Ukraine, Jamala, 1 jamala eurovision 2016 3
Ukraine, Jamala, 3

Yesterday the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — went to Ukraine and sat down at a cafe. Over bublik rolls and coffee, we discussed Jamala‘s song “1944”. Were we moved by her history lesson? Read on to find out!

Jamala – “1944”

“1944” reviews

Angus: Jamala puts her own spin on Ukraine’s female vocalist format, offering “1944” as a raw historical epic that drips in emotion, pain and suffering. The emotive message will likely for the most part be lost on the wider audience, but her vocal will be undeniable. That said, “1944” only becomes really captivating at the 1:30 mark and before that the song strays into uninteresting territory.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: One of the strongest entries this year, and definitely the most serious, Ukraine’s “1944” blends a heart-wrenching message with a sweeping melody and a show-stopping performance. Jamala’s dramatic inhales punctuate the powerful song, and her voice conjures the desperation of the countless Tatar children, mothers, fathers, and grandparents who suffered unspeakable tragedies because of tyranny and racism. “1944” is, unfortunately, very relevant in 2016, and I personally hope it will win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Score: 10/10

Robyn: While the lyrics of “1944” are very strong and emotional, musically I find the song to be really underwhelming. Despite the passion and theatrics, I always find my attention wandering from the performance. I appreciate the importance of this part of Ukraine history (I’m sure Jamala will be great at Stockholm), but I just can’t find a connection with “1944” as a song.

Score: 6/10

Chris: Whereas Genealogy’s war-torn story maybe got lost in the ether, there’s no way that the message of “1944” will suffer the same fate. The pain that Jamala conveys throughout the song really strikes a chord. It’s not a song that you’d listen to again and again – but when I first watched this, I was completely sold. That first impression will be all important on the night in Stockholm too. Don’t write off Kyiv 2017 just yet.

Score: 8.5/10

Deban: Recounting a dark period of Crimean history calls for a sombre outing. Jamala captures this in an understated, but somewhat jarring way. “1944” may have rocked the political stratosphere, but truthfully, this is borderline boring when you’re oblivious to the back-story. However, I applaud Jamala for speaking up. Her voice needs to be heard!

Score: 5.5/10

Steinunn: I absolutely adore this song — what a comeback for Ukraine. Ukraine probably holds the record for the most out-of-this-world prop usage in Eurovision, but this year they’ve decided to leave the hamster-wheel back in Kyiv and bring this gem to the big stage instead. Some people claim that Eurovision is nothing but meaningless glitter and gadgets, but Ukraine proves that this can be a platform for serious music as well. The song is such a statement and Jamala’s performance is impeccable. I can feel the painful message of the song through her voice and I love how she’s managed to mix traditional and alternative styles together. I just want to listen to it over and over again. Welcome back, Ukraine.

Score: 9.5/10

Denise: I understand that this song has an important message and that it’s the reason why the verses are in English. For me, the Crimean Tatar parts are the best so I would prefer the whole song in that language. I especially like the second part of the song where Jamala shows us what a great singer she is.

Score: 8/10

Diego: Eurovision and politics do not mix well most of the times — that’s a fact. The key to make the message go across the fans is to simply believe in what you’re singing, and Jamala feels every drop of pain she sings in “1944”. Her delivery makes me shiver throughout the three minutes, with a refined R&B and pop/folk style. One thing is for sure: Jamala means what she sings, and the souls she sings for are present during her performance.

Score: 7.5/10

Padraig: “1944” has taken me on quite the journey. During the Ukrainian selection I hated it with a passion. But since then my feelings towards it have mellowed considerably. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m hearing it without the threat of Ruslanna yapping for four hours or maybe I’ve just come to my senses. Either way, the track has a new found resonance for me. Jamala delivers an utterly compelling performance, which is completely different from anything else on offer this year. I just hope that viewers don’t take as long to connect with the song as I did.

Score: 7/10

Patrick: I knew we will have a song again where people scream “Eurovision is not political”. Listen, this is historical and important for our world now. Jamala is a queen on stage, she shows emotion, she is pure and real and she has this fantastic voice that makes you feel all the pain and suffer of her song. I really missed Ukraine and I’m so happy with their comeback. On some point I can even see Ukraine winning because of originality and vocals. My votes belong to Ukraine!

