Hello Europe, hello Australia — it’s Kyiv calling! On Saturday Ukraine kicked off the first semi-final of Vidbir 2019, the country’s national final for Eurovision.

Ukraine is always in for a bit of drama. So naturally tonight had a sprinkling of it before the show even started. Tonight’s semi-final was meant to include two-time Vidbir runner-up Tayanna. But she withdrew her bid in the weeks leading up to the show. The Ukrainian broadcasters behind the show subsequently announced rising star MARUV as the replacement act. And, as a newly confirmed finalist, it’s clear she made the most of it.

With the same format as last year, the top three acts advanced to the final of the preselection. They were determined by a combination of televoting and the opinion of an expert panel, once again consisting of Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala, composer and producer Yevhen Fylatov and the real man behind one of our favourite drag queens Verka Serduchka — Andriy Danylko.

Oh what a night. We saw everything: from The Hypnotunez’ walking Illuminati sign to Letay flying off with a bunch of coloured balloons to Brunettes Shoot Blondes’ magical machine.

Ultimately, only three acts could advance to the final of 23 February. Perhaps for the first time in Vidbir history, the jury and the televoting public actually agreed! Together they sent MARUV, Brunettes Shoot Blondes and YUKO to the final.

Vidbir 2019: Who made the final?

MARUV – “Siren Song”

MARUV gave us some butt slapping and perhaps the most over-the-top pair of glasses of the season. The performance was the most provocative of the night, if not in Vidbir history. Jamala recognised this and was worried that it was perhaps too explicit to be allowed on the Eurovision stage. Andriy disagreed and eventually gave MARUV his top points in the jury voting. Though he also added that if MARUV wanted to play the “provocative” card, she should have played it more distinctively, while also commenting that she lacked energy in tonight’s performance.

Brunettes Shoot Blondes – “Houston”

Some music lovers might call it vandalism, but the guys Brunettes Shoot Blondes once bought a 17th century piano and completely deconstructed it. Not to break it, but to re-construct something special out of the remains. They added nearly every single instrument thinkable into the empty piano and turned it into a proper machine. Though an interesting show element, the jury commented that they could not rely on this “machine” alone to impress the viewers.

YUKO – “Galyna guliala”

Another performance, another experiment. YUKO announced that they would bring Ukrainian folktronica on stage. However, their song is not original….but uses motifs and lyrics from traditional Ukrainian music. Jamala reminded them that that is not allowed according to Eurovision rules. While she used motifs and lyrics from Crimean Tatar music in “1944”, she added that she made sure that her song was a new one.

Eliminated acts

The Hypnotunez – “Hey”

Overall, the judges enjoyed the performance of The Hypnotunez, which was noted as both happy and crazy. It was a bombastic start of the competition, but Jamala said that one cannot play instruments live at Eurovision, as The Hypnotunez also enjoy improvising.

Letay – “Myla moya”

The almost unrecognisable returnee brought us perhaps the most crazy performance we have seen this NF season so far! Andriy Danylko revealed that he was scared when Letay was flying around in the air, holding his microphone in one hand and balloons in the other, but this also led to Letay receiving some praise about his singing in combination with his difficult (and slightly creepy) mini-circus on stage.

Vera Kekelia – “Wow!”

Former girlband member Vera Kekelia was set to “Wow!” us tonight with her debut solo single, but she didn’t convince the judges. Though dressing the part of a diva in a thin golden-glitter dress, all jury members agreed that she could have shown more attitude and could have surprised more.

TseSho – “Hate”

TseSho revealed that they received hate on their track from Eurovision fans before even stepping on the stage, with many people commenting that their song was definitely not final-worthy. The song showed the first big divide on the jury panel of the year. Jamala did not hate TseSho at all and said she liked that the group had prepared a concept and message. Andriy was more critical and stated that Eurovision is a song contest after all and “Hate” is not a song, rather a performance.

Bahroma – “Navzazhdy-Navsegda”

“Navzazhdy-Navsegda” tells us a story about love without borders according to Bahroma. The group subsequently received love from both Jamala and Yevhen, but Andriy thought “Navzazhdy-Navsegda” wasn’t suitable for Eurovision.

