Eurovision Song Contest – Ukrainian band raps and sings their way into the final

Tuesday evening started the first semi-final of the 66. “Euro Vision Song Contest” (ESC) in the PalaOlimpico in Turin (Italy) in front of 7000 spectators. 17 countries competed, ten qualified for the final on Saturday.

As expected, the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, who are already considered favorites, advanced to the final. Also in the final: Switzerland, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Moldova and the Netherlands.


The Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine performs with the title

The Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine performs with the title “Stefania” at the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song ContestPhoto: Jens Büttner/dpa

The semi-final show was a colorful mix of different styles of music, great voices and glamorous outfits. The mega stage was spiced up with lasers, pyrotechnics and even a waterfall.

The competition got off to a great start with Ronela Hajati (32) from Albania. She inspired with her powerful voice and explosive ethno sound. Four muscular, shirtless dancers swarmed around her on stage. Unfortunately she did not make it to the final.

Things continued a bit bizarre with the band Citi Zēni from Latvia. Their vegetable anthem “Eat Your Salad” takes up the vegan lifestyle with a wink and promotes a meat-free diet. Their retro funk was strongly reminiscent of Stefan Raab’s ESC song “Wadde hadde dudde da?” They weren’t chosen either.


The band Citi Zēni from Latvia had an important message (Eat Your Salad), but still didn't make it to the ESC final

The band Citi Zēni from Latvia had an important message (Eat Your Salad), but still didn’t make it to the ESC finalPhoto: Luca Bruno/dpa

Monika Liu (34) from Lithuania not only has Mireille Mathieu’s (75) hairstyle, she also sang her song in the style of a French chanson – albeit in Lithuanian and with gentle electronic sounds.

Great feelings arose with the ballad “Boys do cry” by the Swiss Marius Bear (29). The trained construction machine mechanic with the eye-catching earring wants to express with his song that men should not be ashamed of their emotions.

The school band LPS from Slovenia tried their luck with the jazzy song “Disko” in front of a huge disco ball, but still seemed a bit faceless. The song didn’t really stick in my memory either and didn’t get any further.

Huge applause from the audience at the performance of Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine. The six musicians presented their song “Stefania” full of relish and full of energy with the typical flute motif. After the final applause, singer Oleh Psiuk (27) addressed the audience and said in English: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine!”


Huge applause from the audience at the performance of Kalush Orchestra

Huge applause from the audience at the performance of Kalush Orchestra Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP

The Bulgarian hard rock formation Intelligent Music Project was put in last place by the betting shops in advance. Nevertheless, the rockers in the hall received respectable applause. But it wasn’t enough for the final.

The Dutch woman with the stage name “S10” (21) performed her song “De Diepte” (The Deep) without a belly. She processes mental problems and depression in the song. “S10” has even attempted suicide and been in a psychiatric hospital.



“S10” represents the Netherlands at the ESCPhoto: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP

Zdob și Zdub represented Moldova at the ESC for the third time. Their performance reminded a little of Kalush Orchestra. They also combine different styles of music with traditional instruments and crazy outfits.

The contribution “Saudade, Saudade” from Portugal was very calm. Singer Maro (27) sings with a gentle voice of longing and was accompanied by a five-piece women’s choir.

Mia Dimšić (29) represented Croatia. In her country she is a well-known pop star with several number 1 hits. To her calm singing there was a kind of dance theater that took some getting used to. Unfortunately, that fell through with the ESC fans.

The Danish rock contribution “The Show” by the cast female band Reddi seemed a little trivial. Unsurprisingly, the women were not chosen further.

The Austrians wanted to make it to the top this year with a dance track. DJ LUM!X (19) had brought in Pia Maria (18) to sing. Her song was reminiscent of the sound of DJ Bobo (54). Unfortunately, it didn’t go any further for her.

And another women’s band: The country trio Systur started for Iceland with a song in the national language. You were surprisingly voted into the final.


Icelandic country trio Systur

Icelandic country trio SysturPhoto: Luca Bruno/AP

Like an angel in a glittering white dress, Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord (24) from Greece appeared on stage. She sang her dark love song “Die together”. In addition to her music career, Amanda is studying medicine.

One of the strangest entries this year comes from Norway. Electro duo Subwoolfer sang “Give That Wolf A Banana” and performed wearing yellow wolf masks. It has not yet been revealed who is hiding underneath. But the song has an infectious groove and is loved by ESC fans.


It is still unclear who is hiding under the masks of the Norwegian duo Subwoolfer

It is still unclear who is hiding under the masks of the Norwegian duo SubwoolferPhoto: Luca Bruno/AP

The harmonious end of the semifinals was Armenia’s Rosa Linn (21), who sang at the beginning of her song like the German Grand Prix winner Nicole (57) 40 years ago to a white guitar.

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