Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra open Eurovision with emotive rendition of 2022 winning song
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra opened this year’s Eurovision song contest with an emotive rendition of their 2022 winning song, ‘Stefania’.
This year’s instalment of the concert is taking take place in Liverpool, following the ongoing political conflict taking place in Ukraine.
The opening also saw the band joined by musicians and famous figures from afar. It cut to clips featuring the UK’s 2022 Eurovision runner up, Sam Ryder, playing guitar on the song from on top of Liverpool’s Liver Building.
Other contributions via video included ones from Joss Stone, Miss Banks, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Princess of Wales, who played piano on the song.
Check out footage of the moment below:
Opening #Eurovision2023 exactly as it should be done… GO ON KALUSH ORCHESTRA! 👏 pic.twitter.com/5mUeAGY9BI
— BBC Eurovision (@bbceurovision) May 13, 2023
A #Eurovision surprise 🎹
A pleasure to join Kalush Orchestra in a special performance of last year’s winning @eurovision entry.
Enjoy the show, Liverpool pic.twitter.com/y4WDuWvOvb
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) May 13, 2023
Kalush Orchestra returning to the #Eurovision stage after their triumphant win last year 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/ROQeubiWaF
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 13, 2023
President Zelensky of Ukraine has not been permitted to make a speech or address viewers at the final.
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The reason is because the organising committee of the annual song contest wish to retain the programme’s non-political basis, and “strict rules” prohibit such statements from being made using Eurovision as the platform.
“The Eurovision Song Contest is an international entertainment show and governed by strict rules and principles which have been established since its creation,” read a statement from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers behind Eurovision (via the Independent).
It continued: “As part of these, one of the cornerstones of the contest is the non-political nature of the event. This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements as part of the contest.”
Following the ongoing conflict between the two countries, Russia has been banned from the song contest since 2022. As a result, countries including Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro have since withdrawn themselves from the competition.
Meanwhile, Sweden is currently favourite to win with Loreen’s song ‘Tattoo’, which has odds listed as 4/9 on bet365. If she were to win, she would become the first ever woman to win Eurovision twice, following her victory in 2012 with the track ‘Euphoria’. Hot on her heels and listed as the second most likely to take the crown for the 2023 instalment is Finland
Represented by Käärijä with the song ‘Cha Cha Cha’, Finland remains second place in the final odds, coming in at 5/2 according to bet365. Ukraine follows up and remains with an 8/1 chance, while France is at 14/1, Israel and Spain are on par for the fourth spot – all listed as 14/1.
Representing the UK this year is 25-year-old Mae Muller, who will be making a bid for the victory with her track ‘I Wrote A Song’. As per bet365, she currently stands in in the top ten, with odds of 40/1.
Keep checking back on nme.com for more Eurovision updates