Out of 20 entries, the Ukrainians have determined the perfect match for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in December last year. The winner is called Zlata Ognevich with the song “Gravity” which has been a victory of SMS votes and juries. It is her third attempt to get the popular ticket to the ESC for representing her country in front of more than 100 million TV spectators.
Zlata was born in Murmansk, Russia, moved to the Ukraine with her family, where she grew up in Sudak, Crimea, where she spend an unspoilt childhood and enjoyed the nature, the mountains, the sea and the music. She has Serbian and Italian roots, which might good signs of an international career especially at the ESC. In the age of 18 she moved to Kiev to become a professional singer, she studied her pop vocal skills at a music college, and Jazz at the institute of music.
The 27 years old singer has gained valuable experiences in The State Song and Dance Ensemble for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where she still performs as a soloist, as well as singing whole soundtracks for movies. Zlata has already tried to enter the ESC twice before: Tiny Island” in 2010, which reached the 5th rank and “The Kokoschka” in 2011, which came 2nd. This year the Ukrainian entry has been composed by Mikhail Nekrasov also co-written the Ukrainian entry 2006 “Show Me Your Love” by Tina Carol, which made a respectable 8th rank, Mikhail has also arranged the ethnic parts in the winning entry “Wild Dances” by Ruslana 2004.
The song “Gravity” has received the typical “facelift” to bring it in a very good international standard. We can expect a modern and catchy, also fascinating song by a beautiful singer, who has received several prices like “Best Voice of the Ukraine 2011” or “Person of the Year 2010”. The video clip looks a bit like the world of “Avatar”, greatly made with butterflies like the official ESC logo. With a good choreography and stage illumination – which is Ukrainian standard – this song is a definite qualifier and even more a hot favourite in Malmö.
Biggest success: 1x 1st place “Wild Dances” by Ruslana, 2x 2nd place 2007 “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Verka Serduchka, 2008 “Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak, 1x 4th place, 1x 7th place, 1x 10th place
The Ukraine is participating for the 11th time at the Eurovision Song Contest. Like no other country the Ukraine belongs to the most successful countries in recent history. The debut year has been back in 2003 when “Hasta la vista” by Olexandr reached a 14th rank.
Only one year later Ruslana enthused 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 ranks, but it 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 year there will be 39 countries participating in Malmö. At the end East and West is almost half – half concerning the voting. Luckily the Ukraine is shaping up very well, out of eleven participations there were six Top 10 entries! The most striking songs were “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Verka Serduchka in 2007 (2nd), “Be my Valentine” by Svetlana Loboda in 2009 (10th) and “Angel” by Mika Newton in 2011 (4th).