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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > April 2017 > JAMALA


One of the many reasons to love the Eurovision Song Contest is its sheer bloody randomness. Who’d have predicted that a bearded drag queen could win, or a Scandihunk backed by an interactive stick-figure, or a Ukrainian singer-songwriter belting out lyrics about Stalin’s deportation of the Crimean Tatars in the 1940s? That last one, of course, was reigning champion Jamala, who sailed to victory in Stockholm last May with her evocative electro song 1944.

“The strongest memories for me are those first few minutes after the winner had been announced,” Jamala tells us excitedly as she looks back on her victory. “I can still hear the sound of them saying ‘Ukraine!’ But it really hit home when the plane landed back in the Ukraine and there were crowds of people there waiting to welcome and congratulate me. It was so touching and a hugely proud moment for me.” On the night of Eurovision, Jamala says, she was simply too exhausted to celebrate.

“Imagine this: you’re a nervous wreck throughout the day, you perform, wait for hours while everybody else performs, then wait some more while they count the votes. Then, if you’re lucky, you perform once more as the winner, go to the winner’s press conference, then go to a nightclub and perform again! When we finally finished, it was like 4am and my only want was a pillow and silence. But I put on a party for my team and friends when I got back to Kiev.”

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About Gay Times

Connor Franta commands attention. With 5.6 million YouTubers subscribed to his channel and over 350 million views, his video diaries offer a window into the life and mind of this 24 year old entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, though. In our April issue, we sit down with Connor to discuss his battle with depression, how coming out wasn't a cure-all, and about our individual and collective roles in the fight for LGBT+ equality.  Elsewhere in the issue, the world-exclusive interview with all the queens from Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race; Nicholas Afoa becomes the first Disney theatre star to pose for a gay magazine; comedian Richard Gadd on using comedy to deal with sexual assault; Dan Matthews, SVP of PETA, on throwing pies at Anna Wintour; LDN Muscle's brothers on their game-changing approach to fitness; plus, style, travel and community features.
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