The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 37 competing songs in Eurovision 2023. Next we review Ukraine, who have chosen TVORCHI with “Heart of Steel”.
Are we expecting a consecutive Ukrainian victory? Read on to find out!
TVORCHI – “Heart of Steel” (Ukraine Eurovision 2023)
Review: TVORCHI – “Heart of Steel”
Pablo: “Heart of Steel” has caught me off guard in a pleasant way. If there’s a thing Ukraine can do, it’s produce. With this updated version, TVORCHI really brought it home and placed their song squarely in that manly, epic-pop vibe I am usually sold on, combining American urbanism and Soundcloud-style energy, and a European experimental, Apashe-like electro drama. The verses and pre-chorus come across as a bit musically empty and could have used more substance to complement the song as a whole, but this is a host entry to be proud of.
Oliver: “Heart of Steel” is an interesting change of pace for Ukraine. TVORCHI have found a comfortable niche with their unique style of modern techno music. Combining soulful and sinister sounds, Jeffrey and Andrii showcase the resilience of the Ukrainian people with subtle yet powerful lyrics. From a production standpoint, the discordant string hits, pad chords and organ melodies detract from the listener experience, ruining the flow of the track. TVORCHI will without a doubt put on a spectacular performance in Liverpool, but without those unfortunate passages, they could be gunning for the win.
Ruxandra: They come with a song that represents the strength of the whole nation. The lyrics of the song are totally on point by reflecting the current situation, because with the given circumstances it is quite difficult not to speak about it. Peace is an important topic now and it is an important topic all the time. What Ukraine (and other countries) try to do in Eurovision is to promote the idea of peace through music. Ukraine came with something brand-new after a few previous folk-inspired songs; even so, their entry has a very complex instrumental that deserves attention. It’s a strong entry that they deliver very well in the live performances too.
Samuel: “Heart of Steel” is a visually striking entry with a modern sound and message of strength and optimism. That being said, I can’t say that the song has been massively on repeat for me, even since the revamped version. It’s going to be interesting to see what TVORCHI bring to the Liverpool stage, and they have plenty of momentum to build on.
Jonathan: It’s great to see Ukraine showcasing another side of its music industry that we haven’t really seen much of at Eurovision. “Heart of Steel” is a solid electro-R&B track with a nice swagger to it. Whilst rather linear in studio cut, the revamp has added some interesting extra elements without taking away the original feel. TVORCHI delivered a strong overall package at Vidbir and we know Ukraine are masters of staging at Eurovision, so expect this to be even more dynamic on the Liverpool stage.
Ukraine Eurovision 2023 ranking
In the Eurovision 2023 Wiwi Jury, we have 20 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5.5 and a high of 8.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.11/10
What do you think of Ukraine’s Eurovision 2023 entry? Share your own score and review for TVORCHI’s “Heart of Steel” below!
Such a boring & dated RNB song.
I like this song quite a lot – their song “Bonfire” would have made quite a splash in 2020.
Honestly, I think Tvorchi could do very well this year (and not just because of the supposed “pity vote”).
This “electronic/R&B” thing they’re doing is certainly a change of pace from what Ukraine usually sends….and it’s definitely different from the other acts.
It remains to be seen what their show will be like, but if they improve their staging from their lackluster (in my opinion) Vidbir version, a top-5 result could be in the cards.
Regardless of who wins, I look forward to the final – ESC 2023 is gonna be a great show!
