The never-ending story that was the Eurovision 2017 host city decision has finally come to a close, with Kyiv emerging as the winner. Now we can finally focus on other important matters, including who will host the three live shows. Thankfully Ukraine has plenty of presenting talent to choose from as it plans one of the biggest shows on the planet.
The last time that Ukraine hosted the contest — back in 2005 — the broadcaster gave the honour of presenting to Maria Efrosinina and Pavlo Shylko. While they did make it through the night, they didn’t really leave a long-lasting impact on fans (as evidenced by the fact a lot of you have paused to Google who they are. Let us help you).
In recent years hosts have had a more prominent role in the contest, with the likes of Petra Mede and Anke Engelke raising the bar for hosts with their humour and comedic timing. Contrast that with Azerbaijan 2012, where the hosts deployed questionable English and at times came off as wooden.
In any event, here are some Ukrainians we think NTU should seriously consider if they want to light our fire and feel our hearts beat…
Our first and perhaps most obvious choice is Timur, whose career includes several Eurovision gigs. He’s been Ukraine’s commentator for Junior Eurovision since 2005 and adult Eurovision since 2007, and he also hosted two editions of Junior Eurovision, held in Kyiv in 2009 and 2013. He did so alongside Eurovision stars Ani Lorak and Zlata Ognevich, so he knows the terrain very well indeed. The man’s got experience — and plenty of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent!
Tanya is Ukrainian TV presenter who, along with Timur, has provided commentary for Ukrainian Eurovision viewers since 2011. The pair complement each other well and have plenty of fun as a duo, as you can see during the announcement of Jamala’s victory below. She’s not just a pretty face: Tanya is also fluent in English! According to her LinkedIn page, she holds a Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism from the University of Southern California. We better spellcheck this post!
She’s Ukraine’s first Eurovision winner, a former MP and a deeply-respected figure in both musical and political spheres. Producers initially selected her to host Eurovision 2005, but owing to her poor English replaced her with Maria Efrosinina. Ruslana was relegated to the green room instead. We’re not sure if her English has improved since then, but surely producers will at least consider her. And we’re willing to bet she’ll play a role in some capacity if not as a host.
Born Natalia Guslistaya, she’s a rising Hollywood actress — and a ballerina, choreographer and singer. At age 8 she was admitted into the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow before moving to London to pursue her education at the Royal Ballet School. After having a successful dancing career she moved to L.A and has appeared in several movies, including the action flicks The Expendables 3 and Mechanic: Resurrection.
Beauty, brains, experience — Ukrainian TV presenter, journalist and model Olha has it all. She received a master’s degree in journalism from Lviv University and then moved to London, where she graduated from City University and later worked at the BBC. She returned to Ukraine where she worked as an international journalist, before transitioning to TV, where she’s hosted a spate of programs. Among her more prominent gigs was hosting “Holos Krainy”, the Ukrainian version of “The Voice”, in 2014.
Katya worked as a model from the young age of 13, but retired her professional stilettos at the age of 18. Now a journalist and presenter, she’s currently the host of the popular program “Svitske Zhyttja” (High Life) on the 1+1 TV channel, but also “Holos Krainy”. She’s considered one of the most influential women in Ukraine, so would command domestic respect, no doubt.
Ukraine’s 2013 representative and Junior Eurovision 2013 host, Zlata Ognevich, has the Eurovision pedigree to smash this gig. She did a fine job hosting JESC alongside Timur Miroshnychenko, and she previously demonstrated grace under fire when she was carried on stage in Malmö by the world’s tallest living giant. She would likely pull a Måns and sing during the interval, something we are totally cool with.
She’s a cult icon who placed second at Eurovision 2007. And since then she’s become a Eurovision fan favourite who never seems to be far from the spotlight. She presented Ukraine’s Eurovision points in Stockholm this year, and before that her real-life persona — the comedian Andriy Mykhailovych Danylk — served as a juror in Ukraine’s national selection. She even had a cameo in the Hollywood blockbuster Spy. Judging from our interview with Verka in Malmö, and her hilarious points presentation, her English isn’t up to scratch to host. And then there’s the potentially controversial detail of her getting banned from Russia for a year following Eurovision 2007. But surely she’s a consideration to host the green room, where humour and an ability to diffuse tension matter most?
Those are our top candidates to host Eurovision 2017. Who do you think is worthy of the task? And how many presenters do you want to see share the stage? You can let us know in the comments box below.