Junior Eurovision 2020 – Ukraine
Finishing firmly in 6th place amongst the Aussievision team in our Junior Eurovision 2020 rankings is Ukraine!
Get details of the song plus our individual rankings and comments below.
Oleksandr Balabanov – ‘Vidkryvai (Open Up)’ (Відкривай)
It is a case of third time lucky for Oleksandr Balabanov. The 14-year-old from Kyiv has been chosen to represent Ukraine at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest after featuring previously in the 2018 and 2019 national selection. 70 eligible JESC entries were submitted to Ukraine’s Public broadcaster UA this year, a jury narrowing the field to 11 for an online national final. Oleksandr received five of the eight possible jury votes and came fourth in the public vote.
His song ‘Vidkryvai’, meaning ‘Open Up’ matches the slogan for the cancelled 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. Oleksandr started playing music at the age of four, and takes inspiration from British modern soul band Jungle, and Michael Jackson. He is a winner and laureate of close to forty national and international vocal competitions. He also becomes Ukraine’s first male singer in Junior Eurovision since 2009.
The Aussievision Team Rankings
Fleur - 1st
Ruby - 2nd
Wade - 2nd
Dale - 4th
Cooper - 5th
Ford - 6th
Liv - 6th
Emma - 6th
Kyriakos - 7th
Mike - 9th
Hugo - 10th
Laura - 10th
Ally - 12th
The Georgia of JESC. I really like this but I don’t know if has enough JESC appeal to win. I like Oleksander's voice and the song has some very interesting layers. Although it is too arty for the audience I think. ~ Fleur
Wow! This song has such a vibe. In my mind the undisputed best vocals of the year. Oleksandr is effortlessly cool but will need heavy jury support to get over the line, as I doubt it will get much love from televoters. ~ Wade
A really mature song here. I actually believe this teen love story which is more than I can say for many entries at Eurovision. Well produced with a really challenging vocal – can he pull it off? If so it will get some jury love. ~ Dale
Ukraine this year is a personal favourite. The song keeps up the engagement with production changes throughout. Oleksandr's vocals really come out in the chorus with that almost guttural note he hits. ‘Vidkryvai’ is a unique entry this year will stand out in the contest. ~ Cooper
This sounds like a retro / indie vibe, and every time I listen to it, it goes higher and higher in my rankings. Maybe it’ll have reached number one by the time this gets published ~ Ford
This kid has some range and will certainly turn the heads of the juries. Out of the solo males I think Oleksandr has the strongest vocal and song, the Ukraine also has a strong track record for visuals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go high. ~ Liv
Standing out as one of only two male vocalists in this year’s competition, Oleksandr’s vocal range blew me away. At first I thought this was a female vocalist and was amazed when the deeper voice kicked in. I found this track really interesting but probably too mature sounding for Junior Eurovision. Would love to see him at Eurovision one day though. ~ Emma Similar to last year Ukraine present a very interesting song with some real indie vibes in the writing and production. The vocal range required here will give Oleksandr has some real challenges for this to totally land. If he can manage it, I could imagine some juries going for this. ~ Mike
'Vidkryvai' is really jazzy and a bit experimental, and it’s very unique. The song lacks the immediacy of some other songs here and I fear it will struggle to get attention, particularly from the televote. The vocal also sounds like it could be tricky to land but if he does pull it off, this risk could pay off for Ukraine (at least on the jury side of the equation). ~ Laura
Nice contemporary sound, and impressive use of falsetto and the slight raspiness as well; no English needed to understand the meaning behind this one. ~ Hugo
I’m not really a fan of this song, but I’m not 100% sure why. I think it’s just not my type of song. I just find it too slow and boring. Sorry Ukraine. ~ Ally
Ukraine at Junior Eurovision
Ukraine has not missed a Junior Eurovision, competing every year since its 2006 debut. The country has featured in the Top 10 nine times, been runner up twice, and taken out the title once in 2012. Anastasiya Petryk claimed victory with the song ‘Nebo’. Most recently, Sophia Ivanko finished in 15th in the 2019 contest, collecting 59 points for her song ‘The Spirit of Music’.
‘The entry’ and ‘Ukraine at Junior Eurovision’ written by Wade
Aussievision Team's Junior Eurovision 2020 rankings
6th place - Ukraine - Oleksandr Balabanov – ‘Vidkryvai (Open Up)’ (Відкривай) 7th place - Poland - Ala Tracz - ‘I’ll Be Standing’ 8th place - Malta - Chanel Monseigneur – ‘Chasing Sunsets’
9th place - Georgia - Sandra Gadelia – ‘You Are Not Alone’
10th place - Russia - Sofia Feskova – ‘My New Day’
11th place - Germany - Susan - ‘Stronger With You’
12th place - Serbia - Petar Aničić - ‘Heartbeat’
Check out: 'Junior Eurovision Song Contest over the decade'
'Junior Eurovision stars that have leaped into the Eurovision Song Contest'