Showbiz

Ukraine’s Eurovision entry for next year, Tvorchi, announced inside a bomb shelter

Related video: Sam Ryder perfectly sums up the UK hosting Eurovision

Sam Ryder

Reigning Eurovision champions Ukraine have revealed their song and artist hoping to win the trophy for a second year running when the contest heads to Liverpool in 2023.

Electronic duo Tvorchi, which is Ukrainian for “creative”, won their country’s selection contest Vidbir with their track “Heart of Steel” – with the announcement they had won being made in a bomb shelter, given Russia’s ongoing war with the state.

The venue, the Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station, was turned into a TV studio for the contest.

A video of the pair – made up of Andrii Hutsuliak and Jimoh Augustus Kehinde (also known by the alias Jeffrey Kenny) – performing on Vidbir shows it’s a fairly punchy track.

Dancers appear in gas masks, crossed out nuclear symbols are emblazoned on screens behind them and lyrics include “Sometimes you just gotta know / When to stick your middle finger up in the air” and “Life is just a game / and I’m playing for the win”.

Meanwhile, the pre-chorus opens with the line “don’t be scared to say just what you think”.

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Sharing the news on Twitter, the official account for the Eurovision Song Contest wrote: “We have our first song for Eurovision 2023!”

While Ukraine are the first to confirm their song name for Liverpool, they aren’t the first to select their performing artist, with EurovisionWorld.com listing Cyprus, Israel, Netherlands and Slovenia as other countries who have decided their entries.

The artists, respectively, are Andrew Lambrou, Noa Kirel, Mila Nicolai and Dion Cooper, and Joker Out.

Their song titles are yet to be announced.

Liverpool will be home to the beloved competition in 2023 after this year’s winners – Ukraine – can’t host the contest due to Russia’s illegal invasion of the country which began in February.

Eurovision’s executive supervisor Martin Österdahl said: “Next year’s contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented.”

Ukraine lifted the trophy in Torino, Italy in 2022 thanks to the rap group Kalush Orchestra, and their track “Stefania”.

The UK’s Sam Ryder broke our Eurovision curse by coming second with “Space Man”, winning the jury vote but ultimately dropping to runner-up when the public votes were added.

Liverpool, twinned with the Ukrainian city Odesa, was announced as the host city in October, when the candidates had been whittled down to just two options: Liverpool or Glasgow.

The 2023 contest will also see some changes to voting rules, with only viewers determining who goes through to the grand final at the two semi-final stages (juries will still vote in the main event, though), and international viewers from non-participating countries will be able to vote for the first time.

The contest gets underway in May next year.

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