Vidbir 2019: Semi-Final 1 jury results

8 points – YUKO – “Galina guliala”
7 points – Brunettes Shoot Blondes – “Houston”
6 points – MARUV – “Siren Song”
5 points – TseSho – “Hate”
4 points – Vera Kekelia – “Wow!”
3 points – Bahroma – “Navzazhdy-Navsegda”
2 points – Letay – “Myla moya”
1 point – The Hypnotunez – “Hey”

First semi-final televoting results

8 points – MARUV – “Siren Song”
7 points – Brunettes Shoot Blondes – “Houston”
6 points – TseSho – “Hate”
5 points – YUKO – “Galina guliala”
4 points – Bahroma – “Navzazhdy-Navsegda”
3 points – Letay – “Myla moya”
2 points – Vera Kekelia – “Wow!”
1 point – The Hypnotunez – “Hey”

Combined first-semi-final of Vidbir 2019 results

14 points – MARUV – “Siren Song”
14 points – Brunettes Shoot Blondes – “Houston”
13 points – YUKO – “Galina guliala”

11 points – TseSho – “Hate”
7 points – Bahroma “Navzazhdy-Navsegda”
6 points – Vera Kekelia – “Wow!”
5 points – Letay – “Myla moya”
2 points – The Hypnotunez – “Hey”

Do you agree with the results of the first semi-final of Vidbir 2019? Did your favourites go through? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow all our Ukraine news here

Total
38
Shares

76
Leave a Reply

avatar
45 Comment threads
31 Thread replies
4 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
54 Comment authors
ZebbAirellAlex MAppleRose Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Zebb
Guest
Zebb

genuinely upset with televote’s 1st place, ugh

yet TseSho were robbed

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

so, this is where EL vibes have gone to.

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

What I liked the most about this Vidbir is the audio quality. Especially after Destination Eurovision…

Roma
Guest
Roma

Online magazine about MARUV and Vidbir 2019 in Ukraine – Semi-final 1: http://royaldesign.ua/ru/evrovidenie-2019-pevitsa-maruv-glavnyiy-kandidat-na-pobedu.bXvHr/

Christian
Guest
Christian

Wow, what a refreshing mix of songs. I’m definitely gonna watch the final. I only hope that the brunettes shoot blondes keep in mind, that they won’t be able to play their instrument live in Tel Aviv if they win Vidbir.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Every single song of vidbir is more well produced and polished than “you decide”. Period.

cai
Guest
cai

I love Maruv – yeah the vocals were off but she has less time to prepare than the rest… and that first drop chorus matched with the dance moves INSANE – she does need to improve the verses but that’s nothing a revamp can’t change best of the night by far

Victorielle
Guest
Victorielle

So, Kazka will go. 🙂

Meliris
Guest
Meliris

Maruv is being overrated, bad vocals… I liked Letay a lot more.

Airell
Guest
Airell

Agree… LETAY or TseSho deserved the place IMO ._.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Wow, that show looks like a lot of fun. Sorry I missed it.

Maxim
Guest
Maxim

My only fear is the jury’s vote. They can totally destroy Maruv’s chances of going to Tel Aviv if they give her a third place again in the final.

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

I really hope they WILL. And not the third place, but something like fifth-sixth

Airell
Guest
Airell

It’s possible, Maruv’s song is a little too much to me (and let’s not start on the singing). I’m hoping Kazka will save Ukraine 🙂

NickC
Guest
NickC

Maruv is….something. it is surely memorable. Vidbir is right up there with Destination , Hello and San Remo for me.

Dalth
Guest
Dalth

Need I say anything more than Bang,

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Okay, I’m totally on board with Maruv’s “Siren Song”. The verses could use a bit of polishing, but what a chorus! The lyrics seem to be rather saucy, but it’s nothing we can’t handle, is it?

Joseph
Guest
Joseph

TseSho over YUKO any day of the week.

Dalia
Guest
Dalia

Please Ukraine choose MARUV with her BANG!

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

Wow, Maruv that was quite a… HOT performance!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

TseSho is a big loss but it wasn’t my favourite. What a great semi final. Liked 5 out of the 7 songs so really looking forward to the second semi final.

MarkoH
Guest
MarkoH

I like Maruv and all… but… isn’t it… a bit too sexual?? I mean, kids also watch eurovision…

James C
Guest
James C

We had the slavic girls? hahaha

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

It’ll be fine, parents can tell them to go to their rooms.

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

Haha, “go to your room”, sentence from last century, kids will watch it on internet anyway :p

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

What?! *clutching my pearls*

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Lmao, we’ll probably have Hatari for Iceland. If they can compete, anyone can.

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

There is nothing that modern children do not see on the Internet every day ).

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

If Hatari reps Iceland this year, this wouldn’t be too much more sexual than them.

Rose
Guest
Rose

IVAN would like to speak with you.

Henry
Guest
Henry

The beginning if Hate is such a funny plot twist. It’s like Montenegro 2012 but funnier. It’s legendary

bastian
Guest
bastian

Maruv and BSB were amazing. Both would be great choices. I want them both in esc

gigou
Guest
gigou

Just a little question : In october, Natalia Gordienko was announced as the first Vidbir contestant with Hrim (Thunder). So why isn’t she competing ???????? Thank u for answer 😉

Gudrun
Guest
Gudrun

She wasn’t selected by the committee. So her song probably wasn’t good enough,

John
Guest

Yay for (very random) use of German… even if it was spelled wrong.

