Ukrainian “Eurovision” finalists Kalush Orchestra moved viewers with their poignant rendition of “Stefania” amid war in their country.
Led by rapper Oleh Psiuk, the group – completed by Ihor Didenchuk, Vlad Kurochka, Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk – are favorites to win tonight’s (14.05.22) Grand Final in Turin, Italy.
After being impressed with their performance, which fused rap with folk and featured breakdance, flutes and daring ensembles, they thanked everyone who supports their country amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .
They had received special permission to travel to Italy, as men their age are currently fighting for their country back home.
British commentator Graham Norton said: “We weren’t sure they were going to make it, but they did.
“Their commentator did not survive, he is commenting from an air-raid shelter.”
The band said of the song, which is a tribute to mothers: “We show our roots, and we show how to take something from the past and make it work for the present.
“That’s why we’ve had success at home, and hopefully we can find that kind of reception internationally as well. We’re taking something old and making it modern.”
At the start of the show, when each of the finalists came out on stage, Ukraine drew the biggest cheers from the crowd.