Supported by a whole continent, Ukraine flies to Eurovision

Thanks to the public vote, the Kalush Orchestra group won the 66th edition of the telecrochet. A coronation which testifies to the momentum of solidarity that continues to arouse the Ukrainian tragedy, almost three months after the Russian invasion.


In Turin, yellow and blue dress the buses of buses, football jerseys, the ceiling of the royal palaces. It turns out that the historical colors of the Piedmontese city are also those of Ukraine. On the night of May 14 to 15, coincidence brought happiness to the country at war: its representative, the Kalush Orchestra group, flew over the Eurovision final, the 66th edition of which was held in the Italian metropolis.

A triumph acquired thanks to the public vote, who placed his song, Stefania, far ahead of the other 24 – making the votes of the jury, tighter, anecdotal. With an average audience of 200 million spectators, increased tenfold by social networks, the telecrochet is the most followed non-sporting event in Europe. In this yardstick, the coronation of Kalush Orchestra testifies first of the surge of solidarity that continues to arouse the Ukrainian tragedy, almost three months after the Russian invasion. President Volodymir Zelensky, who had urged old continent to vote for his compatriots, praised their victory over Instagram: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!” Adding, not without optimism: “Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! “

In principle, the Eurovision regulations prohibit any politicized message. As soon as the ceremony is opened, however, Lebanese host and singer Mika heated the room by taking up Give Peace A Chance, by John Lennon. Shortly after, the Icelandic candidates launched a vibrant “Peace to Ukraine!” At the end of their piece: at Eurovision, the politician, driven out by the door, always returns through the window.

The singer Mika opens the final of Eurovision 2022, Saturday May 14. Marco Bertorello/AFP

Eurovision more political than ever

Thus from Stefania. The song had been written in tribute to the mother of the leader of Kalush Orchestra, rapper Oleh Psiouk. It was before the war. Since then, it is difficult not to hear a hymn to the mother country. “I will always go to you on destroyed roads,” say the lyrics, in Ukrainian. On February 22, Kalush Orchestra agreed to replace the initially designated representative, Alina Pash. Her withdrawal followed the revelation of a trip she had made in 2015 in Crimea, after the Russian annexation. As for Russia, it was excluded the day after the first strikes on February 25. Apolitic, Eurovision? Less than ever.

The six Ukrainians present in Turin are all aged. At the start of the conflict, some provided the victims in medication, others joined the national reserve. To be able to prepare as best they can, they obtained a derogation. Before, in the coming days, to return to participate in the war effort.

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/Media reports.