Ukrainian national finals never come without drama. This year’s controversy involves two of the big favourites going into Sunday night’s final: SunSay and Jamala. Both songs may breach the Eurovision rules, stoking fear among their many fans that they could be disqualified further down the road. On the eve of the final, let’s look at the furore surrounding “Love Manifest” and “1944”
Sunsay – “Love Manifest”
After winning the second semi-final last weekend, SunSay’s “Love Manifest” has come under quick scrutiny from the Eurovision masses. It would appear that the song has been performed in some form on numerous occasions since the start of 2015. One such video was uploaded to YouTube in February 2015. As per the Eurovision rules, this would make “Love Manifest” invalid to participate. Of course, there have been times when officials made exceptions to this rule. Anouk’s “Birds”, for instance, debuted on the radio years before it was submitted to Eurovision. The fact that SunSay has performed the song multiple times and to different audiences — in contrast to one isolated incident on Dutch radio — may land him in trouble with the EBU.
The song has obviously not been disqualified from the Ukrainian selection yet. The rules do allow some scope, but would this be pushing the limit to some degree? If SunSay were allowed to compete with “Love Manifest”, it may raise the question of whether the rules need to be looked at and followed more strictly.
Jamala – “1944”
Jamala’s “1944” has ignited the “too political” spark for many people. Whilst this may be a valid argument, it isn’t what we’re looking at quite yet. Instead, the issue with “1944” seems to be that the Crimean Tatar lyrics have been plucked straight out of another source.
The lyrics of the chorus — “Yasligima toyalmadim, men bu yerde yasalmadim” — is strikingly similar to the text in the traditional Crimean Tatar song “Ey, güzel Kirim”. The only difference between the two songs is that the lines are flipped. The meaning stays the same though: “I couldn’t spend my youth there, because you took away my peace”. It’s a powerful statement, but is this too much a copy of the “source material”? It might be a drama too much should “1944” be selected in tonight’s final.
What do you think about these controversies? Should either song be disqualified if they were to make it to Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter page.