Freedom Jazz Eurovision 2019

Maruv won Vidbir 2019 — Ukraine’s national selection for Eurovision. But she won’t be going to Tel Aviv. And neither will Freedom Jazz, the vocal trio which finished second in the contest.

On Tuesday evening, they published a statement to their Instagram account. It thanked fans for their support throughout Vidbir, and hinted at a possible return in the future. However, the group will not be replacing Maruv at Eurovision.

They received a call from the Ukrainian broadcaster NTU and politely declined. Without providing any reasons for their decision, the message concludes with a promise of more to come from the “Cupidon” singers.

Freedom Jazz — Eurovision 2019 statement

“Dear friends!

Thank you for your support, love, excitement and for the fact that all this time you have been with us! We are very happy that you helped us take the 2nd place in the national selection of Eurovision-2019! Our main victory is YOU! We are experimenting for you, writing songs, doing incredible productions and doing art. Maybe we will try our hand at national selection once again in the future…

But we have just received a call from NTU and want to inform that we are refusing to participate in the Eurovision-2019.

But still our “Cupidon” flies on.

Now we are at the stage of signing a contract with the European promoter and are negotiating concert tours for the near future.

Therefore!

We are waiting for you at our concerts!

Love to all!”

View this post on Instagram

?????? ?????! ??????? ?? ???? ?????????, ?????, ?????????? ? ?? ??, ?? ???? ??? ???? ? ????! ?? ???????? ???????, ?? ?? ????????? ??????? ??? 2-?? ????? ????????????? ??????? ???????????-2019! ???? ??????? ???????? – ?? ??! ??? ??? ?? ???????????????, ?????? ?????, ?????? ?????????? ?????????? ? ?????????? ??????????. ????, ??????, ?? ?? ??? ????????? ???? ???? ? ????????????? ???????… ??? ?????? ?? ?? ???????? ??????? ? ???? ? ?????? ??????????, ?? ????????????? ??? ?????? ?? ???????????-2019. ??????, ??? «Cupidon» ? ?????? ????. ? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ?????????? ????????? ? ???????????? ??????????? ? ?????? ?????????? ??? ????????? ???? ?? ?????????? ???. ????! ??????? ??? ?? ????? ?????????! ? ???? ??????! ?? – – – – – Dear friends! Thank you for your support, love, excitement and for being with us all the time! We are infinitely happy that you helped us to get the 2nd place of national Eurovision-2019 contest! Our main victory is you! We experiment, write songs, make incredible productions and do art for you. Maybe, once, we will try our forces again … But now we received a call from the NTCU and we want to announce that we refuse to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest-2019. For now, our "Cupidon" ? flies further. ? We are in the process of signing a contract with the European promoter and we are negotiating about concert tours for the nearest future. So! We are waiting for you at our concerts! ? Love to all! ?

A post shared by Freedom Jazz Girls Band (@freedomjazz_official) on

As you’re well aware at this point, MARUV won Ukraine’s Eurovision 2019 selection Vidbir and, in theory, should have been the country’s candidate for Eurovision. But, owing to some last-minute changes and some ridiculously onerous rules from the broadcaster, she’s out. She simply wanted to sing. The broadcaster wanted her to deploy its political slogans and essential become a part of their propaganda machine. NTU’s private broadcast partner STB has responded with a lengthy statement, which makes it clear they do not support the misuse of Vidbir and the contest’s winner.

What do you think of Freedom Jazz’ decision? Should the remaining Vidbir acts follow suit? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our Ukraine Eurovision 2019 news.

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gandalf
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gandalf

Ukraine will not go to Eurovision. Say thanks to EBU, which was silent, and to the Ukrainian authorities.

Möhrant
Guest
Möhrant

Hvala ne!

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

KAZKA rejected the offer as well.

Hanna
Guest
Hanna

Kazka officially declined as well 🙂
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuYQ2DsBN5Y/

“But we do not need a win at any price. Our mission is to unite people with our music, not to sow discord.”

ESCelebrate19
Guest
ESCelebrate19

Good decision! Obviously a lot of artists want to be at Eurovision but it’s good to see artists putting integrity first and showing solidarity with a fellow performer.

beccaboo1212
Guest

🙁

dygh
Guest
dygh

Smart move. Now I hope Ukraine gets alot of negative responses that they have no choice but to withdraw and pay a fine and don’t participate next year. They truly deserve this. I’m sorry for the Ukrainian people.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Very good. Whoever will dare to take this offer, I’m not sure if they should be met with open arms. If they don’t get kicked out, I’m for Jamala at this point. She deserves to get booed off the stage.

EuroBalkan
Guest
EuroBalkan

Jamala has become the most hated Eurovision winner.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

and everyone immidiately forgot what happened in Romania with “the will of the people”

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Not a fan of “The Siren Song” but what happened to MARUV was terrible and hopeless. Why did they organize this televised final in the first place?!

