Ever since the show opened with an exciting rendition of John Lennon’s song “Give the World a Chance”, “Eurovision-2022” has proved to be the brilliant, glossy antidote that Europe needs.
The message of the night was unity.
And the result, provided with a huge public text and telephone bill, showed that it was accepted loudly and clearly.
Almost every artist expressed solidarity with Ukraine, waving flags and making short statements on stage. “Peace to Ukraine! We love you!” announced the Icelandic Systur after his speech.
“Don’t lose hope for a better tomorrow,” added Estonian singer Stefan, ending his ballad with a hint of country “Hope”.
Many entrants held not only their own but also Ukrainian flags.
And in one corner of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, where weary but determined soldiers have long held back Russian pressure, soldiers have found time to huddle around a small TV set up for a contest and cheer on their compatriots.
Graham Norton, commenting live on BBC One, said: “I find the idea of fans and families coming together in the dark to celebrate music across the continent extremely exciting.”
Norton’s Ukrainian counterpart Timur Miroshnichenko was forced to change his usual comfortable TV studio in Kyiv, providing live coverage of the State Television of Ukraine from an undisclosed basement.
Miroshnichenko explained that his team was forced to go underground “for security reasons” after being hit by Russian forces on a TV tower in Kyiv, where he worked for the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Ukraine.
He said: “You know, war is life. And our soldiers are fighting for our lives. And not only ours, but the lives of the entire civilized world.”
“So, before Eurovision we were told – just do it, just celebrate, just give us this victory.”
The winner of the competition traditionally takes the final next year, but since fierce fighting is still going on in Ukraine, it is still unclear where 2023 will take place.
When Twitter suggested that if Ukraine could not accept it, Britain – which took second place – should offer, Defense Minister Ben Wallace replied: “One way or another it will be in Ukraine!”
His victory in the Kaluga Orchestra was in fact the result of a cultural project led by folklore experts and combines traditional folk melodies and modern hip-hop to promote Ukrainian culture.
And this became an even more noticeable moment, because Russia, through its invasion, falsely tried to claim that Ukraine does not have its own unique culture.
Former winner Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz tweeted, “Wasn’t this the best at Eurovision in recent years? … It was a show of love, joy, inclusion and no hostility.”
Rest assured, the competition was also a familiar mix of camp, kitsch pop and ballads embracing melancholy.
The grand finale opened with an energetic performance with a strobe and projections of a sculpture of David by Michelangelo from the Czech band We Are Domi, who sings Lights Off.
Finnish rock band The Rasmus started the first few performances with a powerful version of Jezabel, ripping off their shirts in the middle of the show.
Armenian representative Rosa Lynn emotionally performed her song Snap on stage with a bed, a lamp and a chair wrapped in a white toilet roll.
Marius the Bear from Switzerland performed in raw performance of his track Boys Do Cry with simple lighting, while Frenchmen Alvan and Ahez lit up the stage to perform their track Fulenn.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Subwoolfer dressed in his now infamous yellow wolf costumes, performing a synchronized dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.
After the contest, in which the UK took second place, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to Ukraine on winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
“It is a vivid reflection not only of your talent, but also of your unwavering support for your struggle for freedom.
“I’m incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and the way he brilliantly represented the UK tonight.”
Sam Ryder nearly joined the likes of Katrina And The Waves and Bucks Fizz to get Britain their sixth victory since 1957.
But he was delighted with the result: “So much gratitude, what an experience,” he said.
The current champions of the Eurovision Song Contest, the Italian rock band Maneskin, also performed during a live show with singer and songwriter Mika, who sang potpourri, which included Grace Kelly and Happy Ending.