As Europe gears up for the final round of the glimmering, camp-filled extravaganza that is the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine’s commentator for the show has been broadcasting from a place far less glamorous — a bomb shelter.
A photo posted by the Ukrainian public broadcasting company, Suspilne, showed the veteran presenter, Timur Miroshnychenko, at his work space for Tuesday’s semifinal: a desk in a bunkerlike room, surrounded by computers, wires, a camera and eroding walls that revealed patches of brick underneath. It was not clear what city he was in.
The bunker had been prepared to prevent any disruptions from air raid sirens, Mr. Miroshnychenko told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Nothing is going to interrupt the broadcast of Eurovision,” he said, adding that Ukrainians love the annual contest and were “trying to catch any peaceful moment,” even if it was only two hours in one evening.
Ukraine’s entry is the song “Stefania,” from Kalush Orchestra, a band that blends traditional Ukrainian folk music with rap and hip-hop. The group brought the semifinal audience in Turin, Italy, to its feet on Tuesday with a rousing performance that sent them through to Saturday’s Grand Final.
The anthemic song was originally written to honor the mother of the frontman Oleh Psiuk, but since the war, it has been taken as a tribute to Ukraine as a motherland. The song includes lyrics that roughly translate to, “You can’t take my willpower from me, as I got it from her,” and “I’ll always find my way home, even if the roads are destroyed.”
The band traveled for Eurovision with special permission to bypass a martial law preventing most Ukrainian men from leaving the country, according to Suspilne.