Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrates onstage, together with presenters Alessandro Cattelan, Laura Pausini, and Mika, after winning the 66th annual Eurovision Song Contest (ESC 2022) in Turin, Italy, on Saturday. Photo by Alessandro Di Marco/EPA-EFE
May 14 (UPI) — World leaders have congratulated Ukraine for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, the third time the country has won beloved international competition.
The Kalush Orchestra, a folk-rap group from Ukraine, won the contest’s Grand Final with the song “Stefania” as the performance was broadcast live from Turin, Italy.
“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now,” lead singer Oleh Psiuk shouted from the stage after the performance, according to The Guardian.
Ukraine’s win has raised questions about where the song contest will be hosted next year, as the winning country normally takes that honor.
The European Broadcasting Union, which owns and operates Eurovision, said in a statement that it would discuss “all the requirements and responsibilities involved in hosting the competition” with Ukraine’s public broadcaster and other stakeholders.
“Obviously, there are unique challenges involved in hosting next year’s competition,” the statement reads.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated the group and said he was “incredibly proud” of Britain’s Sam Ryder for the singer-writer’s second-place finish for his song “Space Man.”
“Congratulations to Ukraine for winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022,” Johnson tweeted. “It is a clear reflection of not just your talent, but of the unwavering support for your fight for freedom.”
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said in a statement that the Kalush Orchestra’s song “won our heart.”
“We are celebrating your victory all over the world,” she said. “The EU is with you.”