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> Ukraine's Eurovision Journey, Part 3: 2012-2016
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AdamAloud
post Apr 10 2017, 05:36 PM
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The countdown to Kyiv is on! And it's time to look back at the history of our host country. Ukraine is arguably one of the contest's biggest players, having six top 5 finishes including two victories and two runners-up with just 13 entries! They've also never failed to qualify for the final, only missing in 2015 due to withdrawal over financial and political issues. In the few remaining weeks before the rehearsals kick off, we'll be revisiting Ukraine's greatest, and forgotten, hits!


2003: Olexandr - Hasta la Vista
14th with 30 points

OK, so it wasn't a glorious start. Ukraine made their debut all the way back in 2003, when Eurovision was a one night a year affair (not even the J*nior had darkened our screens yet). Olexandr was internally selected by the Ukrainian broadcaster to represent them in Riga, with the naff (and not in a good way) 'Hasta la Vista'. He got a respectable debut result, finishing midtable and above 2003 essentials Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece and France! Although, he did perform immediately after Jemini, so maybe that helped. kink.gif


2004: Ruslana - Wild Dances
1st with 280 points (SF: 2nd with 256 points)

Leather QUEEN! Ruslana whipped her way to victory in Istanbul with her energetic Eurovision classic 'Wild Dances'. Despite not winning the semi final (something which seems to be a trend for Ukrainian winners), she snatched the win when it mattered, giving Ukraine the honour of hosting the 50th Eurovision Song Contest. In between winning and hosting however, Ukraine went through the Orange Revolution, something Ruslana was an active part of. The political turmoil was to have a knock on effect of organising the contest in Kyiv.


2005: GreenJolly - Razom nas bahato
19th with 30 points

Every country has their token Iz entry and here's Ukraine's! NTU organized a national final for the first time and it was expected that Ani Lorak would walk it. However, four wildcards were added in at the final round, chosen by the newly elected Ukrainian government. One of them, was 'Razom nas bahato' by GreenJolly which eventually won the national final. The song was somewhat of an anthem of the recent Orange Revolution and its political connotations did not go unnoticed by the EBU. However, the song was revamped and given the go ahead to compete on home soil, eventually finishing in 19th place, giving Ukraine it's worst result to date.


2006: Tina Karol - Show Me Your Love
7th with 145 points (SF: 7th with 146 points)

Cossacks come THRU! After the disaster of 2005, Ukraine decided their winning formula of a woman doing a banging ethnic inspired tune was the way to go. Tina Karol won the national final, with an early demo version of the song called I Am Your Queen. (*.*) I feel this is one of Ukraine's forgotten gems, although this may be down to what followed...


2007: Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai
2nd with 235 points

TANZEN! Possibly their most memorable entry to the contest, Verka was not without his haters. Members of the Ukrainian parliament were horrified at the nation's choice of representative, calling Verka 'grotesque and vulgar'. Controversy surrounded the Ukrainian entry yet again, as it was noted that lasha tumbai sounded remarkably like Russia goodbye. This was of course dismissed by the Ukrainians, who claimed that lasha tumbai was Mongolian for whipped cream. This however, is not true. kink.gif


What do you think of Ukraine's first 5 entries at Eurovision? Were any of these your favourites from their respective year? Or maybe one of these is your favourite Eurovision song ever?
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LexC
post Apr 10 2017, 05:53 PM
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Oooh, fabulous idea for a thread Adam! Ukraine really are one of the best countries at Eurovision and this set of songs certainly shows that.

If I remember rightly Greenjolly being parachuted in to the 2005 NF was doubly controversial because Ani Lorak was/is still a supporter of the Russian speaking/aligned parts of Ukrainian Politics. But then again controversies around Russian speakers and questionable democracy is a theme that runs through a lot of the history of Ukraine at Eurovision.

Did not have any clue about the existence of that early version of the 2006 song. I almost wonder if things would have been much different for them if they kept it less kossaky and more mid 00s RnB influenced.

Minor point but I love the fact that despite it being such a bleak and terrible year (I know it has its fans but I just can't with so much of it) 2007 had such a queer utopia of a top two.
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RobBob
post Apr 10 2017, 06:17 PM
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2004 is the first Eurovision I can actually remember but I definitely recall Ruslana making an impact on me. Verka, though, stands out as one of the most iconic and memorable peformances and songs since the turn of the Millenium, really wish it had won.
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AdamAloud
post Apr 10 2017, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE(RobBob @ Apr 10 2017, 07:17 PM) *
Verka, though, stands out as one of the most iconic and memorable peformances and songs since the turn of the Millenium, really wish it had won.


If ever a song was made for the UK Eurovision audience, yet it only came third on our televote!
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LexC
post Apr 10 2017, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE(AdamAloud @ Apr 10 2017, 07:27 PM) *
If ever a song was made for the UK Eurovision audience, yet it only came third on our televote!


