kalush

Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra hope to take the Eurovision 2022 stage in Turin in May. However, as Russia continues its brutal war in Ukraine, the musicians have far more important things on their mind than rehearsing their song “Stefania”. In an interview with Dutch site nu.nl, frontman Oleh Psiuk described their current situation.

Ukraine has been dealing with a bloody and brutal invasion launched by Russia (and with assistance from Belarus) over the past month. With millions of refugees fleeing the country and billions of euros worth of damage from east to west, the war has reversed the country’s progress and development — with some saying Ukraine has been set back by centuries.

When the country still enjoyed peace, just a few weeks before the military offensive started, the public broadcaster appointed Kalush Orchestra as the country’s Eurovision 2022 representatives. Their preparations were halted by the war. Member MC Kilimmen went to protect Kyiv as part of the territorial defence and the other members went to volunteer. 

Speaking to nu.nl, Oleh Psiuk stated that the group nevertheless hope to continue their Eurovision journey: 

“We are all now occupied by other things, because the most important thing is to help our country now. We do that as well as we can, in all kinds of different ways. I have my own organisation for volunteers and with about thirty others, we try to help others as well as possible. We look for medicines, gather food and help people who fled to the Western part of Ukraine to search for safe accommodation. One of our band members is now part of the territorial defence. We do what we can, all in our way.”

“I don’t think it will have consequences for our performance. We are just very handsome men, so it will be fine (smiles). It would be great if we could come together and rehearse on a daily basis, but that’s not the case. However, I know that when we see each other again, it will be good instantly. Then we will rehearse continuously and we will reach the level we are used to.”

The group has been topping the betting odds over the past few weeks. Aware of that, Oleh Psiuk told nu.nl

“Before that, we were also in the top five, so outside of the situation, we were also doing well. We know that we have a good song, that we can come together, we have a good performance and that we are incredibly creative. We think that that will have the most impact.”

“I don’t know at the moment how it will go. But we have strong hope it will work out. Then we leave shortly and we come back immediately.”

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AF32
AF32
5 months ago

Here’s my question (and I wish I could create a poll, hint hint wiwiblogs): Which is more important: (a) The unity that ESC is meant to create and display; or (2) The “contest” itself. My personal view is “a” b/c if ESC was just a contest, then the main goal behind ESC is worthless and it is nothing more than a TV-rating generator.

Ffgsg
Ffgsg
5 months ago

Off topic: RUNNING ORDER IS ANNOUNCED TODAY 🙂

meri
meri
5 months ago

I hope they will take part!! Their song is really good!!

tomtomtom
tomtomtom
5 months ago

They will win. The odds are never wrong.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  tomtomtom

I hope you’re joking lol

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
5 months ago
Reply to  tomtomtom

If the odds never change until the final night, maybe. Most Eurovision fans who follow the contest for a long time knows that the odds can change dramatically after the rehearsals.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
5 months ago

I do fear for their lives. Will they still do their performance if the volunteer from the band is killed in battle? What if one of them gets shot?!

Aris Odi
Aris Odi
5 months ago

It’s sad to see so many people saying Ukraine participating isn’t fair on the rest of the competing countries. What really isn’t fair is that innocent people are dying. That a whole nation with a unique culture and beautiful people is being invaded. That people have to run and hide from missiles and gunfire, unsure about their future. There are actual serious issues in the world taking place, questioning whether a Ukrainian victory would be deserved or not is not one of them. And this is Ukraine we’re talking about, a literal ESC powerhouse that’s bringing us another strong entry,… Read more »

Frater Vampyr
Frater Vampyr
5 months ago
Reply to  Aris Odi

If winning the damn music competition makes any Ukrainians feel just a little bit of love at a time such as this, then I’d be very happy for their win. As you say, it’s a strong entry anyway and would have done well regardless, even if there are songs that I personally prefer.

Sanderson
Sanderson
5 months ago

They should stay home its not fair for the rest of 5he contes

Ffgsg
Ffgsg
5 months ago
Reply to  Sanderson

Please explain how it’s not fair for the rest of the countries.

AF32
AF32
5 months ago
Reply to  Sanderson

Sanderson must be Russian.

