Ukraine wins the song contest

The Kalush Orchestra received 439 of 480 possible audience points from the 40 participating countries. In the end, the Ukrainian band had 631 points on the account and thus a large lead over Ryder (466) and Spain (459). Cornelia Jacobson of Sweden finished fourth with 438 points. For Serbia, the singer Konstrakta achieved a surprise success with fifth place.

The fact that the Kalush Orchestra was able to perform in Turin at all is a story with many twists and turns. Actually, the singer Alina Pash had won the Ukrainian preliminary. However, she stumbled over a year’s previous trip to the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia and resigned her starting place. On February 22, the band, which originally began their career as a pure rap trio, announced that they would accept the offer and represent Ukraine in Turin instead of the singer. Two days later, Russia attacked Ukraine.

12 Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra, “Stefania”

Political debate ante portas

Ukraine had already been traded as the clear favorite in advance. The mixture of rap and folklore quickly suggested hit potential. It was clear from the start that Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine would play a role – and points of sympathy were foreseeable. However, the country can already refer to an unbelievable track record in song contests. It is the third win in 17 appearances.

It is foreseeable that another, rather tedious debate about politics will follow at the Song Contest. Of course, the question of where the competition will take place next year is also open. Whether the situation in Ukraine will then allow it to be held in Kyiv, for example, will only become clear in the coming months.

Congratulations from Zelenskyy

After his triumph, Oleh Psiuk, lead singer of the Kalush Orchestra, was confident that the competition would take place in his home country: “I’m sure that Ukraine will welcome Europe to a new, united and happy Ukraine next year.” his band in Turin “to prove that Ukrainian culture is alive and beautiful”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also spoke after the victory. “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!” Zelenskyy said on Telegram.

Photo series with 25 pictures

British resurrection

Sam Ryder made the comeback of the year for Great Britain: they had only made two top five finishes in the 2000s – and even those were a long time ago. Recently, one had the impression that the British were not only giving a damn about the Brexit, but also about the song contest. With a new team, they looked for new paths and found the ideal candidate in Ryder, who managed to achieve meteoric rise through his TikTok videos with cover versions. Even if the “Space Man” borrows a lot from Queen, for example, second place – and first in the jury rating – seems to be just another milestone in the 33-year-old’s up-and-coming career.

22 UK: Sam Ryder, “Space Man”

Spain also ended the series of misery

After six years with placings above the 20 in a row, Spain wanted to try it again. Although the concept of a very sparsely clad woman who ignites Latino dance fireworks surrounded by dance staff has been used very often in recent years, the musical singer Chanel brought a high-end version of it to the stage. It ended up being third place.

10 Spain: Chanel, “SloMo”

Sweden had been expected to be even further ahead. In the past few years, it was mostly men who started out with sophisticated pop numbers, but then came across as quite bloodless and mechanical. Cornelia Jacobs, on the other hand, cut a completely different figure on stage, suddenly it was human. Nevertheless, little was left to chance: performing barefoot is part of the tradition of many winning songs – and the singer did it too. “Hold Me Closer” is a fairly light lyrical adaptation of Johnny Logan’s 1987 winning title, “Hold Me Now.” It ended up being fourth.

20 Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs, “Hold Me Closer”

Surprise from Serbia

Profound yet catchy, Serbia delivered one of the most interesting contributions, which was rewarded with a surprising fifth place. The trained architect Konstrakta staged the unwieldy text on health, illness and artists’ social insurance with a washbasin and towel rails, while the clapping effect in the chorus provided the necessary catchiness.

24 Serbia: Konstrakta, “In corpore sano”

hosts in sixth place

Four emotionally presented ballads had been given the potential for the top ten or even more in advance. The hosts Italy were even trusted to defend the title, after all the stars Mahmood and Blanco had prevailed in the traditionally top-class Sanremo Festival – with “Brividi”, a duet about relationship problems. The text-rich number with the striking chorus ended up in sixth place.

Totally untypical and un-Greek, Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord presented “Die Together”, a ballad with a touch of modernity. The question of whether dying together is a really good solution for a toxic relationship was apparently not considered, especially by the juries, which awarded points for Greece in a row. It was the musically deserved but lyrically questionable eighth place.

