Ukrainian broadcaster STB has today clarified the rules of their 2017 Eurovision selection process, in response to the overwhelming number of applications.
Candidates will be chosen via an online platform, which has been open from 1st September to 10th January. This online vote has been open to the public to cast their votes through this time. On 15th January STB will run a check on the successful entries to ensure that they comply with the entry rules, i.e. that none of the songs include inappropriate lyrics, or were released before 1st September. STB, a private broadcaster, will also work alongside with the national broadcaster NTU to decide on finalists from the auditions held across Ukraine from November to December last year in the cities of Odessa, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Lviv and Kyiv. The final list of participants will be released at any time from 16th to 31st January, ahead of the first semi-final on 4th February.
As previously announced, the Ukrainian selection will be held over 4 weeks, with three semi-finals every Saturday from 4th to 18th February and a grand final on 25th February. Between 20 and 40 acts will be selected to compete, however no further details have been announced by either STB or NTU.
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Ukraine first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, when Oleksandr Ponomariov performed “Hasta la vista”. The following year Ruslana won the contest for Ukraine with the song “Wild Dances”. It was a feat that would be replicated again in 2016 by Jamala with her song “1944”, and her emotionally charged song scored a record 534 points to take victory in Stockholm. In their thirteen-year Eurovision history, Ukraine have become a powerhouse in the contest, with two victories, two second places, one third place, and a total of nine top 10 finishes. They have also never failed to qualify for the grand final.