Ukraine bans Russian-language songs from Eurovision Song Contest

Ukraine will play a pivotal role in organizing and producing the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in the UK. And naturally, Kyiv will want to put its musical best foot forward by showcasing its unique music and undeniable pop power. It starts with choosing their entry for the contest.

Today, the public television channel Suspilne opened the applications for its Eurovision 2023 national selection, which we will call Vidbir (as has been common in recent years). Artists who want to fly the yellow and blue flag in the UK can apply on the Eurovision.ua website. The deadline to submit is October 15, 2022 and the selection will take place in Kyiv in December.

Musician Dmitry Surovperhaps better known as Pianoboy, will be the official music producer this year.

“I want Europe to hear and see a modern Ukrainian musician, who is part of the global musical context,” he wrote on Insta. “I know we have such people and although it is very difficult to create at the moment, I invite and urge musicians of all styles and genres to urgently choose their favorite instrument and join the selection. “

“You have almost two months to create your winning, breathing song for Ukraine – a song that will touch and inspire the world.”

There are several interesting changes to the process this year, which we outline below.

Vidbir 2023: Ukraine opens Eurovision submissions

The precise format for the national selection has not been revealed, but UA:PBC has shared some of the key rules and processes. These include letting the public choose the members of the Ukrainian jury for the national final and Eurovision; a ban on Russian-language entries; and a rule requiring long-listed artists to attend an audition in person.

They write:

  • “Ukrainians will determine the composition of the Jury of the National Selection Final and the National Jury of the International Eurovision Song Contest using online voting.”
  • “As in previous years, solo artists or groups that already exist or have been created specifically to participate in the national selection are allowed to participate in Eurovision.”
  • “Songs can be in any language except the language of the aggressor state.”
  • “The national selection final for Eurovision 2023 will take place in Kyiv in December. The winner will be announced during the live broadcast of the final on Suspilne TV channels and on Suspilne digital platforms.

Giving the public a voice in jury selection is no doubt intended to heal the wounds that emerged during last year’s drama Vidbir, which was plagued by accusations and allegations of rigging when Alina Pash won the show, despite losing to the public.

You will recall that the organizing committee faced heavy criticism from several candidates after the country was selected for Eurovision 2022. As a result, several acts, including Kalush Orchestra and Cloudless, called for transparency total after the vote reveal scene was marred by technical gaffes.

Kalush Orchestra’s Oleh Psiuk commented on the dismissal of committee chairman Yaroslav Lodygin on the band’s Instagram Stories, saying, “After all, justice won.”

Sylvester L. Goldfarb