Eurovision Song Contest/Twitter
Ukraine is the winner of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest!
With an unprecedented lead of over 150 points, Ukraine took the No. 1 spot at the world's largest song contest on Saturday with a total score of 631.
After the national vote round, Ukraine was ranked fifth on the leaderboard. However, in the public vote, Ukraine won a whopping 439 votes and skyrocketed to first place. The United Kingdom placed second with 466 points, with Spain finishing third at 459, and Sweden in fourth with 438.
Representing the winning country was the Kalush Orchestra, a band who submitted their song "Stefania" for the contest.
The "Stefania" ensemble, which was formed in 2019, is led by Oleh Psiuk, a rapper from the city of Kalush in west Ukraine. In a recent video interview, he said he rapped in Ukrainian to prove people wrong who said the language doesn't work for rap.
The competition, which amassed over 180 million viewers in last year's finale, began decades ago in 1956. Last year's winner was the band Måneskin which won the title representing Italy with the song "Zitti e Buoni" ("Shut Up and Behave"). Since then, the band has blown up around the world, topped streaming charts, and even performed at Coachella and on Saturday Night Live.
The list of 25 countries that competed in Saturday's final in Turin, Italy, was confirmed after a two-part semifinal on Thursday. There were 40 entries in total, with Russia not returning.
Stefano Guidi/Getty Eurovision
Switzerland, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Netherlands qualified in the first round of semifinals. Belgium, Azerbaijan, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Sweden, Romania, Serbia, and the Czech Republic were selected to move on in part two.
In addition, the qualifiers from the above two rounds also joined the so-called "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) who receive automatic qualification into the final.
During the show, beyond the performances from the competitors, there were also some special presentations. Gigliola Cinquetti, an Italian singer and winner of the song contest in 1964, sang her winning song "Non Ho L'Età!"
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 14, 2022
"Here's the Italian Eurovision QUEEN with her winner song," Eurovision's official Twitter account shared, along with a video of the moment.
The hours-long show also had performances from Måneskin and Mika, the show's co-host.