He made an ass of himself during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 by rushing onto the stage and lowering his trousers during Jamala’s performance of “I Believe in U”.
But it’s unlikely that Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk is laughing about the incident this afternoon, as he may face a fine or jail sentence as a result of his bum-baring antics.
On Saturday Vitalii stormed the stage wearing an Australian flag, prompting social media users to throw shade on the “Aussie” visitor and leading Australian journalist Alistair Birch to express his dismay on behalf of Australian fans during Salvador Sobral’s press conference afterwards.
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) May 13, 2017
But as it turns out the flag was just a guise to conceal Vitalii’s identity — and one that was quickly undone after security dragged him off the stage.
The performance marred what was meant to be Jamala’s big send-off after winning Eurovision 2016 and bringing the prestigious event to her country.
And on Sunday Ukrainian authorities made it clear they are not amused, revealing that they had placed the interloper under arrest and that he may face anything from a fine to five years in prison on hooliganism charges. He’s being detained for 72 hours.
Writing on Facebook, the nation’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said: “During the performance of our Jamala, and according to his own words, he decided to realise his hobby as he ‘unofficially works as a provocative journalist.'”
“This is a disgrace to the country, and he will be able to exercise his ‘hobby’ in a prison cell and temporary holding facility.’
Mr Sediuk, who was previously banned from the United States for pulling a stunt on Brad Pitt, has caused problems for celebrities including Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian.
In September 2016 he approached supermodel Gigi from behind, wrapped his arms around her and lifted her into the air — before she rightly whacked him in the face. The previous week he had been filmed kissing Kardashian’s bum as she arrived at a Paris restaurant.
Naturally Australians have been wondering aloud whether the incident, which occurred as Europeans were deciding who to vote for, impacted their televote score. Australia was ranked fourth with the juries but second last in televoting.
The public are also curious why the prankster chose to wear an Australian flag. Was he commenting on Australia’s participation in the contest? Was he trying to sabotage their participation in future contests?
Kudos to Jamala, who, like the consummate professional she is, completely ignored what was happening and continued singing.
You can watch her performance here but without the incident…sorry!
What was your reaction to the incident? Do you think it had any impact on Australia’s televote? And are you as impressed with Jamala as we are? Let us know in the comments box below.