Ukrainian National Selection for Eurovision is in its peak. The final will take place on February 21 and meanwhile the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been listening to and reviewing all of the songs that qualified from the semi-finals. This time we are discussing The HARDKISS with their song “Helpless”. They are bringing a deep emotional and powerful ballad. Did we get goosebumps? Read and find out!
THE HARDKISS — “HELPLESS”
Mikhail: Just wow! This song can simply blow you away. It is powerful, it has those original notes, it has its own style. I don’t understand the people who judge based on their expectations. Yes, it is different from other Hardkiss songs, but does it mean it’s bad? Hell NO! This song captures your breath right from the beginning and till the end. If you listen to it with good headphones, it can get you into space and beyond.
William: Julia’s delicate skin and porcelain complexion mask raw power, which she harnesses to great effect. Her rich and melodic vocals are the definition of strength, yet she manages to give each note an inviting softness. By the time she reaches the final chorus you’re completely under her spell. Although I’d prefer a slightly more dynamic song, this still holds my interest and would be a deserving winner.
Deban: Combining art, fashion, stellar vocals and glamour — The Hardkiss have got it all. “Helpless” may be tamer than some of their other hits, however it showcases a more vulnerable side to the band. With the right staging, this could really bring it home.
Josh: The Hardkiss’ back catalogue is some of the best music I’ve heard come out of Ukraine in my entire life. For me, “Helpless” falls a tad short of what I was expecting. I was hoping for a powerful, electro/rock song that was a little more upbeat. Even though the song is definitely more geared towards a ballad, there’s still enough power behind this to make it interesting. It’s not bad, just not what I was hoping for.
Robyn: I love the gothic pageantry of the band. Julia is a brilliant singer, with a rich expressive voice, confident in the two languages she’s using here. But the song does nothing for me — it just doesn’t hook me in. But The Hardkiss are a popular band with loads of experience. Regardless of the song, if they did go to Stockholm, I’m sure they’d deliver an unforgettable performance.
Luis: Intense and transcendental, “Helpless” serves the right amount of drama a country torn up by war needs to come back to Eurovision. The Hardkiss give a fierce and sentimental performance, but they have a big problem: Jamala. Can we have two representatives from Ukraine this year to make up for their absence in Vienna?
Antranig: I have had high hopes for The Hardkiss ever since they were announced as part of the Ukrainian selection. I was hoping for something along the lines of “Make-Up” and that’s not what they’ve served up with “Helpless”. It’s an incredible song but I didn’t expect a ballad and the big problem is that Jamala has a very similar song which is a fraction better.
Zakaria: What a song, what a singer and what an emotional delivery! The Hardkiss have all the right ingredients to succeed. “Helpless” offers so many possibilities in terms of staging. However, there’s room for improvement, and knowing how Ukraine always revamps its entry, I guess this song has to get one should it win the national selection.
William C.: 7.5/10
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 5 and a high of 10.