The Ukraine is back in the ESC! After a pause of a year due to the political situation in the Ukraine, one of the strongest contenders is back. There has been an ornate national final organized by the Ukrainian broadcaster NTU. One of the jury members was Andrej Danilko alias Verka Seduchka (“Lasha Tumbai” 2nd place, Helsinki 2007). The lucky winner was Jamala with her outstanding song “1944”. This is an almost political song about the deportations of the Crimea Tartars in the year 1944, which has been initialized by Stalin. A quite tough topic for a Eurovision entry.
Jamala was born in Osch, nowadays Kyrgyzstan in 1983. Her family was deported to Kyrgyzstan in 1944, that’s why she grew up there, she has an Armenian mother. Early she started to study music: piano and opera singing. In her career she participated in several festivals including the New Wave 2009 contest and the Jurmala festival (Latvia) and received many awards. In 2011 she already tried to participate in the national Ukrainian final with the song “Smile” where she came 3rd.
The song “1944” opens a dark chapter of Ukrainian history, when Crimea Tartars have been deported to other places in Russia. As Jamala is a child of those deported people it affects her personally and you can hear this sadness in her song. Jamala has composed this song by herself. It’s an electro-soul song with ethnic elements. The song is very unusual and special and it tells a true story from the past. Knowing the lyrics make this song even more powerful.
This is the dark horse in Stockholm which will get a lot of attention.
Top 10: 8
Chance for Top 10 placing: 62 %
The Ukraine is participating for the 13th time at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Like no other country the Ukraine belongs to the most successful countries in recent history, the Ukraine has always qualified for the Grand Final and there were eight Top10 rankings including one big victory.
The debut year has been back in 2003 when “Hasta la vista” by Olexandr reached a 14th rank. Only one year later Ruslana impressed Europe with her “Wild Dances”, she won the ESC immediately with her sweeping energy. After that Kiev hosted the 50th anniversary contest – a wonderful show indeed. Having the Eastern European countries in the ESC has been criticised a lot in those years as other Western European countries suffering from low rankings and felt disadvantaged. But the new and bigger contests has brought wonderful songs with a lot of new inspiration to the contest. So it’s a truly benefit to open the contest to more and more countries. This has paid off a lot.