Why Ukraine Aren’t Taking Part in Eurovision 2019

Hello everyone and welcome to another Eurovision 2019 article on The Blogging DJ. We have just finished previewing each of the forty-one acts competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, but there was originally meant to be one more. In the Ukrainian national final, MARUV won with “Siren Song” but was pulled from being Ukraine’s representative by their broadcaster. With no alternative solution, Ukraine were forced to pull out of Eurovision 2019.

What Happened in the National Final?

As they had done since the 2016 edition of the contest, the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC organised their national final commonly known as Vidbir. For this year’s selection, sixteen songs were selected to perform across two semi-finals. One of the biggest stars from previous years of Vidbir, Tayanna, pulled out of the selection before the live shows and replaced with MARUV and “Siren Song”. The latter went on to win the televotes in both the semi-final and the final, doing well enough in the jury vote to win the ticket to Tel Aviv.

However, MARUV was scheduled to perform in Russia on a couple of dates in the following months, which the broadcaster strictly forbid due to tension between the two states, escalated in the past few years due to Russia’s military intervention in the area of Crimea. You may remember that in 2017, the Russian act to compete in Eurovision 2017 was banned from entering the host country of Ukraine due to the performing of concerts in Crimea. MARUV refused to agree with the terms of UA:PBC due to, in part, her music label being Warner Music Russia. The Ukrainian broadcaster asked the second and third placed entries if they wanted to represent the country instead, but in a show of solidarity, they both rejected the offer, forcing Ukraine to pull out of the contest.

Music Video

The Blogging DJ’s Review

If you bring a concept into your entry for Eurovision, you need to take it as far as possible. That is exactly what MARUV is doing by expressing raw sex appeal, breathing seductively in between musical sections of dark and passionate beats. The performance in the final of Vidbir (which you can see below) was executed to a tee and taking this up to a ten would have blown all of the other ‘darker’ entries out of the water. It perfectly captures a mood and carries a message behind it. If I would critique anything it would be that the music doesn’t progress as much as I would have liked but it will definitely be missed in Eurovision 2019. 8

Live Performance Video

Record at Eurovision

Ukraine have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on fifteen occasions since making their debut in 2003. Since the introduction of the semi-finals, they are the only one of two countries (the other being Australia) who have a 100% qualification record. They have won the contest twice, Ruslana in 2004 with “Wild Dances” and, more recently, Jamala winning in 2016 with her politically charged and emotional entry “1944”. Last year, Mélovin qualified for the Grand Final but a very poor jury score meant he only finished in seventeenth place with “Under the Ladder”.

What are your thoughts on Ukraine pulling out of Eurovision 2019 and were you a fan of “Siren Song”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and stay tuned for more Eurovision articles in the weeks leading up to the contest on The Blogging DJ.

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