The rules of everybody’s favorite kitschy European song contest, Eurovision, say that performers’ songs can’t be political. But Ukrainian singer Jamala, an alum from 2011’s Eurovision, may have found a workaround: her song “1944” describes that year’s annexation of Crimea by Russia and the subsequent “displacement” (read: genocide) of the Tatar people from whom she claims descent.
In a nailbiting finish, Jamala’s song won the combined votes of fans and industry professionals, narrowly edging out both invitee Australia and fan-favorite Russia. Typically Eurovision’s finale ends with an encore for a winning song about love, peace, or partying. But instead, a woman, whom history nearly denied the chance to exist, sang a song about genocide, all because large portions of Europe stood up and told Putin and friends to shove off. Oof.
While the Kremlin is busy having kittens and considering boycotting the contest, and Ukraine scratches its head over where to get all that money to host next year, please check out the high, low, and weird points from Stockholm this year.