Ukraine opening song Stefania has taken on a new meaning since the Russian invasion
The country already tapped for the top spot is Ukraine, whose song Stefani will be performed by the Kalush Orchestra.
Here’s everything you need to know about rapper Oleh Psiuk and if Ukraine could win Eurovision.
Who is the Kalush Orchestra?
The Ukrainian rap group was formed in 2019 and consists of rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, dancer Vlad Kurochka, sopilka player Vitalii Duzhyk and singers Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk.
They mix rap with traditional Ukrainian folk music to create a unique sound that showcases Ukrainian culture and heritage with a modern twist.
Kalush Orchestra was not the first choice for Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest, they took second place in the national selection process, losing to Alina Pash.
However, in February they were offered the first prize after it was revealed that Pash had traveled to the annexed region of Crimea.
Speaking to Eurovision about their music, they said: “We show our roots and we show how to take something from the past and make it work for the present.
“That’s why we’re successful at home and hope that we’ll have the same response internationally. We take something old and make it sound modern.”
Who is Oleh Psiuk?
Oleg Psiuk is a songwriter and rapper from Ukraine who is a member of the rap group Kalush Orchestra.
Psiuk wrote her Eurovision song Stefania in honor of his mother and to raise awareness of Ukrainian culture and language on a national platform.
After the war in Ukraine, the text symbolizes something else, specifically the text “I will always find my way home, even if all the roads are destroyed”.
When is the Eurovision Song Contest 2022?
The Eurovision Song Contest kicked off with the first semi-final on May 10th in Turin, Italy.
In the first round, Switzerland, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova and the Netherlands qualified for the final.
The second semi-final will take place on May 12th.
Six countries automatically qualify for the competition: the host country and the “Big Five” including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
What is the name of Ukraine’s Eurovision song?
The Ukrainian Eurovision song Stefania was written by Psiuk in honor of his mother. But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the words took on a new meaning.
Speaking to Eurovision, they said: “We feel a great responsibility as we have been given permission to leave Ukraine to be here. We have a duty to be useful to our country at this moment.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to rehearse together for a long time, but now we’ve gone into ‘extra mode’. We are all working very hard and doing what we can to make this happen.
“We enjoyed seeing people sing our song even if they didn’t know all the words. We really appreciate seeing people supporting Ukraine and us.”
In Ukraine, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country without a valid reason.
Some members of the band failed to pass the competition and instead stayed behind to serve in the Ukrainian Territorial Forces.
What are the chances for Ukraine to win Eurovision?
William Hill has tipped Ukraine to win this year’s competition, giving their song Stefania by Kalush Orchestra the highest odds.
Here are the current odds for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022:
- Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra, “Stefania” – 1/2
- UK: Sam Ryder, “Space Man” – 2.11
- Italy: Mahmood and Blanco, “Brividi” – 13/2
- Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs, “Hold Me Closer” – 13/2
- Spain: Chanel, “SloMo” – 16/1
- Greece: Amanda Tenfjord, “Die Together” – 40/1
- Poland: Ochman, “River” – 40/1
- Netherlands: S10, “De Diepte” – 50/1
- Norway: Subwoolfer, “Give That Wolf a Banana” – 50/1
- Finland: The Rasmus, “Jezebel” – 80/1