GloriousMustache39
5 months ago

Love to Ukraine! But it really shouldn’t win Eurovision for many reasons! First, it’s not fair! Both songs (Stefania & Shadow of Forgotten Ancestors) got released before the invasion and they both were in the top 5 odds but not 1st or 2nd. After the invasion it jumped way past the 2nd entry. That’s not fair to the artists. Everyone has a message to spread, giving a trophy and subsequently the right to host an expensive contests isn’t the right one!! Also it will once again prove that Eurovision takes into consideration politics, and that’s not something that’s gonna be… Read more »

Sometimes
Sometimes
5 months ago

top 5 odds is being pretty damn close to top 1, so not a major change!

Dolly
Dolly
5 months ago

Let’s hope we can all come forward as one happy Europe

Tomi
Tomi
5 months ago

This is a very wishy-washy year. In the group of songs that I love, there isn’t one song I fancy a lot more over the others. If Ukraine were to win, I would be ok with that. ‘Stefania’ is one of the songs that I love. But we don’t know what will happen on the big day. Probably someone will give an awesome winning-deserving performance… Who will that be?

Kinga
5 months ago

It would be fantastic if they take part as a special guests, not the participants.

I cannot imagine Ukrainians watching Eurovision and sending sms while they are under attack! Ukraine has right now terrible problems and it’s better if we send the money to help poor people instead to vote for a song.

AF32
AF32
5 months ago
Reply to  Kinga

No, they must participate. What Russia has done to Ukraine does not render them lesser Europeans.

Kinga
5 months ago
Reply to  AF32

Of course not. I simply cannot imagine to focus on a song competition knowing wgat is going on in my country.

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  Kinga

Why not? Yes, there is a war but you can’t focus on that 24/7. If bars can be open in (most of) Ukraine, why can’t people watch ESC?

Kinga
5 months ago
Reply to  Samo

You are right. But personally I would rather spare my money instead of spending them on votes for some songs. That means that Europe will vote fir Ukraine out of pity, but most of the Ukrainians won’t even vote fir other countries. And that’s not fair.

Dolly
Dolly
5 months ago

They cannot perform in Turin men 18-60 can’t leave the country , even thou Russia are not in the contest this year they are still ruining the contest they have for the last 30 years

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
5 months ago
Reply to  Dolly

Russia has been ruining the contest for the past 30 years? How so?

aer
aer
5 months ago

god I’m so fkn tired of hearing about ukraine. yes there’s war but it doesn’t mean that it has to saturate literally everything 24/7!! there’s war in many other places but hardly anyone talks about yet here we are, there’s no topic that doesn’t get overtaken by the ukraine narrative. idgaf if they compete at this point, I hope they DON’T so Eurovision can be about Eurovision once again and not about poor ukraine 24/7. they sure af don’t deserve to win bc of pity votes either and ruin this year’s contest.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

I mean….this is a post about Ukraine…I don’t really see comments about Ukraine on posts that are not about them.
Ukraine is currently being invaded, as far as I’m aware all the other 39 ESC countries are doing ok ATM in terms of that at least so.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sir Stevia
Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

It’s kinda ironic to see that democracy is under attack both in real life and also in Eurovision when people can simply say a song doesn’t deserve to win even if they secure enough votes fair and square.

Maybe we should go back to the jury-only system.

Last edited 5 months ago by Fast Food Music Lover
Lambert
Lambert
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

Sad to see someone so caught up in his/her own little Eurovision world.

Alex
Alex
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

You go to an article about the Ukrainian war to complain about the Ukrainian war and how it has inconvenienced your enjoyment of a song competition. Imagine being mad that people are dying because you can’t enjoy some songs

Lambert
Lambert
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Hear hear. Well said.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

I assume that Ukrainians should apologize for inconveniencing you with their deaths and destruction of their country?

Frater Vampyr
Frater Vampyr
5 months ago
Reply to  aer

Grow up. I assure you, you will not care about a pop contest if you are ever in the throes of nuclear fallout which could easily happen at this point. Even someone as utterly self-centred and small-minded as you doesn’t deserve to experience that even if you don’t care about it potentially happening to others.

Yvan
Yvan
5 months ago

I think that Alina Pash would be a better option for Ukraine in this situation.

Helena
5 months ago

Meanwhile Cyprus is still occupied by Turkey
And Azerbaijan attacks Armenia.

Who should win?

Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Helena

Don’t change the subject. We stand united with Ucraine.

Last edited 5 months ago by Erik
Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Helena

Don’t make biased a statements like that. Azerbaijan attacking it’s own territory also the land of I and P being at war since the creation of the state of I.

Cookie Nation
Cookie Nation
5 months ago
Reply to  Helena

This is akin to replying “All lives matter” to “Black lives matter”.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
5 months ago

As much as I take my hat of to these guys for everything that they are doing to help and support their country/homeland and that deserves universal adulation and respect. PERIOD!! However, given the situation in Ukraine and their respective duties outside of the contest and their song becoming politicized I do find their competing in Turin and the contest in genera; to be entirely untenable. Reasons are as follows: As I have stated, every member of Kalush Orchestra is involved with some variation of the territorial defence, either by a voluntary organization like Oleh is doing or like some… Read more »

Samo
Samo
5 months ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

Regarding point #1: I disagree. Morale is important in any war, not only among soldiers but also among the general population. By participating, the band will do a service to Ukraine as well.

As for #2, there of course isn’t any rule based on where the song has been used. You can’t prevent people from using a song for anything they please.

ESCxQueexn
ESCxQueexn
5 months ago

They will not make it to Eurovision

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  ESCxQueexn

That’s why there’s a backup option just in case.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  James

Did they make a LOT already?

Sanderson
Sanderson
5 months ago
Reply to  ESCxQueexn

I hope they don’t . Sickos the constant virtue signalling

Torino Wonderful
Torino Wonderful
5 months ago

Sobral, Jamala, Ruslana at concert in Poland. It was great.

Torino Wonderful
Torino Wonderful
5 months ago

And Netta. It was the other day.

AF32
AF32
5 months ago

Ukraine’s performance, whether in Turin in or in Ukraine, will be iconic based on the circumstances.

According to one source, Putin wants to end the war by May 9th as that was the day that the Soviets beat the Nazis in WW2. I tend to believe this because this was all planned with particular dates in mind, i.e., The annexation of Crimea and the defeat of Nazi’s in WW2. Putin is spiraling Russia into the past day-by-day, and Russians are going to lose all respect in the global community.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago

They should compete if possible but is it outrageous to say that they shouldn’t win.. Not nearly the best song this year! Winning because of sympathy votes is not winning because you deserved it.. Vote for the best song and applaud Ukraine and feel for what they suffer, winning Eurovision isn’t changing the situation

ingeborg
ingeborg
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert

It’s my favorite song by far this year, not because of whats going on! Just because you don’t like a song doesn’t mean if it wins it didn’t deserve it

Robert
Robert
5 months ago
Reply to  ingeborg

And anybody can like any song of course.. I’m not saying it’s a bad song, there’s just many better ones..

K-just
K-just
5 months ago

They shouldn’t compete this year.

2022
5 months ago
Reply to  K-just

They should take a break this year, and cone vack next year

Ritoli
Ritoli
5 months ago

Meanwhile in Israel, Arab terrorists murdered 6 people, 5 of them Jews and 1 Druze.

AF32
AF32
5 months ago
Reply to  Ritoli

Yeah yeah yeah, we know. But that is based on religious disagreement, not dictatorship based on pure evil.

Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Ritoli

Don’t change the subject. We are discussing Ucraine.

Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Ritoli

If you won’t say the P word then I’m actually not saying the I word either. My country recognises both of them and you bomb each other daily. Both of you stop the war.

Hello hi
Hello hi
5 months ago

If they do take part and most likely win due to current events then who will host ?
I believe they should have a guest appearance but not compete.

Moshe Melman
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

Thi is what they do in Tel – Aviv that they gave a guest appearance to Shalvaa band in 2019 due to the fact that they did not want to perfom on Saturday

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

Literally every country wants to host Eurovision for tourism purposes and if Ukraine can’t host because the current situation hasn’t resolved I’m sure EBU won’t have too much of a problem picking a new host.

Polegend Godnova
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

i think somewhere symbolic like berlin or brussels will host and the theme will be a united europe

Valentino
Valentino
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

Probably Poland.

Nicolas
Nicolas
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

This is the plan of EBU remember. Winner not to be automatically the next host country but only the richest ones who will make the better offer. So EBU will do everything to make Ukraine win this year and then use it as an excuse for being permanent the fact the winner not being the host. Same lame excuse as the COVID for pre-recorded vocals.

