Kyiv’s underground Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station played host on Dec. 17 to the final of “Vidbir” – Ukraine’s national selection competition for Eurovision 2023. Ten participants took part in the final stage of the process, before victory was claimed by electronic music duo TVORCHI, which performed last.
The jury awarded the performers nine points out of ten, and the audience gave the group the maximum score.
TVORCHI, with their song "Heart of Steel," scored 19 points overall – just one point ahead of two other participants – Jerry Heil and KRUTЬ.
Who are TVORCHI?
Originally from Ternopil and formed in 2018, the group is made up of producer Andrii Hutsuliak and vocalist Jeffery Kenny. They have already released four studio albums: "The Parts" (2018), "Disco Lights" (2019), "13 Waves" (2020) and "ROAD" (2021).
As the group’s performers have previously said in interviews, they met by chance on the street, when Hutsuliak approached Kenny to check his level of English and talk with him. During the conversation, they discussed music and that's how it all started.
This year was TVORCHI’s second go at the national selection for Eurovision. Their first attempt came in 2020, when the duo’s track "Bonfire" made it to the final but did not win. However, listeners liked the song so much that it became the most popular Ukrainian song of 2020 on the European Deezer platform.
In addition to the group’s success on Dec. 17, TVORCHI has collected many other victories. In 2020 at the 11th Golden Firebird music awards, the group won in the INDY category. The boys also topped several categories at the YUNA national music awards, namely "Best Pop Group", "Best Album" and "Best Electronic Hit". In 2022 YUNA crowned the duo for "Best Concert Show" and "Best Song in Another Language."
What is "Heart of Steel" about?
After performing their chosen tracks in Kyiv, all competition contestant reflected on how their performances went. Interviewers asked TVORCHI about the main meaning behind "Heart of Steel."
"This song was written in the spring, inspired by events that took place at the Azovstal [steel plant] in Mariupol. We came across a video of the defenders of Azovstal. When I looked into their eyes, I saw fire, strength and steadfastness. I couldn't imagine how hard it was, but what I saw gave me goosebumps. And we transferred those emotions to this song", answered Hutsuliak.
He added that the song is about everyone who may be having a hard time but who keeps moving forward with indomitable inner strength.
Upon victory, the boys said that they did not expect such high scores and promised to represent Ukraine next year in Liverpool with great dignity.
After the results were announced, all contestants congratulated the winners and the competition itself, culminating in a joint performance of the song "Oh, in the meadow of red viburnum."
Eurovision 2023 in Odesa’s twin city
Ukraine won Eurovision 2022 by a landslide in the popular vote, but the on-going war makes it too difficult for Ukraine to host next year’s competition, as would be tradition. Instead, the U.K., as runners up this year, have promised to make the 67th Eurovision Song Contest a special night for Ukraine.
Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, previously said that the city would reflect "what Ukraine and its people deserve."
She added that organizers would use "intel and insight" from Liverpool's twin city Odesa to celebrate the country's culture.
Western bookmakers have already placed bets on the winners. They believe that first place will likely go to Ukraine once again. Second place could be either the U.K., Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, France, Greece, Poland or Australia.
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