Result remains secret, but …: Favorite Ukraine moves into the ESC final

Result remains secret, but …
Favorit Ukraine moves into the ESC final

The Eurovision Song Contest has perhaps never been as political as it was this year, and there are always messages of support for Ukraine. In the first semi-final, the Kalush Orchestra, which was sent from there, confidently reached the final round. Austria’s contribution, on the other hand, fails.

Perfect final: Ukraine cleared the important hurdle in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Turin, Italy. The Kalush Orchestra reached the finals on Saturday with their song “Stefania” along with nine other countries. All in all, singers and musicians from 17 countries competed, only ten made it into the final on Saturday. Since the outbreak of the Russian war of aggression, Ukraine has been traded by bookmakers as the favorite for overall victory. “We are very happy that we qualified,” said rapper Oleh Psjuk in the nightly press conference. “We want to thank everyone who supports Ukraine.”

In the first semi-final, Austria also competed with the DJ-singer duo LUM!X feat. Pia Maria (“Halo”) and Switzerland with Marius Bear and his ballad “Boys Do Cry”. Only Switzerland got ahead. “I’m ready for the final,” said Marius Baer after the show. He felt a lot of hate for his song and there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders, the 29-year-old told journalists in English. However, which country received how many points was not revealed in order not to influence the vote on Saturday in advance. Whoever won the two semi-finals will only be published after the final.

The war events in Ukraine this year have a strong impact on the ESC organized by Italy after the Italian band Måneskin 2021’s victory in Rotterdam this year. Actually, the Grand Prix should mainly be about music. Russia’s entry was excluded from the competition in advance. Belarus isn’t there either. The ESC 2022 was given a stronger political note than usual before it even started.

German contribution is assessed as having no chance

Some included symbols related to the Ukraine war in their performances. A guitarist from the Icelandic band Systur, for example, wore the colors of the Ukrainian flag – blue and yellow – on the back of her hand. “We focused on delivering our message, from people who are suffering, like those in Ukraine,” the band said after the semifinals. A lot of solidarity for Ukraine is expected from the fans. In addition to Kalush Orchestra, the representatives from Italy, Mahmood and Blanco (“Brividi”), who have already been seeded for the final, and Great Britain, Sam Ryder (“Space Man”), are said to have greater chances of winning.

Far behind in the bookmakers’ expectations, the German representative Malik Harris is set for the final with his song “Rockstars”. He is already in the final because the Federal Republic is one of the biggest sponsors of the event. The second semi-final follows on Thursday. Among others, the Finns will perform there with the band The Rasmus (“Jezebel”), who may still be known to some for the 2003 hit “In the Shadows”. Here, too, ten countries made it through, so that on Saturday in the final, 25 out of a total of 40 nations are singing about winning the ESC.