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UA:PBC respond to EBU’s decision to reject Ukraine as Eurovision 2023 host

In a new press release, Ukrainian national broadcaster UA:PBC have responded to the EBU’s decision to reject the country’s proposal to host Eurovision 2023, and that talks are now with BBC in the United Kingdom.

This follows the press release only yesterday in which UA:PBC outlined the talks held with the EBU Reference Group over proposals to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

The statement

“We are disappointed with this decision of the EBU. During this month, a large number of people in Ukraine have thrown all their efforts to fulfill the conditions for holding Eurovision in our country. Security is, of course, our first priority. The team of UA: PBC, state and local authorities did a thorough job and offered different options. It is a pity to see such an unappealable statement, ​​therefore, we ask our partners to hold further negotiations”

Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA: PBC

Three regions were proposed for Eurovision 2023

UA: PBC together with Ukrainian state and local authorities proposed several options for hosting the event in three different regions of Ukraine. First was the capital Kyiv – previous hosts of the 2005 and 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Second was Lviv in the west of the country close to Poland, and third in Zakarpattia – on the border with Hungary and Slovakia.

Talks now with the BBC

The EBU is now in talks with the BBC in order to organize the contest in the United Kingdom. The UK ended up in the runner-up position this year, with Sam Ryder, making it the natural “back-up candidate” for hosting. Spain’s broadcaster, RTVE, had already stated in June that they wouldn’t push for the hosting rights and let the BBC handle it if Ukraine could not.

The BBC has just published a statement to acknowledge the EBU’s decision :

“We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want. Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”

BBC’s statement, June 17th 2022

This is the first time since 1980 that a Eurovision Song Contest will not be hosted by the previous year’s winner. At the time, The Netherlands hosted instead of Israel (who had won the 1979 contest in Jerusalem), and were mainly chosen for their recent hosting of the 1976 contest, in The Hague.

Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine made their Eurovision debut back in 2003. First to fly the country’s flag at the contest was Oleksandr Ponomariov who finished 14th with his entry ‘Hasta la vista‘. Despite the underwhelming start, Ukraine didn’t have to wait long to achieve good results. In fact, in 2004 Ruslana triumphed in Istanbul with her charismatic entry ‘Wild Dances‘. Ukraine also won the contest in 2016 with Jamala and her entry ‘1944‘. Besides their two victories, Ukraine also placed second twice in 2007 and 2008 and third in 2013.

Earlier this year, Kalush Orchestra became the latest act to represent Ukraine following the withdrawal of Alina Pash. During the Grand Final in Turin, they broke the televote record with 439 points out of a maximum 468. Overall they achieved a landslide victory over second place United Kingdom, with 631 points in total. Furthermore, Ukraine is still the only country that has a 100% qualification record for the Grand Final.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1fl60ypdLs

What do you think about the EBU’s decision? Did you expect it? Did you expect it so soon? How do you think Ukraine’s victory will be “reflected” next year? Tell us more in the comments below and on social media, at @escxtra !

Tom O'Donoghue

Music photographer based in Somerset, United Kingdom. Photographer for London Eurovision Party.

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