Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

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Eurovision Song Contest 2022
Country Ukraine
National selection
Selection processInternal selection among Vidbir 2022 participants
Selection date(s)22 February 2022
Selected entrantKalush Orchestra
Selected song"Stefania"
Selected songwriter(s)
  • Ihor Didenchuk
  • Ivan Klimenko
  • Oleh Psiuk
  • Tymofii Muzychuk
  • Vitalii Duzhyk
Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2021 2022

Ukraine is scheduled to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. The Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne organized the national selection Vidbir in order to select the country's representative for the contest, which was won by "Tini zabutykh predkiv / Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", performed by Alina Pash. Following controversy regarding her travel history, Pash's status as a legitimate participant of Vidbir was challenged, which resulted in her participation being ceased by the broadcaster as well as her withdrawal. The runner-up, "Stefania" performed by Kalush Orchestra, was chosen as the Ukrainian entry for the contest.

Background

Prior to the 2022 contest, Ukraine has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest sixteen times since its first entry in 2003, winning it in the following year with the song "Wild Dances" performed by Ruslana. Following the introduction of semi-finals for 2004, Ukraine is the only country that has managed to qualify to the final in every contest they have participated in thus far. Ukraine has been the runner-up in the contest on two occasions: in 2007 with "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" by Verka Serduchka and in 2008 with "Shady Lady" by Ani Lorak; and it won the contest for a second time in 2016 with "1944" by Jamala. Ukraine's least successful result has been 24th place, which they achieved, as hosts, in 2017, with the song "Time" performed by O.Torvald. The country came 5th in the final in 2021 with "Shum" by Go_A, scoring 364 points.

The Ukrainian national broadcaster, Suspilne, broadcasts the event within Ukraine and organises the selection process for the nation's entry. Suspilne confirmed their intentions to participate at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest on 18 June 2021.[1] In the past, Suspilne has alternated between both internal selections and national finals in order to select the Ukrainian entry. Between 2016 and 2020, Suspilne, in collaboration with STB, set up national finals with several artists to choose both the song and performer to compete at Eurovision for Ukraine, with both the public and a panel of jury members involved in the selection.

Before Eurovision

On 30 August 2021, it was announced that Suspilne had terminated their partnership with STB.[2] On 8 October 2021, the broadcaster announced that they would independently organise a national final to select the 2022 Ukrainian entry and requested proposals from production companies with a deadline of 24 October 2021.[3] The selected company, Friends Pro TV, was announced on 29 December 2021.[4]

Vidbir 2022

The Ukrainian national final took place in the NAU Center of Culture and Arts in Kyiv on 12 February 2022, and was hosted by Maria Efrosinina with Timur Miroshnychenko as backstage host.[5][6][7][8]

Format

The selection of the competing entries for the national final and ultimately the Ukrainian Eurovision entry took place over three stages. In the first stage, artists and songwriters had the opportunity to apply for the competition through an online submission form.[9] Twenty-seven acts were longlisted and announced on 17 January 2022. The second stage was a scheduled audition at designated dates and featured the twenty-seven acts in the longlist. Eight acts were selected to advance, which were announced on 24 January 2022. The third stage was the final, which took place on 12 February 2022 and featured the eight acts vying to represent Ukraine in Turin. The winner was selected via the 50/50 combination of votes from a public televote and a three-member expert jury,[10] consisting of 2006 and 2016 Ukrainian entrants Tina Karol and Jamala, alongside Suspilne board member Yaroslav Lodyhin [uk].[11][12]

Competing entries

Artists and composers had the opportunity to submit their entries between 14 December 2021 and 10 January 2022. Only artists that had not performed in a concert in Russia since 2014 nor entered the territory of Crimea without due permission were able to apply for the competition.[9] A selection panel including the music producer of the show Mykhailo Koshevy and the television producer of the show Oleksiy Honcharenko reviewed the 284 received submissions, and twenty-seven entries that had been longlisted were announced on 17 January 2022.[13][14] Auditions were later held at the My Dream Space venue in Kyiv where eight entries were shortlisted to compete in the national final.[14] On 24 January 2022, the eight selected competing acts were announced.[15] It was later announced by Suspilne that Laud was disqualified from the competition as his song "Head Under Water" was previously released in 2018, which is in violation of the rules. Barleben took his place in the final lineup with the song "Hear My Words".[16]

