Доброго вечора Європо та доброго ранку Австралія! Tonight is Vidbir 2022, meaning in just a few short hours we’ll discover who will represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turn!
Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!
Tonight’s show is coming to us live from the NAU Center of Culture and Arts in the gorgeous Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Maria Efrosinina and Timur Miroshnychenko will be overseeing the show, during which 8 songs will be fighting it out for that ticket to Italy. Tonight’s running order is as follows:
- Cloudless – All Be Alright
- Michael Soul – Demons
- Our Atlantic – Moia Liubov
- Barleben – Hear My Words
- Kalush Orchestra – Stefania
- Roxolana – Girlzzz
- Wellboy – Nozzy Bossy
- Alina Pash – Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
The winner of Vidbir 2022 will be selected through a 50/50 decision split between the Ukrainian public and a panel of jurors including former Ukrainian Eurovision singers Jamala, Tina Karol and director and screen writer Yaroslav Lodyhin.
If you want to watch along with all the fun yourself, you can watch HERE or on YOUTUBE from 17:30 CET / 16:30 GMT. The show is scheduled to finish at 21:30 CET/ 20:30 GMT, but as we know, live TV sometimes doesn’t go quite according to plan! Also, in previous years the broadcast has stopped for another show half way through… so we might not be Eurovisioning for the full 3+ hours! Just a heads up!
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
I’m thrilled to see you’re so excited for Vidbir, but you’re also far too early! If you want something to do while you wait, why not take a quick tour around Kyiv with Europe in a Day! Learn more about the city that has hosted Eurovision twice – does someone performing tonight have what it takes to make that 3 times?!
It’s almost Vidbir time! Get settled in, it’s going to be a long one!!
So reading through the Ukrainian TV schedule, as I suspected the show will be on from 16:30GMT to 19:00GMT, a half hour break for the news, then back for an hour from 19:33GMT… so if it just suddenly stops, don’t panic!
Here we go!
Ukraine should be so proud of Go_A: bringing Ukrainian culture to the forefront of the biggest stage in Europe with an incredible performance – and second in the televote with a song entirely in Ukrainian!! Go_A are AMAZING!! Does anyone performing tonight have what it takes to match them? Or bring home a third trophy?
I mean, WOW!! That’s a costume and a half!
Just going to take this moment to say the stage looks fantastic!
Our hosts for tonight, Mariya and Timur. Timur was one of the hosts of the 2017 contest as you probably know, while Mariya hosted Ukraine’s first Eurovision back in 2005!
Our judging panel for tonight, from left to right: Tina, Yaroslav and Jamala. Their votes will make up half of tonight’s scores for our contestants. Everyone looks very glamorous tonight, I must say!
On the subject of voting, in the instance of a tie, whoever gets more votes from the televote will be declared winner. If I remember rightly, that’s how Jamala won her Vidbir and the rest is history 😉
Surprised how much Ukrainian I can understand – love the intelligibility of Slavic languages!!
We’re not hanging about, we’re going on to the first song of the night! Full disclosure, I haven’t heard any of these before, so tonight’s comments really will be my first thoughts!
Cloudless – All Be Alright
It’s all dark, chains and leather for Cloudless, giving off a bit of a S&M vibe. It’s a rock song, which means it’s immediately running the risk of being compared to last year’s winner. The cuts in the music either mean the technical team are off to a rough start, or it’s a really jarring ploy to grab your attention. It’s not a bad example of a rock song, though the lead singer looks a little nervous – going first is always tough! “Technychki problem” and “zvuk” (sound) keep being mentioned in the Green Room (or Blue Corner) so I suspect those cuts in sound weren’t planned… and the vocalist looks furious. Such a shame, the risks of live TV. And in true rocker fashion, they’re smashing, you guessed it… ukuleles… national selections are amazing for so many reasons!! Overall, a good effort Cloudless!
I really feel for their lead vocalist, he looks like he’s just about keeping it together… it sounded like the audience were chanting “go again” for a moment – but that might be my English ear hearing things that aren’t there!
UPDATE: Just found out that due to the technical issues during their performance, Cloudless with be allowed to perform again once everyone else has sung.
Well, despite all the lead up to Michael Soul’s performance, we seem to have gone to a break! Back soon!
Nearly 45 mins and one song… this is going to be a long night…
Michael Soul – Demons
Belarusian-born Michael starts off laying down in darkness, it’s all strangely sensual and dark. Michael’s talent and vocal skills are undeniable, I’m just left feeling that because of it’s overall feel, this isn’t a viable Eurovision song. Moody ballads can work at the contest, but this feels a bit too far… almost Paul Oskar-esq! Still, I think Michael has undeniable talent, and would encourage him to try again in future with a less tortured poetry. One thing I will say though, demonic dancers have sunk other national finalists in living memory (remember how Andrea Demirovic was the winner of Montevizija 2019 until she didn’t score a single point?) so that might not have been a great staging choice.
