Ukraine - Herluis Rafael

The challenge for this year host nation!

Pryivit - Priviet guys, this is my Ukraine's preview for Eurovision 2017!  I can't await for one of my favorite ESC National Finals ever.

As we know, Ukraine won the 61th Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden for second time in their short Eurovision history with Jamala (Susana Jamaladinova) song - ''1944'' after a bloddly battle in the votings. The first ukrainian victory was with Ruslana with song ''Wild Dancers'' in 2004, after their first debut in 2003. Then next year the capital city of Kyiv hosted the 50th anniversary of Eurovision 2005in the midst of doubts due the 2005 orange revolution and the ignorance of it's culture on the part of Westerners visitors, who finally ended in a resounding success that edition.

Since their victory in 2004, Ukraine quickly has become one of the most competitive countries in Eurovision and the one´s of the most popular songs. This country never has missed an Eurovision Final (except by their withdrawal of 2015) and their songs almost always end up at least in the Top 10 final. Only in 2003, 2004 and 2008 NTU - (UA:Pershyi) had used the internal selections method to select the Ukrainian representative in Eurovision. The rest since 2005 had held National Finals.

After their ESC 2016 victory with Jamala, i done a wishlist artist article at in the summer -  which i expressed my hope that at least one of those popular Ukrainian artist from the list to join on the Ukrainian NF 2017. I been following this NF preselection since 2009 when Svitlana Loboda won it with''Be my Valentine'' - (Before the improving song changes) and this NF is well know for their scandals in the past ( look 2005, 2010 and 2011 ukrainian preselections) which always end up attracting the attention of all Eurofans in Europe and the Rest of the World for better or worse.

After the redaction of my first article, NTU (in cooperation with another private channel STB) immediately started their project search for their next Eurovision representative at online castings in their website -  and many artist have sublimated their song via online, from my wishlist only Aida Nikolaychuk has applied online with the song- ''Podari'' but without success to pass the online casting.

The voting just concluded 3 days ago and the winner of the online wild card was Kuznetsov (Ruslan Kutnetsov) from Kiyv with his song ''Deep shivers'' which will now he have to perform in front a jury composed by Kostantin Melaze, Andriy Danilko (Verka Serduchka) and Jamala.

According with the rumors, many Ukrainian Top Artists had applied also to the Ukrainian NF 17 in the private live auditions held in few Ukrainian cities since November, but hopefully i hope that the ones (or at least few ones) from my wishlist had applied (and hopefully) appeared in the final list finalists. Few Ukrainian NF participants in the past like Ne Angely, Pur:Pur, Viktoriya Petryk and Aida Nikolaychuk have expressed their desire to give a chance to try to go for Eurovision again, but this time in their native country.  K. Melaze said that ''the Ukrainian NF isn't a big names competition, but a song contest''.

The Ukrainian National Preselection for Eurovision 2017 was scheduled in this way:

Semi #1 - February 4
Semi #2 - February 11
Semi #3 - February 18

The big final will be held on February 25th in Kyiv at Palace of Culture and Arts "KPI".

The tickets for attend all the shows can be buy here if you are interested to go:

The host of the Ukrainian National Final 2017 will be Serhiy Prytula and all the shows will be broadcast on both UA:Pershyi and STB - (with English comentors for the foreign audience via YouTube).

The selection of the competing entries for the national final and ultimately the Ukrainian Eurovision entry will take place over three stages. In the first stage, artists and songwriters have the opportunity to apply for the competition either through an online application form or by attending a scheduled audition during designated dates. Applicants also have the option of entering an online wildcard selection, the winner of which will gain direct entry into the competition's final show. The final list of participants will be reveal from January 16 to 31. The second stage will consist of three televised semi-finals to be held in February 2017, which will feature eight to twelve acts competing in each show. Two to three acts will be selected to advance from each semi-final based on the 50/50 combination of votes from a public televote and an expert jury. The third stage will be the final on 25 February 2017 and will feature the eight to 12 qualifying acts from the semi-finals and the winner of the online wildcard selection. The overall winning entry will be determined via the 50/50 combination of votes from a public televote and an expert jury.

The expert jury that will vote during the shows will consist of:

Konstantin Meladze – Composer and producer
Jamala – singer-songwriter, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 for Ukraine
Andriy Danilko – comedian and singer, he represented Ukraine in 2007 as the icon drag artist - Verka Serduchka

Ukraine History at Eurovision Song contest:

Ukraine made its debut in 2003, when Oleksandr Ponomaryov with the song ''Hasta la vista'' witch finished 14th. Ukraine won the contest at the second attempt next year in 2004, when Ruslana won with the song "Wild Dances", defeating second-placed Serbia and Montenegro by 17 points, 280 to 263.

On 19 September 2014, state broadcaster NTU announced that it would sit out the 2015 Contest because of financial difficulties in relation to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis . However, Ukraine broadcast the contest despite not taking part. On 23 May 2015, Ukrainian Broadcaster NTU pledged to bring Ukraine back to the contest for 2016. On 16 September 2015, it was announced that Ukraine would return to the contest in 2016.

On its return to the contest in 2016, Ukraine became the first Eastern European country to win the contest twice, when Jamala won with her song "1944". The televote was won by Russia and the Jury vote by Australia, Ukraine was second in both, but won with an overall total of 534 points, with Australia second with 511 points and Russia third with 491 points.

Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Ukraine has never failed to qualify for the final when they have participated - (Along with Russia, Azerbaijan and Romania), and has a total of nine top ten placements (six top five). The country has an average score of 143 points per contest, 233 if including the semi-finals.

You can read more about the ESC history of our this year host country here.

Will Ukraine will be able to make the first back to back victory since Ireland did in the 90's at home? This country has so many talent artists and has nothing to envy to other European music scenes like Sweden, UK or Italy. Even their neighbor Russia which they share the same music market and labels with many artist from the former Soviet Union sphere. They have everything to make history if they play their right cards.