Eurovision final to showcase ‘new generation of Ukraine’, says creative director

The Ukrainian creative director of Eurovision has said the grand final will showcase “a new generation of Ukraine” with reigning champions Kalush Orchestra being a “symbol” of its “optimistic” future.

German Nenov, 33, from Odesa in southern Ukraine, has worked with pop stars and on TV shows in his native country.

For Eurovision, he has worked with the BBC to create moments highlighting Ukrainian culture during the two semi-finals.

Eurovision 2023
Kalush Orchestra (Yui Mok/PA)

He told the PA news agency: “The first semi-final had a very social interval act. It was about the connection that Ukraine and Great Britain have and just showing that Ukraine is not alone.

“The second one was about the war in Ukraine and about the refugees. It is important for our country because more than five million Ukrainians have been forced to live somewhere else.”

Speaking about his plans for the grand final’s opening flag parade and interval act, he added: “Tomorrow’s show will be about the future of Ukraine and Kalush Orchestra, they will be the symbol of new Ukraine and the future. A new generation of Ukraine.

“The show is going to have folk elements but in a new way because Ukraine is a progressive country and has huge potential.”

Nenov said the final would be “a very optimistic performance” with performances from 2022 champions Kalush Orchestra and a flag parade featuring a soundtrack by former Ukrainian Eurovision acts including Go_A, who represented their country in 2021, 2016 winner Jamala and past acts Tina Karol and Verka Serduchka.

He said working with the BBC had been a “very friendly co-operation”.

“We were very open to each other’s ideas,” he added.

“The BBC’s team were very open to integration of Ukrainian parts of the show.”

He said there was a clear contrast between the contest in Liverpool and reality of life in Ukraine amid the war.

“The Russians have been actively bombing big cities with missiles,” he said, adding that his family is there and he is “very much worried about them”.

Thursday night’s semi-final featured music from throughout Ukraine’s history, including the Christmas carol, Carol Of The Bells, which is based on the Ukrainian song Shchedryk.

Nenov said they had used the show to tell “the whole world” that the well-known piece is of Ukrainian origin.

“There are so many more things that people don’t know yet about Ukraine, but to tell everything we need a few more Eurovisions,” he added.