By Mark Savage
BBC Music Correspondent
Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra has won the Eurovision Song Contest in a symbolic show of public support following the country's invasion by Russia.
The rap-folk band, which received special permission to leave the war-torn country, rose to first place with 631 points.
They ended their performance in Turin with a plea: "Please help Ukraine, help Mariupol, help Azovstal right now."
Sam Ryder finished second for Great Britain, the country's best result since 1998.
A former construction worker, he had been heavily favored over the competition thanks to his soaring power ballad, Space Man, which evoked the classic British pop of Queen and Elton John.
It topped the jury vote, collecting 283 points, but was beaten on the post when public votes were added to the total. (Britain came fifth with the public, with Ukraine scoring the most points).
But his second place reverses a long decline in Britain's Eurovision fortunes. The country has not been in the top 10 since Jade Ewen came fifth in 2009. In both 2019 and 2021, the UK came last.
"This is the tip of an iceberg," he told the BBC afterwards. "The UK will be a force next year. It's going to be crazy."
"This is a red-letter moment," added Graham Norton, who presented the competition on BBC One. "I'm so happy for [Sam], for Britain and for the BBC who have worked so hard to turn our fortunes around."
Spain also enjoyed a dramatic upturn in its fortunes, coming third with the slickly choreographed SloMo.
Performed flawlessly by Cuban-Spanish singer Chanel Terrero, it was the country's first top 10 since 2014.
The top five looked like this:
- Ukraine - Kalush Orchestra: Stefania
- United Kingdom - Sam Ryder: Space Man
- Spain - Chanel: SloMo
- Sweden - Cordelia Jakobs; Hold me closer
- Serbien - Konstrakta: In Corpore Sano
But no one could compete with Ukraine's player, who had been favorites to win for weeks.
Their winning song, Stefania, was originally written as a tribute to frontman Oleh Psiuk's mother, but has been repurposed as a rallying cry for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
A unique combination of old Ukrainian folk tunes and traditional flute with contemporary rap and hip-hop beats, its lyrics about "broken roads" and fields "turning gray" seemed strangely prescient given the devastation facing the country's citizens.
"After it all started with the war and the hostilities, it took on additional significance and many people began to see it as their mother, Ukraine, in the sense of the country," Psiuk said last week. "It has become really close to the hearts of so many people in Ukraine."
Upon receiving the coveted trophy, Psiuk declared: "Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraini."
Speaking backstage, the singer said he hoped Ukraine could stage the competition in 2023.
"I am sure that next year Ukraine will be happy to host Europe in a new, integrated and happy Ukraine."
Russia, meanwhile,was excluded from this year's competition, with organizers saying the country's participation could "bring the competition into disrepute"
Several artists expressed solidarity with Ukraine, waving flags and making short statements on stage. "Peace for Ukraine! We love you!" announced Iceland's Systur after their performance.
"Don't lose your hope for a better tomorrow," Estonian singer Stefan added as he finished playing his country-tinged ballad, Hope.
The show even opened with a rendition of John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance, performed by 1,000 musicians on the streets of Turin, driving home the night's message of unity.
Elsewhere, the competition was its usual mix of wacky, kitsch pop and over-the-top ballads.
Norway's Subwoolfer dressed in yellow wolf costumes for their surreal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, entitled Give That Wolf a Banana.
Konstrakta, representing Serbia, sat at a sink and obsessively washed her hands as she sang In Corpore Sano - a song criticizing the lack of healthcare for artists in her home country, which finished in fifth place.
Sweden's Cordelia Jakobs took fourth place with her painful end-of-the-night pop anthem Hold Me Closer.
Other highlights included Finland's The Rasmus, whose visuals drew inspiration from the horror film It; and Portugal's Saro, whose low-key ballad Saudade, Saudade was a tribute to her late grandfather.
Italy's Mahmood and Blanco, meanwhile, were nearly drowned out by fans as they sang Brividi, a tender song about the need for vulnerability.
Last year's winners Maneskin also returned to the stage to perform their new single Supermodel - despite missing all the dress rehearsals after lead singer Damiano David tore a ligament in his ankle while filming a music video.
The singer was seen hobbling around on crutches backstage, but managed to get through her performance unaided... if largely immobile.
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He also got one of the biggest laughs of the night after being asked to give advice to this year's contestants.
"Have fun and don't get too close to the table," he dead panned, referencing the controversy that arose last year when he was falsely accused of snorting cocaine in the green room.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that French President Macron had attempted to have Maneskin disqualified from the competition as a result of the incident.
The singer denied the allegations and subsequently passed a voluntary drug test.
Hosts Laura Pausini and Mika also performed medleys of their hits; and Italy's first Eurovision winner Gigliola Cinquetti gave a moving rendition of her 1964 winning song, No Ho L'Eta.
