Ukraine’s ‘Vidbir’ Wraps Up, Eurovision 2018 Participant Revealed

Efrem LukatskyAP Images

The Ukraine’s national selection, Vidbir, wrapped up earlier Saturday night, local time. After two-semi finals and a grand final which featured two very popular contestants from previous years, their participant for Eurovision 2018 was revealed.

As reported by ESCDaily, 20-year-old Melovin will represent Ukraine in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 10 with the song “Under the Ladder.” The singer won Vidbir‘s televote, while rival and fan favorite Tayanna won over the jury. This is the second time that the two have been pitted against each other. In 2017, Melovin ranked third while Tayanna and rock band O.Torvald tied for first place. The tiebreaker, however, sees the act with the most public votes take the crown; therefore O.Torvald was sent to try their hand at winning the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The group was automatically sent to the grand final, due to Ukraine having won the previous year’s competition. O.Torvald, however, did not end up faring too well in the final rankings, coming in 24th place.

Melovin released his first EP, Face to Face, in November of 2017 through his record label UMPG. The previous year, he released three singles, “Na vzlyot,” “Ne odinokaya,” and “Wonder,” the latter track being the one he attempted to win last year’s Vidbir with. The Odessa native has quickly captured the public’s attention over the past few years with his unique appearance; not only is his hair often dyed with striking colors, but the artist also wears a bright blue contact in only one eye.

Ukraine has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2003, making it one of the more recent countries to debut. Since then, they have entered a total of 14 times, sitting out in 2015 due to financial difficulties resulting from the ongoing crisis in the nation. The country has won the competition on two occasions, 2004 and 2017. Coming in the top 10 with over half their entries so far, Ukraine is certainly one of the most successful nations Eurovision has seen over the years, with two second places and one third since their debut. Since the introduction of semi-finals in 2004, their participant has never failed to qualify for the grand final.

After Jamala’s win with “1944” in 2016, the next year’s Eurovision Song Contest saw quite the political turmoil between the reigning champion nation and Russia, whose participant had performed in the annexed region of Crimea, thus violating Ukrainian law and ultimately getting banned from the 2017 contest. Russia, however, was adamant that they would send entrant Yuliya Samoylova in 2018 to make up for what they felt was an unfair and solely politically based move to force the disabled singer to withdraw. Last month, national broadcasters came through on their promise and announced the 28-year-old as the official participant for Russia in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.