For many, who got a bit late to bed last night, the Ukrainian national final was something to wake up to as it started at 11:30 CET. 22 acts were fighting to represent the country at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan in May. As Hajtana won the national final her next challenge will be to bring Ukraine safe from the second semi-final to that final the country has always qualfied for.
As we are use to from Ukraine they supply the international viewers with English commentry on the stream. A good service more countries should look in to.
Song nr. 1. Shanis - Dream
We kick off with a pop song with a very catchy chorus. Shanis has a very unique voice, which most people will either love or hate, but about half way through the song the screaming on the choruses really becomes too annoying for the average listener.
She is dressed very simple in black trousers and a black top with red underneath at the front and red shoes. Being alone on stage the performance is also quite simple putting the song in the focus.
Song nr. 2. Vitalij Halaj - I Want To Love
Next is a a song that starts out as a piano ballad, just missing the piano. It has a choir on the chorus where it about half way through sounds like he is stressing his voice a bit too much. With a minute left of the song it turns into a pop song with dance elements just as the choir singers becomes even more noticable - and almost is louder than his stressful voice.
He is dressed in black trousers, an open grey jacket with a black top underneath. He has two female backing singers behind him, but as he is not moving much around stage it is once again a very simple performance.
Song nr. 3. Max Barskih - Dance
The third song is more a dance pop song. He sings it well and his voice doesn't appear to be too stressed by it.
He is dressed in black trousers, a white t-shirt and a long black jacket kept open. In the background he has four male dancers and a male backing singer.
Song nr. 4. Olya Polyakova - Lepestok
We continue with a typical local folk pop song. Olya is a male singer with a fresh winning smile, which makes you think she came straight from a toothpaste advert.
She is dressed in a female sailor uniform in navy and white and accompaigied by five female sailor dancers, who sticks to a dancing routine, which the lead singer is also a part of.
Song nr. 5. Eduard Romanyuta - I'll Never Let Go
Eduard comes with a nice ballad with some guitar rifs on the choruses, which will appeal to a lot of people if it manage to stand out from the crowd. He has a nice voice and it works well.
He is dressed rather relaxed in a tight t-shirt and trousers. With him on stage is two male guitar players and two backing singers, one male and one female. As everyone stands in the same position all through the song the performance is rather simple, but it suits the song.
Song nr. 6. Band Legkyj Flirt - MegaMix
Now the title becomes quite apropriate here as it is song, which can either be described as quite a mix of several things or as a complete mess. It starts out as a pop song which heavy use of voice changer, mainly as a duet between a man and a woman however they don't sing that much together. With about a minute left few rap parts is suddenly added.
A female singer in front with messy hair and sunglasses first gets seen in t-shirt and a lose short open jacket. Then a male singer in trousers and a closed jacket. Behind them they have two guitar players, a drummer and a keyboard player - all males except from the female leadsinger.
Song nr. 7. Igor Tatarenko - You're My Life
This song starts out as a rock ballad with clapping sounds in the background, however as the chorus kicks in you realise that he is not going to bring it into the rock style you were hoping for. As a pop ballad it is however quite nice though the chorus tends to repeat itself too much in the last half of the song.
He is dressed in light brown trousers, a white t-shirt and an open grey westcoat with a scarf around the neck, which he takes off near the end and hold out in front of him. With him on stage he has a keyboard player, a violin player, a chello player and two backing vocals. All females.
Song nr. 8. Myhajlo Hrytskan - Ya Tak Iskal Tebya
When the 8th song starts it is easy to start wondering, which of the Balkan entries this song reminds you most of. It is a catchy song and he sings it very well. For the fans of this sound he is one to watch out for.
He is dressed in black trousers and a black shirt. On stage is also a male guitar player, two female dancers and one male. And also a female backing singer.
Song nr. 9. Masha Shazonova & Tyhon Levchenko - I Close To You
Here we have a female singer accompaignied on stage by a male guitar player. It is a pop song, with solo guitar rifs in between to spice it up. Again a singer with a very caracteristic voice, which might get on the nerves of some viewers.
She is dressed in a simple, sleveless grey dress, which fits her young age and he, the guitar player in an open leather jacket, a white t-shirt and a tie. He changes between playing accustic guitar and electric guitar.
Song nr. 10. Marta - My Heart Is Sorrowing
We continue with a catchy pop song with etnics element added to it. It is quite catchy and one that could get a lot of votes. The song is not in English despite the title.
She is dressed in very long boots and a very short black outfit. She looks a bit like Ruslana with less make up though. She has a female backing singer and a male guitarist on stage.
Song nr. 11. Hajtana - Be My Guest
Next in line is Hajtana who brings us a dance song. She might be a good with friend showing hospitality, but this song will probably only appear to a little niche of people. The much repeated "na na na" becomes too much.
She is dressed in a silver and black sparkling dress with slids at the front - one might say that she is trying a bit too hard to be like the now late Whitney Houston. With her on stage is four male dancers dressed in a purple and white suit with gold coloured plates making it out for a six pack.
