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Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra at the First Semi-Final
Kalush Orchestra win the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine
Photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett

Eurovision 2022: Winner's Press Conference with Kalush Orchestra

Kalush Orchestra shared their reaction to winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, in the winner's Press Conference immediately after the Grand Final.

Get to know more about Kalush Orchestra and their song 'Stefania’

📺 Watch: Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra – Performance at the Grand Final

Having basked in the glory of their Eurovision triumph on the stage of the PalaOlimpico, Kalush Orchestra made the short journey to the Press Conference room, to give the first reaction to their win for Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, with their song Stefania.

The emotions upon winning were understandably still high, but the group were ready to speak to the assembled press, who were prepared with questions that all of Europe would be curious to find out the answers to the following day.

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra Wins at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Grand FinalEBU / Corinne Cumming

The band began with a message of gratitude to all the voters across Europe who had awarded their song with a record-breaking tally of points, as well as the juries who had voted in their favour, too.

We want to thank everyone out there who voted for Ukraine. The victory is very important to Ukraine, especially this year. For us, this support is even more important for Ukraine in these times. And we really appreciate that you helped us with your votes.

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra Wins at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Grand FinalEBU / Corinne Cumming

The artists express their belief that while this is a great win for Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest, it is also a tremendous victory for Ukrainian music, which they hope is going to be explored and spread widely as a result of them taking the Eurovision trophy.

Any victory is very meaningful to Ukraine these days. We are here to prove that Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian music are alive, and they have their very own sound and special signature. You can listen to Ukrainian music, watch Ukrainian films, and visit Ukraine. Apart from us, there are so many talented people in Ukraine doing music and doing so many other creative outlets. We would invite you to support them and follow them, too.

📺 Watch: Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra win the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest

The band take great pride in their win, and have enjoyed the song’s journey to get here. From the initial reaction to it when they presented Stefania at the Ukrainian Eurovision pre-selection Vidbir, to the response they’ve had when they’ve taken it around the content in the run-up to the Contest.

Lately the song was at number one according to the odds. But even before the war broke out, it was top five with the bookies. We have been travelling all over Europe and have heard the song a lot. And we have really enjoyed this; hearing this song playing around Europe.

As is tradition in the Contest, the winning nation at Eurovision gets to host the Contest in their country the following year. Talk soon turns to whether or not Ukraine plans to do this, given the current situation in the country.

Next year, Ukraine will be happy to host the Eurovision Song Contest, and indeed all of Europe, in the new, integrated, happy Ukraine. It is too soon to talk about our plans, but of course we will do everything possible to make the next Eurovision happen in the new, peaceful Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 EBU / Sarah Louise Bennett

As fans know, the song Stefania was written to honour Oleg’s mother. One member of the press asks if Oleg has been able to call her yet, since learning of the win.

I haven’t had time to call her yet, I have just texted her. It’s pretty late in Ukraine, so I have decided that I will call her tomorrow.

Finally, the talk turns to what comes next for Kalush Orchestra and its members, given that they will return home to a country that is full of so many uncertainties right now.

We have a temporary authorisation to be here, and it ends in two days. And so in two days, we will be back in Ukraine. It’s hard to say what we’re going to do, because this is our first time winning the Eurovision Song Contest! But like every Ukrainian, we are going to fight, and fight until the end.

📺 Watch: Kalush Orchestra – Stefania (House of Scientists Version)

Next, Martin Österdahl, Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, has a message for the members of Kalush Orchestra and the Ukrainian delegation.

We have now completed the 66th Eurovision Song Contest and it’s been a memorable one. Congratulations on this historic victory. From the very beginning of this Eurovision Song Contest you have been extraordinary, you have been brave and you have been courageous. We know that this has been a very difficult time for you, but from the very first day you have been so impressive, and you have charmed us all. Congratulations on this incredible win.

The band leave the stage for a final photo call, and with Martin’s words and Kalush Orchestra’s win, the final chapter closes on the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, hosted in Turin.

📺 Watch: Eurovision Song Contest 2022: Grand Final

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