Ukranian broadcasters STB and UA:PBC have announced that the jury for Vidbir 2019 will not change from the 2018 panel. This means Jamala, Andriy Danylko and Yevhen Filatov will be back for 2019.
The decision of who would sit on the jury was down to STB’s Head of Selection, who commented that:
We are pleased with this jury and we still do not see the need to change it. Each of our judges is a professional, everyone is strong in their direction. They perfectly complement each other. Their ratings and the difference in the views on the best song create a field for heated discussions. Who knows, this year something new will be waiting for us, and our jury members will be unanimous in choosing the winner.
Who are the jury members?
The first jury member is Jamala, who is best known for winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, with her song “1944”. Jamala released her first single in February 2010, however it wasn’t until October 2010, when she released “It’s Me, Jamala” did she appear on the Ukranian Singles Chart. She was set to take part in the 2011 Ukranian selection for Eurovision with the song “Smile”, however she later decided to withdraw from the competition. She eventually took part in Eurovision in 2016, when she won the contest with 534 points. Since Eurovision, Jamala has released many singles including “I Believe in U” and “Zamanyly”.
Andriy Danylko, better known as his alter ego Verka Serduchka (see above), is the second member of the jury. Andriy created the character of Verka in 1990 and performed as Verka publicly for the first time in 1991. In 2007, Andriy was selected to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest, as Verka Serduchka, with the song “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”. The song finished in 2nd place, behind eventual winners Serbia. Andriy also appeared in the 2015 film, Spy.
The last jury member is Yevhen Filatov, who replaced Konstantin Meladze as a jury member last year. Speaking to 1tv.com.ua last year, he said that he was looking for young and ambitions artists within the contest. Yevhen has worked as a sound producer for ONUKA (Eurovision 2017 interval act) and he has also worked with Tina Karol, Loboda and Sunsay. As a performer in his own right, he was the support act for British band Jamiroquai when they performed at Kyiv’s Sports Palace.
Vidbir is returning for a fourth year in 2019, after already producing successful Ukranian participants like Jamala and Melovin. The national selection will be held in the Kyiv Palace of Culture and hosted by Sergey Pritula, with the semi-finals to be held on 9 and 16 February 2019, and the final to be held on 23 February 2019.
The Vidbir 2019 participants are to be revealed no later than 21 January 2019 by STB and UA:PBC. However, some of the participants are already known of the contest.
On 2 November 2018, Natalia Hordienko was announced as the first participant of the 2019 selection with the song “Hrim” (Thunder). A few days ago, MNISHEK also released their song for Vidbir – “Tuman” (Fog).
Are you looking forward to Vidbir 2019? Are you happy the jury panel are staying the same? Who do you hope takes part?