Ukraine Kalush Orchestra Eurovision 2022 winner
EBU / Corinne Cumming

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!

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Katie
Katie
24 days ago

I thought the whole point of Eurovision was to share in other countries’ cultures? Contemporary music elements are part of that, but so are traditional elements (language, musical instruments, etc.). Go_A and Kalush both used a combination of traditional and contemporary elements, and that’s why they are interesting and enjoyable.

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago

There was a rumour at the BFI Eurovision event that Vidbir might be shown on the BBC in some way

Anna
Anna
1 month ago

Hope Verka Serdutchka returns 2023!!!
??

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
  • (Jamala’s speech) Hi Ukraine, hi HoD. Welcome to Eurovision. So, I have very… uncomfortable question to you: folk is enough?????
  • (HoD) Enough, of course
  • (Jamala) Ok… (clapping, clapping, clapping). Ok, ok
L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 month ago

This argument doesn’t make any sense. Ukraine has brought so much diversity to the contest, so I don’t understand how he could say such a thing. Also, this is assuming that songs with folky elements are by definition not modern, boring, or repetitive and songs with no folky elements are better, which as always for any genre or type of songs are not at all true.

Devito
1 month ago

I don’t care if it will have or not the ethnic sound, I just hope for a non-political song.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

As “Stefania” was. 🙂

Anna
Anna
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Maybe not political, just symphaty wotes because of the war ?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

What does “political” mean? Are Ukrainians not allowed to sing about the biggest thing in their lives? More love songs, I suppose, yeah, we need more of them.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

What does ”political” mean is a great question, and the one I have no objective or definitive answer to. Judging by the content of some songs admitted to ESC, despite of the ”politican content” being banned, neither does EBU. I can offer only my personal, subjective opinion: There’s a difference between tackling difficult topics which are in the song described poetically and in a bit more broad terms, knowing what the artist envisioned behind it, and a blunt in-song propaganda, which feels as subtle as a sledgehammer. A good song has to hit hard even if you don’t understand the… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes, I agree. There’s no good reason not to welcome “political” songs. An artist’s mission is to express how they’re feeling, I would think everyday life is an important part of that. Unless it’s actual propaganda for one person or cause, it makes no sense to me to keep them out. Do you know Cher’s “Happiness is a thing called Joe”? A lovely song, but the kind of song the EBU’s rule is designed to keep out. Any song more vague, but still political, like Hungary 2015, is not what the rule is there to stop. Two winners, 1996 and… Read more »

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

“There’s no good reason not to welcome ‘political’ songs.”

You forgot to add: “So long as it’s politics I agree with.”

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

No… I didn’t.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Thanks! I had no idea about The Voice, but this just proves my point. Until now, I thought that the song was about either Mother nature or one’s inner compass leading them through life. And the fact that the song can be interpreted that way, while still being a strong piece of art when put in the context of Ireland itself fighting against opression is a stroke of a genius. Same with 1944. You could put it in Hunger Games or Game of Thrones and it would feel at home there. Nowhere does it say that it’s written against Russian… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I heard Eimear Quinn talking about it a while ago. I can’t remember exactly where, but probably the Eurovision Legends podcast. Listen if you want to hear more.

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Interesting to know considering Prince Charles (now King Charles) picked ‘The Voice’ as one of his his favourite songs last year

Ana
Ana
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Party tonight, set me on fire, I burn in desire.
You’re my only one, you’re my number one.
Like, yeah we really NEED more of that pointless cr*p.

L'oiseau
L'oiseau
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

Only their mere participation in the event is a political act, so of course, anything that will pick up, will be political…

Ana
Ana
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

People till this day can’t really explain what’s so political in “Stefania” lyrics, not to mention that the song was written long before the current invasion. They bark the word “political” but when you ask them politely to elaborate they have nothing intelligent to say rather than more barking.

tom
tom
1 month ago

I am ready for – Shadows of forgotten Sirens song hopefully

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

Give me Tymofii Muzychuk and his big Sopilka sound anyday.

