Crowds have shown their appreciation as folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra performed their song Stefania.

Ukraine’s entry in the Eurovision 2022 grand final is the favourite to win, having been frontrunners since the war in their country broke out – prompting organisers to ban Russia from competing.

Their song, Stefania, is an ode to mothers and the trials they face raising families, and the band’s live performance featured synchronised dance moves, breakdance and flutes.

Their performance combined rap and Ukrainian folklore and went down well with the audience of 7,000 in the Pala Olimpico, who cheered the group on, many waving Ukrainian flags.

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The group was dressed in elaborate outfits, including long multi-coloured fringed ensembles, a pink bucket hat and others in traditional patterns.

At the end of the performance, which included break-dancing, the group thanked everyone for supporting Ukraine.

Graham Norton, who is once again anchoring the contest on BBC One, said: “We weren’t sure they were going to make it but they have made it.

“Their commentator did not make it, he is commentating from a bomb shelter.”

Formed in 2019, the group consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.

:: The Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast live on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer.