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Ah, this is where it gets heavy. Ukraine’s 2017 Eurovision Entry.

May 12, 2017


The need to keep Eurovision “free from politics” is one of those impossible official mantras that won’t die – even though it can’t live.

Russia are not coming to Eurovision this year, because their singer Julia Samoilova did not obey official Ukrainian protocols when visiting Crimea in 2015 and is therefore barred from going to Kiev.  Ukraine, meanwhile, are hosting this year’s contest because they won last year in Stockholm with a song (1944) which reflected bitter wartime memories that triangulate Ukraine, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Ukraine will not win Eurovision with this song, and perhaps they couldn’t win it with any song.  Every nation in Europe knows that if Ukraine were to host the competition again in 2018 then Russia might well be absent again in 2018, a repeated absence that would hit the competition very hard.

As it happens, neither Ukraine nor Russia will host the 2018 Eurovision, which means that Eurovision will no longer be put in the position of glitzy cockpit of Europe’s most serious (Brexit notwithstanding) diplomatic crisis.  The crisis will continue but Eurovision will cease to be relevant to it.

And after all, there is a limit to what the European Broadcasting Union can actually do to enforce any settlement between militarised nation states and their territorial disputes.  The EBU may have access to dry ice, sequins, and brightly coloured lasers, but they don’t own a single aircraft carrier.

It is some relief, therefore, to discover that Ukraine’s song is drab and tiresome and highly unlikely to win a song contest even in a politically neutral environment ( albeit no such environment exists).

The video illustrates the kind of performance that can and presumably will be replicated on a live Kiev stage.

Ukrainian heavy-metal band O. Torvald offer a pompous meditation on the fourth dimension by inhabiting a a post-apocalyptic wasteland of a set.  Digital clocks are embedded into their living (or undead) flesh (or rather into the nylon flesh-coloured webbing they are wearing), so that you can tell exactly how long this thing is going to last.

This helpful information is about the only thing you’re going to like about this song, until the clocks stop at the one minute mark so that we can pause for reflection.  Mainly we’re going to reflect on how much we really dislike them.

I’m not an aficionado of Eurovision Heavy Metal, but I have to say I greatly prefer the gusto and hell for leather innocence of Lordi over the po-faced self importance of O. Torvald.   They are out of time.  They are not going to win, and so we’re not going to have to hear this again next year.

Here is every other Eurovision song, including the ones that have already been eliminated, nearly all of which I prefer to this Ukranian zombie apocalypse.

Here’s Italy:



And Spain:

Still, Spain is a better bet than the UK – unless Lucie Jones decides she actually WANTS to win and makes the obvious decision to sing in Welsh:

Israel, like, Spain, is to be found at the beach:

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

So you might prefer Macedonia:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

Belgium looks like a better bet:

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

And here’s Albania…


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