Jamala seems to like it… let’s hope she doesn’t have any uncomfortable questions for anyone this year!
Judging by the audience’s reactions, the judges are being very positive about Michael’s performance.
Our Atlantic – Moia Liubov
Our first entry entirely in Ukrainian tonight, being sung by a band who look like they’ve stepped out of a 1970s geography classroom… this is going to be fun!! This has got such a fun retro vibe to it, I’m not sure whether it’s the costumes and the sound playing tricks on my mind, but even the camera seems to be giving a 1970s soft filter! Like the little nod to Lake Malawi with the windows. I suspect had this entered Eurovision in 1974, no one would have heard of ABBA again after that night (There’s a strange and terrifying thought!!) – will it have the same impact on a stage in 2022? I suspect not. But nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun and I love that it’s in Ukrainian. Well done gentlemen, I liked that!
Big round of applause for Tina Karol there!
Everyone keeps saying how sexy this performance was… have I missed something?! (No offence!)
Moving swiftly onwards to song #4 – the halfway point!
Barleben – Hear My Words
A piano and darkness accompany Barleben’s ballad and the result is quite special. It builds as ballads often do and becomes more dramatic towards the end, while Barleben’s voice itself remains quite static, but powerful. I’m impressed! Usually I’d air on the side of not sending something like this to Eurovision because what suits a smaller stage won’t suit a massive arena in May, but then again… he has the stage presence, so maybe he could pull it off! The audience really seem behind him too, which is always a good thing!
I forgot how the Vidbir judges like to give dissertation length feedback…
Up next is Kalush Orchestra, in a slight change to the running order I posted earlier… never mind, it’s amended now! Now, these guys look like they’re going to be a lot of fun!!
Kalush Orchestra – Stefania
All evening, the YouTube broadcast I’m watching keeps bringing up their name in the live chat and the audience were screaming their name before they started to sing – and I finally get why! What starts out as very traditional sounding ethno-ballad quickly flips into a modern rap sound, and impact is instant and memorable – how many rappers do you see wearing a pink tea-cosy on their heads?! Usually I really dislike rap, but this has enough ethnic elements in it to make it sound more like folk music, which I LOVE!! This is the biggest reaction of the night so far – a tiny bit of my mind wonders if this is a little too much in a similar vein to Shum, but both songs are very distinct too…. from the same tree, but very different branches, perhaps! Ukraine could do worse than sending this to Turin!
Awww look at Jamala going all gooey over the rapper’s elderly mother… who puts me in mind slightly of a Ukrainian Una Stubbs… the mother, not Jamala!!
“Ey Kalush, yo!” – think that’s the Tina Karol seal of approval!!
Another huge cheer for our next contestant Roxolana… a lot of the favourites seem to be in the second half of the show, which can get messy when it comes to voting! But before she sings, she’s going to treat us to some drumming!
Roxolana – Girlzzz
Girlzzzz just wanna have fun, but Cyndi Lauper it ain’t! Lyrically it’s in a mix of Ukrainian and English, which I appreciate, but it feels like the kind of song we’ve seen at Eurovision and national selections before. It’s not a poor example, it’s just a well-trod genre. What I will say is that this song is the only one so far tonight that has had any real choreography to it, and the audience really seemed to love it. It’s not bad at all, just feels a tad tame for Ukraine. I mean, c’mon… this is the country that gave us Wild Dances, 1944, Shum and Solovey!
Yaroslav seems like he rather enjoyed that! I went to school with a Yaroslav. It’s not the same person…
Going to a quick break here. Funny, someone backstage has left their mic on, so we can hear someone chatting away in Ukrainian and the audience in the background!
And we’re back – just 2 songs left to go, and of course Cloudless get to reprise their song after the unfortunate technical issues
Wellboy – Nozzy Bossy
Think you’ll agree, that’s a rather bold costume choice for Wellboy! Very 1960s pattern and the sunflower is a nice touch! Surrounded by sexy babushkas (phrases you’d hope you’d never write!) it’s clear that Wellboy is a born showman as he swaggers around the stage with his headscarf clad dancers. Again, very happy this is in a mix of Ukrainian and English, feel like Go_A’s success last year has given Ukraine a renewed faith in their language at the contest. As a show, this is 10/10. As a song, it feels a touch repetitive and simple, but that can work in a contest setting! Feels like this is a very backloaded national final, a lot of the ballads went first and all the dance songs came late!
