Ukraine wins Eurovision Song Contest after performance by Kalush Orchestra | Ents & art news

Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest in a huge show of support from the rest of the continent after the Russian invasion of the country.

With their folk-rap song Stefania, Kalush Orchestra stormed the rankings, beating strong competition from the UK and Italy.

The group was battling Russian aggressors in the streets just weeks before taking the stage in Turin – rather than rehearsing for the biggest gig of their lives.

Sam Ryder from the United Kingdom took second place – the first time in 20 years that the United Kingdom has been in the top three of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sam Ryder sang Space Man

The singer was the best after the national jury vote with 283 points, but there was a huge wave of support for Ukraine in the public vote.

The UK had been waiting for a Eurovision win for a quarter of a century and announcing the winner was a nail-biter as it came down to the final vote.

Ukrainian President Volodymry Zelenskyy praised Ukraine’s victory, telling the world in his late-night speech: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!

“I am sure that our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off.

“Glory to Ukraine!”

Ukraine was widely tipped to take the title and overnight there was a huge wave of support from all over Europe for the war-torn country. Almost all participants carried Ukrainian flags as well as their own on the evening.

After their performance, they made a passionate plea to free people who were still trapped in the besieged Mariupol steel factory.

Russia was banned this year in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Hundreds of millions of people across Europe tuned in for one of the world’s most watched TV events, with a song about Meghan Markle and a song called Give That Wolf A Banana among the 25 finalists.

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