Road to Baku 2012: Gaitana – “Be my guest” (Ukraine)

For a newcomer with only 9 entries to its name, Ukraine have quickly established themselves as Eurovision heavyweights. They won with their second entry, as the wonderful Ruslana took a slim victory in Istanbul. Since then they have racked up two second-place finishes and a total ot 6 top 10 finishes. Not too shabby! If anything they usually have something interesting up their sleeve, whether it’s gyroscopic bondage kit (2009), sand art (2011 – it was better than it sounds) or dazzling light-boxes (a marvellous 2008).

This year, the former Soviet state have opted for something a little more straight-forward, a slice of uplifting 90s dance. It sounds pretty much like a throwback summer hit from the mid-90s, in all the right ways. A vaguely new-agey tribal ‘na na na’ chant, some ethnic-sounding horns, and a stylish frontwoman.

If you are a purist who lives in the past, insisting that this is “a songwriting contest”, then I’m sure you’ll be left wanting. Lyrically there’s not much of a song at all, aside from a very accommodating theme to be her guest. A lot.

OK there’s not much else to it, it’s a fun dance song, and I’m sure Ukraine will make the staging look as flamboyant as it feels like it should be, but it’s just a little lacking for me. The countries previous entries may have been a little lost in translation at times, but they’ve been apart from their rivals, something I’m not sure this is. Perhaps its time as queen of the ex-Soviet bloc is drawing to an end, but we’ll see. I can see this qualifying as usual, after all Ukraine have yet to miss a final. But I hope they earn it with a great performance

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Filed under Baku 2012, Eurovision, Music, Reviews

4 responses to “Road to Baku 2012: Gaitana – “Be my guest” (Ukraine)

  1. Dinlo

    This performance will be all kinds of hot mess. Even the video is all over the place.

    Look at my dancers. Now back to me. Now back at my dancers. Now back to me. Sadly, they’re not me. But if they had a touch of VOX and wore their vocal cords out by shouting tunelessly through this song, they could sound like me. Look down. Back up. Where am I? I’m walking down a traffic-jammed street for no apparent reason. What are you wearing? Back at me. I’m wearing it. It’s a spring 2007 gown once owned by Beyonce for a performance of ‘Me, Myself and I’ but repurposed by an ancient Roman gladiatrix. Look again. The dress is now a CGI garland of lilies dumurely drapped over my photoshopped body. Anything is possible when you’re representing Ukraine at Eurovision. I’m in a giant keyhole.

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