Dobroho vechora! Kiev calling! After taking a year out, Ukraine return to Europe’s favourite music competition and their road to Stockholm starts right here!
Tonight, 9 acts will compete for one of 3 places in the final for the chance to sing for Ukraine in Sweden this May. But that’s not all! Next weekend, a further 9 acts will also compete, before the 6 finalists battle it out on February 21st.
Join us, James and Bogdan, at 18:00 CET for our LIVE BLOG of ‘The Ukrainian 1st Semi-Final’. You know the drill – just refresh the page for full updates and our thoughts on the performances.
Are you excited? We are! Welcome back Ukraine – we missed you!
How To Watch
The Show starts at 18:00 CET
These are the first 9 acts taking to the stage tonight. If you want to see who’ll be singing next week too, have a look here!
#1 – Anastasia Prikhodko – “I Am Free Now”
#2 – The Hardkiss – “Helpless”
#3 – Tonya Matvienko – “Tin Whistle”
#4 – Vladislav Kurasov – “I’m Insane”
#5 – Lavika – “Hold Me”
#6 – Jamala – “1944”
#7 – Aida Nikolaychuk – “Inner Power”
#8 – Svetlana Tarabarova – “Never Again”
#9 – Brunettes Shoot Blondes – “Every Monday”
How The Finalists Will Be Selected
The 3 finalists will be selected through a mixture of:
- Public Televote
- Expert Jury – of which Eurovision superstars Ruslana and Verka Seduchka will be a part of!
LIVE BLOG – Starts 18:00 CET Here
You know the drill by now peeps. You just refresh the page after each song for our comments. Don’t forget we will be awarding our #MagicMic Award for the most memorable moment of the show!
THE SHOW BEGINS!!
JAMES: And we’re off! At least, they’re getting ready! Nice opera mask
Now we’re having a look at some of Ukraine’s past Eurovision glories and this year’s hopefuls
JAMES: Our hosts for tonight – the guy on the right hasn’t smiled once yet…
BOGDAN: They’re revealing tonight’s judges – should be some familiar faces for Eurovision fans!
BOGDAN: Ruslana looks amazing tonight!
JAMES: I almost didn’t recognise Verka Seduchka on the left!!!
BOGDAN: OK, here we go, our first contestant, Anastasia Prikhodko
JAMES: She sang for Russia in 2009, now wants to sing for her native Ukraine. Let’s have a listen…
BOGDAN: WOW! Very powerful voice!
JAMES: I agree, the staging works well too – doesn’t detract from her and her vocals
BOGDAN: I like it more hearing it live than I did the studio version
JAMES: It’s a very solid rock ballad. This could do well!
BOGDAN: The judges are giving their feedback. We’ll give ours too. I give it 7 out of 12
JAMES: I give it an 8. Anastasia looks worried, bless her
BOGDAN: She doesn’t need to be after that performance!
BOGDAN: Ruslana is very expressive and passionate giving feedback
JAMES: I like her shirt. She looks very different from 2004!
BOGDAN: Rise like a phoenix shirt? :)))
JAMES: Looks like the Albanian flag hehe – whatever it’s based on, it looks fantastic!
JAMES: Hardkiss up next, and the audience sound very excited by that
BOGDAN: What musical is this from?! Does she get HBO on that?
JAMES: I’m more worried about the guy in the corner with the hockey mask…
BOGDAN: It sounds haunted
JAMES: That it does! Very powerful staging and vocals, they definitely have presence. Scores, Bogdan?
BOGDAN: To be honest, it wasn’t my cup of tea… a 5?
JAMES: I agree, not sure if it’ll be a favourite of mine, but I’ll give them a 6 for the look of their performance. Was definitely memorable!
JAMES: You see him too, right?! 0_0
JAMES: Don’t worry, we’re still here – just a lot a lot of adverts
JAMES: On the plus side, Ukraine’s Got Talent looks like it’ll be good next week! :))))
BOGDAN: And I thought the Maltese Selection had lots of ad breaks!!
JAMES: And we’re back! Tonya Matvienko up next with Tin Whistle
BOGDAN: Oooh… very mystical! Lots of chanting and smoke
JAMES: Very natural sounding, started as a promising ethno-ballad
BOGDAN: She’s definitely in touch with Mother Nature!
JAMES: Reminds me quite a bit of Nocturne from Norway… as in, very mysterious music, but not a lot of singing… what she does sing though, she sings very well
BOGDAN: Not sure this would suit the Eurovision stage… but I didn’t dislike it
JAMES: A 6 from me. Very nice, but lacked a little something for me
BOGDAN: Same from me, a 6
JAMES: Ruslana certainly has a lot to say about Tonya’s performance
BOGDAN: We don’t know what she said, but it just got a big round of applause!
JAMES: Vladislav Kurasov singing I’m Insane now
BOGDAN: He looks too young to be mental 😉
JAMES: Well, I’m not crazy about it…
BOGDAN: For me, it’s a typical Eurovision ballad
JAMES: The audience are loving it!
BOGDAN: I liked it. I’ll give it a 6, or maybe even 7
JAMES: 5 from me. I liked it, but I prefer my ballads to build more than this did
JAMES: Ooooh… the audience just booed a judge’s comment! Told you they love Vlad!
BOGDAN: The first time any judge has been booed tonight
BOGDAN: Can you believe this is Verka Seduchka??
