Britain is ‘fair’ Eurovision host if not Ukraine, says former Ukrainian winner

Ukraine's Eurovision winning act Jamala

2016 Eurovision winner Jamala described Britain’s decision to host next year as “fair” but “very painful” (Image: Rex/Getty).

Ukraine’s Eurovision winner Jamala has said the 2023 song contest should take place in the UK if her home country is unable to host it.

The 38-year-old singer, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 with her tune 1944, fled Kyiv in March after the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won this year’s competition in Turin, but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said it was in talks with the BBC to “possibly host” the 2023 event after concluding that the competition cannot take place in Ukraine next year.

“It’s really sad that the EBU decided to take all this chance and all this hope,” Jamala told the PA news agency.

‘[But] I really understand that it has to be a peaceful place for the participants and for everyone.

“Britain came second in the competition, so if for some reason Ukraine is not ready to host the event, it would be fair to host it in one of your cities.”

Jamala at the first dress rehearsal of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest for the grand final

Jamala triumphed in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 with the song 1944 (Photo: Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Jamala at Glastonbury 2022

Appearing on stage at Glastonbury last weekend (Image: PA)

Jamala said she thought the decision on where to host the competition was “premature” but added that as a Ukrainian, the EBU’s conclusion was “very painful”.

The Kalush Orchestra also shared its thoughts on the verdict Metro.co.ukwith frontman Oleg Psyuk admitting to Glastonbury that he was “surprised and very disappointed”.

So far, several UK cities have offered to host, including London, Glasgow and Liverpool, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he believes Ukraine “can and should host Eurovision 2023”.

Jamala also spoke about her time spent touring Europe spreading the message of war, including performing at Glastonbury where she saw what a “honey” it is to be human.

Sam Ryder of Great Britain singing Space Man performs during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Arena Palaolimpico in Turin, Italy, on Saturday 14th May 2022.

Sam Ryder came second in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest for Britain with his song Space Man (Image: AP)

“It’s the first Glastonbury in my life and I see that freedom,” Jamala said. ‘It is [a] It’s a treasure to be human… wear whatever and just express yourself. You don’t even know how important it is.”

“We have a voice, we have strong voices… We have our vision and our followers, we have our fans. And we can really do something to talk about it because we can only stop this evil if we are united, only if we are together.’

Shortly after the war began, Jamala fled her home in the country’s capital.

“Honestly, it’s really crazy… I was never ready to flee my homeland [but] Indeed, Kyiv was bombed again at 6:20 am,” she explained.


The singer, who left Ukraine just after the start of the war, also spoke about her first experiences in Glastonbury (Image: Gerald Matzka/Getty Images)

“And you can say it’s pretty safe, but it’s not – the girl died in the morning, a seven [or] eight years old and I’m sad.

“It’s really hard to explain in this peaceful place with the music and the people enjoying it, but for the whole world to see during this thing, in the center of Europe [is] War.

“It’s scary… What can I do? As much as I can to spread the word about the war, sing, perform, raise money for charity.’

Jamala admitted she might be a “dreamer” but Europe is more united than many think.

“I’m so grateful I can’t even explain how important it is to us because the political issue is really long-term,” she said.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/04/uk-fair-eurovision-host-if-not-ukraine-says-past-ukrainian-winner-16934650/ Britain is 'fair' Eurovision host if not Ukraine, says former Ukrainian winner

Jaclyn Diaz

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