Pictures: Suspilne, Albin Olsson (Wikimedia Commons) and Julia Sanina

Last week, Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspilne announced the longlist of participants for their December edition of Vidbir — the show to select the country’s act for Eurovision 2023. But this time it’s not just the competing artists who have to make it through a selection process. On Monday, the broadcaster revealed a list of nine potential jury members for the national final, from which the public are now able to vote for who they want to appear on the Vidbir 2023 judge’s panel.

Similarly to Ukraine’s Junior Eurovision 2022 selection, the public is allowed to pick the Vidbir 2023 jury members from a list of names by voting through the Diia app. This app designed by the country’s government allows citizens to access state services. But now, it will also serve to determine the three jury members for the show. 

The voting will run until the morning of 7 November. 

The list of candidates is a mix between former Eurovision contestants, popular musicians and stage directors. Those who will have watched Vidbir for a long time will see that the biggest absence on the list is Andriy Danylko — the man behind Ukraine’s most loved drag act Verka Serduchka, who served five consecutive years on the Vidbir jury between 2016 and 2020.

List of potential jurors for Vidbir 2023

Jamala

The Eurovision 2016 winner and four-time Vidbir jury member needs barely any introduction. Jamala‘s critique is always honest and is never partial to her colleagues. On top of that, she enjoys everything from rap to ballads. But with so many new names, the public might want something else after all these years.

DZIDZIO (Mykhailo Khoma)

DZIDZIO is one of Ukraine’s most popular groups, specialising in mostly comedy and party music. Lead singer Mykhailo Khoma has all the skills a Eurovision judge needs: he’s a singer-songwriter, a producer and a director. He’s been a judge on The Voice Kids and Ukraine’s Got Talent before. 

Tina Karol

Starting in 2020 as a judge alongside Andriy Danylko and Vitaly Drozdov, Ukrainian diva Tina Karol has been a valuable addition to Vidbir history. Sometimes more soft, other times more strict, Tina always tries to support the next generation of Ukraine’s music industry. However, some fans have pointed out that the Eurovision 2006 star’s long history as a judge on The Voice of Ukraine sometimes clashes with the neutrality needed by a Vidbir jury member.

Zlata Ognevich

The Eurovision 2013 bronze medallist has never sat at the Vidbir jury table before. For a while after Eurovision, Zlata Ognevich was involved in politics and had a seat in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament). She’s since returned to music, and more recently was involved in Ukraine’s version of The Bachelorette.

Kateryna Pavlenko

Although a completely unknown singer before winning Vidbir 2020, Go_A’s lead singer Kateryna Pavlenko has grown to be one of Ukraine’s biggest musical exports. Ever since Eurovision 2021, she’s travelled around Europe and toured at numerous festivals and concert venues. If she were chosen to be a judge, it would be her first experience in that role. 

Julia Sanina

In 2016, The Hardkiss finished second in Vidbir after loosing a tiebreak with Jamala. However, it still gave the already popular band and its lead singer Julia Sanina another hit with “Helpless”. As a solo singer, Julia has topped the Ukrainian charts and won a YUNA Music Award for a duet with Tina Karol. She has previous judging experience, having served on the jury panel of X Factor Ukraine in 2016.

Kostyantyn Tomilchenko

The name probably won’t ring a direct bell for many, but Kostyantyn Tomilchenko has been a stage and creative director behind so many Eurovision performances. This includes Jamala’s “1944”, MÉLOVIN’s “Under The Ladder” and Go_A’s “SHUM”. In 2005, he also stood on the Eurovision stage as a backing dancer for Greenjolly. 

Taras Topolya

Antytila’s lead singer Taras Topolya is the husband of Eurovision 2010 singer Alyosha. But besides that, his involvement with the contest is quite limited. To Ukrainian Eurovision fans, he is known to have harshly critiqued Go_A’s “Solovey”, so it’s likely that folktronica music won’t be his thing if he were to be chosen as a judge.

