It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Prediction: Top 10
Prediction: Top 10
Results: 20th place, Final
Did Ukraine live up to expectations?
D: No, Ukraine did not live up to the expectations. But that’s a positive thing, because the expectations were not high. At least not the heights of what they actually reached in Rotterdam. I mean, for such a specific song in a genre not often played, to score a second place in the televote of the final, that is just amazing.
A: I agree. The benchmark for me was very low for Ukraine. I thought the song was incredibly divisive, and was never going to appease everyone, but I guess I was proven wrong. In the end, emerging as a televote favourite actually didn’t surprise me. The performance was one of my favourites of the year, with the nation really making the most of the staging. I really didn’t think Ukraine would manage such a high result coming into the contest, but with such a spectacular performance, it was well deserved.
How do you personally feel about the song for Ukraine at Eurovision 2021?
D: When I first heard the song, contrary to Solovey in 2020, I thought it was a messy composition. I couldn’t see it getting many points at Eurovision. However, when I saw the first rehearsal, I made a huge switch. Ukraine, like always, managed to stage their song in an amazing way, hooking everyone watching the act to their screens. When I saw an older man in the press center hopping along to the song, I knew Ukraine was having gold in their hands. The song also grew on me and it is one of the entries I am still playing in the summer of 2021.
A: Look, it certainly wasn’t my favourite song coming into the contest. I would say that it was my least favourite. But, their performance really changed my view on the song. Prior to the contest, I skipped the song instantly, but after, I could actually bear to listen to it.
Could Ukraine have done anything different?
D: To be honest, I can’t think of anything Ukraine could have done better than how they did it. They really made the most of this song, getting a silver medal in the televote. The song on itself just never was jury friendly enough to get an overall top-3 result.
A: Ukraine definitely made the most of it this year, creating a visual spectacle. Finishing in second with the televote is nothing to sneeze at, and shows Ukraine knows how to connect with the people. A lower jury vote was definitely expected considering the style of the song, but to finish in the Top 5 overall was definitely justified.
What can Ukraine do to ensure success in future years?
D: I can only suggest: keep on doing what you are doing. Ukraine is getting great results year after year. They have been using the Vidbir preselection show to find their artist in recent years. It’s the only nation left with the 100% qualification track record from the semi’s. A few years ago we still had six nations with this record. It’s very impressive and Ukraine is an example nation to all other competing countries.
A: I think it’s interesting because when you look at their national finals, there’s often a lot of dud entries. I would even go as far to say that a number of their actual Eurovision entries have been hit or miss, but the nation knows how to deliver a good performance where it counts. I suspect the nation will continue with Vidbir, and I also suspect that it will continue to deliver good results. Let’s see how long that qualification streak will last!
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: Both were very good and copies of each other. Since I liked the stage in Rotterdam a lot, I would prefer that performance, but in the set-up, with the camera shots and props, their back-up tape was the same as the actual performance. Ukraine has a very professional team covering Eurovision for them, and the back-up tape is another proof that they know what they are doing and always come very prepared to Eurovision. No wonder they achieve such good results.
A: Props to Ukraine for creating almost identical performances. The camera work and props were great in both performances, and perhaps the only criticism was that the lead singer looked slightly more uncomfortable on camera in the recorded performance. Otherwise, a perfect live-on-tape that could have been a great substitute if Ukraine wasn’t able to perform live in Rotterdam.