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Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra Triumph At Eurovision 2022 – The Band Has Released The Official Video For Winning Song, ‘Stefania’.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Ukrainian band, Kalush Orchestra, triumphed in this weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest Final, with an incredible 631 points, 439 of which came from the public, making their victory unassailable, and establishing a more than comfortable lead over second place, United Kingdom’s Sam Ryder, who scored 466.

In the public vote Ukraine were awarded 12 points from 28 countries, in a previously unheard of stand of solidarity from the Eurovision community. This amazing result finally brought into being the founding tenet of the contest, to promote co-operation between European countries, in a stand of love and unity.

Ukraine’s song, ‘Stefania’, was originally dedicated to Kalush Orchestra’s frontman Oleh’s mother, but it has since become a rallying cry for Ukrainians in the fight to liberate their country in the illegal Russian war, including a video that has been going viral of a soldier in Azovstal singing the song.

The band yesterday released the incredibly powerful official music video, which was shot in war-torn cities near Kyiv.

Kalush Orchestra - Stefania (Official Video Eurovision 2022)

After delivering an incredibly emotional performance in the first semi final, the band, led by frontman Oleh Psiuk, held their nerve going into the final as favourites and showed the world just how vibrant and spectacular Ukrainian culture is – receiving a standing ovation from the Pala Alpitour’s 13,000 spectators, and won the hearts and minds of millions more watching at home. They ended their performance with a heartfelt plea, 

“I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, help Mariupol, help Azovstal right now.”

Their winning song, ‘Stefania’, fuses rap and hip hop with traditional Ukrainian folk music, and while it is dedicated to Oleh’s mother, it has, not just over the course of the competition, but also since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, taken on the additional meaning of love for the motherland. The song’s lyrics, including the immensely moving line, “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed,”, have certainly hit home.

The music video for ‘Stefania’, shot in Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, and Hostomel, all cities near Kyiv that suffered the horrors of Russian occupation, shows a number of female Ukrainian soldiers rescuing and guiding children through the rubble, interspersed with shots of the band performing inside, and in front of, blown out buildings and other signs of the terrible destruction of war. These are real images from the decimated cities of Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Hostomel, all of which have brutally suffered as a result of the Russian occupation. The video ends with a shot of a little girl holding a flaming Molotov cocktail, which stands as a visceral reminder of the far reaching, devastating consequences of the war felt by every Ukrainian.

The video closes with this message from the band:

“This video was filmed in Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Hostomel, cities near Kyiv that suffered the horrors of Russian occupation.

Dedicated to the brave Ukrainian people, to the mothers protecting their children, to all those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Every man, every woman, every innocent child.

The war in Ukraine has multiple faces, but it is our mother’s face that keeps our hearts alive in the darkest times.

Stand with Ukraine!”

It would be extremely lazy to suggest that it was the symbolism around the Ukrainian war effort alone that earned Kalush Orchestra the top spot in the contest; in fact, ‘Stefania’ was a firm bookmaker’s favourite even before the start of the illegal war, with bookies placing it as fifth most likely to win. The song includes a melodic hook played on a traditional Ukrainian wind instrument, the Telenka.

On winning the competition, the band said:

“Such a great support from Europe lifts the spirit of all Ukrainians. It is proof that Ukrainian culture is very much alive, despite being in danger now. This victory is not for us but for brave Ukrainian people, who are fighting for our freedom now. They all stood on stage together with us at this moment and gave us strength.”

Kalush Orchestra found out they would be representing their country at this year’s competition just days before Russia invaded. Having received special permission from the Ukrainian government to leave the country for competition purposes, the band must now return to Ukraine as men of legal fighting age. Oleh Psiuk will return to running, a volunteer organisation, De ty (Where Are You?), that he established, comprising 35 active members, which helps Ukrainian refugees across the country find safe accommodation, transport, and medication. And the band will eventually reunite with one of their members, Slavik Hnatenko, who joined the territorial defence force in Kyiv, giving up his participation in the Eurovision line up to stay and fight.

Kalush Orchestra formed in 2019, and is fronted by 27-year-old Oleh Psiuk, aka The Psiuchyi Son. Oleh posted on Facebook, searching for bandmates, and found Igor Didenchuk and MC CarpetMan (KylymMen) for members. They create an incredibly unique mix of rap with folk motifs and Ukrainian authenticity – or as they like to call it: folk and groove – and for a bigger setup, they transform into Kalush Orchestra, with the addition of two additional multi-instrumentalists, Tymofii Muzychuk and Vitaliy Duzhyk.

In a time of unimaginable suffering for their country, Kalush Orchestra has delivered a message of resilience, fortitude, and hope. As winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 they return to Ukraine as national heroes. The official music video for ‘Stefania’ is out now.



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DJ Slammed for Song Choice for Prom Queen in Wheelchair

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With more than 2 billion streams on Spotify, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is undeniably a classic love song. However, a viral video on TikTok proves that there are times when the ballad is clearly not an appropriate choice for a slow dance.

TikTok user Celeste Orozco, who posts under the handle @celesteiliana__, shared a video of her friend’s first dance to the song as prom queen. However, the opening line — “When your legs don’t work like they used to before” — seemed to draw an instant reaction from the rest of the audience as the prom queen was in a wheelchair.

“A prom queen crowning moment to remember,” Orozco wrote in the caption that accompanied the awkward clip.

“This would haunt me for the rest of my life if [I] were the DJ,” text overlaid on the video reads.

Check it out below:

Orozco’s video went absolutely viral on the app. It amassed more than 17.7 million views and three million likes. Thousands of people took to the comments section, including the alleged prom queen herself.

“Hey everyone so this is me lol,” a woman who identifies as Sarah Mendenhall wrote. “I found it really funny and ironic. I didn’t know what was playing until way after cause I was tryna dance.”

