Only a few weeks ago Kalush Orchestra was selected to represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2022 by the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. Their selection was not drama-free as initially, Alina Pash won Vidbir 2022 with her song “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors”. After Alina won there were some issues with her previous travel documents into Crimea – Suspline bans anyone representing Ukraine at Eurovision who entered via Russia since the annexation in 2015. After Alina withdrew from Eurovision 2022, the broadcaster selected second-placed Vidbir act Kalush Orchestra with their song “Stefania”.
War in Ukraine
Not long after Kalush Orchestra were selected to represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2022, Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Due to this Russia were disqualified from this year’s contest. Members of Kalush Orchestra have now enlisted to defend their country from Russian aggression.
Kalush Orchestra speak about the war and their Eurovision 2022 plans.
Kalush Orchestra spoke to Reuters about what life is like on the frontline, and also about how they will now go about preparing for Eurovision 2022 which is taking place in the Italian city of Turin in May. Ukraine will currently perform in the first half of the first semi-final on May 10th. Oleh Psuik, lead rapper of the group, said the following to Reuters in regards to being favourites to win Eurovision 2022.
“I cannot enjoy it while I am worried for my loved ones. The war separated me and my girlfriend. She is 300kms (186 miles)away from me. We cannot meet because it is very dangerous.”Psuik of Kalush Orchestra speaking about how the war has effected him and his family.
Kalush Orchestra on Eurovision 2022 preparations
At the moment, the members of Kalush Orchestra are rehearsing “Stefania” separately, but do have plans to meet up in Lviv. Psuik commented the following to Reuters about their Eurovision 2022 participation.
“No matter under what circumstance, we will go to the Eurovision.Psuik on Eurovision 2022 participation.
Eurovision this year for Ukraine is about spreading awareness of what is going on in their country to a wider audience all over Europe.
Ukraine’s Eurovision journey
Ukraine is one of the most successful countries to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has scored seven top-five placements, with an extra three top-ten finishes. Ukraine won the Contest in 2004 with Ruslana’s “Wild Dances” and again in 2016 with Jamala’s “1944”. Jamala’s win made history for Ukraine, as it became the first ex-Soviet country to win the Contest more than once.
In 2021, Go_A represented Ukraine in the 65th edition of the Contest with their song “SHUM”. The band scored 364 points, finishing in fifth place.
News Source: Reuters
Photo Source: Maxim Fesenko