Ukraine will play a central role in the organising and production of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in the United Kingdom. And naturally Kyiv will want to put its best musical foot forward as it showcases its unique music and undeniable pop power. This starts with choosing their entry for the contest.
Today state broadcaster Suspilne has opened applications for its Eurovision 2023 national selection, which we’ll refer to as Vidbir (as has been common in recent years). Artists who want to fly the yellow-and-blue flag in the UK can apply on the Eurovision.ua web site. The deadline to submit is October 15, 2022 and the selection will take place in Kyiv in December.
Musician Dmitry Surov, perhaps better known as Pianoboy, will serve as the official music producer this year.
“I want Europe to hear and see a modern Ukrainian musician, who is part of the global music context,” he writes on Insta. “I know that we have such people and, although it is very difficult to create right now, I invite and urge musicians of all styles and genres to urgently pick up their favourite instrument and join the selection.”
“You have almost two months to create your winning song that breathes for Ukraine — a song that will touch and inspire the world.”
There are several interesting changes to this year’s process, which we’re outlining below.
Vidbir 2023: Ukraine opens Eurovision submissions
The precise format of the national selection hasn’t been revealed, but UA:PBC has shared some of the key rules and processes. These include letting the public choose Ukraine’s jury members for both the national final and Eurovision; a ban on Russian-language entries; and a rule requiring that long-listed artists attend an audition in person.
- “Ukrainians will determine the composition of the jury for the final of the National Selection, and the national jury for the international Eurovision contest with the help of online voting.”
- “As in previous years, solo performers or bands that already exist or were created specifically for participation in the National Selection are allowed to participate in Eurovision.”
- “Songs can be in any language, except the language of the aggressor state.”
- “The final of the National Selection for Eurovision 2023 will be held in Kyiv in December. The winner will be announced during the broadcast of the final live on Suspilne TV channels and on Suspilne digital platforms.”
Giving the public a voice in the jury selection is no doubt meant to heal the wounds that emerged during last year’s Vidbir drama, which was rife with finger-pointing and allegations of rigging when Alina Pash won the show, despite losing with the public.
You’ll recall that the organising committee faced harsh criticism from several contestants after the country’s Eurovision 2022 selection. As a result, several acts, including Kalush Orchestra and Cloudless called for full transparency after the voting reveal scene was marred with technical blunders.
Kalush Orchestra’s Oleh Psiuk commented on the dismissal of the committee’s chairman Yaroslav Lodygin on the group’s Instagram stories, saying: “After all, justice won”.