#UKRAINE: #AllAboard for the Live Blog of Vidbir 2018
Ukraine’s search for a third Eurovision winner begins tonight, with the first semi-final of Vidbir 2018. Will the next Jamala come from tonight? Or will it be a Greenjolly night? We’ll blog this just for you. There will be an interval act (we understand) who will be at the party in Lisbon.
You know the drill. Hit refresh to keep abreast of what’s happening. You can also watch the action HERE.
And here we go…
The studio is full, probably because Jamala is there. She once won you know. She’s one of the expert jury who’s deliberations will make up half of the vote tonight. She’s accompanied by Andriy Danylko (aka Verka Serduchka) and Eugene Filakov. Jamala’s opinion counts for a lot.
Time for the songs at last…
Constantine – Misto
Special effects get us going, with seven Constantines on stage. But only one is real. It starts slowly, and you can tell that it will at some point. He does have backing singers somewhere, but he is making a meal of this challenging song. It involves a lot of warbling, but not that much in the way of tune. The chorus has a little more about it, but not much. It’s difficult being first on, but I can’t see this getting any further.
Before song two, a long break for word from our sponsors.
Serhiy Babkin – Kriz tvoyi ochi
He has a trendy fluffy red microphone. He’s caressing a ball of wool too. To find his way home I think. It’s a slow song but I’m more distracted by the red and white motif of the staging. The white is reflected in his outfit, which looks he’s just come off the piste after a fencing bout. Unfortunately, this song doesn’t really go anywhere although there is a reasonably pleasant orchestration. Sometimes three minutes can seem an awful long time.
Laud – Waiting
Another male soloist and we’re in English. His accent is pretty good and quite soul-ly in tone. The sound also has that vibe and is the best thing so far tonight. It bounces along nicely and is well-constructed if a little formulaic. He has four backing singers that are well choreographed but stay a discreet distance away from Laud. He even manages to hit some very high notes once we get to the final chorus. It gets the best crowd reaction so far.
Ad break time again. Bear with us…
Kazka – Dyva
Dry ice abounds on the stage for this song that has ethnic overtones due to the flautist on stage. And a turntable deck too. So it combines old and new. the chorus is a little repetitive but that makes it a bit of an earworm. The verse tries to be more than it is and is a bit too clever for its own good. Having said that, the whole package moves along nicely. If the chorus could be more than just “nah-nah-nah”, it might have enough to make the final.
The VYO – Nga-nga
Ooh, we have a yellow suit on stage. The wearer appears to be of (in part at least) Portuguese stock. It’s vivid as can be and seems to affect the lighting. There’s a summery vibe. Sadly, it’s the same vibe as a certain song by Manel Navarro. Hmmm. It’s very different to everything else tonight, and has the odd word in English to aim for that international audience. It might just have enough about it to qualify. And Jamala loves it.
Another ad break…
Kozak System – Mamai
Another proper band takes us into the realm of rock. Pub rock perhaps but rock nevertheless. Or Turisas. Or Zdib ši Zdub. It’s very very jolly and also has a hint of klezmer about it. I must say I’m loving it, and even though I’m not sure whether it’s in English, Ukrainian or some other tongue, but it’s making me smile, and isn’t that what you want a Eurovision song to do?
Vilna – Forest Song
This performance wouldn’t look out of place in a Roger Pontare stage show. Vilna is dressed very ethnically and has drummers wearing animal’s heads. It’s striking, I’ll give her that. I think it’s also dramatic enough to do something and make it to the final. As a tune, it’s very basic once you get past the ethnic overtones and chanting.
Another ad break.
Pur:Pur – Fire
Another striking outfit here, and lots of phone lights in the audience. This ain’t bad although could do with more of a melody. It might not get through tonight, but it’s a great outfit.
The Erised – Heroes
Finally, we get this emotional song sung with gusto and a bit of angst. There’s something about it, which is very genuine and contemporary that has got me hooked. It is, however, traditionally formulaic – which adds to its charm.
After a brief recap, the lines for the Ukrainian public are thrown open. We’ll be back soon, to call in the votes and find out the qualifiers for the Vidbir Final in two weeks’ time.
We’re back for the results after an extended break. Three songs from tonight will go through to the final in two weeks time.
To heighten the tension, we get to see what O.Torvald are up to. If you recall, our associate Roy caught up with them last year in Kyiv. You can view it HERE. They perform a song tonight, and lead singer Yevhen gets interviewed on stage.
It’s results time, after a quick chat with Jamala and her chums about what they’ve seen tonight.
We get some results, but now it’s ad break time again.
Break over – a shorter one this time, and we get another special guest. It’s Mikulas Jozef who’ll be singing ‘Lie to me’ for the Czech Republic in Lisbon in May.
He’s wearing a small rucksack and also gets interviewed on stage. Jamala thanks him for his performance and be admits he’s a bad dancer.
Back to the results. Here’s the jury element. The rest will be after the break.
And with the public vote…
The three are Laud, The Erised and Vilna!
The second semi-final of Vidbir takes place next weekend. See you then!
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, NTU Ukraine