Essie
Essie
1 month ago

What an argumentative aggressive dude. I guess that’s one way to get people’s attention but personally it just makes me tired and sad. The world needs more positivity.

trabzan
trabzan
1 month ago

2017, 2018, 2019 have no folk elements at all. especially MARUV’s song was ultra non-ethnic. just go_a and kalush were ethnic. he’d fed up too quickly.

Xaxaxa
Xaxaxa
1 month ago

Ukraine had mostly flat female pop songs until 2016. Now they make it better and better with different artists and original music. Keep this way and dont return to your music before 2016. Btw hope to see The Hardkiss in Vidbir again.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

I get it. He is saying Ukraine has a very diverse music industry and not just folk sound. And he wants Europe to see there is more to Ukraine than just the ethnic songs

Bring it back
Bring it back
1 month ago

Bring back ukrainian divas!!

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago

*insert salt comment about Ukraine winning for the next bazillion years which gets spammed under every article*

XOOOOD
XOOOOD
1 month ago

Even if they send a dying cat they will end up top 5, and people will call it talent SMH!
They opened Pandora’s box last year with all of the sympathy votes and I don’t think we’ll get a new winner for a while, because you know they need a win they cannot afford.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  XOOOOD

Except Ukraine was has always been a powerhouse in the contest.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Except their first year…

Anna
Anna
1 month ago
Reply to  XOOOOD

Can not agree more!

Zanoni
Zanoni
1 month ago

Interesting contrast with the Norwegian head– listening to Pianoboy I feel the absolute slog of having to listen to 100 lousy versions of Go_A whereas the Norwegian guy seems laser-focused on the cream of his crop.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

This is the year yo experiment because they’re going to win anyway.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

*to

sam
sam
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

check your sodium intake cause i am sensing a lot of salt

Euros
Euros
1 month ago

They chose the musical director for vidbir who destroyed someones guitar violently in a x factor show. Disgusting!

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago

Weird that he says that, since the folk element is what defines Ukraine in the contest.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

That’s probably why he’s saying it.

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

It’s like sinking your own flagship. But I’m curious.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Well it is like those Balkan ballads. Even though the region is filled with different sounds people only wanted that sound. Of course you eventually get bored of it and want to show Europe your other side

Nosalt
Nosalt
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Exactly! And that’s why they have a record breaking number of applications. Who doesn’t want to become an instant Eurovision winner? Just win a much smaller, much less competitive local election!

Polegend Godnova
1 month ago

bold of him to say this when ukraine has one of the richest folk music cultures in europe. it’s not like the genre itself lacks diversity to begin with, shum and stefania are both folk songs but one is electronic and the other is hip hop.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

I think I understand what Pianoboy means. He doesn’t want songs that are just copying earlier Ukrainian entries, he wants them to be their own thing. To be genuine. Seems fair.

MALTESER
MALTESER
1 month ago

Good, maybe they don’t win.

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  MALTESER

Jeez chill, unless they send a chart-topping megahit they won’t win – fans will not want another winner that cannot host mess. I swear people are blaming them for being at war. It’s not their fault that people vote for them.

MALTESER
MALTESER
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

May I remind you that fans are not the ones in voting majority? May I remind you that fans didn’t want this in 2022 but it still happened?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  MALTESER

I voted for Ukraine. Don’t speak for everybody.

MALTESER
MALTESER
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

If you voted for “this” meaning a host country mess, than please yourself. But learn how to read while you’re at it.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  MALTESER

There’s no mess, it’s being handled very well.

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago
Reply to  MALTESER

You’re just salty that Ukraine is a powerhouse of Eurovision. They don’t need sympathy votes to score really high, is that what bothers you?

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago

What is this guy talking about? Folk music influences have been a big hit maker for Ukraine lately. I can understand wanting to diversify To not sound stale, but still. Why trash on something that’s been successful? Musical variety can be a good thing, but throwing another musical genre/style under the bus is not the way to do it.

Alfie28
Alfie28
1 month ago

Well, I hope the winner lives up to Ukraine’s high standard of excellence. Only O-Torval has been a disappointment. So, as long as the winner is nothing like that group, they should be fine.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Alfie28

I have noticed that when Ukraine wins, their host entries are usually the ones They give them their worst results. Who knows with the quality of the next entry will be.