UA: PBC, the Ukrainian national broadcaster, have announced that they intend to participate in Eurovision 2020.
UA: PBC have stated that they intend to return to the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, after withdrawing from this year’s contest. They will also use a national selection to select their entrant. Despite an earlier deal with STB that guaranteed Vidbir being used as the Ukrainian national selection until 2023, UA: PBC will discuss whether or not to continue their partnership with STB.
UA: PBC have also stated that if Russia was to win this year’s contest, they would neither participate in nor broadcast the event. In this case, a national final would still be held but the winner would not go to Eurovision. This situation would be similar to Festival da Canção being organised in 1970 and 2000 by RTP, despite Portugal not taking part in Eurovision either of those years.
Ukraine held their national final show Vidbir 2019 last weekend, which saw MARUV win with her song “Siren Song”. However, the singer and broadcaster could not come to an agreement on her participation for a number of reasons. MARUV had been subject to intense scrutiny having previously performed in Russia during the past year, as well as having concert dates planned in the country. UA: PBC then offered the other finalists, including Freedom Jazz and Kazka, the opportunity to represent Ukraine, which they all rejected. As such, Ukraine were forced to withdraw from this year’s contest. Despite this, they will broadcast the full event, including the performance of Sergey Lazarev, the Russian representative.
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. 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.