Eurovision Song Contest 2022: The perfect balance of sequins, loo roll and kindness | News about Ents and Arts

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

The message of the night was one of unity.

And the result, guaranteed by an overwhelming public message and a phone call, showed that it was received loud and clear.

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

“Don’t lose hope for a better tomorrow,” added Estonian singer Stefan, as he finished playing his country ballad Hope.

Many participants sported Ukrainian flags as well as their own.

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Eurovision 2022 highlights

And in a corner of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, where weary but determined soldiers had long quelled a Russian attack, soldiers found time to huddle around a small TV to tune in to the competition 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 colleague Timur Miroshnychenko was forced to switch from his usual comfortable TV studio in Kiev, providing live narration for Ukraine’s state TV from an undisclosed basement.

Ukrainian servicemen watch the Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine perform during the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final, as Russia's assault on Ukraine continues, from its position in the Kiev region, Ukraine May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
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Ukrainian service members watch the Kalush Orchestra perform as Russia’s assault on their position in Kiev continues
Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Palaolimpico arena in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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Kalush Orchestra celebrates its victory

Miroshnychenko explained that his team was forced to move underground “for security reasons” after the TV tower in Kiev, where he worked for Ukraine’s Public Broadcasting Corporation, was hit by Russian forces.

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

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

Spectators react during the grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin
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The concert in Turin was about ‘love, joy, inclusion and no animosity’

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

When it was suggested on Twitter that if Ukraine cannot host it, the UK – which came in second – should offer, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace replied: “One way or another, it will be in Ukraine! “

Their winning act Kalush Orchestra was actually the fruit of a cultural project led by folklore experts and blends traditional folk tunes and contemporary hip-hop to promote Ukrainian culture.

And this has become an even more salient point, as Russia, through its invasion, has falsely sought to claim that Ukraine does not have its own unique culture.

Eurovision Song Contest host Mika performs during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final
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Eurovision presenter Mika performs during the final

Former Bucks Fizz winner Cheryl Baker tweeted: “Wasn’t this the best @Eurovision in years?… It was a show of love, joy, inclusion and no animosity.”

Rest assured, the competition was also its usual mix of camp, kitsch pop and angsty ballads.

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

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

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

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

Marius Bear from Switzerland did a raw version of his track Boys Do Cry with simple lighting, while Frenchmen Alvan and Ahez had fire on stage to perform their track Fulenn.

The team around Norway's Subwoolfer band during the scoring in the Eurovision Song Contest final
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The team around Norway’s Subwoolfer band

Meanwhile, the Subwoolfer from Norway dressed up in his now-infamous yellow wolf outfits while performing a synchronized dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.

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

“It’s a clear reflection of not just his talent, but his unwavering support for his fight for freedom.

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

Sam Ryder of the United Kingdom reacts during the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at the Palaolimpico arena in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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Sam Ryder narrowly missed giving the UK their sixth victory since 1957. Photo: Associated Press

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

But he was ecstatic 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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