Ukraine stormed to third place at Eurovision 2024 with the song “Teresa & Maria.” Upon alyona alyona’s return to her homeland, the rapper was seen wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “Free Azovstal Defenders” printed on it — the same t-shirt that members of the Ukrainian delegation (except the two singers) wore whilst sat in the green room during the grand final.

The t-shirt refers to the 2,500 Ukrainian service personnel who ended up in Russian captivity after the surrender of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in May 2022 during the Siege of Mariupol.

Speaking with the press on her arrival in Ukraine, alyona alyona admitted that the team had broken the rules of the contest by wearing this outfit, since the contest is apolitical and such actions are strictly prohibited. Therefore, the two representatives themselves decided not to wear these t-shirts to avoid being expelled.

“We decided not to risk it and wear the t-shirts ourselves. The members of the team put them on, because they could have been taken from the hall, but us, the artists had to stay (in the venue). Just so you understand, there was such a thing! They checked everything, if there was an inscription, any brand, if you have it somewhere on your nails, on your face… The apolitical pressure was very big. We took a risk and secretly wore the t-shirts.”

In a post on Instagram, the rapper went into more detail about the decision to have the t-shirts with them in the green room:

“We tried to do everything possible in order to somehow remind about the prisoners of war at Eurovision. The T-shirt you see in the video was presented in almost all the interviews we gave. We symbolically remind about very important things every time we have the opportunity to tell the whole world about them!

“We want to call on the entire world community now, when the greatest amount of attention is focused on us, to make sure that the prisoners of war are exchanged for everyone. So that our boys, girls, and children return home, receive decent treatment and a decent standard of living. And the most important thing is our gratitude for all that they experienced.

“Glory to Ukraine! We will win!”

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Альона (@alyona.alyona.official)

alyona alyona went further in another social media post, explaining more about the difficulties they had in sourcing the t-shirts:

“Appearing in FREE AZOVSTAL DEFENDERS t-shirts was a very risky and difficult task. Any inscriptions and brands were prohibited, the guards checked all clothes and, if there was an inscription on it, they asked to remove it or they glued the inscriptions with black tape. But our difficulties began at the stage of creating a logo print on a t-shirt.

“We called several printing houses, some of them did not work, and some of them refused to make a print. However, we were able to come to an agreement with one printing company after calling them five times and tearfully begging for help. Before entering the hall, our team put on t-shirts under their other t-shirts and sweaters and were able to go to the green room with them.

“We knew that when Eurovision show the replays of the performances, they also show the delegation itself. Therefore, when the camera approached us, our team quickly changed and showed our appeal to the whole world. We took a lot of risks, but everything worked out.

“I am glad that we managed to remind the world about our prisoners of war”

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Альона (@alyona.alyona.official)

What do you think about the Ukrainian delegation’s decision? Are you glad alyona alyona and Jerry Heil spread the “Free Azovstal Defenders” message? Let us know in the comments bellow. 

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Eva
Eva
8 days ago

The jury boycotted Israel and Ukraine and gave few points to Croatia. All this because they wanted Metler to win. The result should be canceled because the competition rules were broken. Wiwibloggs should write about the violation of the competition rules and the open boycott of Israel and Ukraine by the jury. Please cancell the rigged result

Vjera Brdar
Vjera Brdar
10 days ago

Oh this pathetic duo really takes the cake (or two!) this year. From the song’s motif, to tasteless staging to facist fashion statements. Busy girls all around.
Guess it really is Sieg, Heil after all huh.

Michael
Michael
10 days ago

Ukraine made Eurovision Song Contest more Political than ever 🙁

Bjorn
Bjorn
10 days ago

How about the EBU make a strict rule – any political gesture, picture, shirt, decoration, and whatever , even the tiniest detail – leads to instant discualification, no discussions. And the rule should refer to ALL, no double standards.

P.S. this comment has nothing to do with the song of Ukraine itself. The song is one of my absolute favorites

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
10 days ago

Sick of all these political tactics no matter how small by all.

Ari
Ari
11 days ago

The performance though… one of the few I will probably go back to watch in the future. Because of Jerry and the rock she was climbing. The t shirts… I get them, I’d probably do the same in their situation. I still find the EBU is right on their tough stance against any political agenda in the contest. It needs to be. Half the delegations would go nuts with political agendas if there weren’t any boundaries. They all try to cross them as much as they can anyway.

Alexandro
Alexandro
11 days ago

Double standards all over..

Alexandro
Alexandro
10 days ago
Reply to  Alexandro

Speaking about Eurofans and their attitute towards countries. Not just EBU. There should be no rainbow flags, just participating countries flags. There should be no pro-ukrainian statements, just like there should be no pro-israeli or no pro-palestinian statements. It’s music guys! It’s meant to united us!!!!!! Peace to all sides, all humans!

