Ukraine wins Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest in Italy on Saturday evening, ahead of the United Kingdom and Spain, thanks to the vote of viewers who voted for the group representing the country occupied in late February by Russian troops.

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The Kalush Orchestra, whose song “Stefania” combines hip-hop and traditional music, has accumulated 631 points. The favorites of the competition, the Ukrainians are ahead of the Briton Sam Ryder and his title “Space Man” (466 points) and the Spaniard Chanel with “Slo Mo” (459 points).

“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted on Facebook.

It’s Ukraine’s second victory in the competition after 2016 – two years after Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea – with Jamala and the title “1944”, a song about the deportation of Tatars by Stalin.

As in the two semifinals organized this week in Turin, a wave of blue and yellow flags of the country under the blow of the Russian army engulfed the arena of the Pala Olimpico in the capital Piedmont (northwestern Italy). where the 25 finalists performed.

“Please help Ukraine and Mariupol! Help Azovstal “, called on stage the singer of the Kalush Orchestra, Oleh Psiuk, whose performance was applauded.

Political messages are generally banned at Eurovision, but organizers have said Ukraine will not be disqualified for such comments.

“We understand the deep feelings about Ukraine in this context and consider that the comments of the Kalush Orchestra and other artists expressing their support for the Ukrainian people are of a humanitarian rather than political nature,” the European Union of Radio and Television said. (EBU), event organizer.

The EBU had excluded Russia from the competition a day after Russian troops entered Ukraine on February 24.

Ukraine received the maximum score – 12 points – from several former republics or satellite countries of the Soviet Union: Poland, the country in Europe that has received the largest number of Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war, Moldova, Latvia, Romania and Lithuania. .

Finland, which shares more than 1,300 km of border with Russia and is preparing to join NATO, gave 12 points to Sweden, which must also formally announce its intention to join the Atlantic Alliance, possibly from this diel.

As for the Ukrainian viewers, they gave their 12 points to the British candidate.

France, which coveted its first victory since Marie Myriam (“The Child and the Bird”) in 7 1977, reached the penultimate. Frenchwoman Barbara Pravi, with her song “Voilà”, had just missed out on success last year ranking second.

The French public gave 12 points to the United Kingdom and 10 points to Ukraine.

Bookstore favorite Ukraine competed with the song “Stefania” mixing hip-hop and traditional music into intimate lyrics – written before the war – which resonated strongly with the news (“I will always find my way home even if all the roads are destroyed ”).

At six on stage, members of the group, all of combat age, benefited from a temporary dispensation issued by the Kiev government, but they will have to return home to pick up their weapons once the competition is over. One of them stayed in place.

“A member of the group joined Kiev’s territorial defense on the third day of the war,” singer Oleh Psiuk told AFP ahead of Saturday night’s final. “We are very worried about him, we hope to find him safe and sound when we return.”

To complete the podium, the stratospheric Briton Sam Ryder, who sings “SpaceMan” in solo and combined, and the fiery Spanish singer of Cuban descent Chanel, dressed – very lightly – as a tore with the Latin rhythmic title. SloMo ”.

Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs comes 4th with a pretty classic “glamor” (“Keep me closer”).

According to the rules of Eurovision, the next edition of the competition should be held in Ukraine, which in the words of Oleh Psiuk would be “a new, integrated, developed and thriving Ukraine”. Ukraine won the Eurovision song contest in Italy on Saturday night. race, ahead of the United Kingdom and Spain, thanks to the vote of spectators who voted for the group representing the country occupied in late February by Russian troops.

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