Portugal well above expectations

Ochman struck a similar note with “River” for Poland. His dramatic ballad tipped into the operatic here and there, reminiscent in places of “Arcadia”, Duncan Laurence’s winning song of 2019, and was reinforced with a thunderous stage show. Ochman finished twelfth, a little below expectations.

The Dutch rapper S10, who processed her experiences with depression in “De diepte”, presented herself much more soberly. The appearance, reduced to the essentials, apparently conveyed enough intimacy to lift the song to number eleven.
Rather surprisingly, the Portuguese singer Maro and her world pain gossip group were able to collect points for “Saudade, saudade” – especially with the juries, according to which they even came fifth. It finished ninth overall.

Good mood from Moldova and Norway

Feel-good songs had a hard time: The Moldovan band Zdob si Zdub & Fratii Advahov presented a slightly rocking polka variant with “Trenuletul”. The song about a train ride from Chisinau to Bucharest with the politically explosive question of whether Moldova and Romania are not very similar was a hit with the audience. They finished second there with 239 points. With very few jury points, that meant seventh place.

The Norwegian duo Subwoolfer was also neglected by the experts. “Give That Wolf a Banana” was a song that cannot be reduced to just being a funny fun number. The “Masked Singer” concept was professionally implemented with irony, but the song would have worked as a disco sweeper even without it. Tenth place is therefore at the lower end of expectations.

Radio suitability doesn’t help much either

The band We are Domi from the Czech Republic opened the evening. With “Lights Off”, one of the more radio-friendly songs of the competition, it only got 22nd place. “Snap” by the Armenian Rosa Linn also had catchy quality with perhaps the most elaborate stage performance of the evening: she sang her song in a completely papered over with oversized white postings Zimmer – and only found its way onto the open stage at the end. she turned 20

The Rasmus from Finland were the only final act to fly the rock flag. The well-known band, albeit a little outdated, ended up in 21st place with a balloon show, rock poses and their song “Jezebel”. “Miss You” by Jeremie Makiese from Belgium evoked many associations. Some felt reminded of a James Bond buzzer, others of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” and still others of Justin Timberlake. But the song didn’t want to ignite completely – hence 19th place.

Audience zero for Switzerland

For the Swiss Marius Baer, ​​getting into the final was already a success. His Louis Armstrong-esque ballad about crashing planes and drying up rivers, “Boys Do Cry,” eventually peaked at number 18 — and was the only song to fail to receive audience points. Lithuania had also surprisingly qualified with Monika Liu, her chanson-like wobbling song “Sentimentai” brought her a flattering 14th place.

As expected, the country and western songs had nothing to do with the top spots. The Icelandic sisters Systur swayed and grinned to their surprisingly uneventful song at number 23. And the Estonian Stefan ended up at number 13 with a spaghetti western soundtrack “Hope” – and thus surprisingly high.

Azerbaijan and Australia only interesting for juries

Azerbaijan, which used to score well with popular songs from Swedish pop manufacturers, lived up to the song title “Fade to Black” and, thanks to some top jury ratings, ended up in 16th place: Singer Nadir Rustamli fell mainly due to a roared “The Wedda” in his ballad about loss and the influence of the weather on it. Permanent guest Australia presented itself over-dramatized. In “Not the Same”, Sheldon Riley, draped in a glittering burka and all sorts of jewelry and clothing junk, complained about discrimination and coming out. The classic among the song contest topics can obviously only be placed very thickly – and that was only enough for rank 15 – also with practically no audience points.

Another debacle for Germany

Speaking of classics. There were surprisingly few song contest clichés in this year’s final. Ethno and folklore were few and far between. For Romania itself, the trained dancer WSR tried his hand at being a lively Latino singer. With the call out “Llamame” it became number 18.

France slipped into the existing ethnic gap. The Breton trio of women Ahez and the electro musician Alvan had been highly valued in advance, but the combination of Breton singing and trance with sound crackers didn’t work out, it was penultimate.

The song contest was even more screwed up for Germany: Malik Harris ended up in last place with “Rockstars” without jury points and with six audience points – the song and performance were quite acceptable this time – especially compared to previous German disasters. Why the catchy tune didn’t catch fire in Turin is rather puzzling.

A statement by the EBU, according to which there had been “irregularities” in some jury votings in the second semi-final on Thursday, caused a stir in the evening. However, nothing was known about the details.

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