Eurovision Song Contest – Upset, Voting Question + Wolf Bananas
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 is in the books, with Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra winning the top prize for their song ‘Stefania’, edging out UK’s Sam Ryder after public voting pushed them ahead of the singer “Spaceman” who led after the national jury votes.
This year’s edition took place in Turin, Italy, after Maneskin secured the country as host by winning the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Controversy surrounded this year’s competition even before it started as Russia were not allowed to compete due to the ongoing war with Ukraine. But according to the BBC, there was almost a Russian presence as Russian hacker group Killnet aimed for the first semi-final as well as Saturday’s grand final in an attempt to sway the vote. However, Italian police said their cybersecurity division was able to block the attack.
Eurovision organizers have also reported “irregular voting patterns” among juries from six countries, meaning that jury scores in the second semi-final and grand final were replaced with a “result replacement aggregate” calculated by the organisers. More details were not revealed.
As has been the case for many years, the Eurovision Song Contest offered performances ranging from the stellar (Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine and Sam Ryder from the UK) to the supremely bizarre (Subwoofer from Norway).
Subwoofer, a participant from Norway, definitely caught viewers’ attention with his song “Give That Wolf a Banana”, with the musicians on stage wearing wolf costumes and lines as bizarre as “See where you’re going, but I don’t “I don’t know where you’ve been / Is saliva or blood dripping from your chin / If you don’t like the name Keith, I’ll call you Jim” over beats electro, before diving into the lyrics about giving a wolf a banana before he eats their grandmother.The performance even won praise this week Last week tonight with John Oliver on HBO.
Subwoofer, “Give That Wolf a Banana”
But while Subwoofer generated its share of buzz, the competition was between Britain’s Sam Ryder and Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra. Ryder, who toured as a guitarist and sang for Blessed By a Broken Heart and later fronted rock band Close Your Eyes, put his upper register to the test, showing off his rock vocal chops with the soaring song “Spacemen”.
Ryder found a second shot at fame during the pandemic by becoming one of the most popular artists on TikTok, and he used the song he co-wrote with Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran) and Max Wolfgang to sing in competition.
Sam Ryder, “the space man”
After the initial all-country judging count, Ryder sat atop the leaderboard and looked like he had a pretty solid chance of winning it all. But the votes remained close enough that the public vote ultimately decides who will win the title for 2022.
This is where Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra catapulted past Ryder to claim the title with their song “Stefania”, which began with a prominent vocal harmonization leading to a moment of applause for the audience, before ending. transform into a rap-infused banger. The song was meant as a tribute to band member Oleh’s mother, who first heard it when she saw her son’s band perform in the Eurovision pre-selection process ahead of the competition.
The victory was celebrated on social media by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who wrote: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! “, before adding:” Next year, Ukraine will host Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And, I believe, not the last. We will do our best to welcome Eurovision participants and guests to Ukrainian Mariupol one day. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!”
Kalush Orchestra, “Stefania”
Although Ryder finished second in what was one of the best results for the UK in years, he was still beaming after the results were announced, telling BBC News“The whole team stood with such credit and positivity, to be in that room and witness this tangible energy of light was amazing.”