Will they be 43 countries competing in Lisbon? After today they may not be after the EBU has released a statement saying the Ukraine may be forced to withdraw from the 2018 contest, due to financial issues within the broadcaster station UA:PBC.
Ukraine has already selected its artist and song for Lisbon 2018, they intend to perform with Mélovin with the song "Under The Ladder" the song is currently being tweaked and revamped from the version which performed and won their national selection, Vidbir last month. However today the EBU has stated the broadcaster may be forced to close its doors and cease broadcasting by the end of April if they unable to secure sufficient funding due to the financial crisis the broadcaster is currently in. It has been running on only half its budget which is secured through Ukrainian law, the broadcasting station is a relatively new station, having only recently been functioning and operating for a little over a year now.
What doesn't help is the EBU fined the broadcaster in June 2017, shortly after they hosted the contest. This was due to Ukraine's ban over artist Yulia Samoylova from entering the country when she was destined to compete for Russia in Kyiv with the song "Flame In Burning" although Yulia will now get her moment in Lisbon instead, the EBU stated as it tried to block Russia's participation with Yulia, it in effect breached the rule of allowing all functioning EBU members attend and compete in the contest. In the end the fine came to around 200 thousand Euros.
If Ukraine were not to be allowed to attend this would be surely affect the contest but also the potential outcome in Lisbon. "Under The Ladder" is an early fan favourite and many are expecting a great result for Ukraine with Mélovin also. Mélovin entered Vidbir 2018 after winning the televote but only placing third in the selection final and vowed to come back due to "unfinished business" with the selection, but now he has the ticket to Lisbon, could it be cruelly snatched away.
This also is not the first time we have seen a country select their artist and song for them not to compete, in 2016 Romania had hosted their national final, found an artist in Ovidiu Anton with his "A Moment Of Silence" attended many of the pre-Eurovision parties such as London for then to be forced to withdraw after the EBU kicked TVR out over unpaid debts in mid April of 2016, mere weeks before run throughs were due to start, there was also uncertainty over F.Y.R. Macedonia's participation this year also, again due to unpaid debts towards the EBU, however that was all resolved and F.Y.R. Macedonia shall be competing in Lisbon.
Will Ukraine make it to Lisbon? Will Mélovin's absence be felt if Ukraine aren't there? Let us know your thoughts below!