Song nr. 12. Oksana Nesterenko - Mondo Blu
Right from the start this one is easy to sing a long to with the mondo mondo mondo blue repeated a few times, which also is the case from the choir in the background of the chorus, but aside from that it do requires quite a voice to cope with this song, which has clear opera elements. It is a very strong song, but it wouldn't work at a Eurovision Song Contest.
She is dressed in a long blue and skin coloured dress. She looks like an older version of Sieneke from the Netherlands. With her on stage is a male keyboard player, a male guitar player and two female backing vocals.
Song nr. 13. RAPIRA - Get Over
And now to something completely different. This rock song do include some of the right elements to make a really good song out of it, but its like it isn't completely done if this should work on the international market. Some really good guitar rifs points the mark upwards though.
On stage we have three male guitar players and a female lead singer and also a female backing vocalist. The lead singer is dressed in tight jeans and a black short leather top, that is strapless and without sleves.
Song nr. 14. Andrij Bohomolets - Are You Waiting For Me
We continue with a paino ballad that is quite simple in each structure. His voice appear a bit stressful from time to time on the chorus, but it is one easy to remember.
He starts out sitting at the piano dressed in grey trousers and a white shirt. He has two mime artists on stage and two female backing singers.
Song nr. 15. BONDarchuk - I Don't Know Why
Next is a pop song kept quite quiet. It does sound quite good, but you sit getting a bit annoyed that it does not go anywhere else. It is like it had potential to be so much more.
On stage is a male leadsinger dressed in jeans and an open leather jacket. He has two female backing singers and a male guitar player.
Song nr. 16. Renata - Love In Sunlight Rays
Song nr. 16 of today is by a former Junior Eurovision Song Contest participants who have gotten a bit older. The song is a power ballad which goes up on the chorus. Her voice really suits the song, which could be a strong contender to take the title tonight.
She is dressed in a long, sleveless creamy coloured dress with a black belt. She is alone on stage, but does get good help from a wind maschine on the choruses.
Song nr. 17. Treeorange - New Day
5 songs to go. Have we heard the winner yet or could it be this one? It is pop song with folk elements, which does appear quite strong in its genre.
It is sung by a female lead singer dressed in an unusual white and red dress. With her on stage is a male keyboard player and a male tromphetist and a female backing singer.
Song nr. 18. Nerealnye (The Incredibles) - Just A Dream
The next sung starts out as a ballad, then more instruments are added, but it does not change the song. It is a good song, which could just be what the Ukranians chose this year.
On stage is a band consisting of 5 guys, who gets help from a male dancer. This boyband sings half the song down on their knees. An unsusual performance.
Song nr. 20. Ulyana Rudakova - Ty Ne Odyn
We continue with a ballad with a more rockish chorus, which does make this song quite interesting. Unfortunately it sounds like the female singer is having quite some problems on the chorus.
She is dressed in a long green golden dress. With her on stage is a female backing singer and a male guitar player who plays a guitar where a little Eurovision Song Contest flag is attached.
Song nr. 21. Marietta - Rainbow
The second to last song starts out like a piano ballad, which gets more instruments added as the song goes on. It is sung well and also well produced, without standing that much out - but maybe that is what will make it stand enough about.
She is dressed in a knee length white dress with long sleves. With her 16 years old she is the youngest participants today - and they have, thankfully, not tried to make her look too old. She is alone on stage.
Song nr. 22. Lena Voloshyna - Let It Out
Last competing song is a pop song kept quiet. The female singer has good control over her voice on this song, that is quite simple actually and should be easy to sing a long to.
She is dressed in a short black slevesless dress and has high black boots on to complement the outfit. With her on stage is a female backing vocalist. The leadsinger is quite secure on stage in this performance where she does not move too much around.
The original song nr. 19 was disqualfied a few days before the final as the producer of the songs had been involved in selection the songs for the final. It was titled I'll Fight To The End and was to be sung by Matias.
After all the performances it was time to explain the voting system and to show a recap of all the 21 songs competing. While the TV viewers were voting a little video about Azerbaijan, the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest host, was shown before another re-cap took place.
A countdown to show the end of the voting took place and while the votes was being counted up Anggun went on stage singing her entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest; Echo (You and I). Another strong performance from Anggun who was dressed in a short white outfit with long boots. She had two guitar players with her today. Zlata Ognevych singing One Day followed on stage, she has twice participated in the Ukrainian national final and also won an international music festival.
Next guest act was Alyosha, who represented Ukraine at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest and finished 10th with Sweet People. Today she sang To Be Free. After her performance, Sinplus goes on stage. They will be representing Switzerland at this year's contest with their song Unbreakable, which was also what they performed today.
Last guest act was Matias who was originally supposed to take part in this national final. After his disqualification we however still got to hear I'll Fight To The End. It was a strong pop ballad and he had a good voice, which was able to go up on the few high notes as well.
All through the show the Ukrainian TV viewers were allowed to vote. They had 50% of the desicision, which was shared with a professionel jury.
A short visit to the greenroom was done just before the announcement of the result. The nervous participants were clearly waiting in eager to find out whether or not they would get to represent Ukraine at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.
And the winner was: Hajtana. She will sing the song Be My Guest for Ukraine at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan in May.