Score: 9/10

William: This is dark, direct and at times nihilistic: “They kill you all and say, ‘We’re not guilty’…everyone dies.” In lesser hands this would come off as melodrama. But Jamala delivers it with conviction and soul, resulting in a strangely intoxicating and other-worldly sound. “1944” defies convention, mixing traditional Crimean Tartar music with soul and R&B, and yet it somehow remains universal and accessible. At the end of the song she channels the pain of a thousand victims in one single cry. This is a gift that can’t be taught.

Score: 9/10

Zakaria: Jamala and “1944” are unique from all points of view. While I still believe political and historical conflicts should stay away from the contest, I really feel something strong watching Jamala performing her song with so much emotion, conviction and passion. This is a real dark horse to me and it might surprise at the grand final.

Score: 10/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Anthony: 7/10

Antranig: 10/10

Bernardo: 3.5/10

Cristian: 9/10

David: 8/10

Dayana: 8.5/10

Edd: 7.5/10

Forrest: 10/10

George: 6.5/10

Gökhan: 10/10

Jason: 4/10

Josh: 8.5/10

Judit: 4/10

Kristin: 6/10

Liam: 10/10

Luis: 9/10

Marek: 10/10

Maria: 10/10

Mario: 8.5/10

Max: 6/10

Mike: 8.5/10

Mikhail: 10/10

Renske: 9/10

Rezo: 2/10

Sami: 7/10

Sinan: 7.5/10

Tobias: 5.5/10

William C: 10/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.88/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Slightly Biased ESC Fan
Guest
Slightly Biased ESC Fan

Hands down my favorite this year! Fresh sound, the narrative behind the song is really poignant and of course her vocals…I mean that octave she reaches towards the end is absolute $$$!! #TeamJamala

Josh
Guest

@oxyk, glyboko proshu vybachennya, ne hotiv vas tak zachepyty svoimy slovamy, prosto zvernuvsya i do vas takoj, oskil’ky v poglyadi inozemciv my vsi dlya nyh odnakovi, i taki superechky yim nabrydly. Sche raz proshu vybachennia za taku grubist’

CookyMonzta
Guest

I went through all 43 entries (audio/lyrics AND music video/national contest performance) this weekend, and after my first of 3 evaluations (this one took 2 days), Jamala is currently my number 1, with Amir from France 2nd, Francesca from Italy 3rd, Sergey from Russia 4th and Greta from Iceland 5th.

Chris
Guest

I actually can’t stand this entry, no matter how strong and powerful it is lyrically. I think the composition is out of sorts, her live performance is nothing short of embarrassingly amateur, and the vocals are, on the whole, quite poor.

Good Luck to Jamala and Ukraine, I love Eurovision because everyone has different tastes, but unfortunately no votes from me.

Holden
Guest

Like it. Very emotinal. 9/10

oxyk
Guest

@Josh write in English, and behave yourself. you’re not in the right position to demaind from me to “sh-p up” when I have not even wrote a line. vyshyvata chortova

Anton
Guest

Simon
You’re absolutely right! But this was a political decision, I’m sure.

Simon
Guest

This is just wrong. If this song was about the Nazi invasion of Poland or the experiences Jews had to endure at concentration camps it would have no place in Eurovision so I feel its entry is against the rules of our beloved contest and that 1944 has no place in Eurovision – musically, politically or otherwise.

Josh
Guest

@oxyk ya til’ky povtoryv svoyu dumku, i tak, ya z Ukrainy, prosto hochu, aby vje cey srach zakinchyvsya, tomy poprosyv vas i antona perestaty sperechatusya, spodivayusa na vashe rozuminnya 🙂

Briekimchi
Guest
As others have said, I do not listen to this song too much now. It does not have replay value due to the overwhelming seriousness and concrete conviction that Jamala delivers it with. I find it hard to imagine a time in my everyday life when I would choose to listen to this. Having said that, as a spectacle, a one-off performance, it gives me goosebumps. The song is well built-up and expertly delivered but the song is only part of the package. It is the performance that is going to really push this song and it is special. In… Read more »
Leon
Guest

Certainly not a happy song. Seemed to last for ever and a day.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Yuri Kus: “So, you have removed 1 low of 2/10 and 8 high of 10/10? Not too fair…”

Nope, we just remove the one lowest score and the one highest score, so that’s one 2/10 and one 10/10. The other nine 10/10 scores are still counted.

EscAddict
Guest

I find it difficult rate this song. I respect the song for its message and its originality but the reality is I rarely choose to play it. It was in my Top 10 but it was pushed out as other songs move up my ranking. The staging of “1944” could magically which may change my assessment of the song.
Currently I rank “1944” 22 of 43.

