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The Evening Show with Dan O'Connell 7pm - 10pm
11 May 2022, 12:15
As we approach the Grand Final of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we answer the question: Is Russia taking part in the contest this year?
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 is set to take place this week and as we gear up for one of the biggest and most bizarre dates in the music calendar, fans have some questions.
The competition, which is in its 65th year, takes place at a time a much political uncertainty and unrest, with Russia's invasion of Ukraine looming over the entire event.
So are Russia taking part in Eurovision this year? And are Ukraine favourites to win? See your questions on Eurovision answered below.
Russia is banned from taking part in the Eurovision Son Contest 2022. While at first the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) were hesitant to react to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, by 25th February, they confirmed their decision to remove the country from the competition in an official statement.
It read: "The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.
"Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.
"The EBU is an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service."
They concluded: "We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage."
Ukraine's Eurovision entry is the Kalush Orchestra with Stefania. They have since advanced to the final and will be taking part on Saturday.
Watch the official entry for their bid below:
Kalush Orchestra - Stefania - Ukraine 🇺🇦 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2022
Kalush Orchestra is made of rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, sopilka player Vitalii Duzhyk, vocalists Tymofii Muzychuk and Oleksandr Slobodianyk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.
Ukraine bid Kalush Orchestra have become favourites to win Eurovision after sailing through to the final with Stephania. According to the Eurovision website, eurovisionworld.com, the odds of them winning have now shot to 47%. Host country Italy and Mahmood & Blanco are second in the running with a 15% chance of winning, while UK entry Sam Ryder sits in third with a 10% chance.
Watch Sam Ryder's Exclusive rehearsal clip for the UK's entry, Space Man:
Sam Ryder - SPACE MAN - Exclusive Rehearsal Clip - United Kingdom 🇬🇧 - Eurovision 2022
Ukraine placed 5th in Eurovision 2021 with a respectable 364 points.
Russia placed 9th in Eurovision 2021, scoring 204 points.
Eurovision 2022 takes place on Saturday 14th May from 8pm BST and will be available to watch on BBC One and iPlayer.