Following the furore surrounding Maruv’s rejection of the contract imposed by UA:PBC on her to participate in Eurovision 2019, and with the three entrants behind her in the national selection (Freedom Jazz, Kazka and Brunettes Shoot Blondes) turning down the offer to represent the country in Tel Aviv, the national broadcaster has announced it will withdraw from this year’s competition.
In a surprise twist, the public broadcaster responsible for Ukraine’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest has released a statement announcing the country’s withdrawal from the competition in 2019;
“The winner of the national selection for this year’s Eurovision was the singer MARUV, which the Public Broadcaster, as it does this annually, offered to conclude an agreement to represent Ukraine at the song contest. However, after negotiations, MARUV refused to sign the agreement.
The alternative way to determine the representative from Ukraine for Eurovision 2019 is to recognize the direct appointment as a broadcaster. That is, the Public Broadcasting Company could elect any performer from among the participants in the National Selection.
However, from such an alternative, the Public Broadcaster refuses, because it respects the choice of the audience in the National Selection. Therefore, in the situation of non-signing of the agreement on participation in the Eurovision with the winner, UA:PBC turns to the finalists who took the second and third place by the results of the National Selection.
Freedom Jazz and Kazka also refused to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.”
The statement continues to identify the withdrawal as a turning point that could spark debate in Ukrainian society on their stance towards Russia, while conceding that currently there is no law regarding restrictions of Ukrainian performers or artists on working in the Russian Federation.
Ukraine’s withdrawal marks their first non-participation since 2015, when political instability in the region forced the broadcaster to focus its efforts elsewhere for that year. Ukraine returned in 2016, winning the contest with Jamala’s “1944”.
Will this be the end of this saga, or will there be further twists and turns for this story?
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