We're little under a week removed from Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra winning the Eurovision Song Contest with "Stefania", but will Ukraine be able to host the contest in 2023?
It is tradition for the country who wins Eurovision to host the contest the following year. However, there is doubt surrounding whether Ukraine will be able to host Eurovision in 2023 due the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Since the final last Saturday, many countries have expressed interest in hosting the contest should Ukraine be unable too. As of the time of writing, here is a list of potential countries that could host Eurovision 2023:
As much as we’re talking about alternative options, there’s still a possibility that Ukraine are able to honour the contest’s tradition and host Eurovision in 2023.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, the chairman of Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne, said that they wish to host contest in a peaceful and hopes that country will be able to guarantee the safety of all participating countries. After Kalush Orchestra’s victory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Instagram that he hopes the contest will be hosted in a “free, rebuilt, peaceful” Mariupol.
Chernotytskyi later stated that the broadcaster and the EBU would begin talks regarding the hosting of the contest on 20 May.
Ukraine last hosted the contest in 2017 after Jamala won in with her song “1944“.
Could we be heading back to Italy for the second consecutive year?
Stefano Coletta, director of Italian broadcaster Rai 1, said that RAI would be interested in the hosting contest again if Ukraine were unable to host.
“Should a collective call for the edition in Ukraine take place, RAI will make available its know-how and the great experience it has shown in this edition.”
Furthermore, major of 2022 host city Turin Stefano Lo Russo has said that the city is happy to help RAI and the EBU organise the 2023 contest.
Italy hosted the contest this year after Måneskin won in contest in 2021 with “Zitti E Buoni“.
If Italy were to host, it would be the first time a country hosted back-to-back contests since 1995 when Ireland hosted Eurovision for the third straight year.
This one is unlikely, but still a possibility.
According to frettabladid, the EBU has shown “great interest” in hosting the competition in Iceland.
It is worth noting that this report came out 2 days before Ukraine won the 2022 contest, meaning the comments about the EBU aren’t directly linked to Ukraine’s victory.
Iceland have never hosted the contest.
Time to Open Up again?
Marnix Kaart, one of the directors of the 2021 contest, said that The Netherlands hosting Eurovision 2023 “could be possible”.
“That would be a nice gesture. Not just with the Netherlands,”
However, Dutch broadcasters AVROTROS and NPO said it’s too soon after Ukraine’s victory to comment about The Netherlands hosting. They also reiterated that the decision of hosting ultimately lies with the Ukrainian broadcaster and the EBU.
The Netherlands only recently hosted Eurovision last year, after Duncan Laurence won the contest with “Arcade“.
Another potential first time host!
Jacek Kurski, chairman of Polish broadcaster TVP, has said that Poland is open to hosting Eurovision 2023 if asked.
It would be quite a fitting country considering the circumstances. Poland have taken in the most Ukrainian refugees since the Russian invasion started, with over 3 million people entering from the west of Ukraine.
As stated earlier, Poland have never hosted the contest.
Could the 2022 Eurovision bronze medalists host next year?
Spanish broadcaster RTVE announced they would be prepared host the 2023 edition if Ukraine is unable too.
While they haven’t expressed a venue of choice, local authorities of Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia expressed interest in hosting the contest prior to the final.
Spain are one of the favourites to host the contest should an alternative to Ukraine be needed. This is due to their position as a member of the “Big Five” and their financial capabilities to host Eurovision.
Spain last hosted the contest in 1969, after Massiel won the contest with “La, la, la“. Spain are also coming off their best result since 1995 after Chanel came 3rd with her song “SloMo“.
The 2023 edition could be hosted by the 6 time winners.
The Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr has made an offer to host the contest if an alternative is required.
“The question has begun to be asked about what will happen if Ukraine takes home the win on Saturday. We do not want people to hesitate to vote for their favorite if they have questions about whether it is possible to arrange a competition or not. So then we want Ukraine to know that they are welcome to arrange the competition in Stockholm if needed.”
Swedish broadcaster SVT are yet comment about the possibility of hosting next year’s contest.
Sweden last hosted the contest in Stockholm back in 2016, after Måns Zelmerlöw won the contest with “Heroes“.
Do hosting duties just go to the runners up?
British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told the BBC (the British broadcaster) that the United Kingdom would be willing the 2023 edition of the Eurovision, but added that President Zelenskyy is “fully confident” that Ukraine will be able to host.
Like Spain, United Kingdom are a member of the “Big Five”. This means that they could be more likely to be invited by the EBU to host the contest if needed.
United Kingdom last hosted the contest in 1998 after Katrina and the Waves won the contest with “Love Shine a Light“. The UK would be the runners up in 1998, and it would take them 24 years to repeat such a result when Sam Ryder finished in 2nd place this year with “SPACE MAN“.
Should Ukraine be unable to host, it would be the first time since 1980 that the contest is not hosted in the previous edition’s winning country.
Do you think Ukraine be will able to host Eurovision 2023? If not, who would you like to see host the contest? Let us know in the comments below!