Eurovision Song Contest 2022: The perfect balance of glitz, toilet roll and cuteness | Ents & Arts News

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From the moment the show opened with a moving rendition of John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance, Eurovision 2022 proved to be exactly the twinkling, shining antidote Europe needed.

The message of the night was unity.

And the outcome, secured by an overwhelming public text and phone call, showed it was received loud and clear.

Almost all of the performers expressed their solidarity with Ukraine, waving flags and making brief statements on stage. “Peace for Ukraine! We love you!” Systur from Iceland announced after their performance.

“Don’t give up hope for a better future,” added Estonian singer Stefan, as he finished playing his country-tinged ballad, Hope.

Many participants displayed Ukrainian flags as well as their own.

Picture:
Ukrainian servicemen watch the performance of the Kalush Orchestra, as Russia’s attack on their position in Kyiv continues
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And in a corner of the Ukrainian capital kyiv, where tired but determined soldiers had long held off a Russian attack, soldiers found time to huddle around a small television to watch the contest and cheer on their compatriots.

Graham Norton, commenting live on BBC One, said: “I find the idea of ​​fans and families coming together during dark times to celebrate music across the continent extremely moving.”

Norton’s Ukrainian counterpart, Timur Miroshnychenko, was forced to swap his usual cozy TV studio to Kyiv, providing live voice-over to Ukrainian state television from an undisclosed basement.

Miroshnychenko said his team was forced into hiding “for security reasons” after the kyiv TV tower, where he worked for the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Ukraine, was hit by Russian forces.

He said, “You know, war is life. And our soldiers are fighting for our lives. And not just ours, but for the lives of all civilized people.

“So they told us before Eurovision – do it, celebrate, give us this win.”

The winner of the contest traditionally hosts the following year’s final, but with fierce fighting still going on in Ukraine, it’s unclear where the 2023s will take place.

When it was suggested on Twitter that if Ukraine can’t host it, the UK – which came in second – should offer to do so, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace replied: “D one way or another it will be in Ukraine!”

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra celebrates after winning the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico Arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Picture:
Kalush Orchestra celebrates its historic victory. Photo: Associated Press

Its winning act Kalush Orchestra was actually born out of a cultural project led by folklore experts and mixes traditional folk melodies and contemporary hip-hop to promote Ukrainian culture.

And this became an even more salient point as Russia, through its invasion, sought to falsely assert that Ukraine did not have its own unique culture.

Former Bucks Fizz winner Cheryl Baker tweeted: “Wasn’t this the best @Eurovision in years?… It was a show of love, joy, inclusivity and lack of animosity.”

Rest assured, the competition was also its usual mix of camp, kitschy pop and nerve-wracking ballads.

The grand finale opened with an energetic performance with strobe lighting and projections of David’s sculpture by Michelangelo of We Are Domi from the Czech Republic singing Lights Off.

Finnish rock band The Rasmus kicked off the first performances with a powerful version of Jezebel, ripping their shirts off mid-show.

Armenia’s representative Rosa Linn gave a moving performance with her song Snap on a stage with a bed, lamp and chair seemingly wrapped in white toilet paper.

Rosa Linn of Armenia performs during the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final in Turin, Italy May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Picture:
Rosa Linn with her bed and chair wrapped in toilet paper

Marius Bear from Switzerland delivered a raw rendition of his track Boys Do Cry with simple lighting while Frenchmen Alvan and Ahez fired up the stage to perform their track Fulenn.

Meanwhile, Subwoofer from Norway dressed up in their now infamous yellow wolf costumes while performing a synchronized dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.

Following the contest, which saw the UK come second, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Congratulations Ukraine on winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

“It’s a clear reflection not only of your talent, but also of your unwavering support for your fight for freedom.

“Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how brilliantly he represented the UK tonight.”

Britain's Sam Ryder reacts during the Eurovision Song Contest grand final at the Palaolimpico arena, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Picture:
Sam Ryder narrowly missed giving Britain their sixth victory since 1957. Photo: Associated Press

Sam Ryder narrowly missed joining Katrina And The Waves and Bucks Fizz to give the UK their sixth win since 1957.

But he was delighted with the result: “There’s so much gratitude, what an experience,” he said.

Reigning Eurovision Song Contest champions Italian rock band Maneskin also performed during the live show, alongside singer-songwriter Mika who sang a medley that included Grace Kelly and Happy Ending.

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