All eyes will be on this Tuesday evening on the performance of the Ukrainian candidates, during the first semi-final of Eurovision. A very special edition for the members of Kalush Orchestra, engaged until recently in the war that is ravaging their country.
They will interpret Stefania, this evening, in Turin. The performance of Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian candidates for Eurovision, during the first semi-final, will undoubtedly be one of the most scrutinized.
The members of the group, placed in the lead by the bookmakers, were still, a short time ago, far from the spotlight and from Eurovision, busy defending or helping their country at war. Their career in the competition has therefore been most atypical, as has their preparation.
Last March, Oleh Psiuk, the leader of the formation, selected shortly before the Russian invasion to represent Ukraine, had thus explained to Reuters, that he led a group of volunteers distributing drugs and helping the population to flee the country. Eurovision was then far from being his first concern.
“I can’t rejoice (for Eurovision) because I worry about my loved ones,” he delivered. Another member of the group was engaged in territorial defense.
Rehearsals and pre-parties
The members then had to rehearse separately, before finally being able to meet again in the city of Lviv.
For the moment, we are rehearsing as we can, each on his own, and we hope to meet again soon”, explained at the end of March Oleh Psiuk, whom BFMTV had been able to reach by Skype.
First rehearsals together
They finally got back together in early April and finally got to rehearse together, as they posted on Instagram.
“Today the entire Kalush Orchestra met in Lviv for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and we started preparing for the performance in Turin,” they said. thus indicated on Instagram, April 2, announcing at the same time that they would go well to Turin.
The members of the group were then able to obtain papers giving them the right to leave Ukraine to represent their country throughout Europe.
Pre-parties in Israel and Amsterdam
They were then able to participate in several of the pre-parties last month, which allowed them to reconnect with the scene. Several concerts take place each year in the months preceding Eurovision. They are referred to as “pre-parties”, in fan jargon. London, in particular, has its London Eurovision Party, and Amsterdam its Eurovision in Concert.
These concerts allow candidates to meet fans in different countries. Kalush Orchestra was thus present in Tel Aviv at the beginning of April for “Israel Calling”, where the French candidates also performed, as well as in Amsterdam on April 9.
Finally, the Ukrainians, who have been in Turin for a few days, are entitled to several rehearsals – like all the other countries – on stage, to test the costumes and the choreography. They also performed their song with Polish candidate Ochman in the streets of Turin on Monday. Quite a symbol.