As countries continue their preparations for Eurovision 2022, one of the elements to prepare for is the so-called ‘live-on-tape’. Brought in in the last Contest, these performances are to be used if artists are unable to perform in Turin on their night. However, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra has been exempted from this rule.
Live-on-tape in action
During the 2021 Contest, only two live-on-tapes were used throughout the competition. Australia’s Montaigne was forced to use her live-on-tape as a result of stringent travel rules imposed by the country’s government. As well as this, Iceland’s delegation was also made to use an updated version of their live-on-tape after backing dancer Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson tested positive for COVID-19.
Ahead of the Contest in 2022, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stipulated that live-on-tape performances would be required for a second consecutive year. However, Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine have been given a unique exemption by both the EBU and host broadcaster RAI.
“We await Ukraine with open arms”
Speaking to Eurofestivalnews.com, deputy director of RAI Claudio Fasulo said that the ongoing war in Ukraine made it impossible for Kalush Orchestra to record a live-on-tape performance under normal conditions.
Two Tuesdays ago we had the Head of Delegation meeting and Oxana, the head of delegation of Ukrainian TV, was connected.
We await all the Ukrainian delegation and artists with open arms, hoping that at that moment, in the month of May, peace is not just a concept, but something that has blossomed.Claudio Fasulo, Deputy Director at RAI
In order to meet EBU requirements, Mr Fasulo added that should Ukraine not be able to make it to Turin, the band’s performance at Vidbir would suffice to represent the country.
Kalush’s road to Eurovision
Kalush’s journey to the Contest has been marred in controversy. After competing in the national selection – Vidbir – in mid-February, the band lost out to winner Alina Pash. However, as a result of an intense investigation regarding her travel to Russian-occupied Crimea, Pash withdrew her candidacy, leaving Kalush as the act to represent Ukraine in Turin.
Immediately following their confirmation by Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC, Russian forces began their invasion of Ukraine. As a result, the band’s participation was thrown into jeopardy. However, speaking to Reuters three weeks into the war, lead singer Oleh Psiuk said that “under no circumstances” will the band not be in Turin.
Ukraine’s Eurovision journey
Ukraine is one of the most successful countries to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country has scored seven top-five placements, with an extra three top-ten finishes. Ukraine won the Contest in 2004 with Ruslana’s “Wild Dances” and again in 2016 with Jamala’s “1944”. Jamala’s win made history for Ukraine, as it became the first ex-Soviet country to win the Contest more than once.
In 2021, Go_A represented Ukraine in the 65th edition of the Contest with their song “SHUM”. The band scored 364 points, finishing in fifth place.
What do you make of the choice to exempt Ukraine from recording a live-on-tape? Should UA:PBC be made to record one? Do you think Ukraine will regret not filming a backup performance? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all things Kalush Orchestra!
News Source: Eurofestivalnews.com
Photo Credit: Maxim Fesenko