Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra has won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, after making a plea on stage to help save Ukrainian fighters holed up in Mariupol, and receiving landslide support from the European public in a phone and online vote.
“I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,” he said, referring to the besieged steel plant. Currently, only fighters from the neo-Nazi Azov regiment and some units of the Ukrainian military are believed to be inside the facility. Last week, both Russia and Ukraine said the evacuation of civilians from the sprawling industrial complex was complete.
“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday night, after the final results were announced.
“We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol,” the president added, referring to the Azov Sea port city currently controlled by Russian forces.
Eurovision is meant to be non-political, and contestants can be disqualified or fined for breaking this rule. Russia was excluded from the competition after its military attack on Ukraine, as organizers claimed they sought to keep politics and war out of the contest. However, the Ukrainian band will face no penalties for its statements, the organizers said.
The fact of the matter is, Eurovision is the most political ‘entertainment’ show in Europe, where woke and keeping alive whatever political narrative is going on at the moment is always in the focus.