If I didn’t know better, I’d say Tina and Wellboy are flirting…
Our last contestant up next. As I said, I haven’t heard any of the songs, but from the bit of chatter I saw online, I think this might be one to watch and I’ve been patiently waiting all night to hear it… it’s Alina Pasha
Alina Pash – Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Mimicking bird cries is one way to get the audience’s attention! I’m immediately put in mind of 1944, the intensity and the longing in her voice. The music is dramatic and makes it feel like a requiem, while the spoken word verse again grabs your attention. I’m incredibly impressed. As a performance it doesn’t let you go, it keeps finding new ways to pull you in. The Ukrainian public are sure to respond well this with its themes of the past and moving forward, it’s at the forefront of the country’s collective consciousness. I wouldn’t be surprised if this won the televote. That was very powerful, what a way to end the show!
Jamala looks quite choked and said “Just wow” – she loves the emotion conveyed in the performance. And if anyone knows how to deliver an emotional Eurovision performance, it’s definitely Jamala!!
Cloudless are going to take to the stage again after their music cut out several times during their first run through. When queried by Timur if their song should be called “I will be alright”, the singer said (with no hint of irony) “Oh please, give me a break!!” – pick your time to ask questions Timur!!! 😛
Cloudless – All Be Alright – Take 2!
Remember when SuRie’s mic was snatched from her hand and she lost a few bars of the song, but then she came back and belted out the rest of her song, utterly fearless? Sometimes everything going wrong on stage galvanises you going forward and I feel like that’s what has happened for Cloudless. A much more confident rendition of the song, and the music definitely adds to the atmosphere and his conviction. A very solid rock entry, well done!
“The song… umm… it’s good.” full stop. Tina struggling for words, it seems!
VOTING LINES ARE OPEN! Ukraine, the pleasure has been mine – and the choice is yours!
While we go through a recap, I’ll outline what I think is going to happen and my general thoughts on tonight – brb!
Ukraine should be incredibly proud of tonight’s show, they’ve done an amazing job and given us a varied selection of songs to choose from. A special mention to Our Atlantic for being such fun and real time warp moment! For me, stand out moments were definitely Alina Pash and Kalush Orchestra, both songs in Ukrainian with strong traditional elements, but also both very different and unique. I suspect the Top 2 of both the jury and the televote will be these songs in some order – which could get messy. Remember though, if there is a tie it’s the public’s choice that will win out. So I guess it depends if the Ukrainian public are feeling more upbeat or more sombre… guess we’ll have to wait and see!
I think we’ve gone on a bit of a break for the news, but should be back in about 15 minutes – so don’t go far!!
Getting flashbacks to Turkvizyon 2020 with this endless recap… 0____o
I guess “back in 15 minutes” was a touch optimistic, huh?
When strangers are coming…
And we’re back! Just in time for Jamala to show the newbies how it’s done! Can you believe it’s been 6 years since 1944 won Eurovision?!
Everyone is back on the stage, so I think some results must be imminent!
Always interesting watching artists’ faces during these segments… you see a real range of expressions… over-confidence, nervousness, hope, resignation…
LINE ARE CLOSED – Ukraine, you’ve made your choice – but who is it?
Before we find out who the public voted for, we’ll be hearing from our 3 person jury.
1 point to Cloudless
2 points go to Michael Soul – not a popular decision with the audience!
3 points to Roxolana – another decision that isn’t going down well with the audience!!
4 points to Barleben
5 points to Our Atlantic
6 points to Kalush Orchestra
7 points to Wellboy, which means 8 points and winner of the jury vote is Alina Pash!
I’m surprised Kalush Orchestra are so far down with the jury… well, I say so far down, third isn’t exactly bad!
While the counting of the televote continues, we’re taking a look back through Ukraine’s Junior Eurovision catalogue, before some of the stars of JESC give us a medley of songs starting with 1944… it’s even more haunting with younger voices!
We now Segway into Shum! ❤
EIN ZWEI DREI – DANZEN!!!
Wild Dances in Ukrainian – this is a fantastic mash-up and proves just what a powerhouse Ukraine is at Eurovision!!!
Now we have a performance from Tina Karol… it’s been 16 YEARS since Athens!! Hardly seems possible!! The dress is stunning by the way, revealing but classy – a trick some people find difficult to pull off!
That was rather spectacular! Wow!
I think some results are incoming!
Remember, these are the jury points, we will now hear the televote results
Michael Soul, 1 points
Our Atlantic, 2 points
Oops, there seems to be an issue… I think they gave out the wrong points… or have we?
3 points to Barleben
4 points to Cloudless
5 points to Roxolana
There was an issue, they keep changing their minds… and now the jury are weighing in too… got to love a bit of live TV chaos!
6 points to Wellboy
7 points to Kalush Orchestra and the top 8 points to Alina Pash – She’s won!!
Well, think you’ll all agree, that was quite a night! Thank you Ukraine, dyakuyU! Congratulations Alina, we will see you in Turin!
Thanks for reading along tonight, hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did! Thank you Europe and good night!
Author: James Scanlan