As the 2018 national final season rolls on, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — turns their attention to Eurovision 2017 host country Ukraine and the six acts competing in the national final. First up, we look at Vilna with “Forest Song” and Kadnay with “Beat of the Universe”. Were we feeling their earthly vibes? Read on to find out!

Vilna – “Forest Song”

“Forest Song” reviews

Antranig: That outlandish ethnic hook is driving me wild! The rest of the song is above average but it’s a bit of a shame because this has the potential to be outstanding and it doesn’t reach those heights. With a revamp, this could be a brilliant song for Ukraine that could get them back to the top ten, if not even higher. But this is definitely not ready for Eurovision in its current state.

Score: 7.5/10

Jonathan: Vilna gets points just for bringing those animal-masked drummers with her – they were probably the best thing about this performance. “Forest Song” is not bad and has some nice spiritual/ethnic qualities to it. However, although Vilna delivers some powerful vocals, it doesn’t feel like the song reaches its full potential. The pre-chorus teases something rather good, but the chorus seems to shy away a bit. Perhaps Vilna should spend some more time in the forest, and then she might be able to produce a spiritual song just as epic as Kerli’s “Spirit Animal”.

Score: 7/10

Luis: I was not hugging a tree while reviewing this. Am I doing it right? “Forest Song” is the mandatory ethno entry in Eesti Laul but with bombastic Ukrainian production. Vilna’s voice is powerful and she performs with ease. The song, however, is nothing new and it feels ‘not distinctive enough’ for Ukraine. Sending her would be a bit like their 2011 entry: not a bad song, but it would need something else to uplift it.

Score: 6/10

Raphael: Vilna manages to take what might normally be staged as a cliche “tribal” number, puts it to a techno beat, and somehow makes it all work. Her eccentricity in “Forest Song” comes across in the right way, too — it’s not discomforting, it’s just warm in an unexpected sort of way. The chanting in each pre-chorus is tastefully short, yet long enough to keep the tribal vibe going. I only wish there were a more defined chorus.

Score: 7/10

Robyn: “Forest Song” is like Eesti Laul act Etnopatsy’s song “Külm” crossed with the wilderness-waif style of Emma’s “Circle of Light”, given an overall pop revamp. And it works. “Forest Song” presents a stylised but enjoyable version of folk music, but could struggle against Denmark’s Rasmussen for the ethno-drama vote if it made it to Eurovision. The only issue — the song never really feels like it gets going, and comes across like a drawn-out introduction, rather than the main event.

Score: 7.5/10

Our jury for Ukraine consists of ten jurors, but we only have room for five reviews. The remaining ten scores are listed below.

Barnabas: 6/10

Bogdan: 6.5/10

Deban: 6/10

Natalie: 10/10

Rezo: 6/10

 

 

 

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.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 6.72/10

Kadnay – “Beat of the Universe”

“Beat of the Universe” reviews

Antranig: The first note made me think I had a bee buzzing in my ear which is probably not the best of first impressions. The song picks up as it goes along but the verses are more interesting than the chorus. The hook needs a bit more oomph to sound more rock than pop. The dance break was also very well done. They probably won’t win Vidbir but if they do, they’re serious contenders for the Barbara Dex Award.

Score: 6.5/10

Deban: Lacking in structure and melody, “Beats of a Universe” feels more like artistic expression, and less about music.  Kadnay perform on stage with infectious energy and conviction. However, it needs more tidying up. In its current state, it is perhaps subpar for Ukraine’s high standards and untarnished qualification record. However, there is a precious stone underneath the rubble.

Score: 6.5/10

Jonathan: “Beat of the Universe” is promising and Kadnay are able to keep your attention for the whole three minutes due to their energy and performance — although there are points where their movements are a bit off-putting. Admittedly there is a lot going on and you don’t always know what you should be focusing on. The dance-break near the end is a particular highlight, however, and with some more thought-through staging this wouldn’t be Ukraine’s worst choice in the national final.

Score: 7.5/10

Luis: This is a particularly enjoyable hot mess. “Beat of the Universe” rides on its own within the Ukrainian selection. It’s powerful, striking and deliciously weird. Kadnay fill their entry with tones of energy and strength and it all works so well. It’s totally niche, many people will be put off by this entry, but as a fan of this kind of alternative music, I’m so happy this song has made the final in Ukraine.

Score: 8/10

Natalie: This song is hard to listen to. It’s got lots of elements and is really modern and cool, but it’s so jarring and messy that on occasions it actually hurts. I want to like it, but I just wish it was simpler and less all-over-the-place. I’m sure the actual beat of the universe is much more soft and calm.

Score: 4/10

Our jury for Ukraine consists of ten jurors, but we only have room for five reviews. The remaining ten scores are listed below.

