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Ukraine qualifies for Eurovision 2024 song contest finals

by Martin Fornusek May 8, 2024 12:27 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian duo Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil, representing Ukraine with the song "Teresa & Maria," perform on stage during the first semi-final of the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) at the Malmo Arena, in Malmo, Sweden, on May 7, 2024. (JESSICA GOW/TT/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)
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With their song "Teresa & Maria," Ukraine's Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil qualified for the Eurovision finals in Sweden's Malmo, successfully passing the semi-finals on May 7.

The final round of the international song contest is to be held on May 11.

The two Ukrainian artists said their song is dedicated to strong women who persevere in the face of adversity.

"We are talking about the importance of unity," they told the Ukrainian outlet Rubryka.

"Even though, as Ukrainian women, we wrote this song about Ukraine, everyone in the world can see themselves in the lyrics."

The names Teresa and Maria refer to the Roman Catholic saint Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary. The artists said the song does not revolve around the two figures but uses them as symbols of "charity, love, (and) unification."

Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil, whose real names are Aliona Savranenko and Yana Shemaieva, respectively, have become popular artists in Ukraine in recent years.

Shemaieva is a known singer, songwriter, and YouTuber, while Savranenko has been described as "the new rap start of Ukraine." They began performing together after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022.

Ukraine has participated in Eurovision 18 times since its first entry in 2003, becoming the first country outside of the "Big Five" (France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and Italy) to qualify for the finals each time.

Ukrainian artists have won Eurovision three times: Ruslana in 2004 with "Wild Dances," Jamala in 2016 with "1944," and Kalush Orchestra in 2022 with "Stefania."

The latter of the three had already won the contest during the full-scale war. As a result, Eurovision 2023 was hosted by the runner-up U.K. instead of the victorious country, as is tradition.

Ministry: Russia’s war destroys or damages almost 2,000 cultural facilities
The list of damaged sites includes 958 cultural and social clubs, 708 libraries, 153 art schools, 114 museums and galleries, 36 theaters, cinemas, and concert halls, 15 parks, zoos, and nature reserves, and three circuses.
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