The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 40 competing songs in Eurovision 2022. Next we review Ukraine, who have chosen Kalush Orchestra with “Stefania”.
What did we make of the entry? Read on to find out!
Kalush Orchestra – “Stefania” (Ukraine Eurovision 2022)
Review: Kalush Orchestra – “Stefania”
Renske: When “Stefania” first came out, it was clear that the song would be a favourite at Eurovision, if and when it were to represent Ukraine. The fusion of folk and rap was well thought out, the lyrics are fitting. Transmitting the image of a caring mother from a child’s perspective, Kalush Orchestra chose a story that will stay fresh and current. The song is more universal than the group’s earlier work, which was a smart choice from Ukraine’s broadcaster. This is not simply one of the best songs in this contest, it is one of the best songs in the history of recent contests.
Natalie: Ukraine coming to the contest is alone a massive achievement, but I don’t get winner vibes here. It’s a solid song that combines Ukrainian folk music and modern hip-hop, but doesn’t do much for me. I don’t know what I’m missing. I love those qualities usually, but not like this. I’m sure it’ll go off and the Ukrainian folk influences will be a storm in Turin, but it’s not personally speaking to me. Worthy winner and massive, massive respect if they can manage it though, for sure.
Luis: Let’s be clear from the beginning: “Stefania” would be a contender to win Eurovision under any circumstance. This song is so unique, so powerful and so well produced that it would give Ukraine a good result in any year. It rides on the wave of folk inspiration that “Shum” started, but departs completely from its predecessor. Mama Stefania can definitely be proud!
Oliver: Kalush Orchestra frontman Tymofii Muzychuk has a lovely timbre to his voice, but it needs some fine tuning. The lead vocal on “Stefania” is extremely strained, and in the live performance he consistently fails to hit the high note in the chorus. Nevertheless, the track has an earworm quality with its catchy melodies, and the visuals will catch the eye of any unsuspecting viewer. A furry pink bucket hat? Only in a Ukrainian Eurovision entry. Objectively, lots of polishing is required; logically, that’s unlikely to happen. Regardless, the world needs to see Kalush Orchestra in the final — strong, proud, and ready to represent their culture.
Jonathan: Ukraine has a wide-ranging music industry, and this is showcased wonderfully through Kalush Orchestra’s fusion of folk and rap. The dynamism between the two makes “Stefania” a compelling track from the start, providing the peaks and troughs needed to keep viewers engaged (though the ending could have done with an added peak/trough, as 40 seconds of the instrumental refrain maybe gets a bit repetitive). Based solely on the music, a top-placing finish for Kalush Orchestra and Ukraine would be rightfully earned.
Ukraine Eurovision 2022 ranking
In the Eurovision 2022 Wiwi Jury, we have 18 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 9.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.66/10
What do you think of Ukraine’s Eurovision 2022 entry? Share your own score and review for Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” below!
I love this. A really great fusion of rap and folk music. First time my favorite song is the contest favorite (still bitter about Qami).
I agree, we very grateful for support of Eurovision fans, we really do, but please people vote for the song you like the most, we’re ok not winning Eurovision, we need win the war first, thank you
We will not win with ‘Stefania’ but it’s a very decent song and I’m glad they represent us, our team said staging and outfits will be different from NF, no more baggy rags costumes
Tymofii Muzychuk is singing atonal harmony to the main melody. It’s note-perfect.
So, here is some fresh RuZZian propaganda from Serbia’s entry
When I made a comment about San Marino, I said I’m not a rock fan and he has to sell it to me. Same with rap. Kalush just doe it for me. The folk elevates in but the rap is something I shouldn’t what to hear but I adore.
Best song in the whole competition I think, and deserves to win.
I just want to note that anytime Ukraine (or nasty RuZZia) is the focus of a post, it gains the most comments. .
I preferred Shum.. it was #2 last year. This song is not in my top 10 based purely on musical taste. Some parts I like, some parts I dislike, but overall I’d give it a 6. Having said that, I think it would do very well in any year, but this year, it could win! I say this because Eurovision is a song contest where you vote for a song that moves you or you connect with. Kalush Orchestra really only needs everyone to see them standing there at the end of their performance and people will be moved just… Read more »
Some fans once told me they thought rap music would never win at Eurovision. Ukraine has a real chance to prove them wrong.
