Kalush Orchestra and British politicians speak out about EBU’s decision to exclude Zelenskyy from Eurovision 2023 final

May 13, 2023


Kalush Orchestra have spoken out about the EBU's decision to exclude Zelenskyy from the Eurovision 2023 final.

Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra have spoken out about the EBU’s decision to not include President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Eurovision 2023 final, saying that he would have only wanted to thank the British people for hosting the contest.

Yesterday, the EBU released a statement that Volodymyr Zelensky will not be making any appearance at any point during the grand final of Eurovision 2023, with the main reason being that one of the cornerstones of the Contest is the non-political nature of the event. This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements as part of the Contest.”

Tymofii Muzychuk, the pipe player of Kalush Orchestra has told the PA news agency: “Actually we think that President Zelenskyy would have wanted to thank all the British people for doing this and, as we can see, Britain took this very responsibly, the UK. And so actually I think it would have been nice for him to talk.”

Alongside Kalush Orchestra, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and both the current and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson respectively, have spoken out against the EBU’s decision.

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said the prime minister was “disappointed” by the move, but at the moment, there does not seem to be any plans in place to ask the EBU to change their mind.

His official spokesman has told reporters: “The prime minister believes it would be fitting for President Zelenskyy to address the event and we’re disappointed by the decision from the European broadcasting union. “The values and freedoms that President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine are fighting for are not political, they’re fundamental, and Eurovision themselves recognised that last year when they rightly suspended Russia’s participation from the competition.”

However, all hope is (potentially) not lost, as Liverpool City region mayor Steve Rotheram has said that he will speak with the Ukrainian ambassador, and the Mayor of Lviv, whom are both in Liverpool, “to discuss what we can do to provide a platform” for Zelenskyy.

The 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is being hosted in Liverpool, United Kingdom, after it was decided that 2022 winners Ukraine could not safely host the contest in their own country.

Runners-up of the 2022 contest, the United Kingdom, stepped up amd offered to host the contest in a joint collaboration between the United Kingdom (BBC) and Ukraine (UA:PBC).

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Kalush Orchestra and the British politicians? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments below!

One Response

  1. I think the EBU erred on the side of caution. We can’t know what would have been said, and the contest does try to keep the playing field level. Perhaps an “epilogue” (or after-remarks) might have worked, but once the winner has done their reprise, the show’s over and people tune out. Still, if whatever was to be said was (as Kalush suggested) just a thank you, a taped message on social media can produce the same result.

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