Memo; you can’t connect with an audience whilst wearing sunglasses
Electronic R&B gets taken over by the ghost of J.S. Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” It even accounts for the Baroque pitch and lowers the key to C-sharp Minor; that’s spooky! I really like the sillyness of Verse 1, because if you’re gonna make a middle-finger statement, do it right at the start and make it sound good – this song does just that and I’m here for it. The Pre-Chorus is short and, it does well to quickly build us up to launch the punchy Chorus. The Chorus is filled with imperatives telling us all what to… Read more »
I think its harsh to assume itd do poorly if sent by another country because I think it has appeals to both viewers who enjoy R&B music (a genre typically under represented in esc) and mainstream music as a whole which again, does have its audience. I also think, and I mentioned this in my comment briefly, there seems to me to be a slight bit of hypocrisy for fans when it comes to countries selecting entries. For example, Sweden are known for sending slick, well produced pop songs that are staged well and every year people ask Sweden to… Read more »
I don’t think the genre matters here. Imho, ‘Heart of Steel’ is just an okay song, in any sense. I understand that some people may like it. – That’s fine: some people even love ‘solo’, but it does not stand out, neither in ESC nor in general R&B nor mainstream market. Ukraine is also not an ethnic-specialised country. There are many entries of different kinds which also got very well received. What Ari points out is the gap between the song quality and the ranking. For Germany, the UK, and Spain, an okay song means bottom-feeder, or even 0 pts.… Read more »
Im not suggesting tha Ukraine is an ethnic specialised country but undoubtedly, they have sent a number of entries in recent years (2016,2020,2021,2022) which have folklore elements in them. Yet in Vidbir this year, the two favourites to win the selection were also folklore inspired entries and the vast majority of fans wanted one of them to be selected. I could also bring Moldova into the mix, a country which for several years with only a few exceptions have followed this ethnic,crowd plesser type of entry, which fans generally feel quite positive about, yet they rarely ask for Moldova to… Read more »
Also, im not suggesting this will or should win or even be top 5 but I do think it is deserving of left hand side of the scoreboard in the final. I also think getting back to your point, it would be a shame if this was underrated if the likes of San Marino entered this, and you are right, some countries tend to consistently be underrated be it because of qualification records, diaspora or lack there of or overall quality of entries in the past number of years, that doesnt mean if San Marino were to have selected this… Read more »
Song is just booring, that’s why noone listens to it. It’s not hate, just a bad entry
I much prefer this song to last years. Currently sitting in my 8th place, I feel like most of the hate this song is getting is due to the backlash of how Ukraine won last year.
Don’t say you like Ukraine – the Wiwi readers hivemind can sense dissenting opinions!
Joking aside, I agree with you – a lot of the hate is from people who still haven’t accepted that Chanel lost. ?
I’m actually surprised myself that I like this so much. In Vidbir I thought it was decent but no high flyer, even though the performance was impressive. After that it did stick with me and the revamp has made it even better. It’s incredibly powerful and moving. Maybe it lacks the dramatic effect of Stefania, it’s more subdued but truly haunting and really strong.
7.11? I think the pressure of the war got to you guys
This was maybe my third choice in Vidbir and while it’s respectable and musically credible, honestly, I haven’t really warmed to it. With Jerry Heil or Krut’, Ukraine could have won again (assuming they wanted to), with Tvorchi I think there will be a respectable placing but not top 3.
This won’t win, but it will do quite well. Probably middle of the pack at worst, depending on what they put on the stage. It is just barely there on my latest scorecard.
Even wiki juries are war friendly
It’s a catchy tune, radio friendly and very different for Ukraine. It will probably do well but it’s not one of my favorites this year
It’s a good song and a grower for me. Good luck Tvorchi !
I really like this song since their National Final, it was my winner, and now I still love it and it’s among my favs of this year. Good luck Ukraine!
This really grew on me after the revamp. It’s a different sound to what we’re used to at Eurovision and it’s a breath of fresh air to me. I hope the vocals are a bit better at Eurovision than in Vidbir (which weren’t bad, just average) but there’s so much potential with staging and a dramatic backing track can go a long way.
This has the potential to go up in my ranking a little if other songs grow off me or aren’t performed that well live, simply because the Ukraine have provided quite possibly the safest and one of the most uninteresting songs of the year here. By their own standards, this is not what we have come to expect from them in terms of Eurovision entry. Usually, they bring something a bit new, a bit daring, a bit unique. For me, and maybe for others who’ve followed the Ukraine national final for a number of years, this seems like a low-effort… Read more »
We all know why this is ranked as high as a 7.11, and it’s not because of the song…
aren’t you tired of these comments already?
It’s a good song, but nothing more. It isn’t memorable
I really like Ukraine’s entry. I think a lot of eurovision fans just don’t like r’n’b. I am expecting another high placement for Ukraine.
I dont particularly like this song but It is the kind of song i could hear on a car ad and think It is sung by some well known nowadays group or singer.
Short memory. Estefanía won last year just because of the war, Simple as that. Estefanía was a song written for her mother asking for forgiveness because the author was just messing around! Then the war came and subtle changes were made, not with the lyrics but playing now with the “Sentiment” Mama Estefania became Mother Ukraine.
And we all know we were rotting for the second place because Ukraine had to win!
Ukraine 2023 = Madonna (Eurovision 2019 performance).
Sadly some of the WiwiJuries involved the Ukraine war with the song. I invite them too listen to the song thinking about the person you love.Then the song is better. However is #28 for me.
I have mixed feeling with this one. The overall pack leaves me a bit cold and unimpressed. I’m not too interested in soul or R&B and black male voices per se so it may be just me. I appreciatte the quality of his vocal performance but it sounds like any other male black singer on those low notes. He also seems too comfortable singing which can make the performance a bit empty and emotionless. It’s a nice way to do a toned down political non-political song, though. Anyway, I’m sure that, if sent by another country it wouldn’t be up… Read more »
I love the attitude, of the intro especially, but unfortunately the musical feature that dominates and lingers in the mind for me is that honking pillar of noise that I’ve never warmed to. 5.5/10
This song is not the usual standard for Ukraine regardless of genre.
