This weekend is Ukraine's Vidbir, where the nation will decide its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
With a condensed format compared to previous years, this edition of the national final will include eight acts who are vying for the crown.
The voting results will be 50% from the jury panel and 50% from the Ukrainian public vote.
The songs competing - ranked by the Aussievision team
Here are the artists and songs competing in the national final, with the Aussievision team's rankings.
8. Barleben - 'Hear My Words' (16 points)
Highs: 6 points from Steve
Lows: 1 point from Cooper, Kyriakos, Emma, Fleur, Hugo, Dale, and Hayley
Barleben and his track 'Hear My Words' was a last minute replacement of another competing song. Just hours after the artists for Vidbir were announced, Laud was disqualified from competing due to a video of his track being performed before September 1st 2021. This meant the song would be ineligible to compete at Eurovision 2022.
Barleben's ballad was not received well by the Aussievision team, nor the bookies as he is currently tied last in the odds to win Vidbir.
7. Wellboy - 'Nozzy Bossy' (41 points)
Highs: 10 points from Kyriakos, 8 points from Cooper and Dale
Lows: 1 point from Steve and Tim, 2 points from Hugo
Wellboy is an up and coming artist who is on the rise in the Ukrainian music industry. He third on the X Factor Ukraine in 2019 where he became a favourite of show judge, Andriy Danylko (better known to Eurovision fans as Verka Serduchka). Since the show, Wellboy has had some great success on the Ukrainian charts. Most notably, his song 'Husy' became a breakout hit. 'Nozzy Bossy' was the last entry to be released for Vidbir and contains similar sounds to Wellboy's previous discography.
6. Michael Soul - 'Demons' (54 points)
Highs: 12 points from Hugo and Hayley, 8 points from Emma
Lows: 1 point from Craig, 2 points from Kyriakos and Steve
Michael Soul is no stranger to Eurovision national finals. Originally from Belarus, he previously attempted to represent his home nation in 2019. Michael was a fan favourite with his entry 'Humanise' which finished 4th in the Belarusian final. Now living in Kyiv, Michael is throwing his hat into the ring to represent Ukraine. This dark-pop, EDM infused track polarised the Aussievision team and is currently sitting mid-table in the odds to win Vidbir 2022.
Comments from the team
"I love Michael's voice, and this song is so unique. The verses build so nicely and hauntingly, it makes you want more and listen intently, and I like the EDM type beat and those layered vocals give an ethereal feel. Really interested to see what they do on stage with this." ~ Hugo
"Wow this song really has some impact and is so well produced, I can see this at Eurovision. It is dark, and moody and has loads of bass which is always a big tick from me. I think they need to take a bit off the beginning of the song as it takes too long to build.I am interested to see what they would do with the staging on this one." ~ Hayley
5. Our Atlantic - 'Moya Lyubov' (60 points)
Highs: 12 points from Steve, 10 points from Dale and Tim
Lows: 2 points from Cooper, Emma and Hayley, 3 points from Kyriakos and Hugo
Our Atlantic is an indie-pop group coming from Uman in Central Ukraine. The band includes graduates from Demuts’kiy Uman Regional Musical College. Before Vidbir, the group released their debut EP 'Час розваг' and mini-album 'Pillows'. Their entry for the national final 'Moya Lyubov' (which translates to 'My Love') is a feel-good pop number that shows off the band's personality.
Comments from the team
"This indie-pop number spoke to me the most of the eight entries, possibly because of its retro - dare I say “funky” - vibe and sound. I was also humming along by the two-minute mark, a sure sign that the melody sticks with you." ~ Steven
4. Cloudless - 'All Be Alright' (61 points)
Highs: 12 points from Tim, 10 points from Steve and Hugo
Lows: 3 points from Emma, Fleur and Dale, 4 points from Cooper and Craig
Cloudless are previous Vidbir participants having rose to fame during the 2020 edition of the contest. Their last attempt just missed out on the final when they placed 5th in their semi-final. Luckily for Cloudless, this smaller sized Vidbir means they'll not need to worry about qualifying. The bands entry, 'All Be Alright' is an 80s inspired rock number that will sure rock to roof during the show.
Comments from the team
"Perhaps it’s a slight bias towards the ‘rockier’ entry but this feels like it’s the most complete package of a song. I feel like this is the one that would stand out most in Turin and be the most competitive performance that Ukraine could offer. It’s a good rock song that hooks you in and sticks with me after an initial listening. With some decent vocals and stand out performance on Saturday, it should do well." ~ Tim
3. Alina Pash - 'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors' (68 points)
Highs: 12 points from Craig and Fleur, 10 points from Cooper and Emma
Lows: 2 points from Dale, 3 points from Steve and Hayley
Alina Pash was a name many Eurovision fans have wished to compete at Vidbir. Alina has received international acclaim and has won many European music awards including a Music Moves Europe Talents Award. 'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors' might has missed out on the top spot in the Aussievision ranking but the entry is a huge local fan favourite. Currently Alina is sitting at the top of the betting odds comfortably at 1.51.
