Kalush Orchestra gives first press conference after winning Eurovision

Anhelina Sheremet
Kalush Orchestra gives first press conference after winning Eurovision

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, which won the Eurovision Song Contest, gave its first press conference. Frontman Oleg Psyuk answered the questions.

Donʼt you think that people voted for you because of the situation in Ukraine, and not because of the creative component? Before the war, we were on the 5th place in the forecasts of bookmakers, after — on the 1st. Europeans liked the song. Thanks to everyone who voted.

What will your victory show Europe? For Ukraine, any victory is very important now, and since our culture is also under threat, we need to show that it exists, that it is alive, and our music has a very good signature.

Why is there such a difference in the voting between the jury and the audience? This is a competition where you have to show yourself through the screen. I saw myself on the screen and other contestants — it does not match. So, we still need to work on how to present ourselves through the screen.

About Azovstal and possible disqualification: This is a great problem for our country, more than 1,000 people are surrounded on all sides and they cannot leave. We ask countries to join in helping people. We need to talk about this. There is a lot of press here now, if each of you writes about it, it will also help us. [...] People who ask this question [about the fear of disqualification] probably do not understand the extent of the trouble in our country. I was willing to take a risk, but I couldnʼt miss the chance to say that to 200 million people.

Have you already received a phone call from President Volodymyr Zelensky and will Ukraine be able to host Eurovision in 2023? So far, there has been no opportunity to talk to the president in person, he is very busy. Next year, Ukraine will be happy to host Eurovision in a whole and rebuilt country. [... There has been no good news in Ukraine for a long time, so thank you to everyone who helped us bring it to the country.

What will you do after returning to Ukraine? I donʼt know, but like every Ukrainian, I`m ready to fight for the country to the end.

How do you feel about returning to a country where the war is going on? In our country, all our relatives, acquaintances, friends, and concern for them do not disappear after crossing the border.

Who was among your favorites? Italy, UK, Poland, and Moldova.

How did you feel when you won with the rap song? Rap and hip-hop are now mainstream in the world, why shouldnʼt they be at Eurovision? Thatʼs why I want to be, a pioneer.

  • On May 14, during a performance in the Eurovision final, the Kalush Orchestra called for the rescue of Azovstal. “Help Ukraine, Mariupol, help Azovstal! Right now! ” Exclaimed the bandʼs soloist Oleh Psyuk from the stage. However, the organizers stated that they would not disqualify Ukraine — because it is a humanitarian appeal, not a political one.
  • Ukraine has won Eurovision three times: in 2004 (Ruslana), 2016 (Jamala) and 2022.