The field is blooming, but her hair is getting grey

Kalush Orchestra

You are so sexy BOM. Gonna make me crazy BOM. We’re gonna do the BOM BOM. Ain’t that amazing BOM.

Those were the days. You used to be able to rely on Ukraine to bring something fun – like when Tina Karol danced to an accordion number, or when Ani Lorak did Shady Lady, or when Verka Serduchka did that one nobody knows the name of (It was “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”, you ignoramus).

Sadly given the geopolitics their entries have been getting quite dour since – their winner in 2016 recounted Stalin’s deportation of Crimean Tatars from their native Crimea. Jamala opened with these cheerful lines: “When strangers are coming, they come to your house; they kill you all inside [and say] “We’re not guilty, not guilty”.

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Originally we were going to get a woman called Alina Pash, but she pulled out following an investigation into a 2015 trip she made to Crimea, which Russia seized control of in 2014. Alina said some people had attacked her online and called her un-Ukrainian for the visit.

So instead we have The Kalush Orchestra. Kalush was a Ukrainian rap group who launched a side project Kalush Orchestra a few years back to focus on “hip hop with folk motifs” and “elements from Ukrainian traditional music”. It’s been leading in the odds for weeks now, but I expect that its been doing so without most punters having heard it.

In any other year this would likely have stayed in its semi – but we are where we are, and the media has obviously mainlined on the story given the band will be back on the front line of the war come Monday. Maybe this is one of those moments in Eurovision where politics really is more important than song quality.

My own instinct is that juries will score this politely, and when it comes to televoters there just might might not be enough of the them if a clear favourite appears from the juries – but what do I know? If you’re betting on anything other than Ukraine tonight, go each way.

Published by

Jim Dickinson

@Wonkhe SUs. Trustee @WinchesterSU. HE policy. Pop. Pro EU(rovision). Windmills not walls. FRSA. Dreams of visiting Moldova. A brunch. Dressing up. A feeling.

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