With Ukraine hosting Eurovision for the 2nd time, in preparation, we’ve decided to look back on all the Ukrainian entries to pick our top 5! Keep reading to see who makes our list, and make sure to comment down below to tell us who you have in your top 5!
5. Alyosha – Sweet People
Rounding out our top 5 is the 2010 Ukrainian entry, titled Sweet People and sung by Alyosha. Originally, Vasyl Lazarovych was selected with the song I Love You, however was then announced to not be the participant. Through all the confusion, a national final was held, and Alyosha was the eventual winner. Her original song called To Be Free was accused of plagiarism, so days after, the song Sweet People was released as the official Eurovision 2010 entry. Through all that drama, Sweet People was memorable, but dark entry which contrasted Ukraine’s usual upbeat pop entries. Alyosha remained on stage alone, which added to the themes of the song. The simplicity of the song allowed Alyosha’s voice to shine, and the message to be conveyed well. Overall, we think this is definitely worthy of a Top 5 position!
4. Mika Newton – Angel
Our number 4 spot goes to Ukraine’s 2011 entry, Angel by Mika Newton. Upon first listen, this song wasn’t that memorable, and extremely underrated. We can’t tell if it’s the sand artist, or the actual song, but the Eurovision performance proved to us that this was a song worth listening to again. Ukraine definitely made the right move in using the sand artist, as it was captivating for the entire 3 minutes. Mika also needs to be given some credit, for the confident vocal performance, especially on that final note of the song. It did better than I anticipated back in 2011, but has obviously grown on me over the years!
3. Verka Serduchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai
What’s the point of having a Top 5 Ukrainian entries if you aren’t going to include this nugget of Eurovision amazingness? Verka Serduchka is one of the most memorable performers to take to the Eurovision stage, and for good reason. The song is so over the top, ridiculous and mind boggling that you just have to like it. The dancing, the costumes, the disco balls – it’s just all SO Eurovision. The song has a bit of a political undertone (although, of course, this is denied), but for an act like this, it’s all about the stage performance which Ukraine absolutely slayed.
2. Ani Lorak – Shady Lady
Back on a more serious note, in 2008, Ukraine was represented by Ani Lorak and the song Shady Lady. Not only did it come 2nd in the Grand Final of Eurovision 2008, but it’s also coming 2nd on our list. This song is just all round pop greatness. Ani Lorak is a confident singer, and when mixed with a killer pop song, and some intriguing lightbox props makes for a memorable performance which the fans still rave about. Europe loves it, and we still love it.
1. Jamala – 1944
This brings us to our number 1. Our Ukrainian favourite has to be Jamala with her 2016 winning song 1944. This song evokes so many emotions within the 3 minute performance. The staging is simple and dark, which pairs with the tone of the song. Her voice is incredibly unique, and her vocal technique can be seen right through the final chorus which is incredibly moving. Although I viewed it as a dark horse to take a win at the contest, on the night it delivered spectacularly, and that’s the reason it took the top spot.