The Eurovision 2022 final proved to be one of the liveliest and most competitive in recent memory.
While the atmosphere was still good-humoured, the sheer quality of the 25 countries competing this year presented voters with some tough decisions.
Ultimately, though, favourites Ukraine and their entry Kalush Orchestra were crowned the winners, leaving many to wonder if the country will be able to host the contest in 2023.
Sam Ryder, a singer-songwriter who rose to fame on TikTok, performed original song “Space Man” and – despite previous dismal efforts from the UK – won over much of the audience, and the jury too, to come second place.
“It’s been phenomenal,” he told The Independent of the support he’s received. “The whole team have been working so hard going around Europe, using as much time as we could to do TV, radio, singing on street corners… Everywhere we’ve been, there’s been nothing but kindness and good vibes.”
A trio of famous presenters led proceedings for the evening, with pop singer Mika joining fellow hosts Italian TV personality Alessandro Cattelan and Italian singer Laura Pausini on stage.
The liveblog is now closed.
Ciao from Turin – it’s the Eurovision 2022 final!
Ciao ragazzi! The day is finally here – it’s the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final! I’m reporting to you live from Turin with help from my esteemed London-based colleagues, Jacob Stolworthy and Annabel Nugent.
We’re looking at one hell of a contest this year. For starters, the UK actually has a shot at winning – can you believe it? That’s thanks to Sam Ryder, our entry for this year, and his song “Space Man”. But there’s also fierce competition from countries including Ukraine, Sweden, Moldova, Spain, and everyone’s favourite wolves, Norway!
How to watch Saturday’s grand final
Let’s start with the beginning and tell you everything you need to know about the 2022 final, here.
Meet the UK’s Eurovision 2022 entry, Sam Ryder
The 32-year-old was announced as the UK’s entry back in March, and will be performing his original song “Space Man” at the grand final in Turin, Italy, on Saturday 14 May.
Before being selected to take part in Eurovision, Ryder had already made a name for himself on TikTok by sharing covers of hit songs – along with his own original music – during lockdown.
He’s currently one of the favourites to win this year’s contest, backing earlier comments from fans that “Space Man” is a considerable improvement on other recent UK entries.
Read more about him here:
Singer-songwriter who rose to fame on TikTok is representing the UK with his original song ‘Space Man’
The UK’s painful Eurovision history – in numbers
Now we all know the Eurovision Song Contest hasn’t been kind to the UK. I’d argue a lot of that was our fault (most countries take Eurovision incredible seriously, the UK not so much). Of course, that could all be about to change, depending on how the lovely Sam Ryder does in this year’s final.
For now though, just take a look at the UK’s Eurovision performance history over the years:
Since 2000, the country has finished in one of the bottom three positions on 10 separate occasions.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra are set to take Eurovision by storm
Hip hop act Kalush Orchestra’s song “Stefania” blends modern rap and classical Ukrainian folk music.
Formed in 2019, the group consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, and dancer Vlad Kurochka.
The lyrics to “Stefania” are an ode to mothers and the trials they face raising families. The band’s live performance features synchronised dance moves, breakdance and flutes.
There are some whispers that Ukraine may collect some extra votes due to the obvious political context of the ongoing invasion of their country by Russia. Personally (and I know a lot of people feel this way), I think “Stefania” is a fantastic song – the band’s performance is polished and full of energy – and Ukraine would be worthy winners this year.
Kalush Orchestra blend modern rap and Ukrainian folk in their song ‘Stefania’
After two glitter-filled evenings of semi-finals this week, the official Eurovision Song Contest grand final running order has been released.
Taking place in Turin, Italy on Saturday (14 May), the final will run for approximately four hours, showcasing all 25 countries that made it past the semis.
Eurovision wouldn’t be the same without Graham Norton. The presenter will be back in the BBC’s commentary booth to give his hot takes on performances, costumes and all things Eurovision.
As for the result, it is suspected that Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra will do extremely well with their rap track “Stefania”, amid the country’s ongoing war with Russia.
For the first time in years, the UK’s entry, Sam Ryder, is in a good position with the song “Space Man”. It can surely only improve on the “nul points” that James Newman received for “Embers” last year.
See the running order in full here:
It’s time to start planning the Eurovision festivities
Why is Russia banned from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
Russia has been banned from this year’s Song Contest, marking the first time the country will not participate since its debut in 1994.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the music event, banned Russia from the 2022 competition following its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In February, the EBU organisers initially said they had no plans to prevent Russia from taking part, then swiftly backtracked and banned the country from competing.
“The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” it said in a statement at the time.
Twenty-five countries are taking part in the Eurovision grand final –but Russia isn’t one of them
The duo are widely regarded as one of the favourite acts to win this year’s song contest, thanks to their moving duet “Brividi”. They will be competing in the final on Saturday 14 May alongside artists including the UK”s Sam Ryder, and Finland’s rock band The Rasmus.
The song, the title of which means “Chills”, is performed entirely in Italian. If you’re interested in what the lyrics mean (they’re very poetic), you can check out both the Italian and English versions here:
Italian duo are among the top favourites to win this year
Meet Norway’s mysterious, brilliant contestants Subwoolfer
One of the acts with the biggest buzz about them this year is Subwoolfer, who are representing Norway.
They perform while wearing yellow wolf masks that conceal their identity so it’s unknown who Subwoolfer actually are, but it’s actually their lyrics that are creating the biggest stir.
The Red Riding Hood-inspired song, titled “Give That Wolf a Banana”, is set to go down in Eurovision history. After they performed in the heats, footage of the band’s rendition circulated social media like wildfire.
Should you wish to sing along with the performance when Subwoolfer frace the stage tonight, here are the lyrics:
Sing along (if you dare)
How to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is well known for its fiendishly complex voting system. Fans can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, available on devices including iOS, Android and Windows. Each person can vote up to 20 times but voters will be unable to select their own country’s entry.
Here’s how it works:
How the Eurovision voting system works
Elaborate staging, wacky costumes, and an abundance of great songs: Eurovision is a song contest like no other.
But Europe’s annual competition is so much more than a kitsch peculiarity: artists including Abba, Maneskin, Olivia Newton-John, Mahmood and Celine Dion have all achieved worldwide fame since performing on the Eurovision stage.
Though it began as a song-writing contest in 1956, having a strong and unique performance is just as important on today’s Eurovision stage. Balancing impressive vocals, skilful songwriting and visually interesting staging, this list ranks the Eurovision winners that found the sweet spot.
In its 66-year history, few Eurovision entrants have achieved both a great song and a great live performance. Olivia Emily ranks the best of the best
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