I couldn't quite believe my eyes at first, but it seems Ukrainian television has managed to turn their own ambitious national final into a complete farce. For the second year running.
Last year the new head of NTU kicked out the established entry and organised a new national selection in a matter of hours before the EBU deadline passed. The new winner was violating the EBU rules, the final choice was delayed and the NTU had to pay a rather large fine for not delivering on time.
What did the NTU learn from this? Absolutely nothing. Instead, this grand circus act of a song contest has resulted in a spectacular fiasco again.
After months of semi finals, they actually got down to picking Mika Newton in a final held Saturday night. But hardly had the cameras been turned off before the whole thing collapsed.
The two runners-up, pre-favourites Jamala and Zlata Ognevich, questioned the results and when even members of the professional jury voiced their doubts openly, the NTU declared the selection void.
A new final, consisting of the top three of Saturday night, was announced for March 3rd. That could turn out to a most bizarre event as well, and the question is how many songs will be involved. And how much the songs will matter in the end.
The Saturday night winner Mika Newton has written an open letter to the president of Ukraine (whatever he has to do with a simple song contest), asking them to defend the first result. She also declared her wish to change her own entry, as she has laid hands on another song she feels suits her better.
Jamala, on the other hand, seems to have withdrawn from the competition, stating on her webpage that she wants to play no part in this corrupted event and that she has no intention of getting ridiculed a second time on national television.
It remains to see who wins the new final, then. And with what song. And how long it takes before anyone else complains about the outcome of the second final.
Luckily, there are deadlines imposed by the EBU. If not, Ukraine would never get an entry selected.