British bookies are currently offering odds of 7/18 for Ukraine to triumph at this evening’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, with their entry Kalush Orchestra’s distinctive blend of rap and folk music, combined with the country’s current courage in the face of Russian invasion, expected to unite voters across Europe in support.The frontman and writer Oleh Psiuk – distinctive throughout this week in Turin with his pink hat – told the BBC before the band came through their semi-final:“For our country it is so important to have victories in all ways.
So if we win, it will be another opportunity to show Ukraine to the world, to remind people about Ukraine, and to increase morale in the whole country.”The band’s song Stefania was originally inspired by Psiuk’s mother, but lines such as “I will always walk to you by broken roads” have become interpreted in context of the country’s current plight.Psiuk told the BBC separately this week: “The song was originally about my mum.
Not a single lyric was about war. But now for many Ukrainians, it’s become a symbol of this war. Even my perception of the song has changed.Although the Eurovision Song Contest is officially apolitical, ever since its inception in 1956, competing artists have delighted in confounding the system by slipping political lyrics into their songs.
This year sees politics playing a more overt role, with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announcing in February that Russia would be banned from the competition, following its invasion of Ukraine.And Kalush Orchestra were only Ukraine’s second choice in the national contest to compete, but found themselves on the path to Turin when Ukraine’s original winner Alina Pash was found to have made a trip in 2015Read more on deadline.com