Miklos
Guest

Obviously an astonishing vocal performance, probably the best voice this year.

But really singing a song from a massacre in 1944? I’m sorry about what happened, but we have to live in the present and we also have problems in our time. Maybe Turkey and some arabic countries will feel represented by this, but not the rest of countries, IMO.

The song itself is okay but not winner material. Should be around top 10 with a phenomenal performance.

babychops
Guest

its a big no for me i seriously would not put this in the final.

Pollaski
Guest

I love the story that this song tries to tell. That said, I do not love the song itself- yet. The presentation just seems too off to me. Jamala sings too high, to breathy, to hystrical, and while I get its to convey the obvious emotion the song entails, this is way too much. Drop an octive, focus on getting the lyrics out, and this is a superstar entry that has a top 5 ceiling. But from what I’ve seen, we’re not there yet.

RANK: 24th

sonic0201
Guest
The most divisive entry in this ESC. I can see why some people like it, and why some others hate it. I appreciate the qualities of this entry. Originality, effectiveness, live performance. But personally, it’s a big No for me. You say the lyrics are emotional and serious, I would say disturbing. You say Jamala’s got the best vocals, I would say it’s close to shrieking. When people remembered of their negative experiences and sad feelings, that usaully doesn’t win their votes. I don’t follow ESC to hear about horrible things happened yesterday, or decades ago. People hear them everyday… Read more »
oxyk
Guest

@wiwi, can you please check IP address of Josh, Vlad and other Russian crew to see who of them uses multiple names to post? it looks like you have to remind them what and under what’s name they post.

Azaad
Guest

The song is not political as it is not a piece of propaganda attacking Russia. Rather it is a historical piece that acknowledges the mass deportation/genocide of Tartar Crimeans in 1944. It’s speaking the truth- that’s all it’s doing.

Margaret
Guest

I love it! Much better than Russia.

oxyk
Guest

@Josh have I wrote anything in this thread? huh? having blonde moment, honey?

@EugeneESCUK
Guest
Depending on the costume and staging, Ukraine could be the jury dream and could do very well, if not win the jury vote, (also depending on Russia of course.) 25% of the jury score goes on just the vocals and Jamala has the best of the 43. What is not predictable is where she will be in the televote though? This is without doubt the class song of the bunch and it’s a real wow. Based on the EBU’s guidelines to the juries on how to score, this song has the complete package. Originality, contemporary sound fused with cultural influences,… Read more »
Skandar
Guest

@Colin
Hi! Your list about high ranking songs is ok for me except Russia, Azerbaijan and Malta. Russia will get above 8 points unfortunately because his song is a typical gay friendly song. These kind of songs are always high-ranked by Wiwi jury. (max 7 points for me)

Malta and Azerbaijan for me do not deserve 7 or 8 points. They are overhyped as hell by Wiwi. I do not know why. Where is the uniqueness in them?

Rest of the songs you mentioned are pretty ok for good review points.

momentum
Guest

1/10

Josh
Guest

@Anton, i asked you and oxyk shut the .. up, why you can’t just sit and cry, as Vlad said?.. No, you need to sit and post negative comments like a stupid bot?..

Yuri Kus
Guest

So, you have removed 1 low of 2/10 and 8 high of 10/10? Not too fair…

Jerome
Guest

8.5/10
I think 1944 is this year’s Love Injected, where the song is an unusual choice for the contest and yet has the people thinking it will do well. The personal story involving Jamala’s grandmother during the deportation in Crimea is very poignant and strong. I love how she had the bridge depict her lullaby as well as the grandmother’s cry at the loss of one of her children. The ambience in this is very sombre, the message is very strong, her vocals are very powerful. Top 10 bound!

Mihail
Guest

Good song, but for me to political for Eurovision .

Colin
Guest
@Skandar As it’s the case with most big jury ratings, average score usually shifts around the middle. So far, 4.3 to 7.8, which is actually a really small scale when you take in consideration all outcomes between a 0 and a 10. I have a hunch that San Marino will be rated below a 4 (as it should) and possibly Montenegro and Georgia (I must be one of the rare people who actually like Georgia’s song, but I expect 3 or 4 point something result.) One that *should* be rated as the rock bottom is Albania, but unfortunately I have… Read more »
Ewan
Guest

I can understand people who might be uninterested at the start, it’s quite dark and brooding for a while, but if you don’t get shivers in the last 30 seconds from her voice + that music alone you’ve got a pretty stone cold heart.

