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What to look forward to at Ukraine's 'Vidbir'

01 February 2024 at 17:09 CET
TVORCHI from Ukraine attending the Turquoise Carpet event at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Corinne Cumming / EBU
Your guide to what's going on at 'Vidbir 2024', as Ukraine gets set to select its entry to the 68th Eurovision Song Contest.

How To Watch: 'Vidbir' starts at 17:00 CET on Saturday 3 February. You'll be able to stream the contest live via the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel

We're about to find out what Ukraine is going to select as its 20th entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has made quite the impact on the scoreboards since its debut in 2003, with its songs making the Grand Final every single time; the only participating nation to have achieved such a feat. And those are some enviable bragging rights!

Now, on Saturday 3 February, the latest edition of Vidbir will decide which song will be sent to Malmö in May to continue Ukraine's impressive run at the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Our presenters for the evening include some very familiar faces to Eurovision fans. The Ukrainian host of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, Julia Sanina, is back on home soil to guide viewers through proceedings.

She'll be joined by the host of another Eurovision Song Contest - Kyiv 2017 - Timur Miroshnychenko. Timo also took part at Liverpool 2023, conducting interviews with artists for the official Eurovision Song Contest TikTok channel. The charming host has also served as Ukraine's Eurovision commentator in recent years.

The popular comedian Vasyl Baidak, whose humour has recently gained international media coverage, will complete the presenting lineup. 

The winner of Vidbir 2024 will be decided by a combination of a public vote and jury vote, with a 50% weighting given to each.

The jury will be made up of three members, each of whom have been voted in by the Ukrainian public. Jamala, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, will be a part of the jury; as will Andrii Danylko, the participant behind Ukraine's entry at Helsinki 2007, Verka Serduchka. The third jury member will be Serhiy Tanchynets, the frontman of the acclaimed Ukrainian rock band BEZ OBMEZHEN.

And what of the songs that this jury and the Ukrainian public be deliberating over?...

Well, broadcaster Suspilne has lined up 11 candidates for the opportunity of representing Ukraine in Malmö. And you can read each of them tell you a little bit about their song below, as you give the competing entries a pre-listen.

Here are the 11 songs that you can look forward to hearing when you tune in on Saturday night, in the order that they'll be performing in:

YAKTAK — Lalala

LaLaLa is an energetic, danceable track about the eternal. It's about a hero who longs for love but is faced with an unanswered one. The song is performed in an unusual style for YAKTAK, so he is sure that listeners will be surprised:

"I tried to make a cool, vigorous track. I did my best and put all my soul and inner fire into it. I made a hook so that the song would be memorable and the whole of Europe would sing it. There is a real, sincere Ukrainian energy in LaLaLa."

INGRET — Keeper

INGRET says that her song Keeper began its life after she decided to take part in Vidbir 2024:

"I like to create when I have something to say and tend to write about what my soul is living through, so it is always sincere. I didn't think much about what the song would be about. I cannot stand aside since my dad and husband are in the military. So, I decided to explore my feminine power: what can I do in this situation? Who am I as a woman?

That's when I realised women can shine in such a way that we can create and destroy with this light. That's what my song is about."

NAZVA — Slavic English

Slavic English is a cheerful and life-affirming song that reflects a reality in a light way; a self-presentation of Ukrainians to the world while preserving their identity.

"Ukrainians are very good at making memes in a cool and organic way. Nowadays, this is the best kind of self-reflection and reaction to any event. If Ukrainians are so good at making memes, why don't we send it to the Eurovision Song Contest from Ukraine?,"  Pavlo Gotz, the songwriter, comments.

ANKA — Палала (Palala)

ANKA says that Палала (Palala) was explicitly written for Eurovision 2024:

"This song is about our ups and downs, the emotional swings every Ukrainian faces now. There is always a light after any challenge. To avoid falling into the traps of life's illusions, listen to your heart and collect your stars in the sky." 

Drevo — Endless Chain

DREVO believes that Endless Chain is more than just a song: 

"It's a story about indomitable spirit and willpower embodying deep feelings and the desire to stay together in difficult times. I want my music to become an anthem for everyone fighting and hoping."

alyona alyona & Jerry Heil — Teresa & Maria

alyona alyona & Jerry Heil say that Teresa & Maria is a song about women who carry a titanic weight on their shoulders: 

"On behalf of women, we are talking about the importance of unity for significant actions and victories. And even though we, as Ukrainians, wrote this song about Ukraine, everyone can recognise themselves in the lyrics. We're talking about unification because that's what creates synergy and brings much more results." 

MÉLOVIN — DREAMER

Although MÉLOVIN wrote Dreamer himself, the singer is adamant that it was a collaborative effort: 

"This is probably the first time in history that I say that a song was written not by me but by all of you. I communicate with people a lot and realise that each of us, for some reason, under the pressure of society, forgets about our inner little dreamer. We turn away from it, follow some canons of society and forget who we wanted to be as a child. I want this song to be about you, in your name and for you. I want the song to give you the understanding that you are finally ready to return to your inner dreamer, to fulfill your dreams, to scale up and make yourself happy. Who else if not you?."

SKYLERR — Time Is Running Out

The song tells us about the anxious state of a person looking for an answer to the many questions in their mind. It's about the modern world of chaos, where people can lose themselves and each other in the confusion. Time Is Running Out becomes a musical echo of suffering, pain and tears, calling for a stop to the madness and time to reflect on what is important in this world - being human.

"In a world of chaos, everyone can lose themselves and suffer from it. But the most important thing is to stop, take a breath and remember who you are and where you are going," says SKYLERR.

Ziferblat — Place I Call Home

Place I Call Home is a story about the feeling of home we all cherish. A lyric from the lead singer Danylo, guitarist Valentyn and drummer Fedir about finding their footing in life.

YAGODY — Tsunamia

YAGODY say that Tsunamia is about strength, inner core and inexhaustibility: 

"After all, water is the blood of the universe, the support on which the earth rests. Everything begins and ends with water, it gives life and takes it away. Our ancestors offered sacrifices to it, predicted on it and used it for healing. Water remembers thousands of years of history and centuries of wars. With this song, we wanted to say that you can survive even in the darkest times if you hold on to your roots." 

NAHABA — GLASSS

The song GLASSS reflects the personal experiences of the duo's members, Andrii and Olha. The couple had been dating for almost five years, but after Andrii joined the military, their relationship began to break down irrevocably. The song tells a tragic story of love and life amid war.

At the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, Ukraine was represented by TVORCHI with their song Heart Of Steel. The duo gave Ukraine a 6th-place finish at the Grand Final in Liverpool.

 

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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