Today the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Kyiv to preview what’s to come at Eurovision 2017. Whilst we savoured every moment of the Eastern European beauty, we decided to review Ukraine’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2016. Do we crave Sofia Rol’s “Planet Craves For Love”? Or are we just over it? Read on to find out…
Ukraine’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song
“Planet Craves for Love” – Sofia Rol
William: Smooth, warm, delicious — her voice reminds me of hot chocolate. That’s a good start. And it becomes even better with the song, which channels mystery and a strong ethnic identity. The flowing and memorable chorus anchor the song so well. With the right staging this sophisticated number will transform into art.
Stanislav: Sofia Rol has a beautiful and charming voice. “Planet Craves For Love” creates a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. As always Ukraine will create excellent staging that can take the song to another level. With that in mind, I hope they change Sofia’s outfit from the national final. But I think Ukraine could score top five with this — even in a field of strong competitors.
Robyn: Sofia’s breathy and expressive voice in the verses draws the listener in, making it sound like she’s about to tell us a secret. The chorus is much stronger, and delivers a mature sound that wouldn’t be out of place at Eurovision. I’m not so sure about the interpretive dancers from the national final, but I expect the staging in Malta will be much more polished.
Antranig: It takes a few listens to fully appreciate “Planet Craves For Love”. I wasn’t impressed the first time around, but I like it more each time I hear it. Sofia has some powerful vocals and hopefully she can nail this live. It might benefit from the lack of a televote this year, as it is likelier to have greater appeal to a professional jury. As usual, Ukraine is here to win and as usual, Ukraine does not disappoint.
Jason: “Planet Craves For Love” is quite an interesting entry for Junior Eurovision. Sofia is an accomplished and talented performer who knows how to work the camera. It’s just that everything else about the entry seems rather mature. The song itself is somewhat subdued and doesn’t build any drama, which would help it enormously. The national final staging and styling should be tweaked also. This is a solid entry with the potential to be great.
Chris: For the second year in a row, Ukraine have gone for a song centred on the environment. Whereas “Pochny z sebe” struck an instant chord with me, “Planet Craves for Love” does not. It slightly lacks a dramatic moment that it needs and the language change doesn’t quite nail it for me. Sofia is a very engaging performer, though, which might help her with the juries on the night.
Bernardo: No one can deny Sofia’s smooth and angelic voice. “Planet Craves for Love” would stand out in a normal year of JESC. However, 2016 is a ballad year with strong and powerful entries across the board, and Ukraine’s entry fails to achieve any goosebumps moment — yet, anyway. I’m still excited to see Sofia — mainly because Ukraine knows how to do staging and elevate songs.
Luis: Sofia has a very interesting voice: it’s soft and tender, and it fits the mood of the song. “Planet Craves For Love” creates a cozy atmosphere in which Sofia is the true center of attention. She owns the cameras, and she knows how to stand on a stage, while her singing is skilled and professional. That said, it’s a bit sad that her song falls a tad short for her. It’s a safe and well-crafted tune, but Sofia would stand out much more with an ‘out of the box’ ballad.
Deban: Sofia’s hand movements channel ethereal beauty whilst her voice remains angelic throughout the performance. Unfortunately, her song is not memorable as of now. As she tries to draw a wider audience in by switching to English late in the song, the revelation of the song’s message is an uncomfortable dose of déjà vu — we heard this message from her country at the most recent JESC.
Josh: “Planet Craves For Love” has me stuck between a rock and a hard place. Whilst I can appreciate where Ukraine is coming from this year, and I can admire Sofia Rol’s beauty and voice, I struggle to find the hook within this song that really draws me in. The verses of the track are very soft and breathy which is fine, but it needs to be complimented with a powerful chorus. Lovely performer though!
Our jury for 2016 consists of twenty-one jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining eleven scores are listed below.
The highest and lowest scores are removed prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 8.5.