Ukrainian folk-rap band Kalush Orchestra performed an emotional performance of their song Stefania in the grand final of Eurovision tonight.

The Ukrainian is the favorite to win, he has been the favorite since the Russian invasion, which forced the organizers to ban the country and Belarus from participating in the competition.

The band was dressed in sophisticated outfits, including long multicolored ensembles with fringe, a pink bucket hat and others in traditional patterns.

They are one of 25 artists vying for the top prize after a week-long competition in Turin, Italy. Their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, was enjoyed by an audience of 7,000 at the Pala Olimpico, which cheered the group with many waving Ukrainian flags.

At the end of the performance, which included a break-dance, the band thanked everyone for their support of Ukraine.

The song “Stefania” was written as a tribute to the memory of the frontman’s mother, but after the Russian invasion on February 24 became the anthem of the war-torn nation.

The text “I will always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed”, written by frontman Oleg Psuk, acquired a special meaning after the invasion.

The men’s group, consisting of six people, received a special permit to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture at a music competition. One of the original entrants remained to fight, and the rest plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

Members of the band “Kalush Orchestra” represent Ukraine in the final of Eurovision-2022

The stage is illuminated by the colors of the flag of Ukraine, when the Kaluga Orchestra of Ukraine performs live during the grand finale of the 66th Song Contest

The stage is illuminated by the colors of the Ukrainian flag when the Kaluga Orchestra of Ukraine performs live during the grand finale of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.

The Kalush orchestra from Ukraine, sung by Stefania, performs during the Grand Final of Eurovision at the Palaolimpico Arena in Turin

The Kalush orchestra from Ukraine, sung by Stefania, performs during the Grand Final of Eurovision at the Palaolimpico Arena in Turin

Band members "Kaluga Orchestra"Oleg Psyuk, Timofey Muzychuk, Igor Didenchuk, Vitaly Duzhik, Alexander Slobodyanik and Vlad Kurochko, representing Ukraine

Members of the Kalush Orchestra Oleg Psyuk, Timofey Muzychuk, Igor Didenchuk, Vitaly Duzhik, Alexander Slobodyanik and Vlad Kurochko, representing Ukraine

Britain's Sam Ryder (pictured) and Sweden's Cornelia Jacobs get 10% each, and Italian duo Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning

Britain’s Sam Ryder (pictured) and Sweden’s Cornelia Jacobs get 10% each, and Italian duo Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning

Singer Chanel tonight performs from Spain in the final of the song contest

Singer Chanel will represent Spain in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin tonight.

The competition takes place tonight, and 25 bands will perform in front of a live audience in the city of Turin in northern Italy

The competition takes place tonight, and 25 bands will perform in front of a live audience in the city of Turin in northern Italy

The WRS from Romania is performing during the final of the song contest tonight

WRS from Romania performs during the final of the Eurovision-2022 song contest in Turin tonight

Rasmus from Finland, who sings Jezabel, performs during the grand finale of the song contest

Rasmus from Finland, who sings Jezabel, performs during the grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Palaolimpico Arena in Turin

Band members "Subwoofer" perform on behalf of Norway in the final of the song contest

Members of ‘Subwoolfer’ perform on behalf of Norway in the final of Eurovision 2022

At the end of the performance, which included a break-dance, the band thanked everyone for their support of Ukraine.

Graham Norton, who is once again running the contest on BBC One, said: “We weren’t sure they would make it, but they succeeded.

“Their commentator didn’t have time, he’s commenting from the bomb shelter.”

Their song “Stephanie” is an ode to the mother and the trials they face in raising families, and the band’s live performances have synchronized dance moves, break dances and flutes.

The band, formed in 2019, consists of founder and rapper Oleg Psyuk, multi-instrumentalist Igor Didenchuk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.

The 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.

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.

Norwegian Subwoolfer dressed in yellow wolf costumes, performing a synchronized dance number and singing Give That Wolf A Banana.

Armenian representative Rosa Lynn emotionally performed her song Snap on stage with a bed, a lamp and a chair that seemed to be wrapped in a white toilet roll.

The entrant from Spain Chanel gave a jazz performance by SloMo, while the whole crowd sang along with Italians Mahmoud and Blanco, who sang Brividi, which had a powerful rap, behind a drop of twinkling lights.

The winner is selected in equal parts by groups of music experts in each competing country and the audience votes, leaving room for frustration.

Britain’s Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jacobs get 10% each, while Italian duo Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning. All eyes are also on nations that might not vote for Ukraine after Russia and Belarus were expelled due to the invasion.

The winner takes home a glass microphone trophy and a potential career advancement.

The event is being held in Italy after the victory of the Italian rock band Maneskin last year in Rotterdam.

The victory brought the Roman band international fame by performing before the Rolling Stones and appearing on Saturday Night Live and on the covers of many magazines in their typically asexual costume.

Chanel from Spain sings SloMo during the grand Eurovision final at the Palaolimpico Arena

Chanel from Spain sings SloMo during the grand Eurovision final at the Palaolimpico Arena

Alvan and Ahez from France perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin tonight

Alvan and Ahez from France perform live during the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in Turin tonight

Singer Jeremy Mackiez performs on behalf of Belgium in the final of Eurovision 2022

Singer Jeremy Mackiez performs on behalf of Belgium in the final of Eurovision 2022

Fulenn's Alvan & Ahez from France perform during the grand Eurovision final at the Palaolimpico Arena

Fulenn’s Alvan & Ahez from France perform during the grand Eurovision final at the Palaolimpico Arena

Nadir Rustamli from Azerbaijan sings

Nadir Rustamli from Azerbaijan sings “Fade To Black” during the grand Eurovision final

Twenty bands have been selected in the two semi-finals this week to compete alongside the top five of Italy, the UK, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent seats thanks to the financial support of the competition.

Russia was expelled this year after the invasion of Ukraine, and organizers said the move was aimed at deterring policies from participating in a contest that promotes diversity and friendship between peoples.

Ukrainian music lover Irina Lassi said she felt global support for her country in the war, and “not just musicians.”

In Ukraine, in the ruined northeastern city of Kharkiv, the participation of the Kaluga Orchestra in the competition is seen as giving the nation another platform for international support.

“The whole country is rising, everyone in the world supports us. It is extremely nice, ”29-year-old teacher Yulia Vashenko said.

“I believe that where there is Ukraine now and there is an opportunity to talk about war, we need to talk? – said 23-year-old Kharkiv makeup artist Alexander Konovalov. “Any competition is important now because more people are learning about what’s happening now.”

24-year-old Ukrainian Anastasia Hardykova, who lives in Sweden, said she intends to vote for the Kaluga Orchestra, and convinces her friends abroad.

Graham Norton returned to his 13th contest to keep a close eye on the process, performing with his usual prickly attacks.

Eurovision contestant Sam Ryder will take the stage, 22nd in a row, to improve Britain’s position during the grand final tonight.

The 32-year-old TikTok star will perform his inspiring pop song Space Man, which he co-wrote with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wedge, who previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.

This year’s final is attended by 20 successful countries from the two semifinals of the week, as well as the so-called big five from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

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