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Oh and good for Freedom Jazz for withdrawing themselves from this controversy as fast as posssible. They’re very talented and I hope they’ll somehow find their way to ESC stage.

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

I know that participating in Eurovision is a great chance for artists to promote their music, so someone will probably agree to represent Ukraine despite the controversy but I think artists should boycott Ukrainian broadcaster. What they did is not fair.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Well, it’s a complicated issue. O.Torvald and Melovin had no problems being Ukrainian ambassadors and explicitly stating their views on Crimea, Russia and Donbass problems. Those views severed their ties with Russia and made them unable to tour Russia, and since Maruv is managed by Warner Music Russia her management just needed to find a good excuse. Probably Maruv just wasn’t ready to go all-in with anti-Russia sentiment (like Azerbaijan and Armenia representatives do concerning Karabakh issue every year without any EBU action). Improvisation and creative freedom is restricted by EBU themselves, so this is a basic part of the… Read more »

Ori
Guest
Ori

This year there’s like a competition who has the best drama. Italy had a huge scandal with its results and then Romania beat Italy, and Ukraine beat Romania. Who’s next? I’m scared.

Jake
Guest
Jake

France had some drama too!

yom124
Guest
yom124

Iceland if Hatari wins and then gets disqualified by the EBU

Miki Bihon
Guest
Miki Bihon

Also Australia

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Will they send Taydramma?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I mean TAYDRAMMA ofc

Alexo
Guest
Alexo

Hey do you know what would be great, if Ukraine withdrew and Kazakhstan became a guest country.
Just a theory…

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Not the first time Ukraine does it (2005 with Ani Lorak last minute snub, 2009 with the Prykhodko controversy, 2010 with Vasyl Lazarovych internal selection changed for a National Final suddenly, 2011 with the alleged vote rigging and Zlata Ognevich + Jamala withdrawing from the run-off).
Maruv decided not to sign the contract herself, finding a reasonable excuse not to go full anti-Russia for the next 3 months (like Jamala in 2016, O.Torvald in 2017 and Melovin last year). UA:PBC scored an own goal for not being transparent and not willing to compromise.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Kudos to them 🙂 I hope nobody agrees!

Sal
Guest
Sal

Can anyone shine some light on why this has suddenly become an issue THIS year? There have always been connections between Ukrainian artists and Russia, why the sudden scrutiny now?

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

My theory is that it was a pretense to kick Maruv out. I don’t think they ever wanted Maruv I’m the first place.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

There is a presidential election happening next month in Ukraine, so political tensions are higher than usual due to the Russophile vs Ukrainian nationalist candidates.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

That could explain it. Political elections can bring out the worst in people

Lost in diaspora
Guest
Lost in diaspora

Exactly, this whole mess reminds me of Brexit. This is all so unesscescary. As an Eurovision fan I’m dissapointed the only exciting act to make it through the national finals has quit.

Wilhelm
Guest
Wilhelm

Concerts in Russia always had negative impact on artist career in Ukraine, don’t fantasize about your stupid theories connected to MARUV!

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

yeah, but her management did find a good excuse not to sign a contract. Warner Music Russia would have annulled her contract if MARUV had agreed to UA:PBC terms (since it has similar implications Azerbaijan/Armenian acts have in terms of their relationship).
UA:PBC should have found a way to compromise, ever if it meant Maruv would have performed in Russia, Maruv won Vidbir fair and square, so it was their loss.

Aubin
Guest
Aubin

Today, the first snippets from Belgium’s song came out (on RTBF during an add) !!!

Winnie the Pooh Xi
Guest
Winnie the Pooh Xi

The snippet of Belgium’s song was out…That doesn’t sound promising to me.
https://twitter.com/Harkinson/status/1100479287478665216

Hello
Guest
Hello

Hmm, yeah I’m also kinda underwhelmed… On the other hand it’s just a snippet but I still don’t have high expectations.

bastian
Guest
bastian

I think it does sounds promising. It will be this years winner

Nate
Guest
Nate

Bravo for their decision. Now let’s hope the rest of Ukrainian artists keep this integrity and refuse to represent Ukraine this year

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

I would rather have TseSho with “Hate”. Seems really prophetic and appopriate for Ukraine relationship with Russia, politics and Eurovision. Plus we need some edgy and non-conformist hipsters since the whole line-up is so bland at this point.

No name
Guest
No name

It’s basically KAZKA or withdraw now. I hope KAZKA goes (they probably won’t though let’s be real, they will get so much hate if they accept) because they do have a good song (and we need those, this year is terrible). Yes, the broadcaster is trash, MARUV was my #1 but I’m still gonna support Ukraine if they choose KAZKA

Colin
Guest
Colin

I’d totally get you if you support KAZKA, because they are great. I just wouldn’t support that darn broadcaster. If KAZKA gets picked, it means they accepted to be their puppets. That would be the sad part.

