NOTE: Because this is Ukraine, the status of this post is set to “constant state of flux.” Seriously, we’ve already edited this post 15 times…
We were going to watch Ukraine’s national final this weekend, but after watching clips of all 19 songs on the Eurovision live stream, we decided it was a safe one to skip. Normally we’re huge fans of Ukraine’s ESC entries, but nothing stood out to us. Even Anastasia Prikhodko, who represented Russia in 2009, entered a bland Ladytron knock-off that was livened up only by the weird plastic thing she was wearing as some sort of breastplate:
Ultimately, voters opted to send to Eurovision Mika Newton and her song “Angel”:
It’s fine, I guess. Maybe our expectations are too high now: we were spoiled by Verka, Ani Lorak, and Svetlana Loboda. Even last year, despite all the mess with the selection, they still went with Alyosha, who took a tuneless dirge of a song and turned it into a top 10 finish. Mika sings “Angel” well, but it’s not a number that really moves me. It exists in that bland middle of the pack, slightly better than “Na Inat” and “C’est Ma Vie” and slightly worse than “The Secret is Love” and “Change.”
It’s Ukraine, so it’s going to get out of the semis, but I would be surprised if this reaches the top 10.
UPDATE: It’s like Ukraine felt bad that we were unable to cover the various controversies over their 2010 entry selection last year and they are giving us a second chance. According to esctoday, Ukraine’s national broadcaster NTU announced that they will be holding a new national final on March 3 due to alleged voting fraud during this past weekend’s national selection. The top three vote-getters (Zlata Ognevich, Jamala and Mika Newton) will perform their respective songs again, and only tele-voting will count.
Of course, Mika apparently asked Ukraine’s organizers if she could sing a different song at Eurovision, so even if the voting fraud controversy hadn’t been raised, this post was probably going to be null and void anyway.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Because it’s Ukraine. Jamala has announced she will not participate in the new final, because it’s totally rigged. Is Anastasia available?
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Remember that new final? The one Jamala pulled out of? Zlata Ognevich pulled out as well, leaving Mika Newton as Ukraine’s representative. Of course, Ukraine network Pershy Natsionalny said that after a recount of the votes, Mika still had enough to win, so they declared her the winner anyway. Which nullifies the other two updates. Although Mika still wants to go to the ESC with a different song. Which means the main body of this post may still be null and void. Sigh.
FINAL (?) UPDATE: Ukrainian organizers have announced that Mika Newton will sing “Angels” at the ESC. So you can ignore all the updates.
Generally, it’s not our thing to comment on remarks or press conferences, but on this little gem we couldn’t resist. At the press conference, Mika said the following:
“I have a lot of new songs written especially for me in America… <snip> If we had millions, we would not be interested in the Eurovision. We would have filmed the expensive video, paid for the rotations in Europe – that is how we would like to achieve popularity in Europe. And now financially ready to support me are not Ukrainians but Americans.”
Umm…as an American, I feel like I speak for many here when I say, “Oooh sure, good luck with that.”