It is time for the final episode of The Aftermath. And of course, we have a look at Ukraine, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and the reactions that followed on Jamala’s victory.
Ukraine was not one of the main favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm beforehand, but when we look at their result string of results, it is no surprise that they ended up at the top once again. Ukraine has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 13 times, debuting in 2003 with a 14th-place finish for Oleksandr Ponomaryov. In the following years, they had a top 10 finish almost every time.
Mika Newton (fourth place in 2011) and Zlata Ognevich (third in 2013) came close to succeeding Ruslana as Eurovision-winner for Ukraine, but it was Jamala who actually did it this year with her song “1944”. An entry that got a lot of attention when the contest was over, but not always for the right reasons.
With her victory in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Jamala made people of Ukraine happy and proud. After her arrival at Boryspil International Airport, the singer found herself in front of the crowd of fans and journalists, all eager to congratulate the singer on her achievement. Many welcomed Jamala home by singing the Ukrainian national anthem and giving her flowers in national colours.
In March already, the EBU announced that the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group concluded that “1944” was eligible for the contest as neither the title nor the lyrics of the song contained political speech. However, when Ukraine won the contest, in many countries the victory and the song was being described as being ‘political’ in stead of ‘historical’.
Also, following the contest, reports emerged of a potential rule violation in regards to the eligibility of the Ukrainian entry after a video performance of “1944” dating back to May 2015 was discovered on YouTube. The video featured Jamala performing a medley of songs, which included an early version of “1944” with different lyrics. On 19 May 2016, the EBU released a statement clearing the entry of any rule violations as the insignificant viewership of the video was seen as not having given the song an unfair advantage.
But the EBU is very clear: “Ukraine is, and will remain, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Whether you agree or disagree, we call upon those who signed this petition to embrace the result, valid in accordance with the rules, and to continue a constructive dialogue about how to further strengthen and improve the Eurovision Song Contest.”
We already covered the latest developments for you, when to comes to which city will host in Ukraine in 2017. It looks like Kiev has the best chances!