Ukraine win Eurovision song contest with politically charged 1944


**Ukraine win Eurovision song contest with politically charged 1944

Ukraine has won the 2016 Eurovision song contest with an entry that caused tensions with Russia over its politically charged lyrics.

Singer-songwriter Jamala beat her rivals with haunting ballad 1944, which evoked the deportation of Crimean Tatars by Joseph Stalin and has been interpreted as a criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.**

Before the final, which was held in Stockholm on Saturday evening and seen by many as the most politicised edition of the competition to date, Jamala had said her victory would show that Europeans were “ready to hear about the pain of other people”.

**Jamala, whose real name is Susana Jamaladynova, is herself a Crimean Tatar, has not been home since shortly after Russia’s 2014 annexation of the peninsula, but her parents and extended family still live there.

“[If I win] it will mean that modern European people are not indifferent, and are ready to hear about the pain of other people and are ready to sympathise,” Jamala told the Guardian by phone from the Swedish capital shortly before the contest.

Referring to her song’s lyrics, she said: “Of course it’s about 2014 as well. These two years have added so much sadness to my life.**

“Imagine – you’re a creative person, a singer, but you can’t go home for two years. You see your grandfather on Skype who is 90 years old and ill, but you can’t visit him. What am I supposed to do: just sing nice songs and forget about it? Of course I can’t do that.”

Guest nation Australia came second with Dami Im’s Sound of Silence, with favourites Russia in third, Bulgaria in fourth and Sweden fifth. The UK act, Joe and Jake, finished in 24th place, despite eliciting a favourable reaction from the Stockholm crowd.

This year’s competition used a new voting system, under which points were awarded partly by juries from member countries and partly by a public telephone vote. Australia had been in the lead at the end of the jury stage, but the phone voters ultimately swung things Ukraine’s way.

The show was broadcast live in Europe, China, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand and, for the first time, the United States. The viewing figures for this year’s contest are not yet known, but they are expected to exceed the 200 million who tuned in last year.


Couldn’t be more pleased…Eurovision will be hosted by Ukraine in Kiev next year, YAY!!! :thumbsup:

It was the most nail-biting I’ve ever seen a Eurovision song contest - usually a zany, chirpy, camp affair - at the end, when it came down to a final decision between Ukraine and Russia (ironic eh?) as to which had the most votes. I was so relieved that Ukraine beat Russia, which ended up coming third behind Australia.

And a song about Stalin’s forced deportation of Crimean Tartars in 1944 too…with Crimea again under Russian occupation today post-2014.

Isn’t it reassuring to know that Europeans have never forgotten the horrors of Stalinism/Communism?


I didn’t even realize it. That was the most horrible, boring broadcast. I couldn’t wait fro it to be over.
**But my Eurpean hubs LOVED it. **
I guess you have to emotionally attached to Eurovision. :shrug:


That would be reassuring if true. Not sure I would read that much into Eurovision voting.


The voting has become highly-politicised over the last decade, in my opinion. I’m not quite sure why some of these countries are in the Eurovision, though - Australia?

I’ve been to Ukraine and loved it there. Good for them for winning!


Because we Aussies have a massive Europan immigrant population and have been very staunch and enthusiastic supporters of Eurovision since forever. Plus, we’re in the Asian soccer confederation for reasons that defy explanation, so we can basically be whatever suits us on the international stage :slight_smile:

As for Ukraine winning, methinks it’s payback for a rather nasty little episode a few years back where Russia demanded Ukraine withdraw a song which was critical of Putin. On that occasion the bullying worked, I’m glad it didn’t this time.


My bad. The song about Putin wasn’t from Ukraine but Georgia.


I am delighted Ukraine won, however the usual shenanigans went on behind the scenes with the ‘political’ voting by the ‘judges’.

Russia however won the public vote and no doubt the Russian song will get more youtube hits, as it was favourite to win.

When did Australia join Europe. :slight_smile:


We’re cynical pragmatists. We’ll join whoever looks like winning, and let them pip us at the post. That makes them gracious in victory, and we get the spin-off.

When Britannia ruled the waves, we were at their side, until the Japanese looked like upsetting the apple cart.

So we looked across the Pacific, and in the American century we were right there alongside them, all the way with LBJ (way back - boy, that was ridiculous - the war in Vietnam was just getting into it’s stride).

Next step? China? Islam? India? Whatever…:hmmm:


I note one commentor made a good point, to the facebook joke::smiley:

Because half of bl**din Europe emmigrated over there! Haha


True, true :smiley:


The Russian song was definitely the most popular but on a personal level I thought that, musically, the Australian one was the best.

The Australian girl was the favourite of the juries, while the Russian guy (who is a well-known singer in Europe) got the popular vote.

Ukraine came second to Russia in the popular vote and I think second to Australia in the jury vote, so when they tallied it up, Ukraine was the legitimate winner - the “compromise” of the two, so to speak.

Australia are awesome though - I’m so glad they came on board last year. There’s seems to be a lot of love for them in Europe, unlike the UK. At least one English speaking country is popular! :smiley:


Australia isn’t in Europe but neither is Israel, which has long been a contestant.

The committee sometimes invites “guest countries” like these two provided they have a European culture and a majority of their population with roots in Europe, which Australia definitely has.

And it paid off. The Europeans are really loving the Aussies.


In order to participate, the country has to be a paid up member of the European Broadcasting Union. It’s nothing to do with their standing in Europe. This is also the reason Israel participates and Morocco did in 1980.


The two Swedish presenters put up a wonderful show. Real all round talents. There seemed to be a lot of inane “chats” though, I wonder if this was to accommodate the silly adverts for the American TV channel.


I agree they were excellent, I couldnt believe their stamina - especially after that theatrical-like humorous self-mocking of Eurovision. They must have been knackered by the end of it all.


I never watch it, usually only for the result tallying, at the end, to see which country is being stitched up, this year, and by whom.:slight_smile:

There cannot be a compromise when one part of the vote tallied was a political ‘stitch-up’, which has occurred, for decades - at least by introducing the public vote to the final count it is a ‘fairer’ vote and is in relation to the ‘song’ only.


Europe looks like winning? :shrug:


IMHO, Ukraine won the contest because of political anti-Russian sentiment.


I don’t think that’s the full story.

Israel and Morocco appear to be active members of the EBU, but Australia is an associate member, along with the US, South Korea, Brazil, Cuba, Bangladesh, China, Syria, India, Canada, Oman, Kazakhstan, etc.

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