Valeriy Kharchyshyn

From all the names on the list, Druha Rika frontman Valeriy Kharchyshyn is perhaps the one who’s most distant from Eurovision. Nevertheless, a fresh face might give the national final some new insights that we all need. 

Who do you want to be part of the judge’s panel? Who do you think is best suited to be a member of the jury at Vidbir 2023? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Vsl
Vsl
23 days ago

Kateryna is open-minded and has an excellent musical taste…

Ben
Ben
25 days ago

Kinda disappointing not to see Andriy Danilko (aka Verka Serduchka) on there, but I’m glad Tina Karol’s back in the running, so preferably (for me, at least) it’ll be Tina, Zlata, and Kataryna.

Thallo
Thallo
25 days ago
Reply to  Ben

Danilko was just as bad as Jamala. I’m glad his days of being a Vidbir judge is over.

Remember how horribly he spoke about Tayanna in Vidbir 2018? It was completely misogynistic.

Kalla
Kalla
25 days ago
Reply to  Ben

My exact thoughts, where is Verka???

Alfie28
Alfie28
25 days ago
Reply to  Ben

I like your picks!

Ieva
Ieva
25 days ago

Julia <333

PP77
PP77
25 days ago

No Jamala. She bring so many politics first in ESC thaan in Ukraine national final

Thallo
Thallo
25 days ago

Kateryna from Go_A should definitely be chosen as a judge. I imagine she’ll give points to the most unique act, which is important as the judges at Vidbir usually chose ballads.

Jamala can stay at home, period.

Thallo
Thallo
25 days ago

Kateryna from Go_A should definitely be chosen as a judge. I imagine she’ll give points to the most unique act, which is important as the judges at Vidbir usually chose ballads.

Jamala can stay at home, I lost respect for her after the Maruv situation.

I wish Maria Yaremchuk (Ukraine 2014) was more popular in Ukraine, she’s absolutely hilarious and would make a great judge.

Sebastian
Sebastian
25 days ago

Queen Kateryna for life!

Please, don’t let that a person like Jamala judge again. Please remember Maruv’s conflict

Mariia
25 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian

Maruv was guilty.

Ari
Ari
25 days ago
Reply to  Mariia

Guilty of winning.

Dawid
Dawid
19 days ago
Reply to  Mariia

Of what?

Karina
Karina
26 days ago

curently top 5 poll lead

Jamala
Julia Sanina
Taras Topolya
Tina Carol
Kateryna Pavlenko

poll will close at 7th November

Karina
Karina
25 days ago
Reply to  Karina

it’s not my personal top, it’s how locals curently voted

Thallo
Thallo
25 days ago
Reply to  Karina

Jamala is first? I’m shocked.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
25 days ago
Reply to  Karina

Man, looks like Ukraine wants more drama

Ari
Ari
26 days ago

Kateryna all the way. I hope Ukraine and the entire planet will take a break from Jamala for once. A long one.

DNSH
DNSH
26 days ago
Reply to  Ari

She’s currently leading the voting, so I guess we’ll see her again, probably together with Julia Sanina and Taras Topolia. Kateryna is only 5th now, she’s not that well-known in Ukraine as the others, unfortunately. Now more than 200,000 people voted and most of them are not Eurovision fans, so they just vote for people they know or like.

Ari
Ari
26 days ago
Reply to  DNSH

What about Zlata? The description sounds hilarious. The Bachelorette Politician. Were her a politics any good?

DNSH
DNSH
25 days ago
Reply to  Ari

Her political career is nothing to talk about, she was a part of a “Radical Party”, which is not radical at all rather populist, with the leader who is viewed more like a meme. She came into politics to make some changes in culture politics, but the party was in opposition, she achieved nothing and left.

Ari
Ari
25 days ago
Reply to  DNSH

Nothing comes from nothing but nothing, I guess.