The Ukrainian national broadcaster is set to consult with the EBU regarding whether they will compete in Eurovision 2019 as a result of the polticisation of the selection process.
Speaking to Hromadske, Oleksandra Koltsova a member of the Board for UA:PBC has revealed that the broadcaster is set to talk to the European Broadcasting Union about whether they will continue to compete in Eurovision 2019. Ms Koltsova explained:
First, we will consult with the European Broadcasting Union about the politicisation of the selection process in Ukraine. How does this affect our participation this year?
Then we will talk to lawyers if we want to continue to participate as a broadcaster. Then we will talk to management of the artists. And then we will make a decision
Should UA:PBC decide that they wish to continue to participate in Eurovision 2019, they will select their entrant from the remaining artists who performed in the Vidbir final. This means that Freedom Jazz, Anna Maria, Kazka, Brunettes Shoot Blondes and YUKO are all still in the running to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv.
Ms Koltsova explained that the contract that MARUV was offered was the same as in previous years, except for a new clause that prohibits future performances in Russia during preparation and the duration of the Eurovision Song Contest. She explained that the clause had never existed before because none of the winners had previously performed in Russia.
The clause regarding performances in Russia was added in to the contract that UA:PBC presents the winner of Vidbir with, after the first semi-final was held this year. This was the point at which the broadcaster felt that an act with planned Russian performances was likely to win the competition. UA:PBC will offer the same contract to all of the artists that they will propose participation in Eurovision to.
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. In 2017 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.