Review 15:15 18 May 2021

From 2003 until now: what Ukraine is best remembered for at Eurovision

18 травня починається Євробачення. Цьогоріч Україну представляє група Go_A, але ми вирішили нагадати, які виконавці представляли нас з найпершого конкурсу

Eurovision starts on May 18th. This year Ukraine is represented by the Go_A group, but we decided to remind you which performers represented us from the very first competition.

For the first time, Ukraine went to Eurovision in 2003, when Oleksandr Ponomariov went to represent compatriots in Riga with the song "Hasta la Vista, Baby" and got 14th place.


In 2004, a young performer, Ruslana, went to the competition. The singer lit the stage and got the well-deserved first place. Next year the Eurovision was to be held in Ukraine.


And so it happened, and the GreenJolly performed in their homeland in 2005. The performance "at home" with the Orange Revolution anthem "Razom nas bahato," translated into English and not mentioning Yushchenko, took 19th place. The Greeks won.


In 2006, Tina Karol performed in Athens and took 7th place both in the semifinals and the final. For the 21-year-old performer, it was a genuine breakthrough, because, although the singer entered the business a long time ago, the little-known pseudonym at that time appeared just a year before the trip to the competition.


For the next two years, Ukraine received 2nd place. Verka Serduchka's dazzling performance in 2007 caused a sensation in the world and wasn't without scandals: the words of the song "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" were understood by the audience as "Russia goodbye" and Andrii Danilko was accused of being a Russophobe, and the performer himself was mistaken for a transgender.


2008. Ani Lorak went to Eurovision, and it wasn't also without scandals. The acting head of the National TV and Radio Company of Ukraine Vasyl Ilashchuk said that Dima Bilan's victory at the Eurovision-2008 resulted from falsifications and later announced that he intended to sue the Russian state channel "Rossiya," which broadcast the contest to Ukraine via satellite and demand "Rossiya" to be deprived of the right to broadcast on the territory of Ukraine.


The next Eurovision-2009 was held in Russia. Svitlana Loboda performed with the song "Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)." The list of those who helped Loboda includes many well-known names throughout Ukraine and even the world: the show's creative producer was Alan Badoiev, the choreographer was Olena Koliadenko, the Freedom ballet performed with the singer, and the Circus Du Soleil experts taught Svitlana their tricks.


In 2010, Alyosha's touching song about the destructive influence of man on the Earth, "Sweet People," with an appeal touched many viewers. We entered the 10 winners, taking the last place in this top.


In 2011, Mika Newton performed in Dusseldorf, which again almost led Ukraine to victory. One of the few numbers in which the choreography was replaced with the performance by artist Kseniya Simonova, who painted a picture of sand on a moving canvas. Mika Newton rose from 6th place in the semifinals to 3 in the final, but the victory went to Azerbaijan.


In 2012, Gaitana went to Azerbaijan, the composition "Be My Guest" brought Ukraine 13th place.


In Swedish Malmö in 2013, Zlata Ognevich performed as a forest nymph with the song "Gravity," similar to the soundtrack from the Disney cartoon, just like Zlata herself looks like a princess. The spectacular and colorful performance brought Ukraine 3rd place.


Mariia Yaremchuk's "Tick-Tock" took 6th place in 2014. That year, the victory went to Thomas Neuwirth as Conchita Wurst. Only one artist participated in the dance. The choreography was created by Francisco Gomez, one of the most fashionable representatives of the dance industry.


In 2015, Ukraine didn't participate in Eurovision at all because of financial difficulties, but in 2016, we returned to the stage with renewed vigor. The return was epic: Jamala performed with the song "1944," relevant for Ukraine, about the fate of the Crimean Tatars. Russia tried to disqualify the Ukrainian singer, calling her song political, which contradicts the terms of the competition. Jamala won because of a change in the rules; if before the winner was chosen only by the audience, then in 2016, they also added points from the jury, which "saved" Ukraine.


In 2017, Ukraine welcomed guests again. Many people call Eurovision-2017 one of the most scandalous for the entire time of the competition: the SBU banned the entry of the Russian participant Yulia Samoilova because of her performance in Crimea without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities. It's the first case in the competition's history. Even the representatives of the European Broadcasting Union couldn't convince the organizers. But the Bulgarian singer, who also performed in Crimea, Christian Kostov, didn't experience the same fate. In Kyiv, O.Torvald represented us with the song "Time," but the Portuguese won the victory, and we remained in 24th place, Ukraine's worst result in all the show's years.


  1. 2018. Performer Melovin. From the very beginning, the performance was terrifying. Before Eurovision, the artist's fans began to send threatening letters to the judges, hoping that they would rule in Melovin's favor, but it didn't help. The song "Under the Ladder," in which the actor performed as a vampire, took 17th place.


In 2019, we didn't make it to the semifinals. MARUV represented Ukraine with the song "Siren Song." And again a scandal, but not a political one. The performer was nicknamed the BDSM singer because of the dances bordering on eroticism in the latex suit. But MARUV turned everything in her direction, later making the shocking image her schtick.


In 2020, something happened that no one expected. Because of the pandemic, Eurovision wasn't held for the first time. An alternative was the online concert "Eurovision Song Celebration," where the group Go_A, selected at the Ukrainian competition, performed — a nuclear mixture of Ukrainian folk and electro. The competition itself had to be postponed until the next year.


Only the song the band will be performing has changed since last year. In 2021, instead of "Solovey," Go_A will perform with the song "SHUM," and of course we all hope for their victory.



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