JAMES: Still has the DIVA! stare, but looks very different without her sparkly star head dress!
JAMES: Lavika and Hold Me, Now… no, not Johnny Logan’s song…
BOGDAN: The audience are clapping along, sounds like they like it
JAMES: A very heartfelt ballad… I’m impressed
BOGDAN: The audience were captivated by her dream catcher!
JAMES: I thought that was really good – maybe even my favourite so far!
BOGDAN: I agree, one of the best we’ve seen so far! 8
JAMES: 10 – just to out do you, Bogdan
BOGDAN: Of course!
BOGDAN: We haven’t seen a fun song tonight… and judging by the title of the next one, that’s not going to change…
JAMES: That might be true, but the audience just went wild – Jamala is next with 1944!
BOGDAN: The beginning sounds like Apricot Stone from Armenia
BOGDAN: Has a touch of Love Injected in there too!
JAMES: Reminds me of that New Age kind of music
JAMES: A standing ovation from Ruslana! Jamala, you should be honored!
BOGDAN: The audience loved it too
JAMES: I think this might be one to watch
BOGDAN: I can see this qualifying. 7 or 8.
JAMES: It’s very different, even for Eurovision. I’ll say 8
BOGDAN: Jamala seems pleased with what the judges have to say
JAMES: Another advert marathon for us! See you soon… we hope… we’re going to learn more Ukrainian from the ads!
JAMES: And we’re back!
JAMES: Aida Nikolaychuk is set to release her Inner Power… let’s have a listen…
JAMES: FIRE!! And lots of it!
BOGDAN: I like this one, good vocals and stage presence
JAMES: Probably the most contemporary song we’ve heard so far tonight
BOGDAN: 6 or 7 out of 10 for me. Might qualify
JAMES: 6 from me. Brilliant staging, gave us a real show
JAMES: Only 2 songs left tonight. Our penultimate singer is Svetlana Tarabarova and Never Again
JAMES: We both agree, Svetlana looks stunning tonight!
BOGDAN: Nice switching from Ukrainian to English
BOGDAN: It was a nice ballad, but think we’ve heard better tonight
JAMES: It was definitely a good ballad and performed very well. I think I’ll give it 7
BOGDAN: 6 from me… the first part wasn’t too convincing for me as I didn’t understand it
JAMES: Ruslana certainly likes to give detailed feedback… but the audience love it!
BOGDAN: Last act of the night up now – Brunettes Shoot Blondes with Every Monday
JAMES: Hopefully that’s the band’s name and not their act… Ukraine’s answer to One Direction??
BOGDAN: We had to wait all night, but at last we have a song with a bit more rhythm! Not so much of a ballad
JAMES: The staging is very colourful, but the performance lacks something… bit too subdued for my liking
BOGDAN: I enjoyed the change of pace from earlier ballads, but I don’t think this is enough to qualify. At most, a 6 from me
JAMES: I agree, not a fan. 4.
JAMES: Voting lines are open! Time for a quick recap!
JAMES: While Ukraine votes, we’ve been deliberating too and have been discussing our #MagicMic moments from tonight – so here it is!
JAMES: We are both in agreement for our #MagicMic moment – it just has to go to Hardkiss and Helpless! What can we say? We were both just it awe the moment they stepped on the stage – that head dress alone gets 12 points from me! As a song, it was dark, tempestuous and a touch on the weird side… (remember hockey mask man?!) it’s everything you could want from a Eurovision entry!!
BOGDAN: We had many ladies on the stage tonight, but this one was definitely the queen amongst them – she even had the crown to prove it!
JAMES: Eurovision thrives on whacky costumes and gimmicks, and this definitely had both – we loved it!!
BOGDAN: OK, so while the voting is still going on, we’ll make our own predictions for tonight’s 3 qualifiers. What do you think James?
JAMES: Well, there’s been a real mix tonight in Ukraine, a lot of ballads, but all very different ones too. For me, Anastasia and Aida are dead certs to go to the final.
BOGDAN: I think the judges loved Jamala the most, so think she’ll be going to the final too
So, our final predictions (at 20:45 CET) are Anastasia, Jamala and Aida to qualify tonight.
JAMES: For the moment, the voting seems to be going on and the show is on a break… and the interval act is a Ukrainian soap opera… we’ll be back as soon as the results are in!
JAMES: And we’re back in Kiev for the results! Woooo!
BOGDAN: While they’re verifying the votes, we’re learning to fly thanks to Ivan, this year’s Belarusian contestant for Stockholm!
JAMES: Ruslana’s on her feet again
JAMES: Either the hosts are tiny, or Ivan is really tall!!!
BOGDAN: All the contestants are being called on stage… the results must be close!
JAMES: The Jury Results are in! Jamala is in the lead!! Now for the results from the public….
BOGDAN: We’re surprised Anastasia isn’t higher up the scoreboard
JAMES: Time for another ad break… oh, the suspense!!
JAMES: Back. And the hosts have the envelope with the results…
JAMES: We have our finalists! Jamala, The Hardkiss and Brunettes Shoot Blondes!
Are you happy with the results? Did your favourite make it?
Thanks for joining us tonight – hope you had as much fun as we did! From Kiev, good night Europe! And from myself and Bogdan, good night!
Authors: James Scanlan, Bogdan Stefan
Source : Eurovision Ireland