Barnabas: 4.5/10

Bogdan: 9/10

Raphael: 8.5/10

Rezo: 5/10

Robyn: 7/10

 

 

 

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 4 and a high of 9.

WIWI JURY VERDICT: 6.68/10

SEE OUR LIST OF UKRAINE 2018 RANKINGS HERE

READ MORE UKRAINE EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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Colin
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Colin

Vilna: Forest Song – It’s like an English version of Kulm in a way. It’s lovely, although it’s not as impactful as aformentioned one. 7/10

Kadnay: Beat of the Universe – It’s a nice song, but much like Time, this could get lost in ESC. But I do like the beat. 6.5/10

AngieP
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AngieP

“Forest Song” : There’s sth magical, mystical and atmospheric about this song I like. It’s beautiful. I love the chorus! 6.5/10
“Beat of the Universe”: I like the mystery it creates. It builds up to a strong chorus. 7/10

Kris
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Kris

Forest song: 6.5/10
Beat of the universe: 7.5/10
Sounds modern and the singer has discernible English!

NathalieBazinga
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Kadnay are so sexy. The sound is confusing me. It’s so modern and interesting. They remind me a bit of Imagine Dragons. It wouldn’t hurt to bring some modern music onto ESC stage, just like we had Jowst last year.
8.5/10

Vilna looks great but the song is a bit disappointing. I expected more ethnic sounds. The better version of such type of song is Jamala’s Zamanyly which she performed on last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Unfortunately, another problem is that we already have three songs elected for Eurovision with ethnic elements and they are better than Forest.
6/10

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Forest Song is the only song I enjoy from the Ukrainian final tbh!

Tarilaralay
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Tarilaralay

Forest song is very good one, always gives me goosebumps, and just beautiful. And I don’t care if it has some moments from other songs or not! Kadnay are great as well, energetic and powerful! Hope Vilna will do her best performing at the final, she has to do it.

AzeriChico
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AzeriChico

“Forest Song” – 5/10
“Beat of the Universe” – 9/10

I so want Kadnay to win the Vidbir this Saturday. But I am sure it’s going to be between Tayanna and Mélovin. I like both of these songs, but Kadnay is much better IMO. That semifinal performance was just AMAZING! :O

beccaboo1212
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“Forest Song” – 9/10
“Beat of the Universe” – 6.5/10

Skimur
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Skimur

I agree that the song of Vilna needs further development, and it is already known that it will be revamped, so I’m sure in the final it will be one of the best songs. Btw, she is the cutest girl of this season, just watch her interview, even if you do not know Ukrainian, it’s still fun to watch her 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNoHWBklUwY 9,0/10 About Kadnay – last year’s song was better, it could easily surpass JOWST. This year their song does not have enough groove, and the mediocre vocals are no longer hidden under incredible energy. Not bad, but not… Read more »

Amor
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Amor

I love, love Kadnay! I hope they either win or place pretty high!

Zolipop
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Zolipop

I don’t think that Barbara Dex nomination is deserved.
BTW, Kadynay for the win!:)

Giorgos
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Giorgos

“I’m sure the actual beat of the universe but much more soft and calm.”

anyone got this sentence? I think Natalie should proof check her texts before submitting them. Giving Forest Song 10/10 and Kadnay 4/10 is well… interesting…

H5rre11
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H5rre11

I’m sorry but wtf! Vilna has the best song of this selection and yet people are so blinded by Tayanna and her terrible song this year. People only wants Tayanna to win because she’s Tayanna it’s bloody obvious. Vilna by far has the best of the 6 songs and by the way it does have top 10 potential and it doesn’t need a revamp.

Ukraine please choose Vilna!

Alex M
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Alex M

No please. Cheap song, weak singer.
Kadnay is much better.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Relax! Vilna’s voice is just fine.

DragKvinna
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DragKvinna

Vilna will fail just like Christina from Slovakia did.

H5rre11
Guest
H5rre11

Wrong! Vilna will not fail. Tayanna will fail yes but not Vilna

JeyDelRey
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JeyDelRey

My two favorite entries of the Ukrainian selection. I hope one of them will represent Ukraine, although I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Mélovin or Tayana..

H5rre11
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H5rre11

Don’t worry it won’t be Tayanna. She’s second in the running order and that’s a very unlucky placing

Vanessa
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Vanessa

The running order won’t even matter. You’ll see she’ll unfortunately win 🙁

Alex
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Alex

I think Melovin has the greatest chances to win Vidbir and probably will do fine in Lisbon, but definetly Vilna’s song is the best form 6. Just listen to this beautiful lyrics… Hope in final Irina and her cool drummers will perform better and convince the judges that Forest song deserves to represent Ukraine.

Btw, Kadnay has best show in Vidbir!

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I agree as these are my two favourites in the final but I would not mind it being Tayanna, either. Kadnay has a great show and would be my favourite Ukranian song of the entire selection if it had not been for Kozak System!