Ukraine’s victory in this year’s ESC final was probably one of the most emotional moments in the history of the popular music competition – and the winners are actually the hosts the following year.
Former ESC winner Jamala from Ukraine has spoken out in favor of holding the competition in Great Britain if the 2023 show cannot take place in her home country due to the war.
“Britain came second so it would be fair to host the competition in one of your cities if for some reason Ukraine is not ready to host the event,” the 38-year-old told the BBC.
At the same time, the singer criticized the decision of the ESC organizers, the European Broadcasting Union, that the competition could not take place in Ukraine next year – although the Ukrainian participant Kalush Orchestra had won the ESC this year. The EBU is now speaking to the BBC about a “potential direction” for the competition.
“It’s really a shame that the EBU decided to take away this opportunity and this hope,” said Jamala. The decision was premature and “very painful” for the Ukrainians. But she understands that the show must take place in a safe place.
Jamala won the ESC 2016 with her song “1944”. The title is an allusion to the deportation of the Crimean Tatars from the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by Soviet dictator Stalin. After the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Jamala fled Kyiv. She campaigned for support for her home country at the Glastonbury Music Festival in South West England.