Longlisted artists[13][17]
Competing artists
Artist Song Language(s) Songwriter(s)
Alina Pash "Tini zabutykh predkiv" (Тіні забутих предків) Ukrainian, English Alina Pash, Taras Bazeev
Barleben "Hear My Words" English Oleksandr Barleben, Kristina Hromiak
Cloudless "All Be Alright" English Yurii Kanalosh, Anton Panfilov, Mykhailo Shatokhin
Kalush Orchestra "Stefania" Ukrainian Ihor Didenchuk, Ivan Klimenko, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk, Vitalii Duzhyk
Laud "Head Under Water" English Daniel Boting
Michael Soul "Demons" English Michael Soul, Vlad Freimann, Andrei Katikov, Ilia Paliakou
Our Atlantic "Moia liubov" (Моя любов) Ukrainian Viktor Baida, Dmytro Bakal
Roxolana "Girlzzzz" English, Ukrainian Roksoliana Syrota, Mykhailo Gaidai
Wellboy "Nozzy Bossy" English, Ukrainian Anton Velboi, Serhii Yurov, Stepan Oliinik, Yevhen Harbarenko
Final

The final took place on 12 February 2022. Former Ukrainian Eurovision entrants Tina Karol (2006), Jamala (2016) and Go_A (2021) were guest performers at the final. In addition, Ukrainian Junior Eurovision entrants Darina Krasnovetska (2018), Sophia Ivanko (2019), Oleksandr Balabanov (2020), and Olena Usenko (2021) performed a medley of past Ukrainian Eurovision entries ("1944", "Shum", "Dancing Lasha Tumbai", and "Wild Dances").[18] Alina Pash won the televised version of the competition. Later, she was ceased from participating in the national selection after it was discovered that her representative had provided Suspilne with a falsified certificate of her travel history.[19]

On 22 February 2022, it was announced that the televote winner and runner-up of the competition, Kalush Orchestra, would represent Ukraine at Eurovision.[20]

Final – 12 February 2022[21][22][23]
Draw Artist Song Jury Televote Total Place
Votes Percentage Points
1 Cloudless[a] "All Be Alright" 1 3,410 4.38% 4 5 7
2 Michael Soul "Demons" 2 1,239 1.59% 1 3 8
3 Our Atlantic "Moia liubov" 5 1,605 2.06% 2 7 6
4 Barleben "Hear My Words" 4 2,740 3.52% 3 7 5
5 Kalush Orchestra "Stefania" 6 38,634 49.63% 8 14 2
6 Roxolana "Girlzzzz" 3 5,034 6.47% 5 8 4
7 Wellboy "Nozzy Bossy" 7 5,646 7.25% 6 13 3
8 Alina Pash "Tini zabutykh predkiv" 8 19,535 25.10% 7 15 1

Controversies

Results announcement issues and dispute

Following Alina Pash's victory, runner-up Kalush Orchestra accused the organisers of falsifying the results. Lead singer Oleh Psiuk claimed that the organisers of the selection had refused to speak to him after several technical issues had occurred during the announcement of the results. Incorrect points were given during the allocation of the televotes, leading to a failure of the electronic scoreboard, meaning that host Timur Miroshnychenko had to manually announce the results from a sheet of paper.[24] After the show, a video emerged of Psiuk confronting a producer in a corridor.[25] On a livestream, Psiuk claimed that the producer had refused to answer his questions, and went on to state that he intended to challenge the organisers in court. Suspilne and its audit partner PwC maintained the validity of the results, stating that the technical difficulties had had no impact on the results. However, Yaroslav Lodyhin, chairman of the organising committee of Vidbir as well as one of the jurors in the competition, stated that he would be ready to resign from his position as further proof of the broadcaster's good faith,[26] and his resignation came into effect on 18 February.[27] The full results of the selection were published on 22 February.[23][28]

