Sofia Rol Ukraine Junior Eurovision 2016

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.

Score: 8.5/10

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.

Score: 8/10

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.

Score: 7/10

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.

Score: 7.5/10

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.

Score: 6.5/10

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.

Score: 6.5/10

Sofia Rol

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.

Score: 6/10

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.

Score: 6/10

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.

Score: 4/10

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!

Score: 5/10

Our jury for 2016 consists of twenty-one jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining eleven scores are listed below.

Andy: 5/10

Antony: 7/10

Dayana: 5/10

Edd: 4/10

Jordi: 7/10

Marek: 7/10

Mario: 6.5/10

Matt: 4.5/10

Renske: 8/10

Rezo: 6/10

Zakaria: 6.5/10

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.

Wiwi jury score: 6.26/10

READ ALL THE WIWI JURY RANKINGS AND REVIEWS

FOLLOW OUR JUNIOR EUROVISION COVERAGE

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Ananas
Guest
Ananas

I absolutely adore this song! A beautiful ballad sang by a very talented girl with a great voice. That mysterious atmosphere in that song makes it even better. I don’t understand how people can rank it really (like REALLY) low! It’s definitely better than Cyprus, Australia or Albania.

My rank: 9.5/10
Place: 4th/17

Eva M.
Guest
Eva M.

I actually like this. It does sound plain at first hearing, but I find myself listening to it all most everyday, which cannot be said for most of the other entries. There is a certain beauty in the song, and I do not know what instruments they are playing, but I love the oriental sound. She somehow expresses her love for the Earth and the mixture of desire to protect it and at the same time surrender at the sight of its awesomeness and grandeur. In short, this song touches me, which at the end is what music is all… Read more »

Ryan Crean
Guest
Ryan Crean

HOW CAN YOU RANK THIS BEAUTY UNDER THE LIKES OF CYPRUS AND BELARUS?! 🙁 Very disappointed,brilliant song,brilliant artist!

8.5/10

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

It’s so bland and forgettable. I expected much better from the country that gave us Nebo in 2012.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Why is this last so far??? Cyprus, Georgia, Albania and Belarus are FAR worse than this. Anyway…

This is a very solid entry, and i know Ukraine will set up the right staging, just as with last years similar song. Her voice is very good and the song very mystical, and i like it a lot 🙂 This should do good live.

9/10
Rank: 6/15

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

I find it a good and calming song and I love her voice. The initial version was better though. It felt more alive as a song and the English lyrics were also better and less cheesy.
I don’t think this will do well, it will probably get lost among stronger ballads. Ukraine really shouldn’t have made the same mistake with last year. I mean, I loved Anna but the whole entry was just too serious and forgettable for JESC. So is this.

Score: 7/10
Rank: 11th/15

MirkoJoshua
Guest
MirkoJoshua

The worst song of JESC this year… well, Ukraine doesn’t need to win in JESC too

Erin
Guest
Erin

Sofia’s singing is so expressive and soothing that it feels like she’s walking on air ‘sailing’ through the song with her round and deep voice. There’s beauty within and out presented in a contemplative and meditative mood, but that may prove to be not enough for those looking for high-energy songs that get them singing and jumping out of their seat. I believe it will end up in a mid-table spot.

Ostyn Raieed
Guest
Ostyn Raieed

My winner this year! 🙂

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

It did grew on me, especially after the videoclip.
7/10

Z24
Guest
Z24

It’s very middle of the road, even if ethnic/worldly ballads are a thing (Sokol, Start with yourself) I am not confident this pushes enough to be in a forefront, butbhas the potential to be strongly staged and performed.