1684008987 Eurovision 2023 Ukraine inspired grand final kicks off in Liverpool

Eurovision 2023: Ukraine-inspired grand final kicks off in Liverpool – Portal

Grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool

[1/6] Mimicat of Portugal performs during the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final in Liverpool, Britain, May 13, 2023. Portal/Phil Noble

LIVERPOOL, England, May 13 (Portal) – The grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 kicked off on Saturday with a video performance by last year’s winners Kalush Orchestra in Ukraine and a live performance in Liverpool, the northern England city that is speaking on behalf of the country, fighting Russia hosted by Invasion.

Organizers have walked a fine line between portraying the situation in Ukraine and avoiding open politics, which is not allowed at the competition, which this year has 37 countries participating.

Britain’s Kate, Princess of Wales, made a surprise video appearance as a piano player in the opening segment.

The 26 acts that qualified for the grand finale range in music styles from ballads to heavy rock to rap, starting with Teya & Salena from Austria performing “Who The Hell is Edgar?”, a stirring track written by the writer Edgar Allan Poe from the 19th century.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was blocked by the organiser, the European Broadcasting Union, from speaking to a global audience who numbered 160 million last year.

It said granting his request, which was made with “commendable intentions,” violated the non-political nature of the event and its rules, which prohibit the making of political statements.

However, Ukraine will have a prominent role in the show, which is themed ‘United by Music’. Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina will host alongside theater and TV show star Ted Lasso Hannah Waddingham, pop singer Alesha Dixon and TV star Graham Norton.

Fans arriving at the arena on the banks of the River Mersey were draped in the flags of Ukraine, Great Britain and the other 24 participants.

The arena seats around 6,000 spectators and many thousands more can watch in a fan zone.

Pam Minto, a 37-year-old support worker from Liverpool, said she was proud of her city and hoped she was proud of Ukraine.

“We enjoyed the whole event across Liverpool from start to finish, it was just great,” she said.

Ukrainian Anastasiia Iovova, a 31-year-old teacher currently living in Leeds, northern England, said Liverpool felt like a home abroad.

“We’re so proud to be here, so proud that the people of Britain support us in everything and we’re so grateful for that,” she said.

The winner will be determined by a combination of points awarded by judges and viewers in each participating country, and for the first time by viewers in other countries carrying a participating country’s weight.

reporting by Paul Sandle; Edited by Jason Neely

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