Pretty sure that was below Greece and Turkey though, in which case it was more or less our true televote winner!
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J▲hq
post Apr 10 2017, 06:51 PM
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Ukraine send one of the worst things I've ever heard on the Eurovision stage, come second.

The UK send amazing novelty in Scooch, come second..from bottom.

I just can't dry.gif
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Iz~
post Apr 10 2017, 08:35 PM
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Greenjolly's only my third favourite entry here! Though I do of course like it for the Orange Revolution vibes. Ruslana was a showstopper and a well-deserved winner, and in a significant year for Ukraine as well. Verka's an icon.

Other two are a bit crap though.
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Umi
post Apr 10 2017, 08:45 PM
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Verka is iconic but thank Christ it didn't win. That was the last thing Eurovision needed in the mid-2000s.
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RobBob
post Apr 10 2017, 09:34 PM
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I remember absolutely hating Molitva though, just as I do 1944. Really nothing my thing at all and I have no idea what made it popular enough to win. Nowadays, I would absolutely LOVE a Verka, I'm kinda over this "I want Eurovision to be full of radio friendly, serious songs" (which I acknowledge is not what you personally are saying, for the record) as it's the Verka's, Russian grannies etc. that make Eurovision such a special spectacle imo.
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Umi
post Apr 10 2017, 10:59 PM
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I do agree that novelty songs are important to Eurovision! I would love more Verkas (though I think what makes them so special is how rare they are to some extent), I just think that in general they're not really ideal winners. I mean, I could see Eurovision getting away with a novelty winner at this stage but I remember how dire the contest's reputation was in 2007 and I'm not sure it would have survived Verka winning and then an influx of novelty songs in 2008.

Plus, Verka's still one of the most iconic Eurovision entries ever despite not winning and the Russian grannies are still very well-remembered so I just never really feel like those entries need to win anyway. They get their time in the sun.
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LexC
post Apr 10 2017, 11:17 PM
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I can see both sides of that debate I guess but a lot of it is historically and geographically contingent. From (what I imagine is) Ryan's point of view, you don't want something like Verka or the Russian Grannies to win because it becomes a justification in the west for the attitude of 'oh Eurovision's just a load of rubbish you can just stick some old biddies making bread on the stage and that'll win' especially in the mid 00s when the UK/France/Ireland/The Netherlands ect had lost the ability to give a shit.

By the same measure though, the idea that the whole thing should be a "Eurovision Hit Parade" runs the risk of losing the USP of Eurovision like Rob mentions. And now that the west seems to have got more engaged with the contest there's less of a need, in my opinion, to "chartify" the whole thing in such a way. I'd argue that at the moment we have a fairly good balance between the two more or less.
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Lorderella
post Apr 10 2017, 11:57 PM
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Where alexrange at tho. We need some drama mama
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LexC
post Apr 11 2017, 01:04 AM
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QUOTE(Catderella @ Apr 11 2017, 12:57 AM) *
Where alexrange at tho. We need some drama mama


If he should ever return then I will be ready and primed with some newly acquired powers to abuse *.*
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Ryan.
post Apr 11 2017, 09:48 PM
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I think Eurovision's reputation in the UK was so low by 2007 after Lordi that a Verka win wouldn't have actually changed anything, and I imagine it was the same in the majority of Western Europe too. In the wider Eurovision world, perhaps the jury vote would've been rushed in a year earlier. That said, Molitva was a superb winner. Hold On Be Strong has many fans including myself from a year later and Molitva was very much that but with power and emotion turned up to 100. It's much more accessible and formulaic in the best way formulaic can be than 1944 is.

I think the mix we have now is right, we get no more than 1 or 2 songs with novelty aspects per year and usually they have some sort of actual quality to them as well and if not, Serhat, then they don't qualify. My Friend is perhaps the closest you get to novelty but you can't fault the vocal quality. Yodel It and Occidentali's Karma both have their novelty aspects but both are very strong songs on their own merit as well.

Babushki and Verka are the only 2 pure novelty acts I've actually got on board with, Verka years afterwards and the Babushki I was on board with straight away. But I'd want neither of them winning. Imagine if 2012 was televoting only and Loreen had lost by 10 points rather than won by 10 points!

