Eurovision 2022 was the shining, shiny antidote Europe needed, right from the moment it opened with John Lennon’s moving rendition of Give Peace a Chance.
Unity was the message of the night.
The result was a massive public text and phone-in that showed that this message had been heard loud and clear.
Nearly all the artists expressed solidarity with Ukraine by waving flags or making short statements on stage. “Peace for Ukraine!” We love you!” Systur, Iceland announced after their performance.
As he was about to finish his country-infused ballad Hope, Stefan said, “Don’t lose hope for a better Tomorrow.”
Many of the entrants carried Ukrainian flags along with their own.
In one corner of Kyiv, Ukrainian capital, soldiers found the time to gather around a small TV and tune in to the contest to cheer on their fellow Ukrainians.
Graham Norton commented live on BBC One: “I find it extremely moving that fans and families come together in dark times to celebrate music across Europe.”
Norton’s Ukrainian counterpart Timur Miroshnychenko had to leave his TV studio in Kyiv and provide a voiceover for Ukraine State TV from an undisclosed basement.
Miroshnychenko said that his team was forced to go underground after the attack on the TV tower in Kyiv by the Russians. He worked for the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Ukraine.
He stated, “You know, war is about life. Our soldiers fight for our lives. Not just our lives, but all civilized world’s.
“So, they said it before Eurovision – do it, celebrate, give us that win.”
The contest winner hosts the final year’s event. However, with the ongoing fighting in Ukraine it is not clear where the 2023 event will take place.
Twitter suggested that the UK, which was second, should host the event if Ukraine is unable to host it. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace responded: “One way or another it will be in Ukraine!”
The Kalush Orchestra, the winner, was born out of a cultural project by folklore specialists. It mixes traditional folk songs with contemporary hip-hop to promote Ukrainian culture.
This is especially true since Russia invaded Ukraine and tried to claim that Ukraine doesn’t have a unique culture.
Cheryl Baker (Bucks Fizz) was the former winner. She tweeted: “Wasn’t this be the best @Eurovision for years ?….It is a show that loves, joy, inclusion and has no animosity.”
You can rest assured that the competition featured its usual mix camp, kitsch, and angst-ridden songs.
The grand finale opened with a lively performance that featured strobe lighting, projections of the sculpture David by Michelangelo and Lights Off.
The Rasmus, Finland’s rock band, kicked off the performances with a powerful rendition of Jezebel. They ripped their shirts off midshow.
Rosa Linn, Armenia’s representative gave an emotional performance of Snap on a stage that featured a bed, lamp, and chair wrapped in white toilet paper.
Marius Bear, a Swiss singer, performed a raw version of Boys Do Cry. He was accompanied by simple lighting and France’s Alvan & Ahez lit the stage for their song Fulenn.
Norway’s Subwoolfer, dressed in yellow wolf costumes, performed synchronised dance numbers and sang Give That Wolf A Banana.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, tweeted that the contest saw the UK place second.
It is not only a reflection of your talent but also of your unwavering support in your fight for freedom.
“Incredibly proud to @SamRyderMusic for how brilliantly he represented the UK tonight.”
Sam Ryder missed out on joining Katrina And The Waves or Bucks Fizz, giving the UK its sixth win in a row since 1957.
He was nevertheless thrilled about the outcome: “There is so many gratitude, what a experience,” he stated.
The Eurovision Song Contest champs, Maneskin from Italy, performed live alongside Mika, a singer-songwriter who sang a medley that included Grace Kelly, Happy Ending, and more.