Ukraine have a perfect qualification record at Eurovision, and in their fairly short history of the contest, have won twice. That’s not to mention the handful of Top 5 results, so it’s safe to say they are a force at Eurovision. This year it was up to the group Go_A to continue that streak of good results with their song Solovey.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
On paper, this is a song that I would really enjoy. It has a lot of ethnic flair, strong instrumentals and an overall cultural feel about it. In reality, I genuinely cannot stand this song. Since selected, I’ve only listened to this once in full, and now will be the second time I struggle through for the sake of this review.
The song begins beautifully. The instrumentals are fantastic, and the atmosphere the song brings is great. The vocals hit, and that’s where I can’t get on board with this song. Her voice is piercing, and so harsh to the ears. It reminds me a lot of Bulgaria’s entry in 2007, which still to my surprise did as well as it did, but is probably my least favourite Eurovision entry of all time.
I can’t necessarily tell if i’m a majority or minority in this opinion. Some people really love this song, and others are on the same page as me, and I don’t know if anyone really sits in the middle. In a sense, it makes it hard to tell whether this would have qualified. Would juries really go for this? I don’t know. Would the public vote for this? I don’t know.
Act and Performance
The stage performance I have less negative things to say, as I think it was really strong on camera. The colours and lighting really worked, and I think it would have translated well to the Eurovision stage. The pyro guitar is probably overkill, but it’s Eurovision after all.
Next Up: 2021
Look, it’s only fair that the acts chosen this year are re-selected next year, but chances are, I won’t like their song for 2021. That’s down to the fact that I don’t find her voice enjoyable to listen to, so it won’t really matter what the song is, I don’t know if i’d be able to get on board. I’m happy to be proven wrong. A strong visual performance as it was in this year’s national selection may sway me slightly, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Song and Vocals
Right from the first listen I labeled ‘Solovey’ as ‘Pali Sei 2.0’. The same style of singing, which is very dependable on personal taste, added with a better beat and interesting rhythm. The Polish song of 2019 nearly made it to the final, so clearly there is a target audience for this type of music.
Performance and Act
The performance of Go_A was suiting what you can expect with this song. A bit static, the most movements came from the cameras themselves. Overall it was a credible performance for me, nothing bad I can say about that.
Next up: 2021
UA:PBC, the Ukrainian national broadcaster, has confirmed that GO_A will represent Ukraine at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. So what can we expect? Will they take a completely different approach? The song ‘Solovey’ is one in a risky genre. It is a love or hate entry. Which works out well in a competition. But it remains a risk because if more people hate it, than love it, it might even fail to qualify. Something Ukraine never had to face in their Eurovision past.
I know there are people who utterly disliked the Ukrainian song, like people did with the Polish song in 2019 as well. However, especially in eastern Europe, there is also a big audience for this genre. That’s why I think Ukraine would have come close to maintaining their qualification streak in 2020. Ah well, another song that we will forever have a discussion about.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.410
What do you think of Solovey? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.