Edoardo Grassi joins the Reference Group, but where’s Pavlo Hrytsak?

EBU have announced that a new member has joined the Reference Group. French Head of Delegation Edoardo Grassi has been selected as the new member of the group that represents all participating broadcasters of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Who is Edoardo Grassi?

If you talk about the resurrection of France in the Eurovision Song Contest, this is the man you need to look at. Edoardo Grassi joined as FT’s Head of Delegation back in 2015. He scored two very respectable results. Amir’s sixth place and Alma’s twelfth place are much better than the results Twin Twin, Amandine Bourgeois and Anggun reached in previous years.
The charismatic Frenchman has been a prominent face in the Eurovision world ever since he took charge of the delegation. His entrance in the Reference Group may therefore not be a surprise.

EBU Reference Group

The Reference Group is a group we know, but hardly ever see and hear. The Reference Group is the committee overseeing the development and future of the Eurovision Song Contest. Their task is to modernise the contest and oversee the annual preparations by the host. Furthermore, they keep an eye on the financial side of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Reference Group consists of a chairman, three elected Heads of Delegation, two previous Executive Producers, this year’s Executive Producer and the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The currently elected Heads of Delegation are Aleksandar Radic (RTVSLO), Nicola Caligiore (RAI) and Emilie Sickinghe (Avrotros). The group is completed by DR’s Head of Entertainment Jan Lagermand Lundme. He is also joining this year after being invited by Jon Ola Sand personally to fullfil and advising role.
Interestingly, neither Edgar Böhm (ORF) nor Pavlo Hrytsak (UA:PBC) have a place in the EBU Reference Group. Normally, the past two Executive Producers take a seat in there. João Nuno Nogueira (RTP) is joining the board as next year’s Executive Producer. SVT’s Martin Österdahl produced the 2016 contest and is also in the group. Böhm’s departure seems to be regular, but the decision not to include Hrytsak is remarkable.

An extra Head of Delegation?

With the decision not to include Hrytsak, EBU is going against their ‘rule’ of having two former Executive Producers on the board. One could wonder why Hrytsak wasn’t included.
That is, of course, all speculation. You could however make an educated guess as to why they didn’t invite Hrytsak. With the Reference Group overseeing and prevent financial disasters, inviting the 2017 producer might indeed not be the best idea. The financial situation around this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was far from ideal, to say the least.
Instead of Hrytsak, it’s not Böhm or even Gaardbo (DR, 2014) joining the group this year. Edoardo Grassi seems to be the replacement for the third Executive Producer. But why? Without doubting Grassi’s capacities, why is he in that Group at the moment?
What do you think? Why did the EBU not include Pavlo Hrytsak in their Reference Group? Let us know! You can do so below or on social media.
Below you can see a video about Edoardo Grassi and Nicola Caligiore in their roles of Heads of Delegation:


Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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