On Sunday, Liverpool emerged victorious from the Eurovision Song Contest, Sweden celebrated its victory, and Ukraine remained defiant despite a night of Russian bombardment that included a strike on the competitors’ hometown.
With “Heart of Steel,” an anthem to the country’s resilience inspired by the siege of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, electronic duo Tvorchi represented Ukraine at the spectacular pan-continental pop competition on Saturday night. They came sixth out of the 26 finalists.
As the match in Liverpool was going on, air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said that dozens of people were injured by Russian missile and drone attacks. Ternopil, the hometown of Tvorchi in western Ukraine, was impacted by one strike.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported a second attack on Ternopil on Sunday morning. Cars and buildings used by civilians were damaged; Victims were not immediately available.
Andrii Hutsuliak and Jeffery Kenny wrote on Instagram late on Saturday, “Ternopil is the name of our hometown, which was bombed by Russia while we sang on the Eurovision stage about our steel hearts, indomitability, and will.”
“This is a message for all cities of Ukraine that are shelled every day. Kharkiv, Dnipro, Khmelnytskyi, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Uman, Sumy, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Kherson and all others. Europe, unite against evil for the sake of peace! GLORY TO UKRAINE!”
Russia, a long-term Eurovision member, was restricted from the challenge last year over its intrusion of Ukraine.
Loreen, a Swedish singer, won the competition with her power ballad “Tattoo” at a colorful, eclectic music competition that was overshadowed by the European war for the second year in a row. England facilitated Eurovision for Ukraine, which won last year yet couldn’t take up its more right than wrong to hold the challenge as a result of the conflict.
The opening film showed the 2022 Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra singing and dancing in the Kyiv subway. The song was picked up by musicians from the UK, including Catherine, Princess of Wales, who was shown playing the piano. The show was full of sights and sounds from Ukraine.
After that, a horde of drummers and the folk-rap band itself made their way onto the stage at Liverpool Arena on a massive pair of outstretched hands. It was one of a few Ukrainian demonstrations to perform during the very nearly four-hour show.
Ukraine has again equipped for the last head of time, with maker Andrii Hutsuliak and Nigeria-conceived frontman Jeffery Kenny, who structure the pop team Tvorchi.
“What’s important is to represent our country in the best possible way,” Hutsuliak told CBS News in Kyiv. “We hope our song can inspire people all around the planet to be stronger. And no matter how bad it is, just hold the good attitude and move forward with a smile.”
Presently in its 67th year, Eurovision charges itself as the world’s greatest music challenge — an Olympiad of party-accommodating pop. Contenders each have three minutes to merge appealing tunes and eye-popping exhibition into exhibitions fit for winning the hearts of millions of watchers.
Alesia Michelle, a Washington, D.C.-based Eurovision YouTuber, referred to Eurovision as the “Olympics of song for Europe” on “CBS Saturday Morning.”
“I mean, the scale is just so grand. The fact that you might not be watching it is crazy,” she said.
The bookies had picked Loreen’s passionate love song as their favorite. She was up against a strong challenge from the wildly energetic Finnish singer Käärijä, whose rap-pop party anthem “Cha Cha Cha” came in second place.
Loreen, 39. who recently won Eurovision in 2012, said turning out to be just the second individual to take the crown two times left her “seriously overwhelmed.” In the 1980s, Johnny Logan of Ireland won the first double. Sweden has now won seven games, matching Ireland’s record.
Sweden now has the right to host the 50th anniversary of Sweden’s first Eurovision victory, which came in 1974 with ABBA’s performance of “Waterloo.”
The competition came down to a close contest between Loreen, who won the jury vote of music professionals from all over Europe, and Käärijä, who won the viewing public’s vote in a landslide.
The Finn admitted to being disappointed.
“Of course, to be honest, it feels bad. What I was looking for was a win,” Käärijä told Finnish media outlets in Liverpool. “You of course have to be proud of this performance. A cool performance with a Finnish song. I’ve got a slightly sad feeling. But life goes on. It’s not that serious. You’ve got to move on with life.”
Käärijä was the undoubted star of Eurovision, and the resolute ensemble of “Cha Cha” is probably going to be heard on dancefloors across Europe this late spring.
Mae Muller, who was representing the host nation of Britain, finished last, a far cry from Sam Ryder, who came in second place behind Ukraine in 2022.
Liverpool, which won a contest among U.K. urban areas to have the occasion, embraced both Eurovision and Ukraine with great affection and hearts. Ukrainian art, music, and cuisine were showcased at a series of cultural events, and Ukrainian flags were flown by businesses all over the city.
Notwithstanding, coordinators said they turned down a solicitation by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to make a video address. “the nonpolitical nature of the event” would be violated, according to the European Broadcasting Union.
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