Ziyu
Guest
Ziyu

True I am feeling perplexed about it. If KAZKA accepts it, of course it will be great to see them in Tel Aviv. But the pressure they get from audience and the ridiculous political commitment attached by NTU. That’s too much for them?

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

Best hope for Kazka is to turn it down and try again another year. At least they will keep their integrity as artists and earn the respect for a successive national competition.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Some of Ukrainian acts have zero respects for the artists touring Russia, because it’s an Armenia-Azerbaijan like situation these days. Takes time.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

I would rather have TseSho with “Hate”. Totally appropriate for Ukraine relationship with Russia, politics and Eurovision.

Padim
Guest
Padim

Valentina Monetta has no connection with Russia, she is the one!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Serhat and Valentina in the same contest would be too much for my heart to take

Ziyu
Guest
Ziyu

Best! or the vice prime minister himself, In think he is a promising candidate?

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

also I think Kaia Tamm can go

Ian
Guest
Ian

Maruv or nobody.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Wait so what would happen if everyone declined?

jack
Guest
jack

hopefully they would get the f out of the competition because ebu hasnt done anything

oli
Guest
oli

Well done, girls! No artist with good principles would be willing to replace Maruv under such circumstances. It’s crazy what is happening with Ukraine this year.

Dramavision
Guest
Dramavision

Smart decision.. Noone should accept or they will receive all hate around for Ukraine

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Mihai or Daz Sampson would go in a heartbeat. Or that old dude from Eurofest.
KINKY BOOTS!

Adina
Guest
Adina

Massive respect for MARUV for not conforming with what they wanted her to be and being true to herself. I’m sad I won’t be seeing her in eurovision this year but she’s gained a lot of fans and her artistic and personal integrity are more important

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

EBU restricts any improvisation by any act, it’s not just UA:PBC agreement, the same artistic implications.
The only difference is the Russia stance and pre-moderated interviews (the same that Azerbaijan/Armenian acts do).

Henry
Guest
Henry

Just send Ruslana,Jamala, Verka, or some ultra nationalist that the broadcaster loves. No wonder Ani Lorak and Loboda were totally ignored in Eurovision 2017.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Verka will be in the interval act anyway.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

they might as well withdraw at this point….. whoever goes will be stigmatized bc of the trash behavior of the broadcaster

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Right, the participation is like a hot potato. I already feel sorry for whoever agrees, the hate is gonna be massive. Well, for Tsesho it would be pretty ironic.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

They should send TseSho with “Hate” to troll the haters instead.

Egle
Guest
Egle

Okay it’s just a publicitity campaign for Ukraine and Maruv..

jack
Guest
jack

G you think? *eyeroll*

Egle
Guest
Egle

no, but this situation can’t get more absurd

Ugna
Guest
Ugna

Someone said they‘ll choose Tayanna in the end i-

Colin
Guest
Colin

On one hand, there goes another great song. On the other, hats down for their integrity.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Like, Alex is a nice guy with great voice, but it would a bit random choice, and with a broadcaster that wants the singer to represent all Ukrainians, Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian views, selecting Belgian would be a bit like a middle finger for MARUV.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Now that changes the perspective. But still, I don’t think it would be the best idea. But thank you for the information, do you know why did they asked him exactly? Does he have any connection with Ukraine?

Catriona Colville
Guest
Catriona Colville

I think in the end they will send Jamala.

Loubelle McDoughnut
Guest
Loubelle McDoughnut

Oh my God I cannot imagine anything more appalling at this point. It would instantly render it the worst Eurovision ever, although hopefully she’d be booed and come last in the semi *cackles*

P!nk Forever
Guest
P!nk Forever

Jamala is… Ukraine??

Katitam
Guest
Katitam

I’m sure about that. She presented that song in the right moment and it’s in English! XD Perfect for ESC.

English is Ukraine?

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

She would be a fool to go. Does she really wants to be booed in TAV ? And beaten this time by Serguey.

btw i’m tired of these countries playing nationalism and sending english songs…

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Well, we would already know the first question at the press conference.

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

As I notice that she sits in every damn jury there and acts like a entitled goddess, maybe that’s what she wants actually lmao

jack
Guest
jack

i feel disgusted by just thinking about it. I wish if she goes that no one attends her press conferences

Loubelle McDoughnut
Guest
Loubelle McDoughnut

Good on them. Hopefully absolutely no-one will be shameless and desperate enough to agree to take part after what they did to MARUV.

sam
Guest
sam

send jamala, she will be smashed by lazarev as a revenge for 2016 😀

EuroBalkan
Guest
EuroBalkan

I have so much respect for them.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Maybe they can ask Mihai

Okay
Guest
Okay

Or Markus Riva 😀

Colin
Guest
Colin

Markus is apparently a bigger star in Russia then he is in Latvia. Not a chance. Mihai… possibly, but I suspect even he has higher standards.