Alina Pash's disqualification

Following the controversy surrounding Maruv at Vidbir 2019, which led to Ukraine withdrawing from the Eurovision Song Contest that year, a new rule was introduced starting from Vidbir 2020 which bars artists who have performed in Russia since 2014 or have entered Crimea "in violation of the legislation of Ukraine" from entering the competition.[29] On 14 February 2022, activist and video blogger Serhii Sternenko alleged that Pash had entered Crimea from Russian territory in 2015, and counterfeited her travel documentation with her team in order to take part in Vidbir.[30] Suspilne subsequently stated that they would request the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service to verify if the documentation is forged, and that Pash would not officially be the Ukrainian representative at the contest "until the verification and clarification of the facts is completed".[31] Andrii Demchenko, speaking on behalf of the Guard Service, maintained that the certificate Pash had handed in to the broadcaster had not been issued by them, but that a request to cross the border had been made by the artist, and that the public broadcaster would be provided with the results of the investigation by 16 February at 11:00 (EET).[32][33] Svitlana Ostapa [uk], chair of the Supervisory Board of Suspilne, later called a meeting, which was held on 18 February, in order to discuss the situation surrounding Vidbir.[32][33][34]

Pash's management addressed the accusations stating that she had entered Crimea from the Ukrainian border, and that the certificate had been requested by a "team member" rather than Pash herself. They had assured to be analyzing the circumstances surrounding the obtainment of the document.[35] On 16 February, Pash claimed on an Instagram post that the State Border Guard Service had not been able to provide her with a new certificate as proof of her entrance to Crimea, as she had requested in the wake of the controversy, since related records are only kept for five years.[36] Shortly after, Pash announced on her social media pages that she would withdraw her candidacy as the Ukrainian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest.[19] On the same day, Suspilne stated it had decided to "cease her participation" and that "the artist agreed with this decision of the organizing committee".[37]

Tymofii Muzychuk's travel history

On 16 February 2022, a 2015 VK post by runner-up Kalush Orchestra member Tymofii Muzychuk surfaced, portraying the musician in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. The band's management stated that the photo had been taken before 2014, and that Muzychuk had traveled to Russia in 2013 to perform at a Mykhailo Poplavskyi [uk] concert in Moscow and at an event in Krasnodar, which he claimed to have been his last time in the country.[38]

Internal selection

After it became clear that Alina Pash would not represent Ukraine at Eurovision, Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne stated that, according to the rules of Vidbir, they would select another representative among the other competing artists in the national final during the meeting of 18 February,[39][40] without specifying when they would announce the result of the selection. Runner-up Kalush Orchestra were offered the proposal on 17 February.[41] On 21 February, it was reported that the band would refuse to sign the participation contract until the detailed results of the national final were released.[42] On 22 February, simultaneously with the release of the detailed results, the band accepted the offer to represent Ukraine at Eurovision.[20]

Preparations

Following the start of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Suspilne and Kalush Orchestra had yet to formally comment on whether their Eurovision participation would continue.[43][44] On 14 March, Claudio Fasulo [it] and Simona Martorelli, executive producers of the 2022 contest, confirmed that Ukraine would still be competing; this was later reaffirmed by Suspilne on 19 March via a post on its social media pages.[45][46][47] They added that work would commence on the Ukrainian 'live-on-tape' backup performance, which is planned to be recorded in Lviv and used in the event that the delegation cannot travel to Turin for the contest.[48][49] If the situation does not allow the production of the 'live-on-tape' performance to go ahead, the performance from Vidbir will instead be used as backup.[50][51]

At Eurovision

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 25 January 2022, an allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Ukraine has been placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 10 May 2022, and has been scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[52]

Notes

  1. ^ Due to technical issues during the first performance, Cloudless had to perform their song again after all the other songs.

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