Ukraine has used a selection show called Vidbir to select its act and song for Eurovision since 2016. It seemed to work for the nation as it gave them their second ever Eurovision victory with Jamala’s ‘1944’ winning the Contest that year. 2017 and 2018 were also a success with O. Torvald and Melovin making it to the finals with ‘Time’ and ‘Under the Ladder’. This week Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC revealed that the selection show will return in 2019 and have given us some of the initial details.
First of all we have the dates. There will be three shows in the run, consisting of two semi finals and a final. These will air on three consecutive Saturdays in February. The first live show will take place on 9 February, with the second on 16 February and the Final taking place on 23 February.
In addition to this, it has been confirmed that under an agreement with the state broadcaster, that Vidbir is safe for another two years, guaranteeing that it will be on our screens until at least 2021.
There has been no announcement as to who will be on the judging panel, nor how many or which acts will compete in the live shows. If the past few years are anything to go by however, we can expect that there will be around 18-20 acts competing over the two semi final rounds with three from each making it to the final show. Typically there is a panel of three judges and in the past judges have included Verka Serduchka’s alter ego Andriy Danylko, Eurovision winners Jamala and Ruslana and industry experts Konstantin Meladze and Yevhen Filatov.
Acts that have participated multiple times in the past few years include: Tayanna, Pur:Pur, Illaria and Kadnay. Could 2019 see them return for another bite of the cherry?