During the competition, the European Broadcasting Union announced that there had been irregular voting from six countries during the second Eurovision semi-final on Thursday night.
As a result, votes from countries including Azerbaijan and Georgia were read out by the EBU's executive responsible for the competition, Martin Österdahl, instead of their jury.
The EBU did not say whether the voting irregularities had affected the outcome of the semi-final, which saw Ireland eliminated from the competition.
Who will host Eurovision 2023?
Ukraine's victory raises the question of who will host next year's Eurovision ceremony.
The winning country usually stages the show, but Ukraine is unlikely to have that ability after its state broadcaster, UA:PBC, was targeted in the opening days of the war.
When a country is unwilling or unable to run the show, another broadcaster usually steps in... most recently in 1980 when the Netherlands took over after Israel, which declined to host the competition after winning two years in drag.
In a statement on Saturday night, organizers the EBU said no decision had been made for 2023.
"Obviously, there are unique challenges involved in hosting next year's competition. However, as in any other year, we look forward to discussing all the demands and responsibilities involved in hosting the competition with UA:PBC and all other stakeholders to ensure we have the most appropriate setup for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest."
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised that he would organize the contest if it was even possible: "We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!"
- Melodi Grand Prix
Eurovision 2022: Song Contest in pictures
(Video) "It's a Ukrainian party", – @OfficialSamRyder about Eurovision-2023 #shorts
15. maj 2022
Eurovision 2022: Highlights from Ukraine's winning night
15. maj 2022
Eurovision Final: How It Happened
14. maj 2022
Eurovision win brings 'incredible happiness' to Ukraine
(Video) Sam Ryder - Fought & Lost (Official Lyric Video)
15. maj 2022
The United Kingdom placed second in the final, behind eventual winners Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine. Ryder received a total of 466 points, finishing in first place with the juries and fifth place with the public: 183 points from the televoting and 283 points from the juries.Who came 2nd and 3rd in Eurovision 2022? ›
Thank you for subscribing! It was Ukraine that came out on top in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, with Essex's Sam Ryder placing in 2nd place. The result marks the best result for the UK since way back in 1998.What song came 2nd place in Eurovision 2022? ›
Lyrics. United Kingdom finished 2nd at Eurovision 2022 with 466 points.How did the UK come 2nd in Eurovision? ›
Ultimately, while Sweden scored a historic victory with Loreen winning for a second time, the UK came second from the bottom of the board with a measly 24 points.What did Sam Ryder say at the end of his Eurovision performance? ›
Showing his welcoming personality, Ryder ended his performance by boldly shouting 'shine brightly my friends- thank you all'. Graham Norton then shortly followed up by commentating ''A powerhouse performance''.Who gave Ukraine 12 points? ›
|12 points||Australia Austria Azerbaijan Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Latvia Lithuania Moldova Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal San Marino Spain Sweden United Kingdom|
The United Kingdom has won the Eurovision Song Contest five times, and has finished as runner-up on a record sixteen occasions.Who finished 2nd in Eurovision? ›
Sweden took the top spot at Eurovision 2023 with Finland in second. Saturday night saw the Grand Final of Eurovision 2023 take place in Liverpool.Why did Ukraine win Eurovision? ›
It is very likely that Ukraine did win because of the Russian invasion — but it will be neither the first nor the last time that Eurovision expresses politics through the medium of a song contest.
Eurovision 2023 will be hosted by United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine Officials approached the U.K., this year's runner-up, after concluding that Russia's war makes Ukraine unfit to hold the competition.Why is Australia in Eurovision? ›
Australia joined Eurovision in 2015 to commemorate the competition's 60th anniversary. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Austrian host broadcaster ORF allowed this given Eurovision's popularity in the country.Why is Israel in Eurovision? ›
While many often think that a country needs to be part of Europe to take part in Eurovision, that is not the case. Israel has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since 1973 as the country has been represented by a national broadcaster which is part of the European Broadcasting Union since 1957.What was the crazy song in Eurovision 2022? ›
Subwoolfer, “Give That Wolf a Banana” (Norway, 2022)
Never underestimate the legends of Eurovision when it comes to party-starting playlists and Halloween-costume inspiration.
