Kalush Orchestra to return to Ukraine after Song Contest victory

Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra are making ready to return to Ukraine after storming to victory on the contest in Turin on Saturday night time.

The folk-rap band picked up the trophy for his or her tune “Stefania” in a vastly symbolic win for the nation, which has confronted weeks of destruction and fierce combating after Russia launched an invasion.

Frontman Oleh Psiuk and fellow band members got particular permission to depart Ukraine to journey to the competition as most Ukrainian males aged 18 to 60 should not allowed to depart the nation in case they’re referred to as to struggle.

However, they have to return to Ukraine by Monday, with Psiuk telling i that he might need to “take part in the combat and taking up of arms” within the days after the efficiency.

Members of Kalush Orchestra pose onstage with the winner’s trophy and Ukraine’s flags after their victory (Photo by Marco Bertorello/Getty)

Speaking at a press convention following their victory on Saturday, Psiuk mentioned: “We have a temporary authorisation to be here and it ends in two days. And exactly in two days we are going to back in Ukraine.

“It’s hard to say what exactly I’m going to do, because it’s the first time I have won the Eurovision Song Contest, but anyway like every Ukrainian we are ready to fight as much as we can and go until the end.”

The singer is because of flip 28 on Monday however won’t get an opportunity to spend his birthday together with his mom, who the group’s profitable tune is known as after, as he will likely be in transit again to Ukraine, he advised the media.

“On the 16th of May I’m going to be travelling, first by flight, then by car and bus, but the next day after it I will definitely spend time with my mother, my girlfriend, my family, the people who are closest to me,” he mentioned.

While he had not had an opportunity to talk to his mom but, he mentioned she had texted him in regards to the consequence. “She’s really proud of me and she’s really happy,” he mentioned.

Stefania was initially written as a tribute to the singer’s mom, however for the reason that conflict, its lyrics have taken on a brand new wider which means, with strains corresponding to: “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed.”

While on stage, the group gave an impassioned plea to assist the fighters nonetheless trapped in Mariupol’s Azovstal metal plant.

​​The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the competition, mentioned no motion could be taken towards the group for utilizing the stage to make an announcement, deeming it to have been “humanitarian rather than political in nature”.

Speaking on the press convention, Psiuk mentioned he had been ready to pay the value of disqualification for his phrases because it was so vital to lift consciousness of what was occurring in his nation.

He additionally spoke of the stress main as much as the competitors, because the band have been unable to get collectively to rehearse in individual in Ukraine and will solely follow on-line.

Only after arriving in Turin may they start rehearsing collectively, with Psiuk saying they “worked all the time” to get make their efficiency pretty much as good as doable.

He thanked the displaced Ukrainians and everybody else around the globe who voted for them and “helped us bring this victory to Ukraine”.

“The victory is very important for Ukraine, especially this year, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” he mentioned.

“Lately, the Ukrainian culture has been attacked, and we are here to prove Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian music are alive, and they have their own very special and very beautiful signature,” he added.

For subsequent yr’s competitors, Ukraine “will be happy to host Europe in the new integrated and happy Ukraine”, he mentioned.

Ukrainain President Volodymyr Zelensky echoed his phrases in a congratulatory message to the group, saying: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!

“We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt! I am sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off.”

Russia was banned from coming into this yr’s contest following a U-turn by the European Broadcasting Union, which had initially mentioned it will not bar the nation resulting from its apolitical stance.

In his interview with i, Psuik mentioned: “I think this is the right decision, because in this way the world is showing to the citizens of Russia that the whole world has turned its back to them and something is wrong.”

The UK got here second place within the contest, with Sam Ryder bringing dwelling the very best lead to years together with his tune “Space Man”.

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