Ukraine (semi 1) - Barry Tsai

Vidbir Seli final 1 kicked off the Ukraine selection process with 8 acts competing for 3 places in the final.

The expert jury remains unchanged from last year consist of Jamala, Andriy Danylko (Verka Serduchka) and Yevhen Filatov and after brief introductions we're underway with the first act. 

The Hypnotunez -'Hey' (English)  kick off the show with their punk/jazz/swing offering.

The opening strains put me in mind of UK band Madness and the performance is energetic and worthy of its place in the semi final.

Letay "Myla moya" 

Circus themed staging sees Letay in the role of circus master joined onstage by a young girl on a giant globe and a unicyclist amongst others.  The staging is effective and the vocal performances solid.

Vera Kekelia "Wow!"     

Dressed in a discarded white fur and gold sequin dress, Vera delivers another sold vocal performance but the 'oh wow wow' bar room Jazz song is far too repetitive for my ears and not being a Jazz fan, not to my taste.

TseSho "Hate" 

Describing themselves as a Social rave band TseSho's staging is striking and polished.  The Art rock indie song it is sufficiently unusual and likely to polarize voters that it has the potential to either do very well or crash and burn.  pardon the obvious pun but you'll either love it or hate it! 

Yuko "Galyna guliala" 

Not for me, this one. Two piece band Yuli Yurina (vocals) and Stas Korolyov (electronics) deliver a rather uninspiring electronic pop offering that plods along and goes nowhere. 

Maruv "Siren Song" 

From the opening bars it is clear that this is going to be a polished performance and Maruv doesn't disappoint on that front,  the song is nothing particularly special, however style will probably prevail over substance and see this through to the final.

 Brunettes Shoot Blondes "Houston" 

The US indie college band vibe I get from this makes it seem oddly out of place in this contest.  The whole performance revolves around showcasing how clever the self built multi instrumental piano is - perhaps they should have worked as hard on the song which is painfully dull.                                                                       

Bahroma "Nazavzhdy-Navsegda"

Nice 'Police' sounding opening develops into a slow haunting electro pop tune set to minimalist staging. The reparative hook sticks in the brain but the song overall lacks impact.


The 50/50 Jury tele vote split saw the following 3 artists advance to the final:

Yuko "Galyna guliala" 

Maruv "Siren Song"

Brunettes Shoot Blondes "Houston"