Kalush Orchestra – Stefania
If the current world situation were not happening, this would be a review shouting at UA:PBC for being complete dicks in their national final by allowing someone who may or may not have been in Crimea when she really shouldn’t have been not only enter but win the damn thing.
They promoted the runners-up who, then, promptly got forgotten about as the tanks rolled over the border and bombed the shit out of anything and everything in sight. The international community is up in arms and wants to be seen to be “doing the right thing” for Ukraine – chapeau. Making this a default winner out of sympathy is NOT the way for Eurovision to move forward. Those jurors who know their names are published mere nanoseconds after the final result will be scrutinised and checks made. The televoting public may well be suckered in by the fact these hardy souls have been shot at and bombed by aggressors, and I am putting a bet on now, that blue and yellow flags and stuff will be allowed on stage because the Contest will turn a blind eye.
If this wins, and I believe that’s likely, it will throw 2023 under the bus as well. UA:PBC literally has no where to hold it. The EBU won’t want 40 delegations descending on Kyiv or Lviv or, more likely, Warsaw any more than the Ukrainians want them to be in harm’s way. The EBU will horse trade for takers. The broadcasters will all pitch in and a venue found and, most likely, it’ll be a UA:PBC/EBU co-production.
We know why the song is still entered though and kudos for that, so what of it?
It starts and reminds me of Shum which is always a good thing – I suspect the band has tapped into that vibe when they saw how well it was done. It then drops a rap break with the rappers doing their thing in crocheted outfits and beeny hats. Its almost as though they have mixed Shum with Love City Groove in a weird way and I don’t know what I feel about writing that sentence let alone seeing it in glorious black and white. It also has tones of Rimi Rimi Ley which certainly is a bad thing.
In summary, it’s a mix of all the styles and all the things which appeal to Ukrainian audiences. Would it be so high up without the sympathy votes? Not so sure. It would have qualified from that first ballad-heavy semi-final.
It’s a danger but in the back of my mind is the nagging question of: “should this particular song really be here?”
Phil’s Score – 5 Points