When Ukraine selected their representative in a national final at the very start of the season, back in December, the country’s recent upheaval was a few months away. But I feel this like is unlikely to disrupt Ukraine’s impressive career at Eurovision.
Debuting in 2003, Ukraine have a rare 100% qualification record at the semi-finals, and Ruslana took the nation to victory in 2004 with “Wild Dances”. They have never finished lower than 19th in a final (that result happening on home soil), and came close to winning in Malmö as Zlata Ognevich took “Gravity” to 3rd place.
It’s not clear how recent events will shift the dynamics in the officially non-political contest, but it should be interesting to see. Could sympathy for Ukraine give it a boost to the top? Could Ukraine even host the show in this situation? Minor points in the context of the ongoing crisis of course, but I’m blogging about Eurovision, and there’s no point ignoring the outside world.
As soon as I saw Mariya’s winning performance I knew this would be another successful year for Ukraine. She’s a confident performer with a strong voice and a catchy song. It’s been heavily re-worded since its original version but the raucous production survived fairly intact.
I wish they’d kept that chorus lyric “the ticking of the clock can not predict my love”, but it’s still a fun pop song sung really well. What’s not to like about that? I hope for a strong finish, and hopefully beating Russia.
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