To date, the UK has won the Eurovision Song Contest 5 times. The UK has also finished second a record 16 times and also has the record for the longest-running string of Top 5 placings.Why does UK get through to Eurovision? ›
This is because the UK is one of the big five that automatically qualified to the grand final. The UK automatically progress to the grand final alongside France, Germany, Italy and Spain.Who made Sam Ryder Eurovision jumpsuit? ›
Luke Day was the stylist behind the monochrome jumpsuit which features symbols of the sun, moon, planets and stars. Inspiration was taken from artists such as Bowie and Elvis as well as Sam's own love of astronomy and astrology.Who is said to be the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner? ›
ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974 and has enjoyed phenomenal success ever since, despite officially splitting up in 1983.Who is the only performer to win the Eurovision Song Contest more than once and what country are they from? ›
The countries with the highest number of wins are Ireland and Sweden with seven wins each. Two people have won more than once as a performer: Ireland's Johnny Logan, who performed "What's Another Year" in 1980 and "Hold Me Now" in 1987, and Sweden's Loreen, who performed "Euphoria" in 2012 and "Tattoo" in 2023.
While the U.S. has sent the most aid in total dollars, Ukraine's neighbors are contributing the most on a per GDP basis.Who is the biggest donor to the Ukraine war? ›
In total aid (military, financial and humanitarian combined), the European Union and its countries have provided the most to Ukraine, according to Kiel Institute, whereas the United States has by far provided the most in military aid.Who helped Ukraine the most? ›
When considering bilateral aid in terms of a percentage of GDP, several European countries come out ahead of the United States. Currently at the top are Latvia (1.2 percent), Estonia (1.1 percent) and Lithuania (0.9 percent) as the most generous donors.
The "Curse of Number Two" is one of the most famous phenomenons to occur at the Eurovision Song Contest. It is called that because no country that has performed out of the second spot in the running order of the final has ever won the contest at all.Which country has never won Eurovision the most? ›
Malta is not the only country to have never won the Eurovision contest, but it takes the cake for spending the most amount of years without a win.Who is the most successful Eurovision country? ›
As the following chart shows, Ireland holds the title for the most Eurovision wins of all time. According to the competition's official website, the Emerald Isle has won the event on seven separate occasions and is the only nation to have won three years in a row.Can a singer go to Eurovision twice? ›
A longer list of artists have notched up three Eurovision appearances, among them Sweden's Carola – who won the contest in Rome in 1991, also appearing in 1983 and 2006 – and Malta's Chiara, whose best result saw her finish second in Kyiv in 2005.Who came 3rd in Eurovision? ›
Sweden won the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool early Sunday morning, with Israel's Noa Kirel finishing in third place.Can the same person enter Eurovision twice? ›
The short answer is yes - there is no limit to the number of times an act can represent their country at Eurovision. And many have gone back for another go - although with varying degrees of success. Although there are too many repeat performers to list them all here, some are more notable than others.Why was Ukraine disqualified from Eurovision? ›
Alina Pash, winner of the Ukrainian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, withdrew her candidacy after allegations that she entered Crimea in contravention of Ukrainian laws.
To no one's surprise, the public vote overwhelmingly favored Ukraine, with may be a record 439 points. Thus, Kalush Orchestra was declared the 2022 winner with 631 total points.How likely are Ukraine to win Eurovision? ›
Ukraine's Eurovision 2023 odds are 15/2 which gives the country an 11.8% chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest going by the implied probability of those odds. These shorts odds make Ukraine the third favourite for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.Who will host Eurovision if Ukraine can't? ›
Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC said: "It is symbolic that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Liverpool, a twin city of Odesa.How did Ukraine vote in Eurovision? ›
A total of 505,536 votes were received, and the top three of the voting were revealed to be: Taras Topolya (88,023 votes), Jamala (79,399 votes) and Julia Sanina (79,346 votes). The three were confirmed as jury members on 16 December 2022.Will Ukraine participate in Eurovision 2023? ›
Last year's winner Ukraine could not host it, so the final of the world's biggest music competition is being held on Saturday in the United Kingdom. Twenty-six countries will compete and, for the first time, 'the rest of the world' will take part in the vote.Why is USA not in Eurovision? ›
The obvious answer is that America isn't in Europe. But many nations outside of the continent take part. To participate, a country must have a broadcaster that is operating within Europe as part of the EBU.Why did Morocco leave Eurovision? ›
The reasons behind the withdrawal were not explicitly given, but there are a few possible explanations. One factor could be the low placement of Morocco's entry, which could have been perceived as a lack of interest or support from the international Eurovision community.Who is favorite Eurovision to win? ›
According to Betfair, the latest Eurovision odds as of May 12, in order of most likely to win, are: Sweden (4/9) Finland (9/4) Ukraine (12/1)What is the biggest selling Eurovision song of all time? ›
The record-winning total still stands to this day in the contest. The song 'Save Your Kisses For Me' was the biggest-selling Eurovision song of all time selling a phenomenal five million records worldwide, topping the charts in 33 countries.What is the best Eurovision winning song of all time? ›
1: ABBA: Waterloo (Sweden, 1974)
It is also consistently voted the top Eurovision song of all time – and for good reason. Eurovision Song Contest would not be what it is today without ABBA; and ABBA might not be a household name if it weren't for their 1974 win.
