Pictures: Suspilne/ Detektor Suspilne/ Kalush

It’s been a week since the final of Vidbir, Ukraine’s selection for Eurovision 2022. But in Kyiv they are still clearing up the mess. Now, the chairperson of the public broadcaster’s Board of Directors has reacted to the ongoing drama… as have many others.

Ukraine’s act for Eurovision 2022 as of 13:00 on Saturday

As of writing, Ukraine currently does not have an official act for Eurovision 2022. Vidbir 2022 winner Alina Pash was officially disqualified by Suspilne after sending the broadcaster forged documents

After this, Suspilne invited runner-up Kalush Orchestra to discuss participation in the song contest. In an interview with Radio NV, the Ukrainian group shared that they are interested in going to Turin. However, they still see some obstacles with regards to their relationship with the broadcaster. 

Although they mentioned Friday 18 February as the date to sign the contract of participation, there has been no sign that this happened.

Chairperson of the Board reacts to Vidbir drama

Svitlana Ostapa, the Chairperson of the broadcaster’s Board of Directors, has reacted to the developments surrounding the scandals of Vidbir 2022.

In a short interview on Suspilne’s web site, she stated her dislike of the reputational damage that the broadcaster has endured as a result of the selection. Having been a spectator during the final, she said that she experienced the scoreboard malfunction as “five minutes of shame”. She added: 

“First, we have been accused of falsifying the vote count. There were accusations against both Yaroslav Lodygin and Suspilne that there is a certain bias, bias in choosing the winner of the competition. I think this was due to the fact that Yaroslav Lodygin is not only a member of the board and chairman of the organizing committee, he also became a member of the jury.”

“He thinks it’s good for Suspilne, and I think it would have been good if there were no scandal. In this situation, it turned out to be the opposite. Therefore, everything that, unfortunately was held against him, ricocheted against Suspilne in general.”

The Chairperson confirms that it was Lodygin’s own idea to be dismissed from the Board and that he was not pressured to do so by internal forces. However, Svitlana Ostapa commented that the Board could have evicted him as a result of the broadcaster’s reputational damage anyway.

Yaroslav Lodygin reacts to his dismissal

On Facebook, the Vidbir 2022 jury member reacted to his resignation from the Board. He underlined his pity that the country’s selection show turned into a political showdown. Amongst other paragraphs, he wrote: 

Did everything go perfectly? Of course not. A coincidence of technical and human errors led to confusion during the announcement of results. And the lack of public trust in general among Ukrainians has turned the reaction of a certain part of society into a campaign to discredit Suspilne, some artists, international auditors and me personally.”

What to do to prevent this story from repeating? You can make the rules even stricter, add to the organizational committee of representatives of the [secret service] and border guards and insert the entire Criminal Code and the Bible into the rules. Will artists and jury members remain in the country? This will lead to a complete degradation of the competition.”

Kalush Orchestra again calls for split results

On Saturday morning, Kalush Orchestra’s lead rapper Oleh Psiuk again asked the broadcaster to release the split results. He made this call on his Instagram stories.  

The delay in the publication of the split results has led to speculation about the show’s fairness. After all, in earlier years, the exact voting results from both the judges and the televoters were generally released within a few days if not sooner. 

Meanwhile, music blog MUZVAR has published a video in which Vidbir 2022 jury member Tina Karol tells television presenter Kateryna Osadcha that she gave her 6 points to Alina Pash and her 7 points to Kalush Orchestra. MUZVAR added in the caption that it is likely that she gave her maximum score to her mentee Wellboy.

Fellow Vidbir 2022 contestant Michael Soul has reacted to the drama for the first time too. The Belarusian-born singer called the situation a “loss for everyone” during a Q&A on his Instagram stories, pointing at the scandals surrounding Yaroslav Lodygin, Alina Pash and Kalush Orchestra. 

Vidbir 2020 judge Vitaliy Drozdov calls on Suspilne to take responsibility

Vitaliy Drozdov – one of the judges on Vidbir in 2020 – has told Obozrevatel that the public broadcaster should take responsibility for the matter. The Hit FM director said: 

“Withdrawing this year would be a better for healing the whole situation, and also several big resignations at the public television. (…) If, at the start, everything was confirmed that it was all clear, and then it appeared that it was not clear, that means that something is not right.”

