Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine will compete in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, securing their place as favorites to snag a victory in the competition.
Kalush, a hip-hop band that blends ethnic motifs with modern tunes, rose happily, flaunting the Ukrainian flag while it was announced they had made it to the second semi-final. Beforehand, they performed their song, Stefania.
“Thank you for supporting Ukraine,” stated Oleh Psiuk, a founding member, after finishing their performance.
The Pala Alpitour crowd gave them booming applause with genuine tears. The band received overflowing support after Russia attacked Ukraine in February.
Psiuk told BBC that a win would convey a powerful message of support to the nation’s besieged citizens and the approximately 12 million individuals who have escaped the country.
“For our country, it is so important to have victories in all ways,” he stated. “So, if we win, it will be another opportunity to show Ukraine to the world, to remind people about Ukraine, and to increase morale in the whole country.”
However, the band is quick to stress that their achievement isn’t just a conveyance of solidarity.
“Even before the war, were in fifth position according to bookmakers,” they stated in a press conference the previous week, “which means this Ukrainian song is already enjoyed by Europeans.”
Stefania, a song by the band, was composed in honor of Psiuk’s mother; however, emotional lyrics such as “I will always walk to you by broken roads” have been presumed as a rallying cry.
Psiuk, talking after the semi-final, expressed his gratitude to everyone who voted and stated that Kalush Orchestra was “totally focused” on the final “because we are here to show that Ukrainian culture is alive.”
On the other hand, Russia has been prohibited from joining this year’s competition. Organizers say the nation’s involvement could “bring competition into disrepute.”
The semi-final on Tuesday enabled 10 acts to proceed to the finals on Saturday. They were (in no particular order):
Switzerland – Marius Bear: Boys Do Cry
Armenia – Rosa Linn: Snap
Iceland – Systur: Með hækkandi sól
Lithuania – Monika Liu: Sentimental
Portugal – Maro: Saudade, Saudade
Norway – Subwoolfer: Give That Wolf A Banana
Greece – Amanda Tenfjord: Die Together
Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra: Stefania
Moldova – Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers: Trenulețul
Netherlands – S10: De Diepte
Therefore, famous songs such as Latvia’s “vegetarian anthem” Eat Your Salad and Austria’s EDM banger Halo did not make it to the list. Among other countries eliminated from the contest on Tuesday were Albania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Denmark.
Another ten acts will make it to the main competition after the second semi-final on Tuesday. The “Big Five” nations – France, Germany, Spain, the UK, and Italy – who financially helped make the competition a reality are automatically qualified to join the round.
The first semi-final started with a set-piece song and dance presentation called The Sound of Beauty which integrated elements of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, and last year’s victor song Zitti E Buoni, by Italian band Maneskin.