Today the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Kyiv to flash our backsides during a performance by Jamala draped in an Australian flag. After security dragged us away, we got together and reviewed the entry for Ukraine at Junior Eurovision 2017, “Don’t Stop” by Anastasia Baginska. Are we hoping for this song to stop? Read on to find out…
Ukraine’s Junior Eurovision 2017 song
“Don’t Stop” reviews
Angus: What a voice! As always, in Anastasiya, Ukraine have found a talented vocalist to carry their #JESC song. “Don’t Stop” follows similar roots to past ballads from Ukraine too, but unlike those before, it feels at times like it hems in the diva. On stage and out of the studio though, Anastasiya will be able to let her voice loose and that should help the song really shine.
Deban: Anastasiya’s seemingly cheerful disposition and her vocal strength is impressive. The song has a good hook, and for those who speak Ukrainian, they’d appreciate the words – “Discover the world and feel who you are, fly”. There is strength to be found in this moody offering.
Jonathan: While Anastasiya’s national final performance felt a bit repetitive at times, they’ve done well to strengthen the instrumentation and get the song to build throughout its three minutes. Ukraine always brings it in terms of staging, so if they’re able to effectively get the song’s inspirational message across by pulling on heartstrings, and Anastasiya can consistently hit those long notes, then there’s no reason Ukraine shouldn’t be able to improve on their placing last year.
Robyn: The big influence for JESC 2017 is not the winners of JESC 2016 or ESC 2017. Instead many countries appear to be looking at Blanche’s “City Lights” and are entering their own take on a moody, modern electro pop ballad. “Don’t Stop” combines an uplifting pop sound with a cute choral accompaniment and even a violin break. There’s a lot going on but it never feels crowded. The song is allowed to progress at the right pace and wouldn’t be out of place on the pop charts.
Sebastian: What dynamite Anastasiya is. A powerful voice combined with a motivating ballad, “Don’t Stop” is of a quality that wouldn’t sound unfamiliar on the adult Eurovision stage. Here’s hoping Ukraine can translate the video clip’s theme smoothly onto the JESC stage. If they go with staging like Zlata’s “Gravity” or Jamala’s “1944”, “Don’t Stop” will be halted in its tracks by the more audibly kid-friendly Malta and Australia. The violin-dreamer theme works. Just don’t forget your audience, Ukraine. It’s all about the kids.
William: We do wander, Anastasiya, we do. And how lucky we are to stumble across your delicate voice, which conceals power beneath all that lovely. “Don’t Stop” has a real earworm of a chorus that, whether you like or not, will loop in your head long after the song ends. The English-language section feels a tad forced — I’d have preferred pure Ukrainian here — but Anastasiya’s winning personality and smile make everything right in the end.
Our jury for 2017 consists of 20 jurors, but we only have room for 6 reviews. The remaining 14 scores are listed below.
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 5 and a high of 9.5.