Jamala has revealed her favourite 2019 Eurovision Song Contest entries.
In an interview with ESCPlus, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Jamala has revealed her favourite entries of this year. Her favourites, in no particular order, are:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
Jamala represented Ukraine at the 2016 contest in Stockholm, Sweden. With her song “1944”, she managed to secure Ukraine’s second victory, the first being in 2004 with Ruslana’s “Wild Dances”.
Ukraine will not participate in this year’s contest following their withdrawal earlier this year. As a result viewers will be watching the contest as they did in 2015, where commentary was provided but they were unable to vote.
Ukraine held a national selection show, Vidbir 2019, 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 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.