With Sweden winning Eurovision, Russia is bombing the home of Ukraine’s entry – POLITICO

Amidst feathered gowns, smoke machines, self-powered pianos and more LED lights and sequins than you can shake a stick at, a powerful vocal performance, a base and some truly stunning nail art grab Eurovision 2023 for Sweden.

Lauren Zeinab Noura Talhawi, known by the nickname Lauren, gave a wonderful performance of her song “tattooSweden, however, pushed to equal Ireland as the two most successful nations in the history of the colorful competition, with seven victories each.

But in a competition created to bring together European countries with song, glamor and glamor after they were torn apart by World War II, the specter of an all-out Russian invasion of Ukraine hung over the proceedings.

Just minutes before the Ukrainian show Tvorchy reached the Eurovision stage, reports It emerged that Russia had attacked her hometown of Ternopil in western Ukraine, about three hours’ drive from the Polish border. He put a sombre spin on an event known as much for its ornate costumes and ludicrous stage setting as it is for its songwriting and singing.

“Ternopil is the name of our city, which Russia bombed as we sang on the Eurovision stage about our hearts of steel, indomitable and our will,” Tvorchi, the electronic music duo made up of Andrii Hutsuliak and Jeffery Kenny, said in a post on Twitter. Instagram after their performance. This is a message to all the cities of Ukraine that are being bombed every day. Kharkiv, Dnipro, Khmelnitsky, Kiev, Zaporizhia, Uman, Sumy, Poltava, Vennytsia, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Kherson and all the others. Europe, unite against evil for peace! “

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Tvorchi ledIron heartOn the stage she was lit up with a Ukrainian trident, or trizub, in the national colors yellow and blue. The song’s title is a reference to the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where a small group of Ukrainian soldiers held out against a Russian siege for weeks last year in appalling conditions.

The organizers of the annual song contest insist that Eurovision “may in no way be politicized and/or exploited as a vehicle”. Because of this, the European Broadcasting Union banned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from making a speech at the final, citing the need to keep things apolitical. But the acts have long found ways to get around the rules with skewed political statements.

Tvorshi, who ended up sixth in the 2023 competition, was aiming for Ukraine’s second consecutive Eurovision win, after Kalush’s orchestra won last year.

As the defending champions, Ukraine has usually hosted this year’s competition. But amid the ongoing Russian invasion, the organizers turned to 2022 runner-up the United Kingdom to run the competition on behalf of Ukraine. Liverpool, home of the Beatles, was subsequently chosen as the host city; Russia is forbidden to compete.

There were nods to Ukraine’s plight throughout the evening, along with a host of iconic musical contributions from Liverpool and a poignant rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a song synonymous with the city.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, made her second royal veil at Eurovision, wearing a flowing ball gown in a shimmering shade of Ukrainian blue and playing the piano in a star-studded opening act of Kalush Orchestra’s winning song “Stefania. (King Charles III and Queen Camilla appeared in a video sequence in the semi-finals.)

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Lauren performs her song “Tattoo” | Peter Kneffel/Image Coalition via Getty Images

Favorite 67th Eurovision finalist and winner of the Song Contest in 2012, Lauren has become the second artist to claim two coveted accolades, joining Ireland’s Johnny Logan. Fan favorite Finland came in second, while Israel was third.

For the first time, people from non-participating countries can vote in the competition, with the audience voting 50 percent of the overall score, along with the judgments of juries from participating countries, made up of music industry professionals.

Sweden led by 163 points after the jury votes, but Finland, who ranked fourth, jumped to the top of the standings after winning 376 points from the audience. Sweden, the last country to be announced, needed 187 votes to win, and got 243, ensuring a relatively comfortable victory despite the initial scare.

Sweden is best known for winning the competition for the first time in 1974, when the quartet ABBA performed Waterloo, and their most recent win was in 2015.

Norway jumped to the top of the standings after the public vote, finishing in fifth place, while countries such as France, Belgium and Spain failed to build on their strong performances in the jury voting round.

Dressed in national flags, waving glowing sticks and going absolutely crazy, an audience of 7,000 filled M&S Bank Square in Liverpool. Among the crowd favourites, is Finland’s song,”Cha cha cha. “

Twenty-six nations took part in the grand final on Saturday, after two semi-final matches this week saw Ireland, Malta, Azerbaijan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania, Denmark, Georgia, Iceland, San Marino and Greece knocked out.

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The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy, known as the Big Five, qualified for the final automatically as the countries making the largest financial contributions to the organization of the competition via their respective broadcasters. The UK swapped second place in 2022 for second place this year.

Sweden, as the winner, will host next year’s event.

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