Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022 by a landslide – the EBU has confirmed the 2023 competition will be hosted elsewhere (Picture: EPA)
Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra have admitted he’s ‘surprised and disappointed’ over the decision to keep the 2023 competition out of Ukraine.
The EBU previously released a statement saying the competition could be held in the UK. On Thursday, it released a statement saying it is standing firm on the decision to keep the competition out of Ukraine despite an outpouring of disappointment.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleg Psyuk admitted he was ‘surprised’.
‘I’m very disappointed because we had hoped to host it in Ukraine,’ he explained.
The Ukranian entry won Eurovision 2022 with a landslide in the televotes, receiving a well-earned congratulations from President Volodymyr Zelensky.
However, shortly after the competition, Kalush Orchestra auctioned off the tropy, raising a huge $900,000 (£700,000) to help the Ukrainian army.
Reflecting on the auction, he said: ‘It’s very important to help our country at the moment.’
Speaking about the other ways the group has managed to help the Ukranian effort, Oleg went on: ‘We help as much as we can. I have a volunteering organisation, one of my musicians is fighting on the front line, and we’re also raising donations and money from the ticket sales and we send it all to Ukraine’.
Kalush Orchestra were hoping the competition would be held in Ukraine next year (Picture: Getty Images)
Ahead of Kalush Orchestra’s upcoming performance at Glastonbury Festival, Oleg urged fans in the UK: ‘Follow our work, make sure to follow our music. Our culture is, at the moment, being under attack [so] if you would like to help, listen to our work, cultural music, and follow us.’
Earlier this month, the EBU confirmed it would start discussions with the BBC about potentially hosting Eurovision in the UK.
Ukraine quickly expressed their upset at the decision, with the EBU facing criticism from Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and the head of its state broadcaster.
However, despite being aware of the ‘disappointment’ from Ukraine after finding out the 2023 contest would not be held in the winning country, the EBU has confirmed they will not be shifting their plans.
In a statement, the EBU said: ‘The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately in the host country.
‘At least 10,000 people are usually accredited to work on, or at, the Eurovision Song Contest including crew, staff and journalists. A further 30,000 fans are expected to travel to the event from across the world. Their welfare is our prime concern. It is therefore critical that decisions made in relation to such a complex live television event are made by broadcasting professionals and do not become politicized.’
The statement went on to reference the contest’s official rules, which state the …read more
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