The first Semi-Final of Vidbir took place this evening, with 9 artists taking to the stage. On the judging panel tonight were Eugene Filatov, Eurovision winner Jamala, and Andriy Danylko (Verka Serduchka).
Three artists qualified for the final, decided by a jury and televote split. Performing in the interval were Mikolas Josef from the Czech Republic, and O.Torvald, who represented Ukraine last year. The nine artists are:
- Constantine Dmitriev – Misto – 9 points (7+2)
- Serhiy Babkin – Kriz tvoyi ochi – 12 points (8+4)
- Laud – Waiting – 16 points (9+7) – Qualifier
- Kazka – Dyva – 9 points (4+5)
- The VYO – Ng’a-Ng’a – 3 points (2+1)
- Kozak System – Mamai – 4 points (1+3)
- Vilna – Forest Song – 12 points (3+9) – Qualifier
- pur:pur – Fire – 12 points (6+6)
- The Erised – Heroes – 13 points (5+8) – Qualifier
Vilna won the three-way tie for third place, as she received a higher score in the televote.
The second semi-final of Vidbir will take place on February 17, with the grand final on February 24. The winner will represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. This is the third year that Vidbir will select the Ukrainian Eurovision representative. It was first used in 2016. The winner of that edition, Jamala, also went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest with her song “1944”.
Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, when Oleksandr Ponomariov performed “Hasta la vista”. The following year Ruslana brought the country their first win with the song “Wild Dances”. It was a feat that would be replicated in 2016 by Jamala with her song “1944”; her emotionally charged song scored a record 534 points to take victory in Stockholm. Last year O.Torvald represented the country on home soil with the song “Time”. The group finished in 24th place, Ukraine’s worst result at the contest to date.