Latest Eurovision 2022 updates as Ukraine pleads to ‘save Mariupol’

THE Eurovision final has kicked off with another round of hopeful musicians battling it out to represent their nations at the grand final.

A shortlist of 25 bands will perform in front of the live Eurovision audience in the northern Italian city of Turin, while millions more watch on television around the world.

But in the first quarter of the show, Graham Norton slammed the judges as boring – and when he turned his attention to Mika he said: “Where has he been hiding?”.

He also couldn’t contain his laughter as he watched co-host Laura Pausini play a medley of hits – and criticised the pair’s wooden presenting skills.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra is heavily tipped to win by bookmakers, which are giving the group that mixes traditional Ukrainian rhythms, costumes and dance moves with contemporary hip hop a 60% chance of winning.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Sam Ryder hopes to achieve a high score in this evening’s final with epic power ballad Space Man.

The winner is chosen in equal parts by panels of music experts in each competing nation and votes by the viewing public, leaving room for an upset.

Sam Ryder and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs are each given a 10% shot while the Italian duo of Mahmood & Blanco have a 6% chance of winning.

The contest kicks off at 8pm on BBC One.

Read our Eurovision 2022 live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Poland’s entry sounds like Rag’N’Bone Man

    Poland’s entry is really impressive, with a mix of trip hop beats and powerful baritone and fal,setto vocals.

    Ochman’s powerful ballad Rivver was flanked by lighting effects and ghostly dancers

    It sounds somewhat like British chart topper Rag’N’Bone Man.

    Singer Ochman performs on behalf of Poland during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022Credit: AFP
  • Sam Ryder gives performance of his life

    Our hopeful Sam Ryder has just rocked the stage.

    The corwd absolutely loved his hit Space Man.

    His epic power-ballad resonated with the crowd as they whooped and cheered for him.

    Could it be Sam’s night tonight?

    Singer Sam Ryder performs at the Pala Alpitour venue in Turin
    Singer Sam Ryder performs at the Pala Alpitour venue in TurinCredit: AFP
  • Sam Ryder about to take to the stage

    Could it be ourt first win this century?

    C’mon Sam – let’s go!

  • Australia’s emotional performance

    Sheldon Riley who first found fame on The Voice Australia ha sjust deluvered a powerful, tearful performance.

    Giant steps? A 40 kilo white outfit made of ostrich feathers? A Swarowski crystal mask and hand jewels?

    It can only be Eurovision.

  • Kalush Orchestra makes plea for city of Mariupol

    Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra on Saturday made a plea for the city of Mariupol and its Azovstal plant at the end of their appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest.

    “Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now,” lead singer Oleh Psiuk shouted from the front of the stage in the Italian city of Turin after the band performed its song “Stefania”.

    Russian forces have been constantly bombarding the steelworks in the southern port of Mariupol, the last bastion of hundreds of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia after more than two months of a siege.

    Kalush Orchestra are tipped to win the annual song contest, watched by an international television audience expected to approach 200 million, helped by a wave of public sympathy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

    In a video address released before the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he believed the Kalush Orchestra would win.

    “Europe, vote for Kalush Orchestra, (song) No 12! Let’s support our fellow countrymen! Let’s support Ukraine!” he said, clenching his fist.

  • Moldova bring the folk rap

    You thohght Ukraine brought an infusion of folk and rap?

    Think again – Moldova have take it to the next level.

    Featuring actual accordion players and the rather irrrestible rap “hey ho, let’s go”.

    Still, people seemed to love it!

  • Fans love Ukraine’s entry

    There have been many plaudits for Ukraine’s powerful song this evening.

    The folk-dance band stirred up a lot of plaudits on Twitter.

    One wrote: “Ukraine should win Eurovision ngl!”

  • Ukraine delivers powerful message during grand final

    Folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra performed an impressive rendition of their song Stefania in the grand final of Eurovision.

    The Ukrainian act is the favourite to win currently, having been frontrunners since Russia’s invasion – which prompted organisers to ban the country from competing.

    The group was dressed in elaborate outfits, including long multi-coloured fringed ensembles, a pink bucket hat and others in traditional patterns.

    They are one of 25 acts vying for the top prize following the week-long contest in Turin, Italy.

    Their performance, which combined rap and Ukrainian folklore, went down well with the audience of 7,000 in the Pala Olimpico, who cheered the group on with many waving Ukrainian flags.

    At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

  • Azerbaihjan brings steunning mega-ballad

    Nadir Rustamli is performing Fade To Black for Azerbaihjan.

    He’s singing about his former self in a damning, personal balad taht conencts with the soul.

    The powerful mega-ballad features the first big steps of the evening.

    Our first Big Steps of the evening, and a powerful mega-ballad

  • Eurovision audience sing along in unison at Italy’s performance

    The audience at the grand final of the Eurovision song contest sang along with Italy’s entrant Mahmood and Blanco, who gave an emotional performance singing Brividi.

