Ukraine wins Eurovision, UK finishes second

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Stefania by folk rap group Kalush Orchestra.

The act has been a pioneer since Putin’s invasion earlier this year, with organizers also banning Russia from competing.

Ukraine joined the contest in 2003 and its three wins make it one of the most successful of the newest competing countries, having also triumphed in 2004 and 2016.

The UK topped the vote for most of Saturday night’s results after Sam Ryder’s performance of Space Man topped the jury vote.

However, the public overwhelmingly supported Ukraine, finishing with 631 points on the leaderboard, with the UK coming in second with 466 points.

It was the UK’s best performance on Song Content in over 20 years and proved to be a remarkable reversal of fortunes after last year’s dreaded null points.

After the victory, the Kalush Orchestra said: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for all Ukrainians. Slava Ukraine.”

During their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, the group was dressed in elaborate attire, including long sets of multicolored fringes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe!

“Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And I believe – not for the last time.

“We will do our best to one day welcome Eurovision participants and guests to Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt.”

He added: “Thanks for the victory to @Kalush.official and all those who cast their votes for us!

“I am sure that our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is coming.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Ukraine’s victory “a clear reflection not only of his talent, but of his unwavering support for his fight for freedom”.

He also extended congratulations to the UK runner-up in the competition, tweeting: “Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how brilliantly he represented the UK tonight.”

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