Do I want Eurovision 2007 or Eurovision 2017 to take place this year? Most certainly 2017. Better reputation, better voting system, better songs overall (for my tastes), more chart potential. Yes we've lost a bit of crazy but mid 00s Eurovision was unsustainable. Ultimately as juries came in, novelty went out. I wouldn't want to sacrifice juries for more novelty (obviously) but you can't have both as it just doesn't make sense from a participant's point of view. If we were still having Eurovision 2007s every year and juries weren't brought in, I think Eurovision would still be on the air but I really think we'd be around the 30 participants mark rather than 45.
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Ryan.
post Apr 11 2017, 09:56 PM
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In other news I find Tina Karol one of Ukraine's worst entries, SO repetitive and when you think it's over with about 40 seconds left she comes back in with another 7 choruses.
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Ryan.
post Apr 11 2017, 09:58 PM
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To remind myself of it I've literally clicked on 5 random points along the video and every single time she was singing the same line, that's how bad it is! laugh.gif
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BillyH
post Apr 12 2017, 11:02 AM
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Wouldn't say Eurovision's reputation was damaged by Lordi, it was the first winner to chart top 40 in the UK since Charlotte Nilsson - admittedly downloads may have helped with that, but it still got a physical release because you still needed one then. It was more a combination of a) underwhelming UK entries and b) Terry Wogan's increasingly bitter/moody commentaries, which probably started around the time Jemini flopped.
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Qassändra
post Apr 13 2017, 10:41 AM
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Yeah, Lordi actually did kind of save Eurovision's reputation a bit because a. it wasn't an Eastern European winner and b. it was a bit cut above in the type of novelty it was. Verka was excellent and probably the rightful winner in 2007, but it was much more in fitting with the kind of novelty Eurovision was mocked mercilessly for at a time when it was really at a low in its credibility (all Eastern European qualifiers from that semi of death, etc). Had Verka won while Scooch failed miserably I think there would've been much more of a push to get the UK out over the next year or two.
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AdamAloud
post Apr 17 2017, 05:15 PM
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2008: Ani Lorak - Shady Lady
2nd with 230 points

After having her rightful victory snatched by the government in 2005, Ani Lorak's moment to shine finally came in 2008 when she was internally selected to represent Ukraine. 'Shady Lady' won the national final comfortably and ultimately came second in Belgrade, matching Verka's placing from the year previous. Perhaps rather surprisingly, is that 'Shady Lady' only managed to score one set of 12 points, from Portugal. Ani Lorak (real name Karolina (can you work it out?)) is one of Ukraine's most prestigious singers. However in recent years, her pro-Russian political views has seen her star power dwindle in her home country, even leading to a concert in Odessa having to be cancelled due to protestors.


2009: Svetlana Loboda - Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)
12th with 76 points

This gladiator inspired $l*t bop came at the time when the juries were re-introduced back to Eurovision (although looking back, the televoters didn't go much for it either, MADNESS!) and came a disappointing 12th! Svetlana even re-mortgaged her house for those Hell Wheels, true dedication *.* Interestingly, Anastasiya Prykhodko was disqualified from the Ukrainian national final that year after performing the wrong song at the semi final (how do you do that), she however had the last laugh, winning the Russian selection and going on to BEAT Svetlana at Eurovision.


2010: Alyosha - Sweet People
10th with 108 points

OK I'm going to explain their selection process for 2010 but KEEP UP. NTU first announced Vasyl Lazarovych as the Ukrainian participant for 2010 and organised a national final to select his song in November 2009. I Love You was the clear winner. However, there were objections to the artist being internally selected and just one week before the submission deadline, NTU announced that a new national final would take place. Vasyl competed but only came seventh :') The winner this time was Alyosha, although it was a tie between her and Masha Sobko. Her winning song was To Be Free. This wasn't the end though, as claims of plagiarism arose and the song was ultimately ruled ineligible to compete in Oslo. Finally, it was revealed that Alyosha would compete with Sweet People, several days after the submissions deadline (the deadline had been extended specially for NTU). The irony that all this drama came from people being unhappy over not being able to choose the artist, yet in the end they had no say in the song :') It came 10th though so I suppose all's well that ends well and Ukraine would learn from this mess..


2011: Mika Newton - Angel
4th with 159 points

The 2011 Ukrainian selection started off relatively smoothly. The final, including Zlata Ognevich, Anastasiya Prykhodko and Jamala, went ahead as planned and was won by Mika Newton. However, allegations of vote rigging (SURELY NOT) came soon after and a new final was scheduled. However, both Jamala and Zlata both decided to withdraw, leaving Mika Newton unchallenged. The new final was scrapped and 'Angel' was sent to fly the Ukrainian flag in Düsseldorf. NTU knew the song was a load of crap though, so drafted in the Ukraine's Got Talent winner to do some fancy sand art in the background. The song came 4th in the grand final. Yes, Svetlana comes 12th and THIS comes 4th.

3 top 10's in 4 years, Ukraine certainly established their role as a Eurovision powerhouse at the turn of the decade. Do you have any strong opinions on these entries? Was Ani Lorak robbed of her rightful victory?
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gooddelta
post Apr 17 2017, 05:26 PM
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Save for Popular coming 3rd, 2011's results will always be terminal in every way. That crap coming 4th being just one factor of this.

Shady Lady was definitely robbed of course, being 100 times the song Believe could ever dream to be. Had no idea her stage name was her first name backwards!
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