I agree, for me it’s the weakest song from Ukraine in the last decade, and they did have better options to pick.
Mezing / MEGUSTA / medaigual / meh.
This is a great entry. We don’t need ethnic stuff every year from Ukraine and it’s really nice to switch things up (looking at you Albania and Moldova). Their styling is also always on point and I have zero doubts about their staging. I’m not sure why the fandom is underrating this – as said I hope it isn’t being underrated because it’s not ethnic. I think this is one of the best Ukranian entries in years – better than shum and solovey imo (don’t kill me). my score: 8,5/10 my top so far: the Netherlands 9,5/10 Italy 9/10 Ukraine… Read more »
Thank God you are not a jury, and please save your money not voting for these songs.
okay, Mr. Sal:) I’ll obey anything you say.
I can appreciate that there are good elements in this one, including a very good production, the laid back vocals, an interesting build up over the first minute and obviously the inspiration of the lyrics, and then when you expect the song to take off it just implodes to a rather monotonous rhythm that leaves me cold and indifferent.
It’s a 6/10 for me and 24th in my ranking.
PS. Kudos to Ukraine for producing an excellent national final under the most difficult circumstances. They have my sincerest respect for that.
I dont see where people hear good vocal performance? Since I heard it after they won, my first impresion was that the guy cant sing and this automatically put me off. I dont think song is necessarily bad, I just cant connect to this vocals, guy sounds like he is struggling a lot getting those notes he cant even reach.
I am sorry, but not sorry for what I said.
It is just not good enough as Ukraine usually is and this is a huge downhill this year for them in my opinion. 😀
I get that fans don’t want Ukraine to win again with the same result as last year, and while I doubt it will, I can’t deny that people still overlook how great this entry truly is. It’s got a very ‘Imagine Dragons’ vibe, which I already quite like. The combination of the explosive instrumental moments (like at the start and in between the first chorus and second verse) create interesting contrast with the more laid-back vocals are interesting, and the hook is memorable. I’m giving this an 8.5/10. If they already staged their entry so well in a bomb shelter,… Read more »
This one is decent enough, probably somewhere in that 15th-20th place area for me, but Kolyskova would have actually received an elusive 5/5 rating so I’ll never be able to understand the Ukrainian televoters, unless they just wanted to ensure there won’t be any chance of another win?
Ukraine: Pleasantly surprised with the selection of this song, this was my favourite of Vidbir (I know thats a very unpopular opinion). For me, I think the selection of this song shows us that Ukraine isn’t afraid to try something new, a lot of people were expecting songs like Krut?’s, Jerry or Fiinka’s to win because they very much showcased Ukraine Culture but, I think especially in recent years, we have had entries from Ukraine like both of Go_A’s and Kalush’s songs that have very prominently showcased their culture and by sending something completely different this year, Ukraine are showing… Read more »
I can’t understand how Ukraine picks their worst entries right after the year they won the contest! Anyways, it’s a bit overrated in the rankings here, I don’t think it’s a song of 7/10. I’m definitely not one of those that wanted the switch to more western sound alike songs. Ukraine is good at their traditional beats so they should have sticked there. As for Heart Of Steel, it’s a really well produced song (even more impressive that they prob recorded this during the invasion which does make it harder). I like the chorus, it’s easy to vibe with to… Read more »
I guess they do not want to win again, while even an above-average material will risk being lifted to the top with the combination of sympathy votes. (This happened last year. ‘Stefania’ is a good song, but not the winning one. It got ranked 3rd and 4th by juries in SF1 and GF, but leaped to the top with an overwhelming televoting point. Nothing against Ukraine and glad they won, though – as a side note – I thought Alina Pash would have been more deserved and justified.) I am not sure how much they are financially involved this year… Read more »
This is my number 3 this year. For me it is incredibly strong entry with amazing staging. I would be happy if Ukraine wins this year again.
There are several things I like here. Jimoh’s smooth vocals for a start. The revamp gave the song more punch and the organs sound distinctive and imposing. Plus the visual presentation was already impressive on a small stage. Imagine how effective the same imagery may become when displayed on a huge screen. Another nice touch is how the lyrics address the ongoing Russian invasion in a defiant non-sorrowful tone. The only problem I actually have with “Heart of Steel” is how it has arguably the most underwhelming chorus of the 2023 class. The song keeps losing a lot of steam… Read more »
And since I know that you will appreciate this fact: Can we also mention how well dressed these two are. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as for the ears, isn’t it? I desperately want the lead singer’s ear jacket. 🙂
They look indeed great! And going through a quick search online about their fashion style, I imagine we’ll like what they’ll bring to the turquoise (or whatever color the sponsors want it to be this time) carpet. It doesn’t hurt to be cool, right?