Let me be clear: This is not my favourite ESC song this year; I actually have it ranked in 6th place. That’s still pretty good, and given the circumstances, I think it will be enough for the victory. Besides, if Ukraine don’t win this year, the result would become a depressing symbol of apathy. ESC might even suffer the fate of being cancelled by “cancel culture;” shudder the thought.
No. I am sorry Ukraine but you are getting tiresome, year in year out with the ethnic sounds even if you try to incorporate them within a modern sounding context. If we continue with ethnic sounds the ESC will finish with being an ethnic fest. Besides all that, most of the song sounds like an irritating whine. This might do well for one reason only – the sympathy vote.
ethnic songs are much better than all of those plastic lifeless english ones
I was not speaking about languages. I appreciate songs sung in the native language. There is a difference between national languages and ethnic sounds. And not all songs sung in English are plastic or lifeless. Ethnic songs can be plastic and lifeless as well. So no ethnic songs are not always better than those sung in English. In this case it is definitely not so.
i respect this entry and the way it combines folk and modern as natalie said. most of these wiwi reviews read like they’d be accompanied by a lower score under normal circumstances.
Shum was without a doubt a better song, but this one is more hiphop-folk whereas Shum was techno-folk. Both are pretty unique in Eurovision terms. I don’t think it would have won without the war, but it would certainly have made the top-10 and possibly even better. I certainly wouldn’t mind if it won, more so than with Alina’s song which to me was too overly melodramatic, it felt stale and fake.
If the song wins, it will be the first hip-hop song to win ESC. And it will be a good start for jurors to eliminate bias towards hip-hop style.
I’m in love you I’ll do want me to, make me wanna “ha ha” make me wanna “ha ha han”. Nothing in the world that can stop me no siirrrrrrr. No! No! No! No!” Kind regards,Sertab Erener 🙂
I’m not really for this song winning the contest, but I admit that it’s still a good song. There are elements to it that I enjoy lots, some parts I don’t really like. Altogether, this song is definitely interesting and it’s wonderful to see that Ukraine is still kicking it strong in the contest despite all the horrible things occurring within the nation itself. Ukraine’s qualification record is not at risk but I do not consider this a winner-worthy song for me to wholeheartedly say this needs to win. A top 5 result is very likely though and I definitely… Read more »
Finally…an entry that beat Brooke from Ireland that may actually win the contest. I don’t think it will but it will likely be in the top 5-10.
Just to get this out of the way nice and early. Had the Ukraine been able to stick with the original winner of their national selection, then, I honestly think they would’ve walked to the Eurovision title in May. Even without the geopolitical context, they had clearly the best song and nothing was going to touch it. However, things happened and we ended up with Kalush Orchestra as the Ukraine representative and although it is a strong entry, it is nowhere near the level of what “Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors” was but sits in the odds as if it is.… Read more »
I actually liked the delivery of the rap part. It’s not the best section of the song by any means, but it’s a lovely little break before that big, big finish that the song has. I feel it adds to the drama of it.
If you just played the rap part to me by itself and asked me what I thought, I probably wouldn’t go too crazy over it, but within the context of the song as a whole, I just think it really works.
It was not rap in Alina’s song, it was spoken word.
Same way as in “LoveWave”
I would still classify it as rap as I definitely pick up a deliberate rhythm in its delivery. But, I’m happy to go along with spoken word, too. Either way, I like the purpose it serves in the song.
Ukraine 2023. Let’s go!
I think it would perhaps be optimistic to assume Ukraine’ll host if they win (they could barely pull it off* during a more peaceful time), but in theory, hell yes!
*The contest still wound up looking and sounding amazing, but you can’t pretend it took them a while to get on their feet.
I’d sooner book a ticket for London…or we might just be turning right back around for Turin or Rotterdam! (Or Lisbon, or Gliwice, or Stockholm, or Athens…my GOD this is a good year)
(And no, I didn’t forget Madrid. It’s not gonna be Madrid.)
You think Albania’s gonna win?
why no ?
I don’t think Albania could win in this field.
I think they have a high chance. I mean the songs an absolute banger and with the correct placing and staging it can easily blow the crowd away. It’s not my personal winner but they can definitely pull it off.
Over scored much! SHUM was way better than this rubbish and that wasn’t over hyped.