TRT announced that it would not participate in the 2013 contest on 14 December 2012, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition. TRT specifically cited changes to the voting system, in which a jury was introduced and the televote's influence was decreased to 50%.Can non European countries join Eurovision? ›
Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel, Cyprus, and Armenia, in Western Asia, since 1973, 1981 and 2006 respectively; Morocco, in North Africa, in the 1980 competition alone; and Australia making a debut in the 2015 contest.Why is Azerbaijan in Eurovision? ›
Azerbaijan has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 15 times since making its debut in 2008, after İctimai Televiziya (İTV) became an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). İTV had broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in previous years, purchasing broadcasting rights from the EBU.Who did Celine Dion represent at Eurovision? ›
The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest is best remembered for one most exciting voting sequences in the history of the contest. Switzerland's entry Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi performed by Céline Dion beat the runner-up, the United Kingdom's Scott Fitzgerald by just a single point.Who is the big girl in Eurovision? ›
Barzilai was born and raised in Hod HaSharon, Israel, to Israeli-born parents. Her mother's family is of both Sephardi Jewish and Mizrahi Jewish (Moroccan-Jewish and Libyan-Jewish) descent, whereas her father's family is of Ashkenazi Jewish (Polish-Jewish) descent. She has two brothers.What is the secret history of the Eurovision Song Contest? ›
The Secret History of Eurovision is a television documentary produced by Brook Lapping Productions and Electric Pictures in association with Screen Australia, charting the history of the Eurovision Song Contest and its impact on European political and social structure.How did britain get on in eurovision 2022? ›
Sam received a whopping 466 points, making him the highest-scoring UK Eurovision entrant. The singer won the jury vote, with 283 points from the juries and 183 points from public votes. He achieved the UK's best result since 1998, and its first top three placement since 2002.How was UK Eurovision Song chosen 2022? ›
In September 2019, the You Decide format was dropped in favour of a return to the internal selection method, in which BBC Studios partners with a music company (BMG in 2020 and 2021, and TaP since 2022) to select and produce its entry.How did the UK go in the Eurovision? ›
We did not qualify the year after - but we got 12th place in 2021 and ninth place in 2022. "We've had our ups and downs, and so will every other country." And that's the message Mae and the team behind the BBC's Eurovision bid will need to bear in mind today.Why doesn t britain have to qualify for Eurovision? ›
United Kingdom and the "Big Five"
In 1999, a rule change allowed the United Kingdom, along with France, Germany and Spain, to automatically qualify for the final (irrespective of their recent scores and without entering a semi-final), due to being the biggest financial contributors to the EBU.
Why does the UK automatically get to the final of Eurovision? The UK is one of the “big five” entrants who automatically qualify for the grand final due to making the biggest financial contributions towards the organisation of the contest.How did Sam Ryder get picked for Eurovision? ›
Ryder wrote "Space Man" during the pandemic, and in January 2022, the song was sent to TaP Music and the BBC. In the same month, he accepted their offer to represent the country in the contest. On 10 March 2022, he was announced as the UK representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 with "Space Man".Who did UK give 12 points to? ›
The UK jury has awarded its “douze points”, 12 points, to Loreen from Sweden, with Catherine Tate reading the result from inside the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. At the end of the jury vote results, Loreen led with 340 with Israel's Noa Kirel in second with 177 and Italy's Marco Mengoni close behind in third with 176.What country has won Eurovision the most? ›
The countries with the highest number of wins are Ireland and Sweden with seven wins each. Two people have won more than once as a performer: Ireland's Johnny Logan, who performed "What's Another Year" in 1980 and "Hold Me Now" in 1987, and Sweden's Loreen, who performed "Euphoria" in 2012 and "Tattoo" in 2023.Can England vote in Eurovision? ›
Eurovision Song Contest 2022
2. Voting is by telephone only. Voters in the UK can choose either to call from their landline using the long (11-digit) number for the country of their choice or from their mobile phones using the shortcode (7-digit) number for the country of their choice.
The record-winning total still stands to this day in the contest. The song 'Save Your Kisses For Me' was the biggest-selling Eurovision song of all time selling a phenomenal five million records worldwide, topping the charts in 33 countries.Can a country win Eurovision twice? ›
Luxembourg became the first country in the history of the competition to win the contest twice in a row. The winning performer, Anne-Marie David, tried her luck again in 1979 when she competed for France and came third.Has the same country won twice in a row in Eurovision? ›
As of 2021, there have been four countries that have won Eurovision twice in a row. They are: Ireland, who won in 199.