#HERE TODAY,GONE TOMORROW: A look at past Ukrainian Eurovision performers

During the past weeks, we at Eurovision Ireland have been taking a look back at past UK eurovision acts and where they are now , as a tribute to this year’s host country , UK. However, it should not be forgotten that the contest is being held in the UK this year due to last year’s winner, Ukraine, being unable to host due to the Russia/Ukraine war. Therefore, we at Eurovision Ireland, felt it only right and fitting that we should include Ukraine in our look back at past performers and where they are now. Since joining the contest in 2003, Ukraine have provided us with many memorable and interesting acts.Let’s take a look back at some past Ukrainian performers .

Oleksandr Ponomariov( 20O3)

Oleksandr had the honour of being Ukraine’s first ever Eurovision act when the country debuted in the competition in 2003, in Riga, Latvia.He finished in 14th place with his song ‘Hasta La Vista’.After the contest, Oleksandr continued to release albums , including Golden Hits in 2007 and Nichenkoyu( At Night) , also in 2007.

Ruslana ( 2004)

Ruslana came to the contest in Istanbul as a favourite to win the contest.In the year where the semi final system was introduced, Ruslana easily made it out of the semi final to the Grand Final and took victory with her warrior like song, ‘Wild Dances”. She returned as a guest star of the 2005 contest held in Kyiv, Ukraine ,reprising her winning song Wild Dances and her latest single , The Same Star, Ukraine. Ruslan has had a very colourful life since her Eurovision Victory. She became one of the biggest pop stars from the Eastern European region,her winning song “Wild Dances ” became a hit all over Europe and she went into politics, being made an advisor to the then Ukrainian prime minister and the President awarded her the honour of “People’s artist of Ukraine “. She was a supporter of the Orange Revolution in 2005 and has been a judge on Ukraine’s equivalent of “The Voice”.She returned to Eurovision when the contest was again held in Kyiv in 2017, singing her new song “It’s magical”.She was also on the panel to choose Belgium’s entry for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest and is going to make an appearance at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.

Tina Karol ( 2006)

Tina Karol won the right to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision song contest in Athens in 2006. With her lively song, “Show me your love”, she achieved 7th place for Ukraine . Following the contest, Tina continued with her music career and up to today is still a big part of the music scene in Ukraine . She has also been on the panel for Vidbir ,Ukraine’s National Final to choose their entry for the year’s Eurovision song contest since 2020. She has also been a star coach in Ukraine’s “The Voice-Ukraine. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Tina left Ukraine for Poland where she , along with like -minded people , created the International Centre for Information Resistance , to cover the events taking place in Ukraine. She is one of many past Ukrainian artists, who will be appearing during the 2023 ESC taking place in Liverpool next month.

Alyosha ( 2010)

Alyosha won the Ukrainian National Final in 2010 in some controversy as the singer originally selected by NTU was withdrawn from the contest due to complaints being made about the internal selection. Alyosha won the final with the song, ‘To be Free’ but it was then found that the song had already been available for purchase since 2008, which is against EBU rules of the ESC . She entered the contest in Oslo , with the song “Sweet People”, which is a song about environmental issues and saving the planet, which Alyosha is said to be very passionate about . She managed to qualify for the Grand Final and came 10th with 108 points. She will be making an appearance again at Eurovision in this years contest in Liverpool , along with other former Ukrainian participants .

Maria Yaremchuk ( 2014)

Maria won the Ukrainian National Final to represent her nation in 2014 with the song ‘Tik,Tok’ in the 2014 contest in Copenhagen, Denmark.She managed to get into the Grand Final and was the first act to perform on Grand Final night. She came sixth. Maria carried on making music after the contest up until 2018 , when she announced that she would be taking a break and hasn’t returned since. However, she is making a return this year to perform in Semi Final 2 as an interval act in this year’s contest in Liverpool.

Jamala ( 2016)

Jamala represented Ukraine in the contest in Stockholm in 2016 and won the contest with an emotional and powerful performance of her song “1944”, which was about the plight of deported of Crimean Tatars in 1944. She got through the semi final and in the Grand Final and won the contest with 534 points.After the contest , Jamala was awarded the People’s artist of Ukraine by the then President Petro Poroshenko . She was also nominated as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry . Jamala continued to make music and she made an appearance as interval act in the Eurovision Contest 2017 in Kyiv and she has also been a judge for Vidbir, Ukraine’s National Final .She will be making an appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool .

Melovin ( 2018)

Melovin won X-Factor Ukraine in 2015 and made a first appearance at Vidbir in 2017 but finished third. Not to be put off by this he entered Vidbir again in 2018 and this time won with his song “Under the ladder”.he went on to represent Ukraine in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal . He placed 17th, with him only receiving 11 points from the juries but 119 votes from the public. After Eurovision , Melovin went on to release a new single”That’s your role ” and he also won the second season of the Masked Singer Ukraine in December 2021.

Go-A ( 2020/2021)

Go-A won the 2020 edition of Vidbir with their song Solovey , unfortunately the Eurovision Song Contest , which was due to be held in Rotterdam that year, was cancelled , due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Go -A were asked to return the following year , rather than another Vidbir taking place and this time chose the song ‘ Shum ‘ to sing in Rotterdam .With a stunning stage performance, they achieved 5th place with a combined Jury/public vote score of 364 points, they were second in the public vote with 267 points.Ironically, one of the band members, Ihor Didenchuk, is also a member of Kalush Orchestra , who won for Ukraine the following year.

Kalush Orchestra ( 2022)

Kalush Orchestra came second in Vidbir 2022 ,but were then selected to represent Ukraine in Turin, Italy , after the winner, Alina Pash , withdrew following controversy over her travels to Crimea. Kalush are a rap band , with a blend of hip-hop and folk . As we all know now, they went on to win the 2022 contest in Turin, with the highest number of public votes in the history of the contest. They will be opening the Grand Final in Liverpool on 13th May.

So that concludes our look back over the years at the past performers from Ukraine. What do you think? Do you have a favourite amongst those we have included? Let us know what you think of Ukraine and the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 by leaving us a comment below or you can find us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Author: Sarah Rudman

Source : You Tube, Wikipedia,Eurovision.TV

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