Ukraine Wins Eurovision

With a passionate rendition of her anti-war song “1944,” Ukraine’s Jamala was named winner of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Photo: Maja Suslin / TT News Agency via AP
Ukraine's Jamala wins the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final May 15 with a melancholic tune about the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet authorities. 

Dami Im from Australia took home silver for her performance of “Sound of Silence.” It was the second year that Australia was allowed to take part in the competition despite not being part of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Sergey Lazarev from Russia came in third with his rendition of “You are the Only One.” Bulgaria (Polo Genova – “If Love was a Crime”) landed on four, and host country Sweden ended the night on fifth position thanks to a performance by Frans (“If I were sorry”). Germany (Jamie-Lee – “Ghost”) brought up the rear just like in 2015. France must have been quite happy with its sixth place for Amir’s “J’ai cherché,” given the country’s wretched ESC record.

For the first time both the audience and the jury in each of the 42 participating countries had a separate vote. Both scores were then added to form the final valuation. Jamala neither had most Jury nor most audience points but scored off the others in the overall ranking. Most jury points went to Dami Im, while the audience’s favorite was Sergey Lazarev. While the votes were counted, Justin Timberlake performed his new single “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

The whole show, which is broadcast into 50 countries and reaches more than 100 million viewers, could be seen in the U.S. for the first time in 2016 – on Viacom’s Logo. The 61st Eurovision Song Contest marks the second win for Ukraine, which also won the contest in 2004, when Ruslana performed “Wild Dances.” As Sweden won in 2015, the event was held in Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena this year.