After an eventful national selection, Ukraine’s participation in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has since become an important platform due to reasons far beyond the scope of Eurovision. Kalush Orchestra will perform the song ‘Stefania’ in Turin this year – a current favourite in the betting odds. This will be a moment for the history books, regardless of the result.
Song and Vocals
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Ukraine’s participation this year. It feels like an eternity ago that the national final drama was playing out. Alina Pash was originally selected to represent Ukraine at Eurovision, however in true form, the results were in dispute. Kalush Orchestra will now represent the nation, and unfortunately not long after fans were digesting this news, far darker scenes started to come out of Ukraine.
It’s undeniable that Ukraine will gain immense support from viewers and voters this year. I would expect that the televote will be astronomical, but it’s still hard to predict how the jury will vote. Taking this track away from its context, Stefania is another strong entry from Ukraine. The track takes the instrumental elements I enjoyed from last year’s performance from Go_A, but features much more consumable vocal styles. I like the contrast between the two vocalists, with the rap verses giving this song a fresh feel.
The live performances show that the group can give a vocally sound performance, but this is also the type of performance that can handle some imperfections. The song itself is great, but it’s more about the emotion and charm that can come through.
Performance and Act
The group’s performance at Vidbir was more or less Eurovision-ready. I would expect similar concepts on the Eurovision stage, as the group has carried the same style through the pre-party performances. The only thing I would advise against are those questionable outfits from the pre-parties that completely covered the faces of half of the band members. They were distracting, and hindered a connection between artist and viewer.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Ukraine did win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This is a strong combination of traditional folk and contemporary elements that will have a similar appeal to last year’s act. I have no doubt that there will be additional support for Ukraine this year, but whether that will convert to actual points remains to be seen.
Song and Vocals
Ukraine offers a mix of folklore, rap and a great instrumental earworm. The song alone was already in the top-5 for the bookmakers, after the war in Ukraine broke out they even rose to the first place. It’s surely one of the better and more memorable songs of the year, but whether this song is jury-friendly enough to be a winner?
Performance and Act
The key to Ukraine’s high position with the bookies lies in their performance. There is a nice build-up, as the members of the group all get to play their part and create a harmonic feeling. This could also add up to the sympathy votes Ukraine might be getting this year, even though I don’t really believe in that theory.
Ukraine is the top favourite to win Eurovision 2022 before the rehearsals start. To me, they are a contender for the victory but not the main contender. I do see the appeal of this earworm and the charismatic live performance to give them a high televote and a bit lower jury result. I don’t believe in the theory that due to the war Ukraine will get sympathy votes to give them the victory at Eurovision.
Average Score: 7.7/10
What do you think of Stefania? Follow our Eurovision 2022 reviews here. You can support your favourite acts in our Eurovision 2022 poll, which you can find here.