Ukraine 2019: Maruv

Ukraine: Maruv is not going to Eurovision 2019

The Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC and Maruv, who won Vidbir 2019 last Saturday, didn't come to an agreement about Eurovision 2019 participation

Update 27 February 2019

Ukraine withdraws from Eurovision 2019

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The Ukrainian representative for Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv has not been decided or confirmed yet. Maruv just won Vidbir 2019 in Ukraine two days ago with Siren Song.

The Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC and Maruv didn't come to an agreement about Eurovision 2019 participation, and now UA:PBC has announced that Maruv will not represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2019. This happens after a more than 5 hour long negotiation between UA:PBC and Maruv's team, ending up with the two parts not signing the contract for Eurovision participation.

Many fans suspected that concerts in Russia could have cost Maruv her Eurovision ticket, however Maruv assures that this is not the cause:

– The cancellation of concerts in Russia was not fundamental to us. The main differences were caused by other clauses in the contract, which, if I sign, would become enslaving for me.

The contract

Following Maruv's win in Vidbir 2019, the broadcaster sent Maruv's management a contract, requiring her to cancel all appearances and performances in Russia in order to become the Ukrainian representative.

Maruv was given 48 hours to sign the contract, or be replaced by another participant.

Maruv revealed that the contract included a clause, that banned her from improvising on stage and communicating with any journalist without the permission of the broadcaster, and required her to fully comply with any requests from the broadcaster.

If she broke the contract, she would be fined 2 million UAH (65,000 EUR), and the contract also stated that the Ukrainian broadcaster would not pay Maruv's trip to Tel Aviv, according to Maruv.

Statement from UA:PBC

The public broadcaster and the singer MARUV, who won the national election for Eurovision , did not agree on participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 for a number of reasons.

Singer Anna Korsun (stage name – MARUV) won the National Selection as a result of an honest competition and received the maximum score from the audience. Her performance was highly appreciated by music experts, showbiz and spectators. However, the performer, who will represent Ukraine on the international arena, also has a commitment: after signing the contract with UA:PBC for the time of the contest the performer becomes a cultural ambassador of Ukraine and reports not only his own music, but also becomes the spokesman for the opinion of Ukrainian society in the world. After the negotiations, UA:PBC and the singer MARUV did not find a joint decision on the mission of the representative of Ukraine at the international song contest.

Also according to the rules of Eurovision (clause 2.6), the broadcasting participant must ensure non-political character of the competition. The current situation surrounding the nation-wide election this year has signs of politicization. Public resonance, attempts to exert pressure from the political forces, interfering in the discussion of cultural figures and the information structures of the aggressor country in fact led to the politicization of the results of the national selection.

The public broadcaster also sees in this situation the danger of an escalation of the split of Ukrainian society, which is contrary to the objectives of the Public Broadcasting Company (according to the Law of Ukraine on Public Broadcasting, one of the main tasks of UA:PBC is to promote the consolidation of Ukrainian society (Article 4., paragraph 2)).

Statement from Maruv

Today, our meeting with NTU (UA:PBC, ed.) lasted about seven hours, as a result of which, we did not reach an agreement between us.

A few hours before the draw, I was asked to participate in the national selection for Eurovision 2019. I agreed and won, and with great pride I was ready to represent my native country – Ukraine – at the international contest.

As I said earlier, the cancellation of concerts in Russia was not fundamental to us. The main differences were caused by other clauses in the contract, which, if I sign, would become enslaving for me. I am a citizen of Ukraine, pay taxes and sincerely love Ukraine. But I am not ready to come up with slogans, turning my participation into promotions of our politicians. I am a musician, not a bat in the political arena.

I sincerely thank and appreciate everyone who believed in me and voted. And I ask you to accept this fact and not to go for confrontation. This is a reality today. I want to give my creativity without censorship.

Tomorrow I will wake up with new forces – to win and popularize my music in the world.

Ukraine and Russia

Russia and Ukraine is in an armed conflict where Russia supports rebel groups in Ukraine. The Ukrainian peninsula Crimea was forcefully and illegally occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014.

Maruv has performed multiple times in Russia, and has scheduled a number of performances in Russia in the next couple of months. Maruv was ready to cancel these performances.

According to CEO of UA:PBC, Zurab Alasania, the broadcaster has written in the conditions for all the participants that they need to refuse to perform in Russia three months after the competition.

CEO of UA:PBC, Zurab Alasania, also states that the performer should have "attentive attitude towards the public statements regarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, or any statements that may harm Ukraine at the international level", and that "not all good Ukrainian performers are ready to be good cultural diplomats".

Shortly after Maruv was crowned winner of Vidbir, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, wrote on twitter:

– The representative of Ukraine cannot be an artist who tours in the agressor state, has plans to do so again and doesn’t realise it’s unacceptable. Therefore, the story of the Ukrainian entrant [for Eurovision] is far from complete.

Ukraine voted for Maruv

Maruv won the Ukrainian national selection for Eurovision, Vidbir 2019, just two days ago. Here she received maximum points (6 points) from the public televoting, and finished 2nd in the three person jury (5 points), and crowned the overall winner of the night.

The band Freedom Jazz finished 2nd with 4 points from Televoting and 6 points from the jury.

Yesterday, Maruv stated that she is ready to cancel her performances in Russia, and that she hasn't violated any Ukrainian laws or visited Crimea since 2014.

– I am Ukrainian, love my country and proud to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv at Eurovision Song Contest 2019 despite the fact that I have received proposals from three different countries to represent them. But my answer is categorical: I will perform for Ukraine and no one else!

Maruv – "Siren Song"

Who will then represent Ukraine?

CEO of UA:PBC, Zurab Alasania, says, that now the decision on the artist and song which will represent Ukraine at Eurovision Song Contest 2019 remains open, and the negotiations with the next act will start tomorrow morning.

It is currently unknown if the runner-up of Vidbir 2019, Freedom Jazz with the song "Cupidon", will now be negotiating with the broadcaster UA:PBC. Sources claims that if Freedom Jazz are approached by UA:PBC, they will also reject the offer to go to Eurovision.

Update 26 February 2019:

Freedom Jazz reject offer to go to Eurovision 2019

Freedom Jazz – "Cupidon"

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