By Ilya Khineyko
On May 12 Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka finished second in the annual Eurovision Song Contest that was held in Helsinki, Finland. Had she won, it would have been the second time since 2004 that a representative of Ukraine had taken home the prestigious title. Then, a talented Ukrainian singer, Ruslana, won the contest. Her triumph was rightly perceived as a victory for Ukraine, and Ruslana Lyzhichko received various state awards including the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine. Reportedly, Verka Serduchka’s strong finish may bring to her creator, the man behind the mask Andriy Danylko, a similar type of recognition, such as the title Hero of Ukraine. There was also speculation that Danylko might become an honorary citizen of his native city of Poltava. Yet, such honors may not quench the controversy, which only in part stems from the fact that Verka Serduchka is played by a man in drag.
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