The Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision. The band representing Ukraine was the bookmakers’ favourite, and confirmed their predictions by beating Sam Ryder (UK) and Chanel (Spain), who finished second and third respectively. The Italians Mahmood and Blanco, on the other hand, finished sixth.
The victory came mainly thanks to the vote of the public, which overturned the partial ranking of the jury. The Eurovision winner is decided for 50% by televoting and 50% of the votes assigned by other countries, with a mechanism that allows individual juries to assign points to ten songs of their choice: 12 to the best, 10 to the second and so on. This type of vote is now an integral part of the show, and over the years it has sparked controversy.
This year at the top of the favourites lists was the Kalush Orchestra, which led to Eurovision Stefania, a song that does not speak directly about the war, but it is a love letter to the mother of the group’s frontman. Given the difficult situation Ukraine is going through, the song has become a hymn of love for the motherland. “This victory is for all Ukrainians. Slava Ukraini!” Shouted the members of the Kalush Orchestra from the stage celebrating their triumph. “Please help Ukraine and Mariupol, help Azovstal now”, said the singer Oleh Psyuk at the end of the performance (greeted by the ovation of the audience) also risking disqualification given that the regulations of the event do not accept political messages on the stage. President Volodymyr Zelensky, shortly before the start of the long evening, in a video message on Telegram, had also invited Europe to vote for Ukraine. “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe”, thus the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a post on his Facebook page, greeted the victory of his country at Eurovision. The message of peace came loud and clear from the public who voted from home, in fact the points received by Ukraine with the popular vote were an avalanche compared to those of other countries and allowed the ranking to be overturned. If the Eurovision Song Contest has always been an event whose final result is a combination of musical taste and political “alliances”, never more than this year does the vote have the flavour of a message that goes far beyond the singing contest and the message. It did not come from the juries, but from the people who voted from home.