Last Saturday saw the first of 2 Vidbir semi finals take place in Ukraine. With one new judge and some returning acts, it certainly did not disappoint. Again STB broadcast the show in partnership with the national broadcaster UA:PBC.
This semi final took place at the Palace of culture ‘KPI’. As usual, the 3 acts with top combined scores from the jury and tele-voting public were sent through to the grand final on the 24th of February. The acts that went through from last night, complete with the scores were as follows:
|Semi-final 1 – 10 February 2018|
|2||Serhiy Babkin||“Kriz tvoyi ochi”||8||8,99%||4||12||5|
Vilna topped the televote with her song ‘Forest Song’ and Laud topped the jury vote with his song waiting.
Laud – Waiting (1st overall)
The overall package of this song (sound, looks, voice) looks as though it has been modelled on, or influenced by Robin Bengtsson. Laud is extremely talented, as he is able to sing and play an instrument at the same time. This a mix of contemporary and pop, which is extremely high quality for a song in the Ukrainian selection. The staging has an extremely modern feel to it. If this ended up winning in Ukraine, I feel as though this would carry on Ukraine’s 100% automatic qualification record. His casual look of all black suit with a white shirt went well with the casual tone of the song and staging.
The Erised – Heroes (2nd overall)
The female soloist in this song is extremely strong and powerful all the way through the song, and keeps the momentum going right the way through until the end. She has a small Mika Newton vibe about her. She is wearing a pastel blue jump suit with lots of bling. The male instrument players make the song sound complete. This song has a military drum sound running throughout. Staging however was a bit of a let down on this song.
Vilna – Forest Song (3rd overall)
Very earthy feel coming from Vilna. Great use of Ukrainian drums to keep that earthy feel going throughout the song. Vocals are excellent. Outfit and overall look resembles an earthy and ethnic look that matches the song. She is essentially a free spirit and is portraying that in the song and on stage really well.
Pur:Pur – Fire (4th overall)
It is a shame that these guys got knocked out so early on in the competition this year. The female lead singer kept her iconic head piece, and HUGE earrings which must be a trademark for the band. Her voice is still the same as last year, high pitched, but works well with the tone of the song. A huge improvement on last year. She is wearing long floaty dress which is see-through in parts with black dots all over it. This is what we have come to expect from Pur:Pur.
Serhiy Babkin – Kriz Tvoyi Ochi (5th overall)
Another returning act for Vidbir. Serhiy’s voice is really weak in this song, which is of the ballad genre, though again, it is a much needed improvement on last year’s performance. He is wearing an all white suit and the microphone stand is covered in red. However, he struggled to reach the high notes and hold the notes in this song, which may have cost him a place in the grand final in just under 2 weeks time.
Kazka – Dyva (6th overall)
Another great use of ethnic instruments from Kazka, however, the female voice wasn’t powerful at all, and certainly seemed to struggle at times. The sound of the song and the look of the staging was good, maybe some more voice training to reach the high notes would help. The female soloist is wearing a red floaty dress which compliments the feel of the song well.
Constantine – Misto (7th overall)
Not a bad song from the debuting soloist. However, he could improve the structure of the song, the sound and his voice were ok, but the structure let him down, there was never any build up or anything within this song. This a cross between contemporary and pop but more on the pop side. Sometimes the heavy drum beats drown him out, and you are unable to him. He is dressing to the feel of the song by wearing a smart/casual all grey suit.
Kozak system – Mamai (8th overall)
WOW! The song made me dizzy because of the camera work within the 5 seconds. It is almost as though they are going for an Austin Powers vibe with this song. NOTHING works within it at all, none of the voices, the costumes, the looks, the staging, nothing. The song was a mix of beats that don’t really fit into a genre. This would not have gone down well at Eurovision at all.
The VYO – Ng’a-Ng’a (9th overall)
This is a well composed SKA Reggae song, but not one that belongs in Eurovision sadly. At least with this song, everything from the performer, the outfit, the voice and the staging (was very colourful) works well together. The performer is able to hit all the notes as there is no real power in this song. This is more of a fun song rather than a serious contender.