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

Danylko probably was smitten by that LMAO!

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

TseSho was robbed , don’t get Yuko song, sounds annoying for me….
others qualifiers are nice, but i have high hopes for semi 2, i love almost every one in there:
Magical – Kazka,
guy with velvet voice – Laud
powerful twin sisters – Anna Maria
Wanna be Timberlake – Ivan Navi
and the most incredible male voice i’ve ever heard on Vidbir – Khayat!

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

I swear brunettes shoot blondes is absolutely amazing!

Harut
Guest
Harut

Marun has to win it’s sassy and cool , amazing song and stagings

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Maruv was rejected and she has one of the best in this NF, okey. Maruv and BSB were my favs, so I agree with this result.

brennan
Guest
brennan

these rankings are pretty much spot on, maruv definitely has the best song for eurovision out of the bunch
yuko in the final of vidbir… my heart

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

The most weird, alternative and interesting set of songs in NF ever. My personal top 3: 1.Maruv, 2.Yuko and 3.TseSho.

Albert
Guest
Albert

Bahroma deserve more than Yuko, sorry not sorry

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

All my favs in the second semi , in this one i only like a bit of Letya and BSB,
Maruv is not my thing at all, besides she is stunningly beautiful i don’t get all the hype …meh

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Another great year on Vidbir. Every entry was smartly staged and brought a different thing to the competition. I haven’t heard the songs before today, so if some of you’re saying the second semifinal can be even better than this one, I’m officialy hyped.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Siren Song is so genuinly interesting and I quite love it. The performance was badass but idk if it’s too vulgar for ESC or not. But KAZKA is still my favorite.

Mika
Guest
Mika

MARUV needs to win for Ukraine or KAZKA (if she improved her vocals…)

Wilhelm
Guest
Wilhelm

MARUV has no vocal at all…

Hermès
Guest
Hermès

You’re jocking right?
https://youtu.be/QQ9Scrcwp0w

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I’m not into these songs. Kazka has to win in Ukraine.

Andrii
Guest
Andrii

Kazka can`t sing live

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

Who told you that?

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

i heard her live singing ‘Apart’ and it was pure gold…

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Then they got a problem.

Mika
Guest
Mika

That was last year. Hopefully she improved her vocals!

AdamZee
Guest
AdamZee

Yes!
I’ll be shattered if Kazka don’t win!

Name
Guest
Name

MARUV was so good, I hope she wins. If not her then KAZKA

M_K
Guest
M_K

Her performance was 100% on point.

Susane
Guest
Susane

Sorry but Yuko is not my thing…. TseSho was robbed…
unpopular opinion- i dont like Maruv at all…
BSB is my fav in this semi 🙂

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

I also don’t like Maruv at all. But she has this dumb hype train, which doesn’t seem to stop even after THAT performance…

Airell
Guest
Airell

You’re not alone 🙂
My favourites were BSB, TseSho and LETAY

M_K
Guest
M_K

BTW, the fact that the Montenegrin NF is taking place at this very moment is rightfully ignored and/or forgotten. The current front-runner is what I considered the obvious last place in the NF. It’s this kind of Eurovision song that is simply beyond words.

uzhas
Guest
uzhas

chill, they will only make a post after the results will be known.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Aside of that, this is a good line-up of finalists, they deserved their qualification. However, YUKO might be in danger after Jamala’s critic and gets replaced by another semifinalist.

Escfan
Guest
Escfan

What happened?

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

YUKO’s song is not original.

uzhas
Guest
uzhas

TseSho should have been in the final instead of Yuko. Bahroma was also better than Yuko

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

*opens BSB video* “Brunnete Shoot Blondes-Siren Song”
You had one job, Vidbir.

M_K
Guest
M_K

As always, Ukraine showcased a great variety of songs. I widely agree with the results, I’d only change YUKO for Bahroma. But, overall, well done.

Apple
Guest
Apple

Wait so…Yuko’s song wouldn’t be allowed at Eurovision, but the judges placed it in first? I’m honestly confused #TseShoRobbed

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

They said that they completely reworked the folk song, changed the words and melody, and now this song is suitable for participation.

Apple
Guest
Apple

Oh that’s good! Galyna Guliala was my favorite before Vidbir actually, but I never realized it took so much from folk songs. I’m glad it’s allowed

Nick
Guest
Nick

Letay was awesome! i wanted him to qualify and Yuko is too much for me…sorry
Maruv and BSB were predictable qualifiers , Semi 2 participants looks much more fascinating for me,
Kazka, Laud, Anna Maria and Khayat are my favs

M_K
Guest
M_K

The performance was amazing, but the song was probably a bit too “common”.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Semi 2 looked stronger, and I expected KAZKA and Kira Mazur to pass through.