Comments from the team
"This is powerful and moving, and I suspect it will go to another level live. There's a real mournful edge to it, in a way that recalls Jamala's 1944. Given the geopolitical situation at the moment, Ukraine sending something in this vein could create a real moment on-stage in May." ~ Craig
"This is different. There is a lot going on here but it works. I like ethnic sound of this, although it took a while for me to grasp the rap parts. The sentiment is what won me over." ~ Fleur
2. Roxolana - 'GIRLZZZ' (72 points)
Highs: 10 points from Fleur and Hayley, 8 points from Cooper, Kyriakos, Dale and Tim
Lows: 4 points from Steve and Hugo
Roxolana is a new name on the Ukrainian music scene. After recently competing in The Voice Ukraine, she was signed to Mamamusic label which manages some of the nations biggest acts. 'GIRLZZZ' is Roxolana's first major single and its another fan-favourite going into the competition. As shown with the Aussievision rankings, this is definitely one of the more well-liked tracks in this years Vidbir with none of the team placing her in their bottom two.
1. Kalush Orchestra - 'Stefania' (87 points)
Highs: 12 points from Cooper, Kyriakos, Emma and Dale, 10 points from Craig
Lows: 2 points from Fleur, 3 points from Tim
The Kalush Orchestra hails from the town of the same name. The group creates modern rap and hip-hop tracks with influences from ancient Ukrainian music. The band consists of rapper Ole Psyuk, DJ Kylymen, backing artist Dzhonni Dyvnii, instrumentalists Vitalii Duzhyk and Tymofii Muzychuk as well as Ihor Didenchuk. Eurovision fans may know Ihor as he was a a flutist with GO_A and performed with the group on-stage at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam. Their track 'Stefania' has received a lot of praise from the Aussievision team and fans alike. Local bookies have the band in the 2nd best odds of the competition just under Alina Pash.
Comments from the team
"This song is everything I love about Ukrainian Eurovision entries. 'Stefania' is a mashup of ethnic sounds and instruments with a modern production which creates a distinctly Ukrainian sound that always stands out at the contest. This song is easily one of the best we've heard so far this national final season and I can't wait to see it come to life on stage." ~ Cooper
"Kalush Orchestra has the most engaging song out of the line up from Ukraine. I love the traditional elements, flute and rapping all mashed together. It's a bloody catchy track!!" ~ Kyriakos
"I love how 'Stefania' fuses hip hop with more traditional sounding elements so we are left with something current that still sounds authentically Ukrainian. The chorus is an earworm and I love the flute? drop. This has grown on me more after each listen and I'd love to see it in Turin." ~ Emma
"Another example of Ukraine getting a great mix of traditional and contemporary. That folk-inspired chorus is fantastic and although rap isn't always my favourite at Eurovision, this works well." ~ Dale
The Running Order
The running order for the Final is as follows:
Cloudless - 'All Be Alright'
Michael Soul - 'Demons'
Our Atlantic - 'Moya Lyubov'
Barleben - 'Hear My Words'
Roxolana - 'GIRLZZZ'
Kalush Orchestra - 'Stefania'
Wellboy - 'Nozzy Bossy'
Alina Pash - 'Shadows of Forgotten Accentors'
Hosts, Venue, Crowd and Special Guests
The final of Vidbir will be hosted by Masha Efrosinina and Timur Miroshnychenko. Masha is a television presenter as well as host of the 50th Eurovision Song Contest back in 2005 when Ukraine first hosted in Kyiv. Timur is another television presenter as well as being the green-room host at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in 2017 when it was in hosted in Kyiv.
This years edition of Vidbir is moving to a new venue. The production will be held in the NAU Center of Culture and Arts located in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The current Ukrainian Covid-19 restrictions allow the show to have a live audience in the venue.
Half of the points will come from the jury panel who will be watching the show live. The three members of the jury include; singer, songwriter and TV presenter Tina Karol, Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne's board member Yaroslav Lodygin, and Ukrainian Eurovision winner Jamala. Alongside the competing artists, a few interval acts are planned to fill out the shows runtime which is scheduled to go for just under four hours. One act performing is Ukraine's 2021 representatives GO_A, who have been spotted rehearsing in the NAU Centre.
How To Watch
The Final of Vidbir 2022 will take place on the morning of Sunday February 12 (Australian time) and can be watched online via Facebook, Youtube or the public broadcasters website UA:FIRST The show will begin at:
5:30pm, Sat Feb 11, Central European Time
2:30am AEST (QLD)
3:30am AEDT (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC)
To keep updated and get all the latest Vidbir news; find us @aussievisionnet!