One of the most successful countries, Ukraine should be represented by MARUV with the song named Siren Song this year in Tel Aviv. The decision comes after Ukraine held its national final this evening.
Tonight’s show featured contestants with some of the biggest names in the Ukrainian music industry. The final six acts who fought for the chance to represent Ukraine in Tel Aviv, Israel this May had qualified via two semi-finals.
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Freedom Jazz – Cupidon
First up, the winner of the second semi-final, a group of three Freedom Jazz appears in a helicopter in colorful dresses with knotted bows on the front. Their outfits and retro styled performance match the fun & upbeat jazz song about a cupid’s love. Towards the end, the performance is accompanied by 3 backing vocalists playing trumpet. Danylko noted that the performance was not exactly what the song seems to be about.
Yuko – Galyna Guliala (Galyna Walked)
One of the stand-outs of this evening, Ukrainian electro-folk band YUKO sing a song about a girl named Galyna and how she mesmerizes everyone with her beauty. The song is performed fully in Ukrainian with ethnic elements showcasing YUKO’s consistency in vocal abilities. The performance features the singer dancing across the stage, little cartoons dancing in the red backdrop and 3 backing vocalists dressed in Ukrainian national costumes. Jamala praised the freedom of the performance. FIlatov also gave positive review of the performance.
MARUV – Siren Song
MARUV’s performance of her Siren Song was of the main highlights of the evening. As the winner of the first semi-final, her performance was the most anticipated among the fandom. Siren Song is a club banger with a catchy hook, fierce instrumental and an attitude. Compared to the semi-final performance, MARUV slightly changed the song by adding more singing in the beginning and guitar instrumental at the end. The performance involved a lot of dancing & wrapped it up with MARUV and the dancers playing the guitar. Based on the judges critiques, MARUV’s performance lacked vocals but had a great instrumental.
Brunettes Shoot Blondes – Houston
This is the fourth attempt of the band to represent Ukraine. The band appears behind a piano performing a song about an argument between the two with the hope to start over again. The song references the famous quote Houston, We Have a Problem used to describe an unforeseen problem. Throughout the performance, the stage is lit and, at some points is shown from different camera angles to give the performance a spacial vibe. The band received mostly positive reviews and was praised for showing something new and different.
KAZKA – Apart
Going into semi-final 2, the band was one of the main favorites to win it. However, the band did not live up to the expectations and came 3rd with the juries and televoting combined. Their song is about love and bond between a couple and has ethnic elements mixed with the modern sound accompanied by one of the members playing flute. The performance is ethereal and, towards the end we see a person’s shadow and birds flying in the backdrop. Jamala was mixed about the band’s performance noting the singer’s shaky vocals but liking the style. Danylko praised Ukrainian authenticity of the band.
Anna Maria – My Road
The band of twin sisters Anna Maria delivers a power mid-tempo ballad about letting go of problems and carrying on with life. Their voices are strong and in sync and there’s an evident connection between sisters on stage. Overall, the performance was strong and engaging.
Just like last year, the winner of the national final was chosen by a 50/50 voting system. Half of the votes were given by the general public and the other half by the expert jury.
The expert jury consisted of 2016 Eurovision winner Jamala, singer and producer Yevhen Filatov and singer Andriy Danylko, who represented the country in Eurovision 2007 under his stage persona Verka Serduchka.
The interval acts were Jamala with her new song Solo and this year’s French representative Bilal Hassani with his song Roi.
The results of the Ukrainian national final were as follows:
|4||Brunettes Shoot Blondes||Houston||2||3||5||4th|
|6||Anna Maria||My Road||1||2||3||6th|
Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest
Since making its debut in 2003, Ukraine has had an excellent reputation at Eurovision. It has never failed to qualify for the grand final and has had a total of nine top 10 placements. Six of these have been in the top 5.
Ukraine has won the contest twice. Ruslana was the first artist to bring the Eurovision crown to Ukraine in 2004 with her song Wild Dances. Jamala won the contest with 1944 in 2016, when the competition was in Stockholm. Jamala came second in both the jury and the public vote, but came in first place overall.
Last year, Ukraine was represented in Lisbon by Melovin who brought Ukraine 17th place.
You can watch MARUV’s performance of Siren Song in the following video.