“For all the problems that have arisen in this regard, to save the reputation of the public broadcaster, they must take responsibility.”

What do you think about the situation in Ukraine? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Alla
Alla
5 months ago

There is often controversy around Eurovision contest and songs – this year I’ve already heard of the issues in the Spain national contest and the song chosen by Moldova. Ukraine’s Vidbir has huge audience worldwide so there was more noise especially because there is a lot of interest and anticipation. Let’s be honest Ukraine adds a lot to the competition. It is important to have appreciation for the Ukrainian public that demands fair contest and respect for the artists.

JSU12
JSU12
5 months ago

The issues with the broadcaster do not reflect on the talent of the participants. Kalush Orchestra is a strong standout for me thus far from all other EV acts. I hope they go and win.

ete sech
ete sech
5 months ago

idk what to say anymore. I’ve said this is a “sh*tshow” many times already, but UA:PBC doesn’t seem to have reached rock bottom yet, the situation keeps getting worse :/

Paschi
Paschi
5 months ago

i‘m having 2019 flashbacks…

Jezinky
Jezinky
5 months ago

If the broadcaster keeps with this same system, I think another situation like this is likely to happen. Mabye it’s a good option to keep your artists and sh** internal so we won’t create false hopes ourselves and end up sad like we are all now for Alina’s situation.

Nikki
Nikki
5 months ago

What a mess

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
5 months ago
Reply to  Nikki

An apt statement.

Nate
Nate
5 months ago

Just withdraw already. Also, sore losers Kalush Orchestre and not deserved representatives

Aalzen
Aalzen
5 months ago
Reply to  Nate

100% They don’t want to go unless they declared joint winner, what arrogance, this circus gets even more of a joke.

Iain
Iain
5 months ago

For the sake of Ukrainian victory at Eurovision they should change rules and not judge contestants on their traveling or anything related to politics. They should be exampt by law. I believe that Ukraine robbed itself from another victory as they did with Maruv. They should withdraw and choose new team who will be non political.

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Iain

Apparently, according to someone from Ukraine who’s been talking about this on Twitter, there is really no law that was broken by Alina in entering Crimea if she did enter legally, especially if, as we now know, the office that is supposedly responsible for managing entries going to and from Crimea via Ukraine doesn’t keep records of visitors in their database after a period of 5 years so there is really no travel certificate that can be produced at all. She did break the rules for submitting a falsified document even if she wasn’t aware about it. However, those same… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
5 months ago
Reply to  James

There Probably won’t be any more Ukrainian big-name artists signing up because they probably traveled to Russia and Crimea after 2014, And the broadcaster might have No choice but to draw in the pool of up-and-coming but less experienced artists who have never traveled anywhere outside of Ukraine.

Alla
Alla
5 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Actually Vidbir and Eurovision for me is all about the new names, new talent, new ideas. That’s how Ukraine is keeping it interesting and fresh.

Jonny B
Jonny B
5 months ago

Yep the voting was pretty disgraceful, given the pressure/emotions the contestants were facing

James
James
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonny B

I mean how bad was it at the control room if they couldn’t show the scoreboard onscreen at the most critical time. Lodygin had to take control of the situation by asking Timur to announce to him the televote results so he could literally do the math himself on the piece of paper. I can see why the gesture confused the heck out of that member from Kalush Orchestra but it doesn’t help that he had to react the way he did so he wasn’t giving the group any favors in the event they are offered the ticket to ESC,… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by James
Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
5 months ago

First I thought people were being too drastic when they were saying “just withdraw”. But I’ve changed my mind. The broadcaster is just digging itself deeper and deeper and dragging every artist down with them. Just withdraw and come back next year prepared so this mess doesn’t happen again.

~Cinemato~
~Cinemato~
5 months ago

Might not be a next year with the border situation. The tensions are very high, a daycare has been bombed actually.

Dawid
Dawid
5 months ago

That’s borderline pathetic