Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest
Kalush Orchestra and their song 'Stefania'
From his own mother to 'mother Ukraine'
Founded in 2019
Favorites from the first minute
Oleh Psiuk
Band leader and creator
JamDef recording
Two albums in half a year
Side project
Kalush Orchestra
Live
Costume
A catchy song
Not the first choice
'Vidbir 2022'
Alina Pash was chosen
The trip that changed everything
Withdrawal
A complicated preparation
Commitment to Ukraine
Everybody wants the Kalush Orchestra to win
Jamala, the example
Entertainment
Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(1/23)
Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest

The rap / folk group Kalush Orchestra has won Eurovision for their home country, Ukraine. It was a remarkable edition of the Song Contest, with the Russian invasion in Ukraine on everyone's mind.

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(2/23)
Kalush Orchestra and their song 'Stefania'

"I will always find a way to get back home, even if all roads are destroyed." The lyrics of 'Stefania', the song representing Ukraine in the Eurovision contest, took on new meaning with the war going on.

(Photo: EBU / Sarah Louise Bennett)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(3/23)
From his own mother to 'mother Ukraine'

Written before the Russian attack, the song was a tribute to the mother of Oleh Psiuk, leader of the Kalush Orchestra. Now it is an anthem that marks the country as a mother that's been attacked.

 

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(4/23)
Founded in 2019

This hip hop group created in 2019 has become a Ukrainian symbol. With an overwhelming popular vote, it won Eurovision in 2022. Who are the Kalush Orchestra?

(Photo: EBU / Corinne Cumming)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(5/23)
Favorites from the first minute

Ukraine has been at the top for bookmakers to win the contest since Eurovision entries were known. Solidarity of European voters with the besieged country helped Ukraine win more points than anyone.

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(6/23)
Oleh Psiuk

Oleh Psiuk is the frontman and founder of the group. He always wears his inseparable pink hat.

Photo: Instagram - @kalush.official

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(7/23)
Band leader and creator

Initially, Oleh Psiuk created Kalush (without the 'Orchestra') in 2019. The hip hop group was named after the city where the singer was born.

 

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(8/23)
JamDef recording

International success came quickly and they signed with the legendary label 'Def Jam Recording' (Jay-Z, Beastie Boys...).

Photo: Instagram - @kalush.official

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(9/23)
Two albums in half a year

In February 2021, the band's first album, 'Hotin', arrived. Just five months later, and thanks to rapper Skofka, the second album, 'Yo-Yo', went on sale.

(Photo: EBU / Corinne Cummings)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(10/23)
Side project

Still in a frenetic 2021, the four members of Kalush decided to further embrace their roots with a side project called 'Kalush Orchestra'.

(Photo: EBU / Sarah Louise Bennett)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(11/23)
Kalush Orchestra

With two more members, they began to combine their hip-hop style with elements of Ukrainian folklore. The aim was to perpetuate national cultural elements for future generations.

(Photo: EBU / Andres Putting)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(12/23)
Live

Their new lineup specialized in live shows where the 'Kalush Orchestra' proved to be true titans.

(Photo: EBU / Corinne Cumming)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(13/23)
Costume

Its members take the stage dressed in traditional costumes. In fact, for Eurovision, they wore costumes with a heritage of over a century.

(Photo: EBU / Sarah Louise Bennett)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(14/23)
A catchy song

Although 'Stefania' is sung in Ukrainian, its chorus, rhythm and, above all, the recurring flute riff, are captivating. All of this added to their chances for winning Eurovision.

(Photo: EBU / Andres Putting)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(15/23)
Not the first choice

The most curious thing is that, despite winning Eurovision, the 'Kalush Orchestra' was not the original representative chosen by Ukraine.

(Photo: EBU / Andres Putting)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(16/23)
'Vidbir 2022'

Like many other countries, Ukraine picked its representative for the festival on a television program. The programme 'Vidbir 2022', broadcast in February 2022, had a popular vote and a jury vote. The public chose the Kalush Orchestra, while the professional jury chose the rapper Alina Pash, a contestant from 'X Factor Ukraine.'

Photo: Instagram - @alinapash

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(17/23)
Alina Pash was chosen

The choice of the jury prevailed and Alina Pash was the representative for Ukraine at Eurovision. Oleh Psiuk was so angry about it that he even threatened the Organization with legal action.

Photo: Instagram - @alinapash

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(18/23)
The trip that changed everything

Days later, it was revealed that Alina Pash may have traveled to Crimea, something that is prohibited for most Ukrainian citizens.

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(19/23)
Withdrawal

In the midst of the controversy, the singer chose to withdraw from the contest and leave the place for the Kalush Orchestra. Given the situation in the country, the group did not have an easy preparation for the contest.

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(20/23)
A complicated preparation

The musicians got special permission to leave the country and tour Europe to perform the single and their live show. Among other places, they were at PreParty 2022 held in Madrid (Spain). They even had to rehearse separately, several times.

(Photo: EBU / Corinne Cumming)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(21/23)
Commitment to Ukraine

Now that Eurovision is over, the group returns to Ukraine, where Oleh Psiuk leads 20 volunteers who help compatriots flee the country and distribute medicine to the population.

(Photo: EBU / Andres Putting)

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(22/23)
Everybody wants the Kalush Orchestra to win

Of course, due to their effort and the circumstances, Kalush Orchestra has the support of audiences all over the world.

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Kalush Orchestra, the band that won Eurovision for Ukraine
(23/23)
Jamala, the example

With their victory, they will follow Jamala, the Ukrainian singer who won Eurovision in 2016, with the song '1944'. At the time, that song referred to the year in which the mass deportation of Tatar people in Crimea took place under the Stalinist regime.

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