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Dive Deeper:
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Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra wins 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. © AP/Luca Bruno

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine claimed an emotional victory at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

The competition – in its 66th year – started on Saturday night in Turin but the final result was announced during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Oleh Psiuk, Kalush Orchestra's frontman, said: "The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Glory to Ukraine."

Sung in Ukrainian, the winning song Stefania fused rap with traditional folk music and was a tribute to Psiuk's mother.

In the prelude to the competition, Kalush Orchestra said they were aiming to lift the spirits of their fellow Ukrainians who have fled the country or been fighting armed forces sent into the country on 24 February by the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

At the end of the band's performance at the PalaOlimpico, Psiuk said to the audience in English: "I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol, help Avostal right now."

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the contest, said no action would be taken against the band for using the stage to make a political statement.

“We understand the deep feelings around Ukraine at this moment and believe the comments of the Kalush Orchestra and other artists expressing support for the Ukrainian people to be humanitarian rather than political in nature,” the EBU said.

A TV audience of nearly 200 million watched 25 performers from around Europe belt out ballads, anthems and glitzy dance numbers.

France's entry from Alvan & Ahez, sung in the regional Breton language, failed to impress the judges.

Spaceman, the United Kingdom's entry, came second – the country's best showing for 20 years.

After the jury scores were tabulated, the UK was leading the pack with 283 points. Sweden and Spain boasted 258 and 231 points respectively.

But Ukraine, who were fourth, swept the public vote from throughout Europe and Australia with 439 points.

With those numbers aggregated, Ukraine claimed their third triumph after successes in 2004 and 2016.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the group's performance.

"Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe," he wrote on Telegram.

"We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt," he added.

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Dive Deeper:
Who won Eurovision 2022? Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra win with song Stefania
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 aired on Saturday night, with Kalush Orchestra storming to victory with the song Stefania
Ukraine wins Eurovision 2022 with Kalush Orchestra's Stefania
Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra wins the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 193 points ahead of the competition with their folk-hip-hop…
Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2022
The final points segment was exciting with Sam Ryder topping the jury's vote
Ukraine wins Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest, perhaps Europe's biggest musical competition. NPR's Joanna Kakissis was watching with Ukrainians in…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Ukrainian Band Kalush Orchestra Wins Eurovision amid War
Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest, a clear show of popular support for the group's war-ravaged nation…
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra wins Eurovision Song Contest 2022 as UK’s Sam Ryder comes second
‘This victory is for every Ukrainian,’ said the folk-rap group when accepting the award
Get all your news in one place