Many Ukrainian artists are finding ways of keeping their country in the spotlight whilst they require donations and aid amidst the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis. Eurovision 2016 champion Jamala has decided to lay down the microphone for a moment and instead let her feet do the talking by participating on the 26th season of Taniec z Gwiazdami, Poland’s version of Dancing with the Stars.
As with other editions, the programme sees celebrities pair up with professional dancers and compete in the art of ballroom and Latin dancing.
Jamala waltzes for peace on Dancing with the Stars Poland
For the first episode of the season, Jamala took on an elegant waltz alongside her Polish professional dance partner Jacek Jeschke. Much of the performance highlighted Ukraine and a desire for peace.
The pair danced to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a song which proposes a world of peace where there are no borders separating nations.
Jamala wore a blue side slit dress with gold embellishments down one side, matching the colours of the Ukrainian flag. This colour scheme was also showcased in the scenery, with the screens showing a field of yellow sunflowers underneath blue skies.
Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine and they have become a symbol of resistance against Russia’s invasion of the country. At the very start of the invasion a video of a Ukrainian woman went viral, where she walked up to the Russian troops with sunflower seeds saying “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here”.
The emotion of the performance was visible in Jamala’s face from the very start. And this emotion translated to the judges – Iwona Pavlović, Michał Malitowski, Andrzej Grabowski and Andrzej Piaseczn. They awarded Jamala and Jacek a total of 37 points out of 40, including two perfect tens, which placed the pair joint first on the leaderboard.
Following the public vote, Jamala was declared safe and will now progress to next week’s second episode.
Through her participation in Dancing with the Stars Poland, Jamala is hoping to showcase Ukraine and continue to raise awareness about the country’s fight for freedom. Ahead of the show, the Eurovision winner shared the new fundraising project by Polish children’s charity Fundacja Polsat, who have created a specific account where people can donate money that will go towards the support of Ukrainian children.
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This is not the first time Jamala has competed on Dancing with the Stars. Last year, she strutted her stuff on Tantsi z zirkamy, Ukraine’s version of the hit dancing show.
Making it to week seven of the competition, Jamala was ultimately eliminated in ninth place. She’ll no doubt be hoping to go further this time around.
Eurovision stars dance through 2022
A number of other Eurovision and national final stars have already taken to the dancefloor in 2022 (we were just a bit too focused on a certain show called Eurovision at the time they were broadcast).
Over in Sweden, Eurovision 2011 bronze medallist Eric Saade managed to claim gold in Let’s Dance 2022. Saade took home the trophy after ten weeks of impressive performances, including four perfect scores.
Melodifestivalen alumna Lisa Ajax was also a competitor in this year’s show but was eliminated in week five.
Germany’s Eurovision 2001 star Michelle donned her ballroom shoes for Germany’s Let’s Dance 2022. Unfortunately, the schlager singer’s journey on the show was cut short. Michelle had to withdraw after week five due to back problems.
Ples sa zvijezdama, Croatia’s version of Dancing with the Stars, returned in 2022 after a two-year break. The show featured the country’s Eurovision 2021 representative Albina. She made it to week eight of the competition before being eliminated in eighth place.
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Eurovision – Australia Decides 2019 contestant Courtney Act also competed on Dancing with the Stars Australia in the same year, finishing as the runner up.
In 2022, Courtney returned for the second all stars edition of the show. Two appears to be the RuPaul’s Drag Race star’s lucky number, as she once again took home the silver medal alongside professional partner Joshua Keefe.
Did you enjoy Jamala’s debut performance on Dancing with the Stars Poland? How far do you think she can go in the competition? Let us know in the comments below.