No song in ESC has ever made me feel as emotional as 1944, I am completely overwhelmed at it’s beauty and at the emotion and vocal ability that Jamala delivers flawlessly every time. 10/10 My outright favourite.

Ben Rafter
Guest

You have to remember that tick tock came 6th. This should better that easily.

Marc
Guest

I can’t stand this song. For me has no truth and is pretty boring and repetitve. (I can only full listen one time.) And personally, Jamala’s voice is not pleasant to hear.. really dislike it.
I even prefer Russia song over this.

LEO ESC AUT
Guest
JAMALA for UKRAINE is a gift for Eurovision 2016 Jamala means what she sings. -“They kill you all and say, ‘We’re not guilty’…everyone dies.” – She feels every drop of pain when she sings her song “1944”. Her delivery makes me shiver throughout the 3 minutes, with a refined R&B and pop/folk style. One thing is for sure: I can feel something strong watching and performing her song with so much emotion, soul, conviction and passion. Jamala delivers with „1944“ an utterly compelling ESC entry, which is completely different from anything else on offer this year. On stage Jamala is… Read more »
Colin
Guest

Very interesting song. I get if someone finds it boring, but I love it’s mysticism and Jamala’s conviction in performance.

9/10 and almost in Top 10 (my current twelfth)

Sara
Guest

This song has it’s onw atmosphere. It’s so magical, it gives me goosebumps. In a good way.

Skandar
Guest

@Anton Verka??? Really? He is among the worst moments of the Eurovision: grandmas, the turkey, Zoli Ádok and Verka.

Anton
Guest

Verka Serduchka forever! No more witches on the Eurovision!

Skandar
Guest

I love certain parts of the song but the screaming witch style annoys me very much. I always turn down the volume when she starts crying.

I am curious who will be above 8 points? Maybe Sergey? LOL

Random.sage2.5
Guest

Like I said…

Ukraine or Russia? We’re gonna bein the East next year so choose your pick.

Ukraine is def 2nd place. It’s universal enough to capture the most 12 points out of the eastern bloc but Russia will have both east and west voting for Sergey. Not everyone will give him douze points but the mass voting may be enough.

I haven’t talked about the song because yall said all I can say. Jamala brings a painful message with epic delivery ???? that can be understood by all.

oliverisamazing
Guest

2. 2/10. Are you serious?

Random.sage2.5
Guest

Like I said…

Ukraine or Russia? We’re gonna bein the East next year so choose your pick.

Ukraine is def 2nd place. It’s universal enough to capture the most 12 points out of the eastern bloc but Russia will have both east and west voting for Sergey. Not everyone will give him douze points but the mass voting may be enough.

Anton
Guest

Nicky91
You won’t vote for it anyway, I’m sure. There’s way better songs.

Nicky91
Guest

really great song

i like the story in the song, i cried when i first heard this song, i must honestly say that

and a unique voice

10/10

Anton
Guest

Vlad
Eurovision is not politikal, so this song sould be banned!

Österikke
Guest

Hahaha, Overthinking.It ESC reviews are back, Ukraine vs. Russia is so “compelling” too…..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLRzCc4He4o
Calling out on Ukraine for blatant political messages….

Darren
Guest
It’s an okay song, it’s original at least. Jamala’s vocals are haunting, you can feel the pain in which she is singing about. However! Although it’s been cleared I just cannot help but think it is such a contrived coincidence that Ukraine chose this song after they returned from a one year break caused by the annexation of Crimea. Eurovision is supposed to be non-political but the undertones are there very much so. And for that reason, I cannot give the song my full support because there is an ulterior motive st work here which in my opinion is a… Read more »
Tom
Guest

@Digital Style – slap in the face is the perfect analogy!

Digital Style
Guest

This song comes to you like a slap in the face – it’s compelling and intense. Jamala has a very unique voice, and I want her to keep the staging she had in the NF. It works well. This probably isn’t going to win Eurovision, but I can see this getting top 10.

Vlad
Guest

@Anton YES THIS SONG IS ANTI-RUSSIAN. SIT AND CRY NOW!

Bis
Guest

Genuine, original, beautiful. 10/10 in my book – and miles better than the generic and factory produced Swedish type songs that have come to dominate the contest in recent years