From drag queens to sand artists to women in giant hamster wheels, Ukraine knows how to choose memorable Eurovision acts. And on Saturday they’ll do it again with their national selection for Eurovision 2017. As ever the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is ready to judge. Next up is Tayanna with “I Love You”. Is it love?
Tayanna – “I Love You”
“I Love You” reviews:
Antranig: There has been a lot of hype behind Tayanna but I felt the studio version to be quite overrated. However, this came to life in the live performance — goosebumps for three minutes. Vocally and musically, Tayanna annihilates the competition. While there are many songs yet to be revealed, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Tayanna keeping the contest in Kyiv for another year.
Robyn: Ukraine wouldn’t be so obvious as to send a song in the style of last year’s Eurovision winner, but they seem to have been greatly inspired by the 2016 runner-up. If you like divas belting out big dramatic songs, you’ll love this. But where “Sound of Silence” had stillness and emotion amid the drama, “I Love You” just goes for the standard Eurovision drama playbook. Tayanna is a talented singer, but “I Love You” feels cynical.
Kristin: One word sprung to mind, when I listened to “I love you”: wow. This one is dynamite, y’all! If Tayanna gets chosen to represent Ukraine, we will probably have the best host entry since Anna Vissi in 2006. The power here is beyond everything. She puts her heart and soul into the performance, and strikes you like lightning. I actually had to take a moment, and just gather myself after first listen. Pure quality!
Luis: Wow. “I love you” is not my kind of song at all, but Tayanna takes this to another dimension. She sings “when I said I’ll always love you, it came right through my chest”. Girl, the whole performance came right through your chest! She masters drama and turns her intense pain into a delight for the ears. It was the obvious stand out of the semifinal, and I’m feeling she will be flying the Ukrainian flag in Kyiv. This is not just another host country entry — this is in the league of Anna Vissi, Jelena Tomasevic and Sabina Babayeva. Stunning.
Zakaria: I can already hear the crowd singing along to this and roar at the end of the performance inside the International Exhibition Center. Yes, this song can definitely represent Ukraine on home soil and give them another great placing or even a second consecutive win. “I Love You” is full of emotions and Tayanna does an amazing job transmitting them by the power of her incredible voice and stage presence.
Josh: Tayanna has come to slay and wants to keep Eurovision in Ukraine for 2018, honey! This is a true highlight in the Ukrainian national selection this year, and whilst I personally don’t think this could win, it could get another top five placing for Ukraine. This stands out above the other female-led ballads we have so far. There’s so much power and grit in her voice that I’m captivated from this first second. This is special.
William: Tayanna makes pain sound so beautiful. With her powerful vocals and a chorus that surges like a tsunami, she delivers an emotional tour de force — and one replete with the requisite Eurovision key change. The raw product is strong. With some tweaks and dramatic staging this could shoot to the Top 5 at ESC.
Jason: “I Love You” is for sure one of the strongest entries amongst all of this year’s national finals. Tayanna is definitely not messing around here. The studio version blew me away, but the live performance absolutely killed the competition. She serves raw emotion and Europe would eat it up. There are more semi-finals to come, but Ukraine should just hurry up and pick Tayanna.
In our Ukraine Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.