Ukraine has won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. It was a night of yellow wolf masks, Space Men, hearts breaking and confusion over Meghan Markle’s hair but the Kalush Orchestra from the war-torn country eventually walked away with the title.
Ukraine went from 192 to 631 with the public giving them a whopping 439 points for their brillant track Stefania. The UK had been in a commanding lead before the public votes were added. The Orchestra is a Ukrainian hip-hop band that combines ethnic motifs with modern sounds using different folk instruments and was named after the Ukrainian city of Kalush. Set in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, it serves as a mascot that inspires the band to involve different folk elements and authentic Ukrainian music within their songs. Moreover, it is the hometown of band member Oleh Psiuk. “This victory is for every Ukrainian,” the band said on stage.
In second place was UK’s Sam Ryder who came top with 283 points after the jury vote. The UK total went from 283 after the jury vote to 466. During the jury announcements the UK led for the majority with Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and Greece also popular choices for the 12 points. The brilliant points performance was a stark comparison to last year’s nul points after James Newman performed Embers.
Spain’s Chanel went from 231 to 449 getting 228 points from the public. And Sweden went from 258 to a final score of 438 after the audience vote.
Norway and Moldova improved on their jury scores, with the latter getting 239 points. Serbia also jumped with the audience vote, getting 312 by the end. Hosts Italy received 110 points, taking their total to 268.
Sam Ryder’s performance gained a rapturous reception in the Italian venue. Sam co-wrote Space Man with Grammy-winning Wales-based songwriter Amy Wadge and Max Wolfgang. Ahead of the competition Sam said he wanted to bring “positive energy” to the Eurovision Song Contest stage adding that he wanted to bring the same “intention” he shows on the social media platform, which has previously caught the attention of Justin Bieber, Sia, and Alicia Keys, to his performance.