Every day until December 24, we’re stuffing your stockings with a new Eurovision poll and asking you to address important issues like which national selection you are most looking forward to and who had the best comeback this decade (among other things). Consider this our advent calendar for 2015. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you can let us know your thoughts each and every day by casting your vote and sounding off in our comments section. So after you’ve mailed your Christmas cards, have a look at what we have wrapped up for you today…
Day 12: Ukraine at Eurovision
The Ukrainian public broadcaster NTU has decided to collaborate with private channel STB for its Eurovision 2016 comeback. Details on the National Selection keep flowing in and things in Ukraine are moving very fast. In fact, live auditions are taking place in Odessa and Lviv this weekend. As NTU searches for its next Eurovision act, let’s have a look at its previous ones.
Ukraine debuted in 2003 and has reached the final every time, finishing in the Top 5 five times. They’ve brought hamster wheels, drag queens, and even sand ladies. No wonder they always make an impact. But which of their entries is your favourite? Vote in our poll and leave us your specific rankings in the comments box. You can vote for as many songs as you like, but you can only vote ONE time.
2003: Oleksandr – “Hasta La Vista”
For their debut the Ukrainians chose Oleksandr with the song “Hasta la Vista”. He and his very energetic dancers hoped to reach the stars with their space theme. Unfortunately his “turquoise is the new black” approach didn’t work and he finished 14th.
2004: Ruslana – “Wild Dances”
In 2004, Ruslana, the leather-clad girl from Kyiv, graced the stage and performed the “Wild Dances” of her song title. The dancing, the song, the loin cloths, the flames, the Carpathian folk — it all came together to secure victory.
2005: Greenjolly – “Razom Nas Bahato”
What goes up must come down, as we saw when Ukraine hosted the contest in Kyiv the following year. The host country sent Greenjolly with the song “Razom Nas Bahato”. The gangsta-themed staging and frenetic performance didn’t impress and they finished miles behind Helena Paparizou in 19th. Poor Ruslana…
2006: Tina Karol – “Show Me Your Love”
In 2006 Ukraine got back on track with Tina Karol. Opening with the lyrics “Hi baby, here I am!” she owned the stage with her white-and-red dress and some major attitude. During her upbeat song she asked people to “show her their love”. Obviously they did, handing her seventh place.
2007: Verka Serduchka – “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”
Eurovision legend Verka Serduchka traveled to Helsinki in 2007 — and we’ve never looked at tin foil the same way again. Singing in English, German and gibberish, he worked it with his eccentric dancers, who also looked ready-to-bake. He managed to reach second place, giving Ukraine their second best result ever.
2008: Ani Lorak – “Shady Lady”
Despite the song title, Ani Lorak wasn’t shady at all — she was shining. She sang and danced with her boys with conviction and sensuality, and made us all love her (and her light box). She gave Ukraine second place for the second year in a row.
2009: Svetlana Loboda – “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)”
And then came Svetlana Loboda, who brought an oversized wheel and a red dress that didn’t really cover much. The result was a series of jokes about a stripper in a hamster wheel. Svetlana asked Europe to “be her valentine”, but it wasn’t a match. She placed 12th.
2010: Alyosha – “Sweet People”
Following that outré performance in Moscow, Ukraine decided to change their style by sending, for the first time ever, a ballad. Alyosha came to Oslo with “Sweet People,” which was all about the threat of nuclear holocaust. Good choice: she managed to take Ukraine back to the top 10.
2011: Mika Newton – “Angel”
Building on the 2010 recipe, Ukraine sent Mika Newton to Düsseldorf. Lady sang “Angel” while wearing a pair of wings and standing in a lot of steam. And then there was the completely unrelated lady drawing with sand. She kept up Ukraine’s winning tradition, finishing in fourth place.
2012: Gaitana – “Be My Guest”
In 2012, Gaitana arrived in Baku with an exotic dress, a headpiece and trumpeters with exposed abs. She invited us to “be her guest”, but folks didn’t want to stick around. The colourful performance was only good enough to secure 15th place.
2013: Zlata Ognevich – “Gravity”
Carried on stage by a giant and eventually placed on a rock, Zlata sang about dreams and love in a magical, mystical and ultimately uplifting performance. According to her song she felt like a butterfly. The results suggest she was right, as she flew all the way to third place in the contest.
2014: Mariya Yaremchuk – “Tick-Tock”
Mariya Yaremchuk resurrected the hamster wheel and dragged out a very strong wind machine for her performance of “Tick Tock,” a song about love and time. Dressed in dark blue and flirting non-stop with her sexy dancer, she managed to take Ukraine to the right-hand side of the scoreboard, ultimately finishing sixth.