Johnny
Johnny
11 days ago

Im sick ant tired of politics at Eurovision. Either cancel politics or cancel Eurovision.

Bxs
Bxs
10 days ago
Reply to  Johnny

Everything is politics. Even an apolitical stand, it’s political.

PP77
PP77
11 days ago

Jerry wear also a banderaciaga print on her clothes in video ,when she did promote ESC song.
Bravo EBU for non politics and double standard for countries.

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  PP77

I also didn’t like the Bandera sweaters.

shwep
shwep
10 days ago
Reply to  PP77

I kinda liked their song and wanted to vote for them, but “Banderaciaga” stopped me from doing it. (That, and referencing Mother Teresa!)

Shush
Shush
11 days ago

I mean this just showcases the double standards perfectly. I loved Ukraine this year and i support them but this proves that the EBU banning any palestinian representation is not to do with a general apolitical stance. They support Ukraine but don’t support Palestine, and they are shoving down our throats every single year and i’m sick of it.

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  Shush

I am for a non political Eurovision.
Thats why I am not happy with the Bandera sweaters and these T-shirts.
Sorry, Jerry.
But Ukraine is in Eurovision and Palestine not, so its obvious that Palestine symbols are not allowed. Also the USA flag is not allowed.
But i agree that these T-shirts went too far.
Everyone already knows about what happens in Ukraine.

Karl
Karl
11 days ago

“Israel astroturfed Eurovision vote but lost anyway, govt admits”
https://thegrayzone.com/2024/05/14/israel-astroturfed-eurovision-vote/

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Even if i saw millions of ads for voting for a Russian contestant in Eurovision, i wouldn’t do it. People can decide for themselves.

Arystophan
Arystophan
11 days ago
Reply to  Nadiia

exactly… it only concerns intellectually impaired people

Alanis
Alanis
8 days ago
Reply to  Nadiia

You are not deciding anything. You are led to believe that you can make an impact.

Alanis
Alanis
8 days ago
Reply to  Karl

I don’t think so. I think that was an agreement. EBU (because of the Moroccanoil) has let them “compete”, but they had to tone it down because of enough of scandals they’ve produced with them being at the esc in the 1st place. So, the juries gave them lousy points (to save EBU’s asses and to seem to be “against” them) but “hush-hush” rewarded them through the televotes. Never forget that digital votes can be rigged anyhow you want them to be. When Baby Lasagna was receiving his OGAE award, the man who was giving the reward told Marko that… Read more »

Alexandro
Alexandro
11 days ago

I guess no one cares about the political features of their performance. Ukraine was as political as Israel this year, yet no one cared about Ukraine. Is this fair? Different standards I guess?..

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  Alexandro

Everyone knew that our song and staging reflects the war.
With the missile lights in the background, the shadows of people walking in the cubes, our fallen people on the ground at the end of the song.
Europe saw it and voted for Ukraine.

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  Nadiia

Not happy with their Bandera sweaters though.

Nadiia
Nadiia
11 days ago
Reply to  Nadiia

Btw I think the staging was a bit over the top
and the end with thanks fir standing with Ukraine… everybody knows.
No political statements in Eurovision, please.
Sorry, Jerry

Marlinken
Marlinken
11 days ago
Reply to  Alexandro

Ukraine is not an aggressor in war. They were happily minding their own business when the p s y c h o next door decided to try and rebuild the Soviet Union, something which about six people want (and five of those are in Moscow). Even then, Ukraine’s song and performance were more about religion than politics. But even if they went up there and sang about Bandera, we do not have to consider Russia’s feelings. This is a country that, every week, threatens to randomly nuke places in Europe. If Russia is upset by Ukraine’s ESC entry, we do… Read more »

Darren
Darren
11 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

They know this, they just don’t care, because they don’t see Palestinians as human. They openly say so. No shame.
The whole whatsboutism with Ukraine, playing victim, etc is all part of the rule book in the Knesset and its supporters

Bani
Bani
10 days ago
Reply to  Darren

And why you have Arabs in Knesset but NO Jews in P@lestin1an Authority?? This IS (!!) Ap@rthe1d. Explain this Darren…

Alanis
Alanis
8 days ago
Reply to  Bani

I’ve explained it to you, but my post wasn’t allowed by the admin.
Even though what I wrote is nothing that hasn’t been published in the msm: NYT, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post etc.

To summarize it. You don’t have to be there, you control their authority – with money.

Mihailo
Mihailo
9 days ago
Reply to  Marlinken

So by your logic it would be totally fine to make a song about Hitler just because Israel is involved in war. Messed up world we live in