On Saturday Ukraine began to focus more closely on Eurovision 2018 with the broadcast of the first semi-final of Vidbir, its national selection show. Nine acts performed and three made it through: LAUD, The Erised and Vilna.

Afterwards the judges spoke out — and judging from their comments, they were somewhat underwhelmed with the first set of qualifiers.

Andriy Danylko, Evgen Fylatov and Jamala are known for honesty and candour when it comes to judging the performances. They clearly have different tastes in relation to the general public. Two out of their top three acts did not make the final. Vilna won the televoting after receiving just 3 points from the judges.

According to Jamala, that was not neccessarily a bad thing. She said on her Instagram:

“I was very pleased with the first semi-final. And very glad that the audience’s preferences do not always coincide with the choice of judges! This is very cool, it proves that you choose the song that you want to hear in the competition by yourself! You have great strength! Take advantage of this!” 

The tastes between the judges differ as well. Jamala explained earlier to KP that she was looking for a good stage performance rather than good audio and that she does not want to listen to the songs in advance. Yevhen Filatov is rather interested in the visual concept of the act.

Andriy Danylko, on the contrary, listens to all songs before the show. After not being a big fan of Tayanna’s “I Love You” last year, he once again stressed that he is not looking for a dramatic and teary song, but for a more happy one. Andriy wasn’t a big fan televoting winner VILNA, as he branded entry “Forest Song” boring.

The second semi-final of the selection will take place on Saturday, with nine other acts taking the stage: Ingret, Melovin, Julinoza, Tayanna, KADNAY, Yurcash, Mountain Breeze, Illaria and Dilemma. Jamala said that she hopes the second semi will impress her a bit more.

“Personally, I still can not say that I heard a song that I can already see representing the whole country at Eurovision. I’m waiting for the impressive second semi-final.”

Do you agree with the judges? Or do you have another opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo: STB

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shark
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shark

Off-topic: it kind of surprises me there’s so little coverage of Jamala’s new songs and music videos on wiwibloggs 🙁

Skimur
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Skimur

Yes it is normal when the judges’ points differ from the viewers, but within 2-3 points. In this case, the difference of 5 and 6 points looks very suspicious. Especially when it is known about the friendly ties between the judges and some of the contestants. Despite all the allegations that the judges were guided by professional criteria, I believe that this time they took personal preferences. They are just musicians, just like those they judge, the only competent producer among them was Meladze, with his resignation problems with the objectivity of the jury became critical.

Am.casablancas
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Am.casablancas

I liked a lot of those songs, Laud, Vilna, pur:pur, and kazka were good but my absolute favorite was the erised, one of the best directs I’ve personally heard in this eurovision season.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Here lies the problem in some country’s juries. It should not be about what the likes of Andriy Danylko are looking for and they should not go into the selection with an agenda. The Ukrainian jury is one of the worst of all, with members not actually looking for a quality song for a song contest!

sea
Guest
sea

Is there any other national selection whereof wiwis post news about jury’s voting?

Mil
Guest
Mil

“Yevhen Filatov is rather interested in the visual concept of the act” — Where did you get it from? He is arguably the best sound producer in the country, the man behind Jamala’s 1944, for instance. He said he judged from the Eurovision point of view, he was commenting on songs in terms of their Eurovision success. He tols LAUD the song doesn’t have a climax which I agree, and he actually ranked Vilna the highest among jury, saying the song is produced in “eurovision” way. Actually, he easily became my fav member of jury, he was on point in… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

I completely agree with this analysis. The Ukrainian jury has always been off base in my opinion. I recall Ruslana telling Jamala that she wanted a “happy” song because there is so much sorrow in Ukrainian history to sign about. Well, Jamala took that that notion and blew it out of the water! Sad can be good sometimes.

I personally think Vilna’s song is the best for eurovision whereas Tyanna and Melovin are just mainstream pop songs that bring nothing special to the table.

Andromache
Guest
Andromache

I don’t hate jury when they do their job well.
But giving Vilna 3 out of 9 is beyond my understanding. Besides I don’t see Misto (by Constantine) or Kriz Tvoi Ochi (by Serhiy Babkin) doing well on ESC.

shark
Guest
shark

Forest song is such a generic Eurovision pop-ethno-something borderline qualifier. Just bland. Though I agree on the other two

up!
Guest
up!

