Eurovision 2017: EBU needs to come up with a Plan B

by Michalis Vranis 6,426 views

It’s clear yet that the EBU desperately needs Russia to be present at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest which takes place this May in Kyiv, Ukraine. After last week’s travel ban to Julia Samoilova, the EBU comes with a statement by Eurovision Reference Group chairman.

From the very beginning we have made it clear that we expect that all the participants qualified for the contest could take part. If the decision to ban entry to the Russian candidate remains in force, the EBU will try to ensure that Russia could participate,Frank-Dieter Freiling told the German Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday.

How the story unfolds

Last week saw a ping pong game between 4 sides. The Ukrainian Security Services (SBU), the EBU, the Russian Channel 1 and the Ukrainian UA:PBC. The story started when SBU announced that the Russian representative Julia Samoilova is considered persona non grata to Ukrainian authorities, and a travel ban is applied to her from entering the country. Automatically this causes a problem to the organisation of the contest. The host channel of this year’s Eurovision, UA:PBC commented that they are going to respect the law of the government of Ukraine.

But the hot potato is on the hands of the European Broadcasting Union, the EBU. In the beginning, the EBU kept distance from what the Ukrainian government and specifically the Security Services of Ukraine would decide for Julia Samoilova. Probably the EBU was expecting a different decision from SBU, so right after the travel ban announcement, the EBU had to come up with a proposal. For this occasion, they suggested that Russia would still participate in the contest but remotely, as Julia Samoilova would perform live on a stage outside Ukraine, via satellite.

So far this idea was rejected officially from Channel 1 and the Ukrainian side as well.

What do you think will happen in the end?

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