Preview: Electronic Rock or Elegant Folk Music for Ukraine?

(This post is in collaboration with ESCDaily)

With YouTube superstar Jerry Heil and electronic band Tvorchi, the Ukranian national final Vidbir has two big names in its line-up. Both of them, however, might be surprised by Krut and her elegant folk song “99”. Who will represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam?

Tvorchi – “Bonfire”

Let’s begin with the top favorite. Tvorchi is a popular duo in Ukraine and has a catchy song, fitting with the electronical style that the band is well known for. The understated instrumental chorus gives the song an interesting modern touch. Tvorchi also won both the jury vote and the televote in its semi final, though it must be noted that this was the weaker semi final of the two.

Jerry Heil – “Vegan”

YouTube star Jerry Heil was the big favorite before the competition. However, she seems to have made the common Eurovision mistake of wanting to do everything at once. In order to tell the story of her vegan lifestyle, Jerry starts her performance walking out of a refrigerator. A nice touch, but soon followed by eccentric clothing, hairstyles and backing dancers inexplicably dressed as elves. The composition, too, goes into many different directions with both dubstep and bhangra influences.

Still it must be noted that the professional jury loves Jerry Heil. She is no longer top favorite, but could still come very close to the ticket to Rotterdam.

Krut – “99”

Arguably, this would be the best potential song for Eurovision. Krut, a former The Voice participant, sings a quiet and elegant folksy tune while playing the bandura, a traditional Ukranian instrument. Nice lyrics, beautiful visuals in the backdrop and overall an entry with a strong sense of urgency. Also, Krut won the stronger first semi final with jury and televoting support. The question is whether those two votes will hold up in the Grand Final against Tvorchi.

Go_A – “Solovey”

Interesting traditional percussion song in the style of “Voda” (Bulgaria 2007). Surprised friend and foe in the strong first semi final. “Solovey” lacks support from the Ukranian jury (especially Tina Karol did not like it). However, Go_A could surprise if they manage to get a huge televote.

David Axelrod – “Horizon”

“Horizon” is a big classical ballad with good vocals. In the staging we see the wings from Belarus 2020 used for different purposes. The song, however, lacks originality and would have been a non-qualifier if Vidbir used 100% televoting. Not a potential winner for Saturday.

KHAYAT – “Call for love”

“Call for love” is an interesting modern urban composition. Unfortunately the vocals were lacking in the semi final performance. Nevertheless, KHAYAT finished second with juries and televoters behind Tvorchi. However I do not think this will hold up in a stronger participants field.

Tvorchi top favorite, Krut or Jerry Heil could still surprise

The Ukranian professional jury tends to favor the bigger names in the competition. If they do so again on Saturday, Tvorchi is the obvious choice for their top points. This would put Krut, a relative newcomer, at a slight disadvantage. In the end, however, it will all depend on the televoting which is difficult to predict. Even Jerry Heil, whose televote result was disappointing in the semi final, might still mobilize her huge online fan base.

Who do you think will win Vidbir and represent Ukraine at Eurovision this year?

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