You’ve posted this like three times already under different names, get a hobby
I’ve had enough of them already …
And they’ve had enough of getting their country invaded and bombed and their people killed and violated. I feel a little sorrier for them, to be honest.
i like the song a lot, my favourite in the national final. But i think it’s overrated because of the political situation and i bet some juries will vote for it to show their support to Ukraine (mainly eastern european/ex soviet). It does not deserve to win and i think it won’t but it should do very well
Maybe its a little bit overrated in the odds, but not in the fandom. Its a good song with unique elements. A top 5 spot is deserved, and for me a win is also deserved. Many people will vote for it because of the song, not because of the war.
Ukraine will win by a landslide. Please don’t be disappointed when this runs away with the jury and the public voting in May. Remember there are 5.2 million displaced homeless Ukrainian refugees now outside Ukraine, you think they will not vote for their beloved country?. I would. To be honest this is a huge morale boost for Ukraine and a huge message to Russia that Europe is in solidarity with Ukraine if they win or even in top 3. We may call this too political, but war is beyond political its inhumane, and Ukraine doesn’t deserve this treatment. No country… Read more »
Even if they are in another land, they cabt wote for the own cobtry
Of course they can. They just need a local sim card wherever they are…
I won’t mind at all a Ukrainian win, but I don’t think that means they should overrate it like that. The song by itself is nothing special imo. Shum would’ve been a far better contender.
I adored this song from when it was first chosen LONG before news of war. Wonderful mix of folk and rap and groove with beautiful, haunting folk refrain and beautiful meaningful (in a good way) lyrics. We were listening to it on a loop. Much as I like Norway’s entry, this comes above it for us here. I very much hope that people don’t over compensate and vote it down because they are trying to adjust for potential empathy with the suffering in Ukraine. That is to down vote a beautiful song just because it’s country has been invaded. That… Read more »
I don’t know if it will win but FOR SURE, it is different, gives me good vibes.
Greeks are gonna give Stefania 12 points for sure
Greeks are gonna give
StefaniaCyprus 12 points for sure
10/10 Kalush Orchestra where my favourite in the NF so I am happy that they are now representing Ukraine! I feel like they are going to get a VERY high Televote which will ultimately lead to their win! The song is another great blend of traditional and modern music, this time with Rap! We don’t see Rap often at ESC so i’m very happy we will get to see an amazing Rap song this year.
Televote is gonna go berserk for this. If Shum was able to do what two Ukrainian winners couldn’t even do and score with every single national televote, imagine how this’ll do!
It will win because the odds say it will win. The odds have made a choice and that’s where things will end up. Every year the odds are not wrong about the winner.
They sure weren’t wrong last year, were they? That’s why we’re going to Valletta in a few weeks!
Last year the odds said Italy will win and Italy won. What am I missing?
They didn’t until right before the final. Don’t be a slave to the odds. Free thought is important!
Hell, look at 2018, where they actually DID have the eventual winner at the top until they bumped her down in favor of Cyprus during rehearsals. Didn’t change even when the final rolled around.
Oh, yeah… what about Malta?
In 2014, the odds were completely wrong: one month before the competition, Austria (Conchita) wasnt even on the top 10. And by the same time, in 2017, Portugal and Salvador Sobral weren’t top 5 material according to the odds.
Eurovision has a cavalcade of bookie-defying winners. Some were at least kind of in the conversation (Nocturne, Rock and Roll Kids mostly because of Ireland’s then-recent track record, Ne partez pas sans moi), plenty of others were totally overlooked before the contest (L’oiseau et l’enfant, Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley, Rock Me, Insieme: 1992, Fly on the Wings of Love, Everybody, I Wanna, Every Way That I Can…not one of them was considered a contender before the contest. Meanwhile the favorite to win in 2002 wound up finishing last!).
You can start saying that on 13th May.
Italy wasn’t in the first place until the last days of rehearsals.
Also, they did not predict the winning of Ukraine 2016, Portugal 2017 and Austria 2014 (only after rehearsals and semifinal)
Didn’t the favorite for 2016 change like a billion times? I’m positive France, Australia, and Russia were all favorites at some point, but I don’t think Ukraine ever was. Iceland was also a big favorite and they didn’t even qualify!
It will be a landslide, beautiful, unprecedented victory for Stefania because no other song comes close. 10/10 and Ukraine has become the no 1 Powerhouse.
