Assuming we don’t get any surprise news on our national selection calendar, Ukraine will be the first country to select its Eurovision 2023 song. As we’ve all known for several weeks, Vidbir 2023 will take place on 17 December inside Kyiv’s Independence Square metro station, which has been used as a bomb shelter throughout the war.
Dmytro Shurov, also known as Pianoboy, is serving as the selection’s musical director. That gives him the power and the privilege to handpick the longlist and then the finalists alongside the organising committee. He follows in the footsteps of Mykhailo Koshovyi, Ruslan Kvinta and Konstantin Meladze, who previously held the role.
Oleh Psiuk criticises Dmytro Shurov’s Vidbir song criteria
Shurov — a former member of Okean Elzy and a serious singer-songwriter — will likely bring his own signature to the contest, much like the previous musical producers did. He served on the jury of X Factor Ukraine for two seasons, where he raised a lot of eyebrows when he smashed a contestant’s out-of-tune guitar.
Although he’s deeply moved by the almost 400 song submissions, created during a very difficult time, he made it clear publicly that he thinks a lot of the submissions are of low quality. He also hinted that he wants to move away from the type of music that Ukraine has sent to the competition in recent years. In an interview with Suspilne, he said:
“Well, people just imitate [“Stefania” and “SHUM”]. Nearly half of the entries are an imitation of that sound. And in my opinion, Ukraine can give the world other stories, other emotions, a new sound.”
“It’s a bit unpleasant that people are doing stories that are not super current from the viewpoint of this contest.”
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Kalush Orchestra’s rapper-in-chief Oleh Psiuk has criticised Dmytro’s comments. Oleh was offering moral support to a friend of his, Kozak Shiromakha, who wants to enter a folkloric song in the selection. Writing on his Insta Stories, Oleh said:
“Europe loved us, very much, for such a style and I don’t understand why it’s now not current and that we can’t show it. And whose decision is that? I would have liked that, at the minimum, the people could choose. That’s my opinion.”
Starlight Media to produce Vidbir 2023 final
On Monday, Suspilne announced that Starlight Media will produce the selection show. The production company won the tender that allows them to create the Vidbir show. They’ll be taking over from Friends Pro, who won the tender last season.
In 2022, Vidbir endured a series of mishaps. The show had difficulties with the sound, which led to a second performance for the band Cloudless, as well as other production malfunctions. Most notably, host Timur Miroshnychenko received the wrong scores when making the final announcement of the points. A scoreboard malfunction led to serious confusion that continued for several hours after the show.
With Starlight Media, Vidbir essentially returns back to its roots, as the production company previously organised the selection show when it was simulcast on commercial channel STB.
Who do you want to see in Vidbir this December? Are you excited for the show? Let us know in the comments down below!