Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 for Ukraine, with the song Stefania – who is group member Vlad Kurochka, aka MC KylymMen or “CarpetMan” – the one whose face you haven’t seen?
Who is Vlad Kurochka, aka MC KylymMen and ‘CarpetMan’?
Vlad Kurochka is one of the members of the Kalush Orchestra, the group that won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. His alias within the group is KylymMen.
Note: kylym (or килим in Ukrainian Cyrillic) literally translates to “carpet”, hence the name “CarpetMan”.
But, according to reports, someone – possibly DJ and dancer Danyil Chernov – had to step in at the last minute and replace Vlad Kurochka.
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“The whole band is not in place in Turin,” wrote Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet on 7 May 2022. “One of the band members, MC Kylymen or ‘Carpet Man’, is still in Ukraine.”
Since the official Eurovision website lists “dancer” Danyil Chernov as a part of the Kalush Orchestra, it would appear that he was the reserve member standing in for “CarpetMan”.
Who are the other members of Kalush Orchestra?
The group itself is an offshoot of rap trio Kalush, which consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk (with the pink hat in the picture below), multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk, and Vlad Kurochka (MC KylymMen) – the one wearing a patterned balaclava over his face.
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The side project Kalush Orchestra has three additional members: Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk, and Dzhonni Dyvnyy.
Unlike Kalush, the Orchestra side project blends hip-hop with folk motifs and influences from Ukrainian traditional music.
On 12 February, they competed against several other Ukrainian acts to represent their nation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. They came second to singer Alina Pash, but she had to withdraw, so they went instead.
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One band member was unable to join Kalush Orchestra at the Eurovision Song Contest
According to a video posted to the Ukrainian Eurovision Instagram account on 12 March 2022, one of the group’s members was “fighting in the Territorial Defense Forces in Kyiv”. He was therefore unable to travel to Italy to take part in the contest.
The caption in the Instagram post, however, does not name Kurochka.
In the video, group leader Oleh Psiuk goes on to talk about his volunteer organisation De Ty. Its name, writes NPR, translates to “Where are you”.
Oleksandr Sloboyanyk, meanwhile, replaced Dzhonni Dyvnyy, according to a 6 April article in Wiwibloggs, although the outlet doesn’t give a reason why.
Sloboyanyk goes by Sasha Tab. In 2017, he was part of a group (Salto Nazad) that competed to be Ukraine’s entry to Eurovision. But, he had to wait until this year to represent his country at the contest.