Ukraine, the country that has finished in second place in each of the last two Eurovision Song Contests, will return to a national final to select it's 2009 entry. The country will be hoping that the winner can go one better and bring the competition back to Kyiv for the first time since 2005 when Ukraine hosted the competition after Ruslana's victory.
In a press conference a short while ago, the Ukrainian national broadcaster, NTU, announced that there will be a national final to select the act that will follow Ani Lorak as ukraine's next Eurovision Song Contest representative. The final will take place on February 22nd 2009.
Artists and composers that want to enter must submit their entries between now and 16th January 2009. Demos and an instrumental version of the song must both be submitted and lyrics must be submitted in both Ukrainian and English languages. A video or at least two photos from a live performance must be included with the submission. Artists must be Ukrainian.
After the submission deadline, NTU will form a seven strong jury to assess the entries. The jury will sit from 21-23rd January and select 30 songs to perform in a semi final. The semi final will take place on 1st February 2009 behind closed doors. From the 30 live performances, the jury will select 15 songs to procede to the televised final.
Voting in the Ukrainian final will be a mix of televoting and sms voting, and a jury. A concert will be arranged in Independence Square for the winner. The square was used during the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest to host a huge party with the show broacast on huge screens to many thousands of people.