Ukraine wins Eurovision as UK finishes second

Ukraine wins Eurovision as UK finishes second

Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Stefania from the folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra.

The act has been at the fore since Putin’s invasion earlier this year, with organizers banning Russia from competition.

Ukraine joined the competition in 2003 and its three victories made it the most successful of the newly competing nations, having also won in 2004 and 2016.

The United Kingdom led the vote for most of Saturday night’s results after Sam Ryder’s Space Man performance came out on top of the jury vote.

Ukraine, however, was heavily supported by the public, finishing on the leaderboard with 631 points, with Britain in second place with 466 points.

It was the UK’s best performance in song material in over 20 years, and proved to be a remarkable reversal of fate after last year’s dreaded zero points.

After their victory, the Kalyush Orchestra said: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory belongs to every Ukrainian. Slavic Ukrainians.”

During their performances, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, the group was dressed in elaborate costumes, including long multicolored fringes.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Our courage influences the world, our music conquers Europe!

“Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And believe me – not for the last time.

β€œWe will do our best to host Eurovision participants and guests in the Ukrainian Mariupol one day. Free, peaceful, rebuilding.”

He added: “Thank you for the victory @kalush.official and everyone who cast their vote for us!

“I am sure that our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is near.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Ukraine’s victory “a clear reflection not only of your talent, but of your unwavering support for your fight for independence”.

He congratulated the UK runner-up in the competition, tweeting: “Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how wonderfully he represented the UK tonight.”

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