UA: PBC, the Ukrainian national broadcaster, has announced its withdrawal at the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. Hence we will not see Ukraine compete in Europe’s favorite television show in Israel.
Last week Ukraine held its national final Vibdr 2019 with Maruv winning the golden ticket to Tel Aviv. Following the frenzy and controversy afflicting the 2019 Ukrainian national final and Maruv’s refusal to signing a contract with the Ukrainian broadcaster in order to represent Ukraine, the two acts who placed 2nd (Freedom Jazz) and 3rd (Kazka) also declined UA:PBC’s invitiation to fly to Tel Aviv.
UA: PBC’s CEO Mr. Zurab Alasania has officially announced Ukraine’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2019 via his official Facebook account:
UA. PBC released the following statement :
Ukraine will not participate at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine has withdrawn from the participating at the international 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
The winner of the national selection for this year’s Eurovision was the singer MARUV, to whom the Public Broadcaster, as it does annually, offered to conclude an agreement to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision song contest. However, after negotiations, MARUV refused to sign the agreement.
The alternative way to determine the representative from Ukraine to the Eurovision 2019 according to the rules, could have been direct appointment by the broadcaster. That is, the Public Broadcasting Company could elect any performer not from the list of participants in the National Selection.
However, the Public Broadcaster refuses to use this option, because it respects the choice of the audience in the National Selection. Therefore, in the situation of non-signing of the contract on the participation in the Eurovision with the winner Public Broadcaster contacted the finalists who have finished second and third in the national final.
Freedom Jazz and KAZKA also refused to participate at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
The song contest is an opportunity for every country to showcase itself in the international arena, and for each performer to act as the ambassador of their country and to win the supporters around the world.
But the National Selection 2019 revealed and attracted the attention of our society to the systemic problem of the music industry in Ukraine: the connections of artists with the show business on the territory of the aggressor state, which are still very close at the 5th year of the military conflict. For a part of society, this fact is acceptable and for the other it causes indignation and rejection.
The laws of Ukraine do not propose any restrictions on the work of performers and artists on the territory of the Russian Federation despite the large public request to resolve this situation.
In the current situation, following the Law on Public Broadcasting, as well as in conditions of excessive politicization of the national selection process, the Public Broadcaster has decided to withdraw from the participation in the International Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
The Public Broadcaster considers it necessary to initiate a public dialogue in the format of talk shows, forums and discussions with the participation of leading experts in the field to formulate the position of the Ukrainian society on this issue, as well as the development of proposals for a draft law of Ukraine that could regulate the situation with the cooperation of Ukrainian artists with the state-aggressor for the future.
Ukraine in Eurovision
Ukraine debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 with Oleksandr Ponormayov‘s Hasta la vista, and has won the competition twice in 2004 (Ruslana) and 2016 (Jamala). The country has hosted the contest twice in its majestic capital Kyiv in 2005 and 2017.
Ukraine is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest and has so far not missed out competing in the Grand Final. The Eastern European nation has competed in Europe’s favourite television show every year since its debut with the exception of 2015 when the country withdrew from the competition.
The Ukraians have made it 9 times in the top 10 of the leader board in their 15 ESC participations, including 2 victories ( 2004, 2016), 2 2nd placings (2007, 2008), 1 3rd placing (2013) and 4th placing (2011).
In 2018 Ukraine selected its Eurovision act via its epic national selection Vidbir, Melovin was crowned the winner and won the golden ticket to Lisbon with his entry Under the ladder, achieving a 17th place in the Grand Final.