Ukraine: Jamala confirmed as first judge for 2018 national final… while Melovin vows “revenge”


She’s the Ukraine singer who gave her country its second Eurovision victory. Now broadcaster STB has confirmed that Jamala will return to the judging panel of Ukraine’s national final.

After winning the national selection and then Eurovision in 2016, Jamala joined the panel for Ukraine’s national final earlier this year. She will again be part of the three-person judging panel who will help select Ukraine’s act for Lisbon.

And the Eurovision winner has high standards for the competing acts. She told STB, “I expect good songs, interesting personalities on stage, charisma and crazy energy coming from performers. Last year there were a lot of good artists, but in my opinion, there was not such a character who clearly would have been above the others.”

She also had praise for Ruslan Kvinta, the music producer of Ukraine’s 2018 selection, saying, “[He] will be able to cope with new tasks perfectly.”

The other two judges will be revealed “very soon”. Last year, Jamala was joined on the judging panel by the show’s then musical producer Konstantin Meladze and comedian Andriy Danylko, best known as the outrageous Eurovision star Verka Serduchka.

Melovin plots revenge

Also planning to return to the Ukraine national final is last year’s third-place finisher Melovin. The 2016 Ukraine X Factor winner — who is known for wearing a comedy contact lens in his left eye — has vowed to “take revenge” in 2018.

He told STB, “I want to take revenge. I am very determined and do not want to let the audience down. I think if they gave the most votes for me, then I must give them an answer and come back. I’m working on the song and as soon as it is ready, we will submit an application.”

While Melovin finished third in the 2017 national final with his song “Wonder”, he topped the televote, with 31.22% of the vote.

Melovin has just over six weeks to submit his new song. Entries for Ukraine’s 2018 national final close on 15 January 2018.

What do you think? Who else would you like to see on the judges’ panel? Should Melovin represent Ukraine in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!