As we have announced previously, UA:PBC and STB will no longer be collaborating on Ukraine’s Eurovision selection – and instead the collaboration will occur with production company Friends Pro TV. This means that there will likely be a few changes to the overall design of the show, but quite a few things have stayed the same, from the 50/50 vote structure between jury and televote, the inclusion of a three-person jury, and the relative air date in mid-February. One big change for the 2022 year however is that the broadcaster opted out of using semi-finals, choosing to organize only the final to select their Eurovision 2022 entrant.
Another small change to Vidbir is who will make up the prestigious three-person jury panel. Former Eurovision participant and The Voice of Ukraine mentor Tina Karol will return to claim her 2020 seat at the jury table, and joining her will be longstanding jury member and former Eurovision winner Jamala who was annouced yesterday. This will be the first time that Jamala will sit next to Tina as a Vidbir jury member, since Tina took her spot on the panel in 2020. Jamala also served on the five-part jury panel that selected Go_A’s 2021 song “Shum” for Rotterdam.
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Speaking about the opportunity to return as a judge, Jamala said: “It is very nice to return to the national selection again on television. This is very cool and as we have already seen since 2016 – it gave impetus not only to our representatives at Eurovision, but also to the development of Ukranian music in general.” The final juror to complete the panel will be newcomer Yaroslav Lodygin, a television producer and director who is best known for his involvement of the Ukranian film The Wild Fields. Lodygin was also part of the 2021 internal song selection jury for Go_A. This means Andriy Danylko, who was on the jury from Vidbir’s inception in 2016, will not be part of the show.
Vidbir 2022 artists were revealed on January 24th by the broadcaster, and in true Vidbir fashion there was almost immediate drama. Within a matter of hours fromt the announcement, Vidbir veteran Laud was disqualified due to a previous 2018 commercial release of his song “Head Under Water”. Because of this, UA:PBC announced that reserve artist Barleben would be competiting in Laud’s place instead.
Vidbir 2022 is set to take place on February 12th, 2022 at 1800 PM CET and will be the first time the national selection has been used since Go_A won in 2020. Given that the 2020 contest was cancelled due to the pandemic, UA:PBC decided to internally select Go_A for the 2021 contest and selected their entry internally.