Reigning Eurovision champions Ukraine will select their entry for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in December. Their act will again be selected via the Vidbir selection. The selection has been used to select the Ukrainian entry every year since 2016, apart from 2021 when Go_A was internally selected.
The Vidbir winners will qualify directly for the Eurovision 2023 final, joining the Big 5 countries, after Ukraine won the contest in Turin this year. The EBU confirmed that the United Kingdom would host the contest on behalf of Ukraine, due to ongoing security issues in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
Ukraine joins Albania with a December national final
Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC has confirmed that Vidbir 2023 will take place in December 2022, with the national final being held in Kyiv. Recently reserved for Festivali i Këngës, December seems to be reinventing itself as a month for selecting Eurovision entries. For the 2022 contest, three entries were announced in December – Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Albania.
For the first time ever, the public will get to choose the jury members for the Vidbir contest via online voting. As previously announced, the public will also be able to choose the members of the country’s national jury for the main contest next May. This was in response to public complaints expressing dissatisfaction with this year’s jury.
The rules for the national selection state that entries can be performed in any language, except Russian. This is a new rule change, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began in February. Both solo performers and groups can submit entries. Entries will remain open until 15th October and interested entrants can submit their entries here.
Pianoboy: Vidbir’s “official music producer”
Alongside the announcement of the national final, UA:PBC has also announced that musician Dmitry Šurov, better known as Pianoboy, will become Vidbir’s “official music producer”.
Speaking in a statement today, Pianoboy stated that he wants a “modern Ukrainian musician” to represent Ukraine at next year’s contest. He also added that he is prepared to see a range of styles and genres in the national selection.
I’m glad to have the opportunity to work as a music producer of this year’s selection. I want Europe to hear and see a modern Ukrainian musician who is part of the global musical context.
I know that we have such people, and although it is very difficult to create now, I invite and urge musicians of all styles and genres to urgently pick up their favourite instrument and join the selection.– Pianoboy, Vidbir 2023 music producer
Ukraine at 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.
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