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Hello hi

Have we had a winner win due to current events? Like were the jurors interviewed to confirm that they gave their top points to a song because they felt sorry for it?

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  James

No but in 2016 it was pretty clear Ukraine was being favored by juries for political reasons, mainly due to the fact half of them blanked Russia.

Let’s be honest, many ESC jurors vote politically and it can happen again this year in form of sympathy votes to Ukraine. Will juries give them so many points that they would win? I don’t know, I hope not.

Devito
5 months ago

It seems as if any event of competition Ukraine or Ukrainians are taking part in – they are automatically getting lots of votes and win even. Although I do love Ukraine and support them a lot for their fight to the be free and independent from the beast in the East, I just hope in case Kalush wins, their win is going to be because of their entry being the best and not because of the sympathy votes. It would be the worst case scenario to witness a second victory in less than a decade when politically engaged entry is… Read more »

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
5 months ago
Reply to  Devito

There is no systematic campaign to give “sympathy votes” to Ukraine for this May that I know of. If they end up winning, it’s all because each individual voter decides to vote for the entry and whatever their reason to do so is completely valid.

Campbell Grace
Campbell Grace
5 months ago

Listen…

I really like Ukraine’s song this year, but if the political climate wasn’t what it is now, would they really be predicted a landslide victory in the betting odds? I really don’t think so…

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  Campbell Grace

Exactly, they wouldn’t.

Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Campbell Grace

Probably not, but you can’t ban anyone for competing because there is a risk they might win. If they want to compete EBU should do everything in their power to help them do just that. If they win it’s because Europe wants them to win. It’s as easy as that.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Yeah, but it is pretty frustrating for a country to win due to sympathy don’t you think?

Erik2
Erik2
5 months ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

We will all know why they won if the do, but does it really matter? Eurovision voting is always centered around who puts peoples emotions in swing and Ucraine will probably cause a landslide of emotions this year. Many people will vote for them because of this and so be it.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
5 months ago

Thing is….we cannot know. We will never know the reasons why juries or the public gave Ukraine points. Most of the people at home will likely vote for Ukraine only if they like Stefania, but that is only what I personally feel they would do. We cannot know for sure what was the motive behind granting a song the win.

Erik
Erik
5 months ago

They are busy with other duties so there is no time to rehearse, yet there is time for interviews and commenting on their possible participation and obstacles. Yes, they do stuff for their country, but this is still a marketing campaign. Commenting once about they being busy and then maybe an update if anything would change. That’s all that needs. If they would be certain they can participate, they still wouldn’t say so. Keeping this status quo makes keeps the tension intact as well. People will listen to the song and think about whether they will participate or not. Even… Read more »

Alex
Alex
5 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Taking 10 minutes for a phone call versus a likely hours long rehearsal with tons of planning is no contest. Plus like the country is at war, just give them a break

Erik
Erik
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Rehearsing can be ton of things. Just singing the song, practicing the choreography etc. it doesn’t need to take long time and doesn’t require anything extra. It’s something you could do 10 min every day

Guest2022
Guest2022
5 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Bla bla bla. Btw its one of best songs this year. They will win because of situation. But they would have big chances without it too. Its perfect combination of folk, rap and pop. It is their own style, they are unique and talented. And thats what people love.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
5 months ago

It’s a very complicated situation for both Ukrainian broadcaster and EBU but I’m sure come May we will all listen to Stefania either live in Turin or via pre-recorded performance. Slava Ukraini!

Alvin
Alvin
5 months ago

Go Ukraine! Fight for your rights! Anyway, internet argument wars (regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine) took part in Quora Indonesia. Some siding with Ukraine, and some others siding with Russia. Those sided with Russia are called “brainless” and “illiterate” by those who sided with Ukraine. I stand with Ukraine and I agree that all those pro-Russia Indonesians are either brainless or just pretty much a$$holes who acts like geopolitics experts. These wannabe geopolitics experts tries to act like they’re rational by saying that Zelensky (Ukrainian president) is a stupid comedian who knows nothing about geopolitics which triggers the invasion.… Read more »

Mariia
5 months ago
Reply to  Alvin

No special knowledge you need to understand invading another country is kind of bad