    Graham Norton, who is once again anchoring the contest on BBC One, said: “Wow that is stunning.

    “The whole Pala Olimpico was singing along with every word, I cannot overstate what a hit the song is.”

    Reigning Eurovision Song Contest champion Italian rock band Maneskin will be taking to the stage to perform their new single Supermodel.

  • Germany’s song pretty forgetable

    Germany has taken to the stage with Malik Harris playing Rockstars.

    It’s cheesy, watery Eminem style rap just didn’t help the wishy washy nature of the track.

  • Ukraine’s song has played

    What did you think of the song from Kalusha Orchestra?

  • 10 songs in!

    Wow! 10 songs in!

    Graham is right though – we’re not even halfway and it’s all starting to blur into one.

    But Spain’s Latin-inspired r’nb track Slo-Mo, by Chanel, woujldn;t be out of place in the Billboard charts.

    Nice nunber! And the crowd are roaring!


  • Graham Norton can’t contain his laughter at Mika and Laura Pausini

    But in the first quarter of the show, Graham Norton slammed the judges as boring – and when he turned his attention to Mika he said: “Where has he been hiding?”.

    He also couldn’t contain his laughter as he watched co-host Laura Pausini play a medley of hits during the opening of the show – and criticised the pair’s wooden presenting skills.

  • Italian sensations Mahmood and Blanco step on to stage

    Mahmood and Blanco are fpying the flag for the home nation.

    Brividi’ is already a huge hit in several European countries already and has been at number one in Italy for 10 weeks. 

    The rehearsals did not have the best vocals – and nor does the main performance.

    Disappointing stuff!

  • Cryptic scheduing reason means Sam COULD win

    Sam will be the 22nd artist to take to the stage as part of the competition, nestled in between Australia’s Sheldon Riley, who is performing Not The Same, and Poland’s Ochman with River.

    Czech Republic will open the night, while Estonia will be the final country to be represented.

    Already things are looking good, with last year’s winner Maneskin coming out on top after getting number 24 in the draw, however, it goes a little deeper than that.

    Going further back, the UK’s last winning entry Katrina and the Waves – who stormed to victory with Love Shine A Light in 1997 – came out on top as the 24th performer on the night.

  • Give That Wolf a Banana?

    First prize for the weirdest song of the night goes to Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf A Banana.

    But hurry up and give that wolf a nana before he east his Grandmother.

    We heard the word “yum” 90 times then. Wow!

  • France hit the stage

    Alvan & Ahez are perofmring their hit Fulenn.

    It starts a little unmemorable in comparsion to some of the bangers.

    But then it whips out a synth bassline.

    Vocals are well out of tune though.

  • Marius Bear bringing the soul for Switzerland

    Switzerland’s Marius Bear is singing Boys Do Cry. 

    He has a huge, soulful vocal, and this song has a laid-back jazz/blues vibe.

    This first half of the Grand Final is generally quite up-tempo, so these stripped-back ballad breaks provide an opportunity to sit down and marvel at the quality of this year’s singing.

    Also nobody in the Delegation rocks a leather jacket quite like Marius.

  • The return of chart toppers The Rasmus

    Yes, Finnish rockers The Rasmus are back.

    The creators of In The Shadows are back with their new single Jezebel.

    Unfortunately, it’s not very good. Highly unmemorable.

    And while it’s cheesy eighties rock, there’s only so much Judas Priest and Iron Maiden style rawk we can handle.

  • Portugal may be ‘cancelled out by similar artists’

    Graham says Portugal’s number was lovely.

    However, he said they are likely to be forgotten amongst 25 artists.

    Other wsimilar tunes may “cancel them out”, he quips.

  • Eurovision final stats

    The grand final of the Eurovision song contest has kicked off in Turin, Italy.

    There are 25 acts set to perform in front of a 7,000-crowd of fans at the Pala Olimpico arena, vying for the top prize during the climax of the week-long contest.

    This year’s final features the 20 successful nations from the week’s two semi-finals, as well as the so-called big five of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

  • It’s time for an introspective track

    All that partying has left us a bit breathless.

    Next up is Portugal’s MARO – Saudade Saudade

    A very different vibe this one.

  • Romania up next!

    Romania are next on stage – represented by WRS.

    Graham says their track, LLamame, is “irresistible”.

    The Delegation Bubble is already up and dancing, because ‘easing ourselves in gently’ is not a phrase we understand.

    And it’s a nice singalong track – but it’s not exactly fresh or new.

  • Czech Republic up first

    A gothic-inspired house track to kick off the night from We Are Domi.

    Lights Out features pulsing synths, nice hooks, sped up vocals and a slamming beat.

    Nice tune to kick off with.

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