Ukraine 2017: O.Torvald and Melovin complete the final line up of national selection

The third and final heat of the Ukrainian semi-finals took place this evening. O.Torvald and Melovin were the acts with the highest combined scores and go through to the final. They will be joined by TAYANNA and Salto Naiad, who won the first heat. Alongside them will also be Illaria and Rozhden from last weekend’s heat. 

The final eight acts have fought for their place to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

The Songs

Song no 1:  Payushchie Trusy – Singing Pants 

Payushchie Trusy are a female trio consisting of Olha Lizgunova, Irina Skrinnyk and Olena Slysarenko. They were formed in 2008 by late music producer Andriy Kuzmenko, better known as Kuzma. The trio took part in the New Wave Festival, which is an international contest for young performers. Notable Ukrainian performers Jamala and Tina Karol have participated in this contest in the past.

Singing Pants is a fun song. Payushchie Trusy do not take themselves too seriously. The main singer was flanked by the two other members singing in their skimpy outfits. There was hanging clothes on a washing line presentation-wise.

Not the most polished performance ever. On the positive side, memorable for some reasons, though not necessarily for all the good reasons.

In her critique, Jamala appeared to be likening the song to Christmas song Jingle Bells.

Song no 2: O.Torvald – Time

O.Torvald has been making music since 2005 and they have become one of the biggest rock bands in Ukraine. The band from Poltava consists of frontman Yevhen Halych alongside Denys Myzyuk, Olekdandr Solokha, Mykyta Vasylyev and Mykola Rayda. The band have played in various music festivals around the world in the same line up as Linking Park, The Rasmus and Evanescence to name but a few.

Time has a distinct rock sound. It has a powerful instrumental section in the middle where the song begins to gain tempo.

This was a stylish presentation with video footage of everyday life as well as global upheaval shown on the backdrop. The group were dressed in characteristic light outfits. The lead singer in particular looked the part and his vocal performance was consistent.

Towards the end of the performance, there was a ‘shooting’, an abrupt pause in the music and what looked like a blood stain appeared on his shirt.

Song no 3:  Anastasia Pridius – Flow

Anastasia took part in The Voice Ukraine in 2016. She has also participated in The X Factor Ukraine, Junior Eurovision and The New Wave Festival.

Her song Flow does simply that.  It flows. It is an easy listening song and sounds very much like a Delta Goodrem song.

Stylistically, Anastasia looked a lot like American singer Courtney Love, especially due to her hairstyle. It was a sharp choice though perhaps a bit unfortunate in the sense that her beauticul face (as seen in the introduction video) was all covered in hair.

Anastasia’s vocal performance was first-rate. She sang Flow passionately and expressively.

Song no 4: Vitaly Kozlovsky – I’m Your Light

Vitaly did not make his song known before tonight’s heat. This meant that the public were hearing it for the very first time tonight. Kozlovsky has tried to represent his country before. In 2010, he took part in the national selection process in a duet with singer Irina Bilyk. Together they performed the song [email protected] They competed against Zlata Ognevich and Alyosha amongst others. But it was Alyosha who won the selection and represented Ukraine with To Be Free. However she changed her song to Sweet People for Eurovision.

We finally got to know that the song is called I’m Your Light. Ripped tops seemed to be the stylistic choice tonight. Though, in Vitali’s case, it was a black top with fringed sleeves matched with red boots we were talking about.

I’m Your Light starts with an atmospheric slow intro before turning into a mid-tempo pop song with discreet traditional elements. The vocal performance was adequate.

Like the beginning, the finale relied on spotlight effects, though this time to a very dynamic effect as opposed to lyrical at the beginning.

Song no 5: Kadnay – Freedom In My Mind

Dmitry Kadnay and Phil Kolyadenko make up Kadnay. Dmitry is known for his participation in the TV show Star Academy. The duo already have two albums under their belt.

Freedom In My Mind starts off slow and turns into a dance track. The vocals are slow and stretched out. The song is about not giving up and not listening to what other people say.

There was a sublit performance with a thin white cross of light revolving in the background – a quirky stage set up to match the style of the song. The singer was very expressive in his vocal as well as overall performance. It all added up to an effective result.

Song no 6:  Melovin – Wonder

Konstantin Bocharova is Melovin. He won the sixth season of the X-Factor in 2015.

Wonder starts with a nice piano intro. It’s a laid back song but has a nice beat. The chorus might sound a little repetitive to some people’s ears.

Konstantin had on what looked like an ice blue contact lense in his left eye.  His very characteristic look was completed by his hair being blond on the right side of his head and black on the left. Geometric formations were playing in the background.

Konstantin can definitely carry a tune. His vocal performance was strong. Another act that would be difficult to forget, visually at least, in amongst twenty-five other Eurovision entries.

Song no 7: Green Grey – Future Is Now

Green Grey are no strangers to the Ukrainian music scene. The band was founded in 1993 in Kyiv and has enjoyed some great success. In 1996 they won a special prize at the MTV Music Awards in London and in 2005 they won the Best Music Video award at MTV Russia. Over the years, the line up of the band has changed several times. The current members are Deizel, Murik, DJ Good and Valery Derevyansky.

Future Is Now is an electronic pop-rock song. The presentation came complete with red spotlights and smoke jets. The singer wore a red beanie hat whereas the bassist sported lond rasta hair. They both appeared very relaxed and carried away by their song onstage.

The group seemed to receive positive feedback from the judges, including references to their succesful career to date.

Song no 8: Vivienne Mort – Іній

Vivienne finished the evening’s line up. She performed her song Іній in front of the live studio audience and the expert jury panel.

Іній is the only song in Ukrainian tonight. Both Vivienne’s choice of frock as well as the backdrop graphics had an element of folklore about them. The song itself was somewhat eccentric stylistically, mid-tempo and distinctively Eastern European, all the while providing ample opportunity for Vivienne to show her strong vocal ability.

The Show

The second heat of the Ukrainian semi-final was again hosted by Serhiy Pritula. There was a change to the expert jury panel this year. 2004 winner Ruslana was replaced by the current winner Jamala. The rest of the expert jury consisted of 2007 runner-up Andriy Danylko (Verka Serduchka) and producer Konstantin Meladze.

There were introductory videos before each performance as well as extensive discussions between the judges and the acts after.

The interval act was this year’s Spanish contestant for Eurovision 2017, Manel Navarro, who sang his entry Do It For Your Lover.

The acts selected to progress to the final were chosen by a 50/50 voting system. Half of the votes were given by the general public and the other half by the expert jury.

The running order for next week’s final was drawn by the artist themselves at the end of the show.

The Result

The acts selected to progress to the final were chosen by a 50/50 voting system. Half of the votes were given by the general public and the other half from the expert jury.

The jury vote was the first to be announced. The three judges took turns to announce their scores. The two acts with the highest jury vote were Kadnay and O.Torvald.

The viewers vote was then announced and the two acts with the highest combined vote were O-Torvald and Melovin.

Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest

Since making its debut in 2003, Ukraine has had an excellent reputation at Eurovision. It has never failed to qualify for the Grand Final and has had a total of nine top 10 placements. Six of these have been in the top 5.

Ukraine has won the contest twice. Ruslana was the first artist to bring the Eurovision crown to Ukraine in 2004 with her song Wild Dances. Jamala won the contest with her song 1944 last yearwhen the competition was in Stockholm. Jamala came second in both the jury and the public vote, but came in first place overall.

You can see Jamala, the current winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, and her song 1944 below.

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