Ukraine’s Jamala wins Eurovision 2016 crown with song about war

Ukraine’s Jamala was crowned the winner of popular Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with a political, heartfelt song about war. She dedicated to her great-grandmother.

“I was sure that, if you sing about truth, it can really touch people. And I was right” the 32-year-old singer declare after accepting the Eurovision trophy.

In the end Dami Im produced Australia’s best-ever result to finish second, 23 points behind Ukraine after the former X-Factor winner led by more than 100 after the first round of jury votes.

Russia’s Sergey Lazarev, who had been favoured to win, came third.

Jamala won the 61st edition of the music competition, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in which singers from across the continent perform in front of a television audience of about 200 million.

Jamala is the first ever Crimean Tatar to perform at the contest and caused controversy ahead of the show over her political song which is reportedly about Stalin, Crimea and claims of ethnic cleansing.

She sang “1944,” a song about the deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union on orders of Josef Stalin. Her performance also was considered a strong rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 2014 military push into Ukraine, according to European media reports.

Referring to her song’s lyrics, she said: ‘Of course it’s about 2014 as well. These two years have added so much sadness to my life. Imagine – you’re a creative person, a singer, but you can’t go home for two years. You see your grandfather on Skype, who is 90 years old and ill, but you can’t visit him. What am I supposed to do: just sing nice songs and forget about it? Of course I can’t do that.’

Eurovision is the longest-running international TV song contest. This year’s competition used a new voting system, under which points were awarded partly by juries from member countries and partly by a public telephone vote. Australia had been in the lead at the end of the jury stage, but the phone voters ultimately swung things Ukraine’s way.

The show was broadcast live in Europe, China, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand and, for the first time, the United States. Next year’s contest will be held in Ukraine.

Australia's Dami Im performing at Sound of Silence at Eurovision 2016

Australia’s Dami Im performing at Sound of Silence at Eurovision 2016

Dami Im claims song contest second place with Sound of Silence

Australian hopes had been sky-high after Im produced a brilliant performance that attracted a string of maximum 12 points from juries across Europe.

Dami Im has revealed her ambitions to crack the European market after narrowly missing out on winning the Eurovision song contest for Australia in Stockholm on Saturday night.

The 27-year-old Brisbane-based singer said she gave 150% at Eurovision and had no regrets after coming second. Her entry, Sound of Silence, earned the most jury votes but fell short on the public vote, which gave the contest to Ukraine’s Jamala and her song 1944.