“One of the best songs of recent contests” nooooooo way come on. SHUM was better, Alina was better. Wiwibloggs afraid of the odds lol
Good song, not a winner….
5.Ukraine – Amazing song, traditional, modern, great performance, immaculate vibes.
If anyone hasn’t seen, sergey lazarev joined “marathon for russia” state propaganda events. There link is in Cyrillic (check April 29): https://xn—–6kcab5bjzljfqhpa2bzn.xn--p1ai/
I saw. Dude has done a hard left (or is that hard right?) turn and I don’t care for it. Feel even more justified in calling You Are the Only One overrated.
Got a ton of downvotes and called unreasonable for saying I didn’t believe his (or 99% of ru artists’) crocodile tears and vague “war is bad” statements in the first days. Fortunately, looks like Westerners’ illusions are now getting cured little by little with every day
The appeal of that song has always been lost on me. Just over-staged and overwrought. That winning the televote was bizarre.
WIWis should make a post about this. Lazarev is a hypocrite, calling out those who are antiRussia now ignoring the brutal killings of Ukrainians in Ukraine by Russians. He wants to save his butt by doing this but this is not an excuse. Manizha and others have taken a stance and it’s with PEACE and Ukraine.
Slightly off topic but can any of the Wiwibloggs team say when or indeed if the juries are doing the normal videos where the scores are delivered on camera. It’s one of the highlights of the eurovision season. Please don’t tell me that they have scrapped because they have been a major feature for years.
I would’ve preferred Alina Pash to represent Ukraine, plus the song is more suiting to the current situation. Stefania is by no means a bad song, but Ukraine are only the bookies favourites because of the war, look at their odds days after Russia invaded
I loved Alina Pash too (would’ve probably been my second behind Portugal) but it is what it is, and I think it’s leading the odds on its own merits as much as anything.
Alina would’ve been first because of the war too, no changes. Alina’s song was more appropriate yes but the rap part in English was sooo cringy.
Nah, that would’ve helped, but I also think that song would’ve packed a wallop in the same way 1944 did.
No politic in Esc …. For me this Song NQ .
Fun song. I don’t think the rating is unfair, but I think it speaks more about how the jury underrates other songs. This isn’t a winner, but it’s absolutely a top 10.
I hate when people are saying this will win/qualify only because of the war. This is one of my favorites this year – even before the war. Im sure this will do well, but because of the song. Not because of sympathy votes.
I also don’t gather how I’m an Israel Stan when I only gave it a 7.
Oh thank the lord that horrible comment I was replying to is gone. Thank you Wiwi mods!
This is NOT A WINNER SONG. This song at all not win in their national selection. TOP10, but NO WINNER.
Jamala won Vidbir on a tiebreaker. Ukraine has also finished top ten twice with entries that weren’t even intended to compete in the first place. Just saying, nothings certain until the votes starting rolling in.
I mean look at last year. You think I could’ve called Moldova making the final, let alone getting two top marks from the jury? Or the four zeroes? It’s all speculation until then.
(Ok I called the double zero for the UK after they couldn’t score anything from the juries)
Jamala won Vidbir because of televoting. It’s always the public that breaks the ties.
Yeah. Still won.
As if winning a national selection reflects a quality of the song (not to mention that they did win the popular vote). This year some of the most horrendous entries have won their national selections, sometimes over much better songs. That’s why not all the countries use national selections.
There are infinite ways of doing a national final. Sometimes a weak selection can still have a good winner (look at any number of Moldovan heats), or vice versa (either of the Eesti Lauls Uku won spring to mind. What a waste). It’s all a matter of the options in front of you.
Putting the tragedy of the war aside, this is a very well-made folk entry. The traditional elements are everywhere, especially on the chorus with that magnificent flute, the fusion between folk and hip-hop is amazingly executed, the dance brake at the chorus is phenomenal… Basically, the chorus is where most of the power of the song comes from. Brilliantly tradtitional, empowering cultural messages, I’m really digging this. My 11TH PLACE, with a 9/10 rating!
We all wanted “Stefania” to be presented under much happier circumstances, but it’ll be surprisingly fitting to have an uplifting ode to motherhood being the representative of a country fighting for survival. Anyway, even if things were peaceful in Ukraine, I say this is one of the best and most creative songs of 2022. The mix of rap and folk flows with ease, the guys have great energy on the stage and that flute segment is simply perfect. The poetic nature of the chorus contrasting with the urban feel on the verses is a cool touch. 9.25/10
Stefania is an ode to mother, to homeland, to Ukraine.
