In just one month, the Ukranian national final Vidbir will take place in the capital city Kyiv. This method of choosing the representative for Eurovision has been used almosy every year since 2016 (Go_A was chosen internally in 2021), although this year will be different than the years before. Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the shows will be hosted at the in Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station, instead of a television studio.
Another, more positive, change, is the influence of the audience on choosing the national jury members. Via online voting, the public could choose who they’d want to judge the participating artists. Some well known names entered the voting game, like Kateryna Pavlenko (Ukraine 2021) and Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala. Eventually, three judges received the most votes, with over 500 thousand people participating in the voting. They are Taras Topolia (with 17,41% of all votes), Julia Sanina (15,70%) and Jamala (15,71%)!
Taras Topolia (35) is a well known Ukranian singer and the frontman of the pop/rock band Antytila. Taras is currently actively involved in protecting Ukraine for the Russian invasion, and has taken on voluntarily medic duties. Recently, his band Antytila released the song ‘2step’ with no other than Ed Sheeran!
Julia Sanina (32) is the frontwoman of Ukranian alternative rockband The Hardkiss. Her real name is Yuliia Oleksandrivna Bebko. Julia has been making music with her band since 2011, and she became a judge on X-Factor Ukraine in 2016.
Jamala (39) is a singer/songwriter who us Eurofans know best for her entry of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2016, 1944. In her song, she makes reference to the deportation of the Crimean Tartars. She received 534 points in the Grand Final, hence winning the competition. Jamala has been a judge on Vidbir several times before, in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.
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