The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals comes to the final two acts competing in tomorrow’s grand final of Ukraine’s national selection for Eurovision 2018. Finally, we take a look at the entries from two returning artists, Melovin with “Under the Ladder” and Tayanna with “Lelya”. Did we see a brighter future for either of these acts? Read on to find out!
Melovin – “Under the Ladder”
“Under the Ladder” reviews
Antranig: Melovin is full of potential and in most ways “Under the Ladder” is a step up from “Wonder”. The song goes places and Melovin sells it all superbly on stage. My biggest criticism is the lyrics, which are a bit peculiar to begin with, and in parts quite unintelligible in the live performance. Melovin is a star though, and I expect him to be able to iron everything out in due time. Oh, and please fire his hair stylist.
Luis: If “Wonder” was already brilliant, here is Melovin bringing an even better entry this year. This is how you do it. “Under the Ladder” is a rush, it makes you want to move. His quirky performance just enhances it. Not everything is perfect here: the production could be a bit heavier in the chorus. Overall, this has a very good shot at making it to Eurovision.
Natalie: This is a solid energetic pop song. I wish there was more substance to the lyrics than “oh-oh-o-oh-oh” in parts, but it’s still got a lot of juice amid Melovin’s well-trained voice. The production is perhaps a bit unoriginal, but still pretty cool and with a lot of shine. It makes me happy to listen to. It seems to have captured the hearts of Ukraine, so it might do well across Europe.
Raphael: “Under the Ladder” has great potential to be a radio hit, and Melovin has the stage presence and energy to keep the song alive until well past Eurovision. Apart from his disposable contact lens, all this song and performance could improve at this point is the song’s rise and fall. With a pounding chorus that hits early and a somewhat awkward piano slowdown halfway through, the track doesn’t build and peak as naturally as it could. But I admit, I’m being picky!
Robyn: Melovin wants to go to Eurovision and I am very happy for him to be on that plane to Lisbon. “Under the Ladder” is packed full of energy and young Mel’ puts his substantial experience as a performer to good use. He’s a teen idol in Ukraine and he has the swagger to sell it to an international audience. The only thing — his trademark novelty contact lens makes him look like a 14-year-old boy dressed for Halloween and distracts from the performance.
Our jury for Ukraine consists of ten jurors, but we only have room for five reviews. The remaining ten scores are listed 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 5.5 and a high of 9.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 7.68/10
Tayanna – “Lelya”
Deban: “Leyla” is folk-pop on energiser. It is packed with vigour and rapturous energy. The staging is well thought out, and it complements the snazzy choreography. Tayanna is confident, without being cocky and I love her for this.
Jonathan: The studio version of “Lelya” is a bop, and the only song in Vidbir 2018 that I’ve had on repeat since first listen. It’s clever of Tayanna to bring something that can still show off her vocals, but isn’t too reliant on it that there’s a risk of another botched note like last year. The staging in the semi-final however was rather frenetic and for non-Ukrainian speakers a bit confusing. But we know that Ukraine can stage a great Eurovision entry. So, combine this song with Ukraine’s staging team and Tayanna is clearly the country’s best option for the second year in a row.
Luis: There’s so much to love about this performance. It’s very surprising to see a singer who did such a heartfelt ballad last year rocking a bop with such ease as Tayanna. This woman is gold. Not only her voice is impeccable despite all her dance moves, she also seems to be enjoying so much on stage. “Lelya” is infectious, uplifting and so much fun, and it would make a fabulous entry for Ukraine.
Natalie: We all know Tayanna’s got a great voice, and she has no fear showing it off here again. She’s also got a much more fun and energetic song this year, which will please lots of people. I do feel Tayanna is more comfortable with her dramatic ballad, but she certainly still gives her all here. It’s such a fun and boppy song with such a cute energy, and even with the language barrier it’s so easy to get into. I would love to see Tayanna in Lisbon this year.
Raphael: “Lelya” is the only non-English song of Vidbir during which I feel completely comfortable just rocking out to gibberish. Tayanna brings sexiness, energy, a crisp voice, and most importantly, a party to the stage. Even if “Lelya” isn’t as strong as its competitors in terms of composition, Tayanna sells it with pure attitude and confidence. I could easily see her wind machine blowing her all the way to Lisbon.
Our jury for Ukraine consists of ten jurors, but we only have room for five reviews. The remaining ten scores are listed 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 7 and a high of 9.5.
You put my 2 favourites together!
Tayanna has an-up beat song and I enjoyed her performance. 8/10
Melovin has a song which seems to be a ballad but it has a strong beat. 8/10
P.S.: As I’m writing this after the final, knowing Melovin won, I want to say how much I loved his performance.
