This Saturday sees Ukraine choose their entry for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest. The home entry is always in one way scrutinised more than others as it is being performed on home soil and is expected to reach a good result for the country, a sort of crowning glory after setting up the event. Will any of the finalists do that? Let’s see!
Tayanna- “I Love You”
Tayanna’s voice is incredible, it has a fantastic range and she knows how to use it to her strengths. Live this song was elevated by her vocals. The wardrobe choice is somewhat suspect a red swimsuit under a red patent-leather mac is not the most flattering, but as soon as I seen this on T.V. I knew that it would qualify. This is a real contender for the home entry.
My score: 8/10
Salto Nazad- “O, Mamo”
When I first heard this song the intro instantly reminded me of Madcon’s 2008 smash hit Beggin’. Unfortunately, it cannot live up to that and changes pace from up-tempo to mid-tempo and a lot jazzier/lounge sounds. I sort of understand why it advanced from the semi-final. It was one of the livelier songs, but if I was choosing, I would have replaced this entry with Laliko, it had more life, if a little cheap. The backing singer that comes in at the dance break is crazy and certainly makes it memorable, but it still is far from a winner for me.
My score: 5.5./10
This is quite a funky song, with jazz, trumpets and an upbeat tempo. Rozhden has a good grasp of the English lyrics, but he sings in a way that makes it hard to fully understand exactly what he says throughout the song. This is a decent effort, but it doesn’t get me dancing, which is the main reason behind this type of funk music. I know Rozhden is quite well known, so I am guessing he will do well in the competition, but it isn’t my winner.
My score: 5/10
Illaria- “Thank You For My Way”
Illaria has a great voice, it starts of soft, singing quite a gentle ethno-inspired ballad before it starts to build in structure at the first chorus, this keeps me interested throughout the song, and for this I think It could be a big contender for Kyiv. It will need a bit of a revamp, something like Zlata Ognevich’s “Gravity” in 2013. We all seen the effect the changes on that song had to its placing at Eurovision, and this song has that potential, even if in its raw form, it is still a good song.
My score: 7.5/10
O Torvald- “Time”
This is a harrowing rock song, talking about the devastating truth of war and a way forward in peace. It doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth of war and the lead singer simulates the act of getting shot, live on stage. It is shocking and certainly gives the effect it wants to have on the viewer. I think this is just too political to garner enough votes to win, yet it is a thought provoking song.
My score: 6/10
Winner of the 2015 Ukrainian X-Factor, Melovin comes to the Ukraine selection with a haunting electronic ballad. His voice is strong and compliments the song well. He has a dark, edgy look that contrasts well against the song and gives the whole performance a unique factor. The lyrics are somewhat repetitive, but that is combatted by his strong vocal range and his ability to use it.
My score: 7/10
Well Ukraine have put on a great National selection while also organising the main contest, with more than a few set-backs. I have faith that it will all be ironed out and we will be welcomed with open arms to Ukraine in May. They could also do very well with one of my top 3 songs and finish in the top 10 again, although I don’t think a second consecutive win is on the cards.
My Top 3:
Who is your favourite? Let us know below and enjoy the show.