Eurovision: Latvia's Citi Zēni perform 'Eat Your Salad' in rehearsal
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Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine as Russian forces continue their attack on the nation, the country was still represented and done proud during the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals on Tuesday in Turin, Italy as Kalush Orchestra took to the stage. Scott Mills and Rylan Clark were on hand to introduce the group to BBC Three viewers as they performed their energetic rendition of the original song, Stefania.
However, moments after the group performed, one member still took the time out to thank the audience for their raucous support and backing against Russia.
The group consisting of Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Ihor Didenchuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, Oleksandr Slobodianyk and Vlad Kurochka were sixth up during the first semi-final of this year’s competition.
Teeing up their act, Scott explained to viewers: “Up next is Ukraine which is currently the bookies’ favourite.
“Obviously a lot of eyes on this act and song, given the circumstances back home in Ukraine.
“This performance contains rap and Ukrainian folklore,” Scott added before touching on the already enormous support the band has received.
He went on: “The crowd reaction in the rehearsals and now is off the scale for these guys.”
“Unreal,” Rylan chipped in before Scott continued: “Because of the current situation, the band weren’t able to meet to rehearse until about six weeks ago.”
However, Scott revealed the group are still trying to see the lighter side of things.
The Radio 1 star commented: “Frontman Oleh jokes he doesn’t think the lack of rehearsals will affect their performance because they’re very attractive men, he says they’ll be fine.
“The song is called Stefania, a tribute to Oleh’s mother who only first heard the song when the group performer it at the Ukrainian National Final.”
Once their rendition of Stefania had concluded, the crowd in Turin erupted with cheers and applause.
“Listen to the crowd,” Scott said while an equally blown away Rylan weighed in: “So loud.”
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On stage, one of the singers bowed his head and held one hand aloft.
He shouted out to the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home: “Thank you for supporting Ukraine”
Rylan couldn’t help but comment on the heartwarming moment: “A lot of love for them in here.”
And the audience in the arena weren’t the only ones applauding Kalush Orchestra’s efforts.
On Twitter, TV critic Scott Bryan tweeted: “The reaction to the end to Kalush Orchestra (Ukraine’s entry at Eurovision) is incredibly touching.”
Twitter user @Katlysss added: “Tell me why I’m nearly crying watching Ukraine perform at #Eurovision?”
While @angelanergv wanted to see them progress: “Moldova, ukraine and albania deserve to qualify #Eurovision.” (sic)
The Eurovision Song Contest semi-final continues on Thursday at 8pm on BBC Three.
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