Am I the only one who thinks Ukraine can’t go wrong here? ALL of the songs I have rated at least 6/10 or higher. That makes for a very high standard national final, whatever happens. As for Melovin and Tayanna specifically… Actually, Tayanna’s live performance was so outstanding that she has the edge for me. I would choose Tayanna over Melovin. Melovin’s song reminds me of some British hits, and the hooks in it are very memorable. Melovin himself does have a pronounciation issue, but it’s not as bad as Belarus’ Alekseev. I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if he won… Read more »
Agree! I like all the songs in different ways though, they all would do pretty nice in Lisbon, but my two favorites are Kadnay (the energy is simply crazy) and Melovin (this kid has something mesmerising in his performance),anyway i wouldnt mind any of these songs to win
“Under the Ladder” – 8/10
“Lelya” – 6.5/10
Melovin is just making random sounds with his mouth it’s not english…
Wow! Melovin guy get a lot of attention here and there even from people who heavily don’t like him, lmao!! he definitely makes a lot of buzz around his person, his song is pretty much generic but he can sing and i like he writes songs himself and try to be an indie artist, lol . My favorite from Vidbir were Constantine and Kadnay, both hot and so good musically
Bit ignorant to refer to Ukrainian as “gibberish”…
Apparently, if a person does not know the language it’s automatically gibberish. 🙁 Ukrainian is not a nonsense language it’s an official language of an independent state.
For the Vidbir 2016 we went with a clear goal – to win at Stokholm. The success of 2016 happened because artists from the higher league of Ukrainian show business took part in the selection. 2017 and 2018 turned into a competition of beginning artists and singers from the musical underground and task is to get at best in the top 10. You can not expect to win if you have to choose not from the best. Tayanna << Tina Karol, Melovin << Monatik, Kadnay << Onuka, OTorvald <…< The Hardkiss. Yes, it's interesting to watch newcomers, but I'm waiting… Read more »
What is this! From the reviews it would appear to Me I’m listening to entirely different songs Vis a vis what wiwi jury heard.
Under the ladder: 5.5/10
European viewer, MELOVIN is worthy of respect for me, because this guy fights for his dream! without money and sponsors and he does not have a producer. All that he achieved, only thanks to his work and talent. He has a desire, he has a dream and his idea. People love and support him for this, his main slogan: never give up and go to your dream. Tayanna this paid project in Ukraine, the big communications in show business and money. She has a large team of pr-managers and sponsors. Ukrainians vote for the idea in their choice, most of… Read more »
Tayanna is very good singer and i love her song in native language…. i think she would do good in Lisbon,top 10 for sure.. but i like Melovin more… his live performance is so good…he should improve his English though… in others aspect he is perfect for Eurovision…hope he wins
Tayanna is amazing, she was my winner last year, and I didn’t think she could get better, and she did!!!! It would be a crime not to send Lelya to Eurovision for Ukraine this year!
Both overrated. Tayanna’s sound is radio poison and Melovin’s song is just forgettable.
Please do not send wannabee Neo from the Matrix Ukraine! Send either Tayanna or Kadnay. Lelya is not an overrated song. The lyrics are great and clever and she slayed that vocal performance. I love how the production is both throwback and modern and in her native tongue. I have no idea why Melovin insists on singing in English when he is not good at it. There is nothing wrong with singing in English but make sure it sounds good and is intelligible.
Leyla is the patron saint of unlucky girls in love for those adhering to the Catholic and Orthodox churches- smart move lyrically. Not as clever as France, but this would be their second best song lyrically after 1944.
Although I’m still gushing over Kvitka….
I am dead here. Lelya is a Pagan (!!!!) Slavic goddess of love.
It’s funny, I actually think Melovin and Tayanna have the least good Songs in the final. Melovin is my last out of them by far, everything else is much better. He’ll win, but it’s not deserved imo. The erised, Kadnay an Laud are so good!!! Vilna swould also be better. Why choose Melovin if you can have them?
I agree that both of them are kind of overrated. Funny thing is, both of them were excellent last year and had Tayanna picked Kvitka, it would be my 1st of NF. Melovin: Under the Ladder – Melovin’s pronunciation is very mumbling and I can barely understand what he is saying in the chorus. But, even when I went to see the lyrics, I couldn’t understand what do they mean. Obviously it’s supposed to be a metaphor, but for what, I have no idea. I just sounds odd. The song does have a hook, but without a coherency behind it,… Read more »
What’s “funny” about telling the truth as it is? These two songs are the worst in the bunch.
It’s funny because I (well you too obviously) am the only Person thinking that way, which I don’t understand. Melovin is so ”unique” and ”emo” and gay and he’s cool and suuuper mysterious and whatevs, but that doesn’t Change his below average song into a masterpiece.
Finally someone judging the songs and not the singers! I can’t understand how anyone with decent hearing will rate ‘heroes’ to be musically below ‘ under the ladder’!!
Am glad that you guys feel the same!
