If you’re unaware of how Eurovision works, the concept is this: 26 countries who reach the grand final put forward an act to represent them in the form of a song, with the overall winner being crowned by judge’s scores and a public vote. The winner is then given the honour of hosting the contest the following year.
Sadly, after Ukraine’s 2022 victory, the country has been ruled out to be the next host due to the war, with organisers expressing their “deep regret”. Kalush Orchestra’s Stefania took the public vote by a landslide to win the competition — a victory in which the significance was two-fold; both a recognition of the strength of Kalush Orchestra’s performance and a show of unity with the nation.
The UK were a surprise success in the 2022 edition, with artist Sam Ryder earning second place for his performance of Space Man. Eurovision have asked the UK to step in as replacement hosts for 2023, which would mark the first time Britain has held the contest since 1998. Organisers have approached the BBC to host the broadcasting of the finals, but it has not yet been confirmed whether this option will be taken.
The European Broadcasting Union(EBU) said in a statement: “The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on May 14 in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.
“The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians.
“As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”