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Ukraine has won the 2022 Eurovision song contest. They were crowned victors having amassed 631 points from both public and jury votes.
Rap group Kalush Orchestra represented the war-torn country with their song Stefania. Watch the moment they found out they won the contest here:
This came after the United Kingdom won the jury vote, with the country's strongest finish in decades courtesy of Sam Ryder and his song Space Man. They finished with 466 points after the public votes were counted, coming second behind Ukraine.
The contest comes with the backdrop of war in Europe for the first time since Second World War, after Russia invaded Ukraine in March of this year.
Extraordinarily, members of Kalush Orchestra were actually fighting on the frontline in the Ukraine war before being given special permission to compete in Eurovision.
The group told Eurovision TV: "We feel a big responsibility, since we received permits to leave Ukraine to be here. We have a duty to be useful to our country at this moment. We didn't have any opportunity to rehearse together for a long time, but now, we've gone into 'extra mode'.
"We're all very hard working, and we're all doing what we can to make this happen. We've enjoyed seeing people singing our song, even if they didn't know all the words. We really appreciate seeing people supporting Ukraine, and supporting us."
A staple of Eurovision is that whoever wins the contest hosts next year's competition. However, the war in Ukraine throws that slightly into doubt. Speaking before the win, member of Kalush Orchestra Oleh Psiuk was hopeful Eurovision could be held in the country.
"Eurovision next year [will be] in the free home and reconstructed and rebuilt and happy Ukraine."
Despite missing out on the win, the United Kingdom can be very happy with how the competition went for them.
Sam Ryder, of Maldon in Essex, did better than any other United Kingdom entry since 1997, which was the last time the UK won Eurovision. Katrina and the Waves won then with the song Love Shine a Light, but since then the country has finished rock bottom five times including 2021's entry, where James Newman managed to score zero points.
Congratulations to Ukraine and well in to Sam Ryder, who managed to get a lot of UK viewers dreaming of something that seemed impossible only a year ago.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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