Both of these guys are fantastic artists and neither song is bad. But this is not either’s best work and there are better actual songs in this final. The only song I would put below these two is the Erised. The other three are all better!
I dont like Tayanna, Melovin is real winner
Tayanna is clearly the best option for Ukraine!!!! Her moves, her vocals, her stage presence are flawless ? and her song is so infectious… On the other hand, I really don’t see anything special in Melovin… Tayanna deserves this time the crown for once!!!!
Wow! The songs in this selection are growing on me so fast. I didn’t pay much attention back then when I first heard the songs but now I quite like them. I think Ukraine will have no problem with qualification this year. My favorites are Melovin, LAUD and Tayanna. Any of them would do good in Eurovision, imo. None of them shouts winner, though.
Melovin the only one who can get to TOP 5 in Lisbon, I think gay folks and teen girls will vote for him … he is stunnig performer … and very charming person…though he should improve his English,not only for singing but in major …. he definitely gonna be in center of media attention.
I’m gay and I will not vote for him, just cuz he’s cute. Gay folks are not sexually addicted, lol, this is a song contest and we’re voting for best song!
@ Kirk : I AGREE.
Of course we won’t vote for someone
only because he is gay or hot…
We are not that shallow…
Eurovison contest never been only about good song , at least for last 20 years…lol …though ‘m not saying we gonna vote for him only because he is cute and gay…i think his song and performance are amazing and he has very nice personalty…that’s why he will get a lot of votes from teen girls and gays who i believe the major part of Eurovision active voters…..and his look and appeal we play the role anyway …
What looks? What appeal? Totally unimpressed here.
He is gay? That explains the random look thing
He’s not gay for sure. And he’s not walking around the kitchen with lens lol. He looks like this only when he’s MÉLOVIN. It’s his team’s choice how to look
Lmao I ain’t voting for that creepy twink thank you.
I understand you dont like Melovin’ as an artist but calling someone creepy just becouse you don’t like his look is too much… imho… i think he is very charming young guy…i watched his interviews and enjoyed how smilly and friendly he was with people… i don’t care about his gimmicks … he is talanted and can perform…. i saw a lot of really nasty comments on youtube about his ‘ugly’ look and how ‘gay’ he is… don’t think this young guy deserves too be jujed by his strange look….
Creepy is literally supposed to be based on looks! He is commenting on look which he can judge
For me ‘creepy’ based on behaving and attuide not look…but if you guys enjoy calling names on teen guy who is alredy been cursed with tons of homophobic and look shaming comments on youtube its your choice
The diva is being overrated as always, no surprise. There’s nothing outstanding in Ukraine, but Melovin would be the best option, I think.
Yes…..I’m confused when people say Ukraine has such a strong selection and I was like looking at the finalists “where are the strong songs?”
Compared with the songs that have already been chosen by other countries, these finalists are indeed strong.
I think France had by far the best selection in that they would have had a good song no matter which of the 18 entries got chosen.
Melovin is overrated, send Tayanna
Am i the only one here who thinks “Wonder” was a 100 times better than “Under The Ladder”? I also love his style, and i don’t like, when people say he shouldn’t be himself…
Melovin has a wonderful song, I hope Ukraine will pick him! Good luck, guys!
It seems like Melovin has many admirers in Ukraine, but from the outside he does not seem interesting. In my opinion, every country has such a cute boy who is so different, and who sings good rock-pop songs.
Tayanna, in turn, can exist only in Ukraine (perhaps also in Turkey or Greece). She is interesting, because she is exotic for many of us.
Melovin’s horrible english accent completely ruins the song. Send Tayanna, Ukraine
I want Tayanna and “Lelya” to win. It’s abotu time Ukraine send a song sung completely in Ukrainian to the contest.
I really struggle to see any appeal at all with Tayanna and her song. Melovin ftw
Tayanna’s song is a bit overrated imo, I prefer her entry last year by far and I’m not a fan of her performance at all. For me Mélovin has it all, his song is catchy, his look will stand out, his voice sounds great (I always prefer his live Performances to the Audio Versions) and he’s such a nice Person who deserves to win. I’m not saying Tayanna doesn’t deserve to win, her song is just not as good for me. I hope the Jury finally sees how much Mélovin is loved by the public and won’t give him undeserving… Read more »
I’m finding it seriously difficult to separate Melovin and Tayanna, they’re the two best songs of the competition, and I just love both of them!
Melovin has a great song but Tayanna song IMO is overrated. Ukraine should send Melovin to ESC because he has better chances to do well i think (and he’s also more charismatic)
I couldn’t agree more with you. I honestly love Vilna’s song. To me, it’s the best option for Ukraine. I don’t get the hype around Melovin and Tayanna but oh well, that’s just my opinion.
Well for me I don’t get the hype around Vilna so yeah…
I agree too.
At least the could try more with the live performance
Same! Vilna is soooo vanilla… vocal is nice but there is nothing special about her performance