier than Saturday’s ultimate, the European oddsmakers who take bets on the end result of the competition had Ukraine in first place and the U.Okay. in second, and that’s precisely how issues performed out.

Whether or not it was a vote of sympathy or only a love of the music, “Stefania,” ultimately Ukraine scored a formidable victory, the nation’s third win following triumphs by Ruslana in 2004 with “Wild Dances” and by Jamala with “1944” in 2016.

“Stefania” was meant to be an ode to Psyuk’s mom, however by the point he took the Eurovision stage, the music had taken on new which means, honoring all the moms in Ukraine as they dwell by the missile assaults and demise and destruction in colleges, hospitals and residential buildings in addition to Mom Ukraine’s love for all of her kids.

The six members of Kalush Orchestra have been wearing genuine outfits from the Bukovyna area of Ukraine, though Psyuk added the placing bubblegum pink bucket hat he usually wears. Tima Muzychuk, one other group member, was charming as he performed the normal woodwind Ukranian folks instrument generally known as the telenka, and the six-man outfit was in fixed movement, producing a kinetic show of vitality.

After their second victory, Ukraine had already claimed the file for essentially the most wins by a rustic in Jap Europe, so this new win extends that file.

Sam Ryder’s efficiency of “House Man” held on for second place, bringing redemption for the U.Okay. after years of low scores. The U.Okay. completed with zero factors from the jury and the general public final 12 months, which stands as one in all 5 final place finishes on this millennium (on Saturday Germany completed final with six factors).

The U.Okay. has received Eurovision 5 occasions, however not since 1997 when Katrina & the Waves got here out on prime with “Love Shine a Gentle.” The U.Okay. has positioned second a file 16 occasions, however not since 1998, when Imaani made a last-minute transfer into the runner-up spot with “The place Are You.”

Ryder’s efficiency was enhanced by stage designers Dan Shipton and Marvin Deetman, who surrounded the singer with a sculpture of lights, impressed by the stage work of Queen and David Bowie, to make it really feel like Ryder was floating in house. Whereas Ryder didn’t stand nonetheless, he didn’t transfer very a lot from his mark, letting the sunshine put him in movement.

The 2022 contest featured the same old mixture of camp, outrageous costumes and distinctive manufacturing values. Spain’s Chanel sizzled on stage whereas performing “Slo Mo,” with a fancy dress that hardly lined her behind (emphasis on naked). Her male dancers additionally wore revealing outfits and the quantity was one of many sexiest performances within the historical past of Eurovision. It was Spain’s greatest exhibiting since Anabel Conde positioned second in 1995 with “Vuelve Conmigo.”

Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs received votes with a efficiency of “Maintain Me Shut” that was low-key at first however constructed to a smashing crescendo. She first carried out the music in February for the Swedish nationwide ultimate, Melodifestivalen. Her stage routine has been locked in ever since. “She’s a professional,” co-writer Isa Molin tells Billboard. “Why change a profitable efficiency?”

Serbia’s Konstrakta drew 225 votes from the general public with a inventive efficiency laden with messaging. She sat with a basin in entrance of her as she washed her palms a number of occasions whereas singing “In Corpore Sano” (Latin for “in a wholesome physique”), which some have interpreted as a satirical commentary on well being care programs and sweetness requirements. “What may very well be the key of Meghan Markle’s wholesome hair?” the music begins. “What may or not it’s? I feel it’s all concerning the deep hydration.”

Monika Liu from Lithuania channeled Sally Bowles from Cabaret, singing the jazzy “Sentimentai” in a slinky, attractive robe together with her hair minimize in a bob. The efficiency was paying homage to France’s second place win in 2021 however Lithuania didn’t duplicate the outcome, ending 14th.

Norway’s Subwoolfer got here closest to parodying a Eurovision music, wearing yellow paper wolf masks — suggesting that to distract a wolf from consuming your grandma, it is best to give him a banana. And if viewers weren’t certain what the music was about, they added on-screen captions to make clear.

Italy’s Mahmood & Blanco regarded like they have been going to share a kiss on stage by the tip of their music, “Brividi,” however they settled for a heat embrace.

Australia’s Sheldon Riley poured out his feelings in “Not the Similar,” a music about rising up with Asperger’s and being secretly homosexual and never being like the opposite children. He wore a masks composed of strings of jewels which he eliminated close to the conclusion of his efficiency, lastly revealing his face. However the public didn’t reward him; he acquired solely two factors from tele-voting.

Poland’s Ochman gave a robust efficiency of “River,” with none further bells and whistles. If his English sounded good, it’s as a result of he was born in Massachusetts.

Portugal’s MARO (“Saudade, Saudade”) and Switzerland’s Marius Bear (“Boys Do Cry”) each sang understated ballads with no dancing, pyro or glitzy costumes.

Between the performances and the reporting of the votes, final 12 months’s winner Måneskin shocked with a canopy of Elvis Presley’s 1969 hit “If I Can Dream,” which accommodates a lyric related in 2022: “There should be peace and understanding someday.” The Italian group has recorded the music for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic Elvis.

Måneskin has not shied away from cowl variations earlier than, as their remake of The 4 Seasons’ ‘Beggin’” has been a worldwide hit. However the truth that the 2021 Eurovision champions are singing an Elvis music in a Luhrmann movie on the director’s request illustrates how profitable the competition can translate into worldwide fame.

Extra Reporting By Silvia Danielli of Billboard Italia.

Right here is how the 25 nations competing within the 2022 Eurovision Music Contest ranked after jury and public votes have been mixed for the ultimate rating:

1. Ukraine 631 factors
2. United Kingdom 466
3. Spain 459
4. Sweden 438
5. Serbia 312
6. Italy 268
7. Moldova 253
8. Greece 215
9. Portugal 207
10. Norway 182
11. Netherlands 171
12. Poland 151
13. Estonia 141
14. Lithuania 128
15. Australia 125
16. Azerbaijan 106
17. Switzerland 78
18. Romania 65
19. Belgium 64
20. Armenia 61
21. Finland 38
22. Czech Republic 38
23. Iceland 20
24. France 17
25. Germany 6

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