Well, I’m with her when it comes to the rather underwhelming quality of the first semi. The second one is stronger – Under the ladder, Lelya and Na Party would be decent choices for Ukraine…

allexo
Guest
allexo

I know no one will probably read this but,I’m a secondary school kid from London, this is my third year of eurovision and so far this has been an interesting national final season and for me Ukraine’s selection is looking quite strong.
I have to say I like how the judges are telling people their reasons for their vote
Keep up, the good work Ukraine

Sam
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Sam

Judges are there to critique the songs and performances, sure. They might also want to consider getting behind songs that will actually be succcessful in May. It was obvious before the televoting results that it was a pretty silly (collective) decision of theirs to put Vilna third last when the song is easily one of the strongest. Vilma’s performance simply wasn’t bad enough to render it so low. It’s not like the quality was very high. There should be less need to be so critical of aspects that can be changed, like stage design or costume. The most important thing… Read more »

Geo
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Geo

It’s obvious, the jury is pointless. Did Jamala forgot she was saved by the public vote back in 2016? It was a tie, and because of that the public’s favorite (in this case, her) wins. Last year Melovin was robbed, only 2 points from the same pointless jury, although he scored high on the televote. It seems the same jury strikes again this year, scoreing low 3 of the televote favorites….

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

Have you read the article? She has literally said that it’s a good thing that the public vote had overridden the jury vote.

Hada
Guest
Hada

I’m just impressed that the judges are actually open about their criteria and the reasoning behind their voting.

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

Well, that’s why the Ukrainian show is always soooo long – they’re spending, like, 75% time commenting and explaining themselves, often encouraged by host.

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

I also think that judges did the right thing when it comes to Vilna. The song has weak lyrics and the live performance wasn’t great.
To be clear, Vilna is not a “complete winner” of the televote. She got roughly half percent more than The Erised. LAUD got over 12%. So the distribution is pretty uniform, and the winner is probably in the second semi.

lasse braun
Guest
lasse braun

but this half percent disgraced the jury!
and no the song is perfect and the best choice for the ESC because ukraine is not whole europe but vilna has no name in the ukraine and so melovin with his tons of teenagerfans and the jury with an order ; will make it easily.

AzeriChico
Guest
AzeriChico

I really liked the song by Serhiy Babkin. He deserved a spot in the final I think.. Grrr televoting

Laura
Guest
Laura

I hate the jury in general, hope will be no jury in any contest, but I don’t agree to question them about their tastes. If the jury doesn’t have the same opinion as the televoters, and if this is a problem, then why did you wanted jury in the first place?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

“I hate the jury in general, hope will be no jury in any contest” – whew, I love reading sensible comments like this. Sadly, this time around it’s juries overruling the public in most cases. You’re a deserving carrier of the holy name Laura. <3

Joe
Guest
Joe

Hope you’re being sarcastic.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

No lol I hate juries

Alex
Guest
Alex

I am glad the system from 2008 is gone, gone, gone. No more rewarding of ridiculous gimmickry like the type that won Russia the contest that year (and that would have won them 2016’s contest had the jury not put its foot down). And without the jury in Portugal we would’ve had a nightmare act instead of Salvador Sobral, the eventual joint jury AND televote winner in ESC last year. Juries have their place.

Esra
Guest
Esra

@Alex I agree with you. Juries are also important for Eurovision. They have saved some good songs as well. I remember juries supported Slovenia in 2011 (Maja Keuc) and televoting had them in the bottom of the scoreboard, it was one of the best songs of that year. There are other examples too, but I can’t remember them right now. What I am trying to say is that we need both votings, they are equally important.

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

> No more rewarding of ridiculous gimmickry

The jury was one that rewarded Sweden with a win in 2015, and their performance was _all_ ridiculous gimmickry. The winner of televote that year were Italy.

And Russia won in 2008 mostly because the song was (then) contemporary-sounding and not an outdated mess. I’m sure it would win even with the juries.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Nonsense. Mans had one of the hardest songs to sing that night, one of the most intricately written songs, and one of the best vocal performances. Don’t go there.

Dima did not have the only contemporary song by any means in 2008. The idea that he would’ve won the jury over with his vocals is laughable… 2 years before that he did a much better job.

Pavel
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Pavel

I hope there will be no public voting and Russia in the contest.

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Polegend is Italian lol

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

After the horrid thing Italy is sending I’m gonna call myself a honorary Estonian!

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Good for you xD

Rayne
Guest
Rayne

There is an italian eurovision fan’s channel on YT called George Austin Tay. He’s making reaction videos to eurovision songs and he has Polina Gagarina’s picture on his profile. Italians seem to like her. :p

Jddjjdxk
Guest

Even he has a quora account.

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

I actually think judges got one thing right: Laud is amazing and he deserved to win this semi