Deep and emotional lyrics? Check.
Ethnic and traditional sounds? Check.
Rap done properly? Check.
Boppy instrumental? Check.
Out of the box? Check.
This entry is what Eurovision should be about, coming from the true powerhouse of Eurovision. It’s very underrated and if anyone thinks it will be Top3 “cUz oF syMpAthY vOteS”, then they’re very wrong!
Rating: 9.5/10 (9th)
One of my favorite entries this year! I absolutely love it.
Cool song. Want the Ukraine to win for multiple reasons. Whatever anybody thinks…at the end, it’s only Eurovision we are talking about
2nd place this year for me, it’s emotional, captivating, catchy, edgy, different, it has a message, the lyrics carry a message and it’s already such a feat that they’re gonna be in Turin. I’m excited to see them there, they would’ve been a contender in any other year as well. 10/10, I’ll fight anyone that says this doesn’t deserve it’s praise.
People can stay pressed but the song is actually good, albeit I do admit not for everyone. Probably the biggest difference between Shum and Stefania is the rap and as we know, eurovision fans and juries hate rap for no reason so… I bet these comments wouldn’t exist if the song didn’t have rap but verses sang by the vocalist lol
Maybe I didn’t quite word myself properly but what I’m trying to say is – people who tend to dislikea certain genre will often leave hate comments for songs in this genre or call it overrated which in my opinion is inappropriate. You can dislike a song but once you word your opinion rudely it becomes invalid. It’s the same as people who put down a song by comparing it to another. They could leave out the other song when expressing their dislike for the initial song as it’s inappropriate to compare songs like that, especially if the intention is… Read more »
I’m a chaotic person and if their victory makes a lot of people mad then count me in
Exactly, just seeing a bunch of those pressed queens panicking and spilling all the hate they can in the comments as if it’s going to change someone’s mind just makes me want to vote for it like 4000 times. Among those are the people who think that Slo Mo Mo Mo Mo Lo Lo Lo is a worthy winner. Or the Bite Bite Bite mumbling lady. I just can’t.
See I dig In corpore sano – I think it has much more in common with the weirder entries this year than a crowd pleaser like SloMo
The last five winners have made the reductionist fans who can’t handle anything that isn’t a big diva ballad or traditional dance bop have a major cow and that’s worth just as much as a win. Waiting for the folks who think SloMo is the second coming to have the same rude awakening as the Monsters, Replay, and El Diablo stans.
And for what it’s worth, I have nothing against people enjoying those entries. I’m not a snob and I like all kinds of entries, including dance songs. But I do think there’s a difference between enjoying the song and calling it a worthy winner.
then why is Spain 5th in odds are Spanish betting for themselves?
Fan favorites are always overestimated in the odds. And yes, absolutely they are. That needed saying? People bet on their own countries all the time and that’s one hundred percent a thing your most passionate sect of Spanish fans with disposable income would do.
Remember how long Je Me Casse was the favorite to win? A whole lot of that was the Maltese delegation betting on themselves and I have no idea how anyone thought it was going to win against Italy or France. (It was very good, to be clear, but I never thought it would win.)
I mean, you don’t seriously believe SloMo to be at the same level of those three entries right? It’s clearly closer to “Fuego” in terms of the song itself and the actual presentation of the song.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my winner or even my type of music really…but it’s clearly going to get a strong result because it is that much better than the songs that you’ve mentioned.
It could get a good result. I dunno. I just would put it on that level. It’s not Fuego. Fuego’s kind of the unbeatable standard-bearer and SloMo isn’t close to it, much as I enjoy it.
I do enjoy the song except the rap parts which do make up the majority of the song. I simply do not gravitate to this sort of music, that’s just my personal musical tastes. Stefania does have a lot of merit but very much on the televoter appeal. With the public I see this doing Top 5 as I see songs like Norway, Spain, Serbia, Italy, Netherlands and UK doing substantially better in the public vote and seeing Norway winning the televote isn’t that farfetched. When it comes to the juries, I just don’t see it in their Top 10… Read more »
I am so sorry but this is a song that actually is overrated…those scores makes no sense….