Ukrainian electro-folk band Go_A with their song “Shum” earned Ukraine fifth place at this year’s Eurovision song contest.
Ukraine earned 267 points from the TV audience, scoring second in televoting. The international jury, however, gave Go_A only 97 points. When the scores were combined, Ukraine placed 5th.
“It’s very emotional and it’s difficult to say what we feel right now,” the band wrote on their Facebook page. “Thank you to everyone who supported, voted, and believed in us.”
Audiences in France, Israel, Italy, and Poland gave Ukraine the biggest amount of votes, according to the Eurovision scoreboard.
Members of the audience couldn’t cast a vote for their own country’s act.
“All the delegations sitting on the large couches in front of the stage were out of their seats and dancing to Ukrainian folk music, ” the New York Times Northern Europe bureau chief Thomas Erdbrink wrote in live Eurovision coverage blog.
“Note to self: must check with the editor about how impartial you have to be on this blog about the Eurovision song contest that Ukraine deserves to win,” wrote Martin Belam, The Guardian’s Eurovision live blog editor.
Ukrainians gave the most votes to Italy, the winners of this year’s Eurovision, represented by a rock band Måneskin with the song “Zitti e buoni.”
Go_A combines Ukrainian folklore with electric music. The band’s lead singer, Kateryna Pavlenko, has been studying folklore for a long time. She sings using an ancient folklore technique of “white voice.”
A documentary with English subtitles about Kateryna Pavlenko, singer for GO_A, which finished in 5th place in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest on May 22.
The band’s keyboard and percussion player is Taras Shevchenko, a musician named after a world-renowned Ukrainian writer from the 19th century.
Ivan Didenchuk, a third member of the band, is a folklorist and multi-instrumentalist, who plays traditional Ukrainian instruments like sopilka, trembita, and floyara, and others.
Last Go_A’s musician Ivan Hryhoriak, grew up in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine and experiments with folk instruments and acoustics.
According to Go_A, their song “Shum” was inspired by folklore of the northern Polissia region of Ukraine.
“Shum” is now number 5 in the global “Viral 50” playlist on Spotify streaming service.
Go_A’s performance of “Shum” during the grand final on May 22, 2021, in Rotterdam.
Go_A’s Eurovision semi-final performance of “Shum” already has nearly 9 million views on Youtube.
Ukraine had two Eurovision wins, with Jamala’s “1944” in 2016 and Ruslana’s “Wild Dances” in 2004.
Ukraine is also the only Eurovision contestant to qualify for the grand final every time it takes part in the competition.
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