This afternoon the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—hopped on one of Zlata Ognevich’s pet unicorns and flew to Ukraine to review her Eurovision song “Gravity”. Did the power ballad blow us away? Or did it just blow? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: The team from wiwibloggs has spent a lot of time with Zlata this year. First we interviewed her live on Eurovision.tv. Then we caught up with her in Amsterdam. Both times she was absolutely charming and proved that some people don’t need to be PhotoShopped because they really are that beautiful. The same could be said of her song, which needs absolutely no digital re-mastering. Zlata is the voice of Eurovision 2013 and she has enough firepower to make us forget about the occasionally ridiculous lyrics and the fact that her song sounds like the soundtrack to a National Geographic documentary on hippos. I have no doubt she will own the stage in Malmö. Just look at her video. She is born inside a flower, plays with a unicorn, and dances with digital butterflies—all with 100% commitment. All hail the Queen!
Alexander: “Gravity” is a cute, magical song that would fit perfectly in a kid’s movie. People are saying this sounds like it’s from “The Lion King” (probably because of the African influences), but err…The Lion King is some deep shit people. Mufasa’s death and this song definitely don’t go well together (lol)! Anyways, I think this will do very well in Malmö, and rightfully so. Overall, this is a strong ballad made even stronger by Zlata’s beautiful voice (and appearance).
Bogdan: The new version is a clear improvement. It made a middle-of-the-road tune sound much better and, as a result, it’s been growing on me a lot. “Gravity” also greatly benefits from Zlata’s wonderful voice and stunning looks (she is arguably the most beautiful female contestant this year, which, in a contest like Eurovision, helps a lot). Staging will be vital if Ukraine wants to win. If they focus on her face and her slender figure, they should win, because the song’s good enough for a Top 3 placing in the final.
HK Dick: I’m a little perplexed as to why “Gravity” is one of the favourites for the title this year. Sure, it’s one of the better songs of 2013. But it sounds like a song cut from The Lion King. I preferred the original version from the national final with the full backing chorus which added some power. I hope they make a re-appearance in the final and I definitely hope that some other song will defy “Gravity” and prevent a win for Ukraine. Someone needs to bring Zlata back to earth.
Mr Häggkvist: Zlata is gorgeous. That’s the first thing I think every time I see her. She’s just breathtaking. I like “Gravity.” They changed the original version and I think it really helped the song. I just have two issues with this. First, this still sounds like it belongs in the Lion King or an African wildlife documentary. Second, everybody will compare this with the Russian entry, and I’m sorry but “What If?” is better.
Deban: Zlata Ognevich is on to a winner with this one. I love the composition, arrangement and her powerhouse vocal delivery. Also, I love that this track proudly displays a team effort. The backing singers get their spotlight in this three minute number, giving Zlata just enough time to catch her breath for her cracking key changes. Zlata is a third time lucky girl. She participated in Ukraine’s Eurovision pre selection in 2010 and 2011, narrowly missing the top spot both times. However, she wasn’t deterred by defeat. She came back with a vengeance this year with a gospel-esque number defying all odds. “Gravity” is a song that will appeal to many demographics. It captures a mood that’s akin to praise and worship. What lets it down is the lyrical composition. Native English speakers may choose to unpick its meaning. The rest of Europe are likely to be swayed by Zlata’s beauty, occasional toe-tapping and the fact that she’s from Ukraine—a country that has never missed the finals.
Vebooboo: As a child I never made it Disney World. But that’s ok, because Zlata done took me there with her entry this year. This really isn’t my type of ballad, but I can see the appeal. Pretty woman, beautiful voice, song that builds. Those are three essential building blocks for a healthy Eurovision diet, and I’m sure televoters will get their fill in May. But what I respect most is Zlata’s attention to beauty – we saw her re-applying her make-up in-between interviews at Eurovision in Concert. Now that’s a business woman, and she could teach Tooji a thing or two!
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 7.57/10
Wiwi Jury Final Ranking: #4 out of 39 contestants