Ukraine (Semi 1) - James Lindley

#1 : “Misto” Constantine

 At the beginning, there is not only one Constantine but seven on stage! The real one is in the middle and all the special effects disappear as he starts singing. This was the favourite of Filatov and third favourite for Jamala, but the televote made it end up in 6th place. It is a nice pop song to which Constantine gives a safe performance. He sings about a city, about the cities, but this time won’t be Lisbon.

#2 : "Kriz tvoyi ochi" Serhiy Babkin

Serhiy Babkin has been a judge in The Voice Ukraine since 2017. Probably the most experienced singer of this selection, he was Jamala’s favourite in this semi-final and ended up in 3rd place, missing the qualification due to the lower points received from the televote. He delivers his ballad with a very strong performance in a white and red stage. Would have done well in the final, had it qualified.

#4: "Dyva" Kazka

Kazka is a music duo from Ukraine announced in 2017 that took part in the Ukrainian X-factor 2017. Aleksandra and multi-instrumentalist Nikita are joined on stage by a third element and deliver their pleasant electro-folk song, about a girl that has a power to make the snow melt, with a confident and catchy performance. The background shows traditional signs and designs and this song, with some improvements, could have been a good addition to Lisbon’s 2018 playlist.

#5 : “Ng'a-Ng'a” The Vyo

Next on the non-qualifiers list for this semi-final is pop-reggae band The VYO. This band, active from 1991 until 2000 and back again since 2008, takes us to the Caribbean, in a very colourful stage and relaxed performance that makes Jamala stand up and dance. It is nice, but nothing more than nice… last place justified.

#6 : "Syla" Kozak System

Kozak System is a very well known rock band from Ukraine, formed in 2012, that has been traveling the World performing in several countries. The performance reminds us a bit of “Alcohol is free”, Greece 2013, and this is a very catchy song with lyrics in Ukrainian and English. The band is having a blast on stage. Second last place in this semi-final was somehow unfair.

#8 : "Fire" Pur:Pur

This Ukrainian indie-pop trio tried in 2016 to represent Ukraine in Stockholm, finishing up in 4th place and loosing to Jamala. This is such a good and well performed song, lifted by the amazing voice of the lead singer and the confident back singers, and it is a shame that they failed the qualification due to the televote, ending up tied in third with Serhiy and qualifier Vilna. One of the best songs, if not the best, from Vidbir 2018.

It is worth to watch again: https://youtu.be/UITvMADHILA?t=1m42s

 Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.