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

how about Daz Sampson and Kinky boots

Miki Bihon
Guest
Miki Bihon

Or Raiven, Andras Kallay-Saunders, and those Melodifestivalen artists with multiple comeback

Eduxtek
Guest
Eduxtek

Great act of solidarity. Well done freedom jazz. It is either Maruv or nothing. #JUSTICE4MARUV

Katitam
Guest
Katitam

Good for them, they are very talented and I respect them with all my soul. In quality of voices/performance/etc, they deserved to win, but Maruv’s song was more charismatic. I hope to see them again in the future!

I’m sure Kazka will reject the offer too. They are not dumb.

Envit
Guest
Envit

With Eurovision or not, Kazka will tour Tel Aviv on April anyway
Source: https://kazka.band/en/concerts-en/

Alex
Guest
Alex

Who is going to accept? You need to be really dumb to represent Ukraine right now under those circumstances. Crazy contract + insane amount of critiques during months. Whoever decides to represent Ukraine will lose a lot and win almost nothing. The only option Ukraine has right now is Maruv with a fair contract, not the ridiculous thing she had before.

keith mawson
Guest
keith mawson

its such a shame as Ukraine always produces a raft of amazing diverse songs to please just about anyone. Was Ruslana ever this vile when she was on panel , i can’t remember. Perhaps that is why her vodka consumption was so high during vidbir.

Fabrizio
Guest
Fabrizio

The rest of the finalists (or all the participants) should send a letter to UA:PBC rejecting any invitation to represent the country this year.

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

They should just withdraw

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

Does Freedom have a few Russian concerts up or performed in Russia in the past?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Yessss

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

That could be a factor why they declined. Maruv got hammered over it, and UA:PBC would look like hypocrites for sending Freedom Jazz despite their Russian schedule. It kinda goes with my theory that the broadcaster had it out for Maruv. Good on Freedom Jazz for declining. I wouldn’t want to be the act booed on stage or eliminated in the semi final because they’re not Maruv.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Oh well, send KAZKA but it’s rather risky because of their live performance.

Envit
Guest
Envit

The performance is not that good but don’t forget KAZKA’s Apart was the second favourite song from Ukraine this year by Eurofans and not to mention they have a strong fanbase all over Europe (Not just in Ukraine), so the staging will have that backup during the contest…

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I actually don’t find their live performance bad, I actually really like it

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Good! I would have loved to see them at Eurovision, but not under these circumstances of course. Love them and “Cupidon”, they have a new fan now <3

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

I wonder if they’ll ask the act who sang “Hate”. ?

Colin
Guest
Colin

I guess so, if Kazka, BSB, Yuko and Anna-Maria also decline signing that dreadful contract.

Tom
Guest
Tom

They will not send Anna Maria or Yuko because of similar problem like Maruv had ( Russia)

Dani
Guest
Dani

They will make them change the lyrics.
“Hate – Russia, Hate – Putin”

Ziyu
Guest
Ziyu

What about
Hate! NTU
Hate! Jamala???

pastel de nata
Guest
pastel de nata

Hahaha, well, they actually say “I hate everything”! 😉

Rumpelstiltskin
Guest
Rumpelstiltskin

Ukraine, send Julia Samoylova please!

Wilhelm
Guest
Wilhelm

she should be jailed once she appears on our territory

Rumpelstiltskin
Guest
Rumpelstiltskin

Lucky for her, Eurovision 2019 is in Tel Aviv. She can sing for Ukraine from there.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Unless UA:PBC brings MARUV back with better working conditions and a non-respective contract, they’re still at fault. And, look at that, nobody wants to represent the Ukraine anymore…

I wonder why?

Ani
Guest

Maruv or nobody.

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

I think the broadcaster is in a difficult position as well. UA:PBC don’t have a lot of money, they need funding from the government. As we all know, the Ukrainian election is near. Politicans want to seize this opportunity to show their patriotism to gain votes. And the public broadcaster just don’t have a say, if they want to survive.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Amm as I know Vidbir is financed by STB, not by government

Edward
Guest
Edward

Use your brain smh. Vidbir is only 9hrs of TV a year that is funded by stb. Every other show that ua:PBC has to broadcast including news and paying for the right to even broadcast in the first place comes out of their pockets not stb.

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

Legit went and downloaded their song. I liked Cupidon already but the fact that they showed such integrity makes me want to follow their career and other possible music they might release.