Orozco replied that they “had a great prom night and a good laugh about it the next day.” In another comment, they referred to Mendenhall as a close friend. “She’s been through sm and always finds the humor in it. Please stop with the hate.”

Others who commented on the clip weighed in on the DJ and their poor song choice.

“I’d quit right then and there man,” someone recommended.

“Im a wedding dj.. ouch,” another wrote. “We can’t know every lyric to every song but d–n.”

“I doubt that was the DJ’s intention. And most likely this song was picked prior to announcing the winner,” someone opined.

“The dj was slipped a $20 to play that by the girl who came in second place,” another TikTok user joked.

“The DJ is gonna be telling this story forever,” yet another added.

The New York Post noted that the video clip is from 2017.

Songs That Dominated the Billboard Charts





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Adele Borrows a Pride Flag From a Fan In the Audience at Her Show

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A fan took to Twitter to document his experience after Adele borrowed his Pride flag for a concert over the weekend.

The “Hello” superstar took the stage in London for a series of festival performances in Hyde Park. The shows corresponded with Pride, and Adele was apparently looking for a Pride flag to use during her set.

In a heartwarming thread about “the most random night of my life,” Twitter user @DeanWilliam said that the legendary singer’s team spotted him in the audience with a flag wrapped around his shoulders and asked to borrow it.

He originally had a general admission ticket for the show, but he and a friend had their tickets upgraded after he agreed to loan the flag. The pair were enjoying the festival in the luxury of the Diamond VIP section when Adele surprised them with an even more impressive upgrade.

“After two songs the MOST BIZARRE moment of my life happened,” he wrote. “[Adele], in front of 65,000 people asks where Jack and Dean are and calls us over the barrier!” He said that hit-maker “wanted to give us the best seats in the house.”

The duo got to watch up close and personal, and the night continued to get better. Adele performed “When We Were Young” while wrapped in the loaned flag. “I cried,” he wrote about the emotional experience.

“To end the most magical, perfect, mind-blowing pride [Adele] sung Love Is A Game, looked at us directly in the eyes and blew us a kiss,” @DeanWilliam said. “I’ll never forget this night and this pride.”

While the Twitter user didn’t initially have a video of the moment Adele called him and his friend closer to the stage, he said that someone sent one his way. Check out his thread and watch the clip below:

Adele included a photo of herself wrapped in a Pride flag in a series of photos on Instagram after her weekend of performances.

“My heart is absolutely full!! I’ll never forget these shows with you, slap bang in the middle of London, outdoors, during Pride weekend,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. The “Easy On Me” singer thanked her team, fans and everyone involved.

Check out the pics below:

 

Why Does Everyone Love Adele?

If there’s one fact that can be basically agreed upon, it’s that Adele is universally considered a treasure. The singer is one of the few sure things in the music industry, raking in awards, breaking all kinds of records and establishing herself in a class all her own ever since the release of her debut single, “Hometown Glory,” back in 2008.

Below, we’ve rounded up all the reasons the iconic Adele is so universally adored, from her undeniable voice and talent to her unrivaled sense of humor and unique place in the pantheon of 21st century celebs.





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Jedward Save The Best For Last With Incredible Glasgow Show At G2 The Garage

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It’s almost like a homecoming whenever Jedward perform in Glasgow. Sure, they’re from Dublin, and still live there, and the vast majority of their work since the start of their career started has been in London; but Glasgow is where it all began, with them first stepping out onto the X Factor stage and John saying, “Glasgow! How you feeling tonight!”

And even though that was a very long time ago – 13 years even – Glasgow certainly took John and Edward to their hearts, and their love was evident last night when they performed at G2 at The Garage, in Sauchiehall Street.

While the set list for the show was much the same as the previous two, there were some distinct Scottish elements, including a rousing all audience rendition of The Proclaimers’ classic, ‘500 Miles’, a snippet of The Bay City Rollers’ hit, ‘Bye Bye Baby’, and a drink of a can of Irn Bru.

Edward drinking Irn Bru – Photo Credit: Lisa Hafey

Many fans had travelled to Glasgow for last night’s show, quite a lot had attended all three, while some went directly from Manchester, due to not having got tickets for London, or choosing to have a break in between. Still others attended London and Glasgow back to back; but regardless of how many concerts or which the fans attended, they were there, reunited, as if the three long years since they’d seen each other, and of course their faves, John and Edward. While the Jedward fandom is largely social-media based, with their fans making firm friendships with other likeminded people from all over the world, there’s no substitute for meeting in person. Having said that, many of the audience shared their view of the show on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, so those who couldn’t make it would still be able to feel part of the community. Much has been said about Jedward, but for those who *get* them, and *love* them, they become like family, and this extends to the fans too. While the fans all know each other, John and Edward know, or at least try to know, each and every one of them. The Jedward fandom is in essence actually a multitude of different, individual fandoms, with each having their own relationship with the twins, that might be slightly different to everyone else’s, but no less valid.

There’s no greater example of this relationship than their meet and greets that happen before each show. These started last night shortly after 4pm, and were still going at nearly 7. Never once did they slow down, or complain about how many people were there, but instead, they remembered personal points about each person, and chatted, while photos were taken. They gave each person their own experience, and made them feel special. After all, they’ve not seen us for 3 years either!

Special mention must go to the two girls who won tickets to last night’s show courtesy of a competition on Jedward’s TikTok account. The pair were so keen to be in the front row that they stood outside for the 3 hours of the meet and greets, just to be at the barricade. That’s Jedication!

Jedward mentioned that there will be further concerts in November. With their fifth album set for release this autumn, there’s certainly a lot of Jedward content on the horizon, and we can’t wait!



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