Kalush Orchestra wowed the arena crowd and viewers at home with their performance of “Stefania”.
The 2021 grand final took place on Saturday (14 May) in Turin, Italy – the host country, following the victory of Italian rock band Måneskin in 2021’s competition.
Kalush Orchestra edged out other crowd favourites including the UK’s Sam Ryder, Spain’s act Chanel, and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs to take home the top prize.
The folk-rap group secured their win after being awarded a phenomenal number of public votes, which sent them to the top of the leader board.
The Ukrainian group’s victory comes amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of their country.
Russia was banned from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It was the first time the country had not particiapted since its debut in 1994.
Ryder wowed the jury with his performance, topping the score board after the jury votes were tallied. Among the countries to award the UK 12 points was Ukraine.
His performance of “Space Man”, however, ultimately failed to clinch the top prize once the public votes were counted.
The UK came second in the overall rankings, followed by Spain and Sweden.
It was an eventful night with Norway’s act Subwoolfer taking viewers by surprise with their “wacky” performance of “Give That Wolf a Banana”.
The group performed the song while wearing yellow wolf masks that concealed their identity.
Viewers praised Subwoolfer for staying true to the exuberant and bizarre atmosphere typical of the annual song contest.
“Norway fully and completely understood the assignment. These countries that are sending artists with ballads clearly do not,” wrote one viewer.
Elsewhere, former Eurovision winners Maneskin returned to the competition to perform their new track “Supermodel”.
The band’s lead vocalist Damiano David delighted viewers after he joked about last year’s “cocaine” controversy.
You can follow along with the live updates from the event here.