The Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine gave an energetic performance of their song Stefania in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
They are among 17 countries taking to the stage from Turin, Italy on Tuesday night, with 10 acts being dialed through to the grand finale on Saturday.
The Ukrainian act are currently favorites to win, with bookmaker William Hill placing them at odds of 8/13 as the country continues to resist Russian forces.
The group was dressed in elaborate outfits, including two members in long, multicolored fringe ensembles and others in traditional patterns.
Their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, was well received by the audience as the group was cheered on and many Ukrainian flags were waved.
Commenting on BBC Three’s coverage of the semi-finals, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills said: “Due to the current situation, the band were only able to get together for rehearsals about six weeks ago.”
He added, “Frontman Oleg joked that he doesn’t think the lack of rehearsal time will affect their performance because they are very attractive men.”
At the end of the performance, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.
The producers of the competition previously announced that Russia will no longer participate in this year’s competition following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
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The semifinals opened with a dramatic performance featuring a variety of dancers in glittery and metallic dresses.
Albania opened the evening with a powerful performance by their representative Ronela Hajati with her song Sekret.
Latvia was next up with their offer of Citi Zeni, who sang their track Eat Your Salad, which has gone viral for its tongue-in-cheek lyrics, while dressed in monochromatic red, green and white suits.
Lithuanian Monika Liu shone in a sparkling floor-length gown as she sultryly performed her song Sentimentai.
While Marius Bear from Switzerland provided a raw rendition of his track Boys Do Cry, accompanied by simple lighting, LPS from Slovenia gave a jazzy rendition of their song Disko.
The semi-finals will be broadcast on BBC Three, with commentary by TV star Rylan Clark and Radio 1 presenter Mills.
UK viewers will not be able to vote on Tuesday’s show.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/ukraine-delivers-energetic-performance-at-eurovision-semi-final-41636968.html Ukraine put on an energetic performance at the Eurovision semi-finals