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Ukraine favorite to win Eurovision Song Contest amid war

Against the backdrop of a battle in Europe, the massively widespread Eurovision Song Contest reaches its flamboyant climax Saturday evening as 25 bands carry out in entrance of a reside viewers within the northern Italian metropolis of Turin, whereas tens of millions extra watch on tv all over the world.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra is closely tipped to win by bookmakers, that are giving the group that mixes conventional Ukrainian rhythms, costumes and dance strikes with modern hip hop a 60% probability of profitable.

Their tune, “Stefania,’’ was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mom, however has reworked since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24 into an anthem to the war-ravaged nation, as lyrics tackle new which means. “I’ll all the time discover my approach dwelling, even when all roads are destroyed,” Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk wrote.

The six-member, all-male band received special permission to leave the country to represent Ukraine and Ukrainian culture at the music contest. One of the original members stayed to fight, and the others plan to return as soon as the contest is over.

The winner is chosen in equal parts by panels of music experts in each competing nation and votes by the viewing public, leaving room for an upset. Britain’s Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning.

The winner takes home a glass microphone trophy and a potential career boost.

The event is hosted by Italy after the Italian rock band Maneskin won last year in Rotterdam. The victory shot the Rome-based band to international fame, opening for the Rolling Stones and appearing on Saturday Night Live and numerous magazine covers in their typically genderless costume code.

Twenty bands have been chosen in two semifinals this week, and will compete along with the Big Five of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which have permanent berths due to their financial support of the contest.

Russia was excluded this yr after its invasion of Ukraine, a transfer organizers stated was meant to maintain politics out of the competition that promotes variety and friendship amongst nations.

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