Stockholm – Susana Jamaladinova, a 32-year-old Ukrainian, won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night. The just-crowned winner wrote and performed a politically charged ballad named “1944”, which was about Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and the deportation of the Crimean Tatars.
Jamala, her stage name, received the highest score of 534 points for the song “1944”, based on her performance which was among other 26 finalists on Saturday at Stockholm’s Globe Arena. The decision came after the votes from jury members and TV viewers were processed, as reported by the Washington Post.
“Actually, I really want peace and love to everyone,” the Ukrainian singer said as she accepted the award.
She then performed once last time in the show the inspiring political song, which was criticized by some members of the audience due to the content.
The singer is an ethnic Tatar whose grandmother was among the deported, one of the reasons for the composition to make a metaphoric reference to Soviet abuses of the group in Crimea during the World War II. Calls were made to the show demanding Jamala’s disqualification for the song’s political content that allegedly went against the show’s rules that ban explicitly political songs.
However, it was determined that the references did not directly named specific historical events and because of that, the song survived to complete disqualification.
“I was sure that if you sing if you talk about truth, it really can touch people,” Jamala said in a press conference commenting on the song.
As for the second place, this was obtained by Australia’s Dami Im with 511 points, followed by Russia’s Sergey Lazarev in third place with 491 points. The show was broadcasted live in Europe, China, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand and, for the first time, the United States. Last year’s event reached about 200 million viewers globally.
Ukraine hosting next year?
The popular show has reached the attention of millions and with the second win for Ukraine, the first being Ruslana in 2004, the latest victory means that the European country gets to host the contest next year. There is still no word on next’s year location.
Jamala was asked during a press conference whether she believed the competition should be held in Crimea. The awarded singer commented her hopes for Eurovision 2017 to be in her mother-nation.
Source: The New York Times