Do you think the chorus would’ve been helped with some sort of uptake in tempo? I find it very languid. Or do you think the lyrics make it destined to underwhelm regardless?
I imagine the idea of the chorus was always to hold back, because if they tried something explosive, the song could end up too aggressive.
So I don’t know if increasing the tempo would work, but maybe giving it a more souful approach? Héctor commented something interesting here, that it was like Jimoh seemed too comfortable with his vocals. Maybe if he tried something more to the R&B side with his vocals during the chorus, it would give the song a proper climax.
meh, this is not as good as Stefania, which still is a catchy fun bop for me personally
also nice to see this side from ukraine’s music scene of course, see more jury favourite in this than televote appeal this year, not disastrous televote score but i more see a 6th – 10th placement for them this year, those vocals are similar to austria’s cesar sampson for me personally
A rather enjoyable electro pop and RnB experience but unfortunately, it still feels kinda monotone in terms of rhythm. Definitely the pacing here is the issue for me. But still, TVORCHI KNOW how to execute this entry live and the vocals of the lead singer were spectacular. My 29# with a 6/10 rating. Will definitely climb in my list during the contest, considering my expectations are high for both their staging and live performance.
It’s intense, I especially love the pipework, it is well produced and grabs your interest immediately. But in my case, I also struggle to keep that interest throughout the entire three minutes, the last part with the violin is too much, in my opinion.
31) Ukraine – …Yeah, this one’s too sluggish in pace for me. I agree that it’s definitely well-produced, but it’s just not that interesting enough to warrant putting it any higher. I probably should stop going on about NFs but there were at least four songs I preferred over this. The slight update adding the strings didn’t exactly change my mind. 4.5/10
PS: I think I’ve fudged up my top 37 list… I’ll post my final list when the time comes.
(I’m absolutely rubbish at ranking things – anyone else have the same problem? lol)
Me, all the time… Even now I’m thinking that the 5.5 I have to Albania, and 4.5 I have to Ireland might be a tad high. Constantly having dilemmas. Even years after the shows have passed. Just today I tweaked my 2012 list. No worries, that’s just a sign that you’re thinking about it a lot. That can’t be bad.
Thanks for the nice answer, Colin. My notebook is constantly covered in arrows and all sorts of scribbled nonsense and by the time I’ve done a list, I’m just constantly staring at it and saying “ok yeah something looks off about this”… I’ve probably been a bit harsh on a few songs but at the same time I can’t lie to myself and force myself to like things I don’t.
I’m starting to reorder my list but I know I’ll still disagree with some parts of it, hahaha.
I hate rankings and I keep tweaking mine, although usually they are minor adjustments. I like to trust my initial instict when listening to or watching a song for the first time, but that’s mostly a rough guide for my predictions – otherwise there are often major changes to what I like and what I don’t. And just like Colin above I keep revisiting old contests and I’m often surprised how some songs have grown on me over the years and others have completely worn away.
Yeah, that’s pretty similar to how I tend to go about it. I usually do a separate list in terms of predictions during the rehearsal period which usually is a lot different to my personal list. And oh god yeah… revisiting old contests really brings out how bad my personal taste was at the time, but also how much my appreciation has grown on some songs!
Constantly revising, re-ranking, re-rating and re-visiting!
Extremely well produced eletro pop. My personal number 10.
“Heart of Steel” aims to emulate a slow-motion explosion – epic, majestic, sending chills down your spine – but comes off as sluggish, deflated and exhausting. The revamped version is superior in that department, the Hammer Horror organs and strings adding tension and variety to the song. Although it gives me the impression that TVORCHI are trying to work around an underwhelming foundation by sprinkling it with production fanfare. The message is on point, it’s a pity that the music actively sabotages it.
Yes! Those organs are reminiscent of Hammer Horror. Excellent pickup.
I like the word “deflated” for this as well. Very apt.
Same rating, similar thoughts!
Objectively speaking, this is certainly among the best produced tracks of the season. The backing track starts with an ominous drone, something between an organ and a foghorn, and leads into a sparsely, but effectively instrumented first verse with only vocals, some bright synth accents and the everpresent drone as a counterpoint. All this leads into a chorus with a heavy beat that feels somehow enchained, as if the whole song was being weighted down, and this impression continues into the second verse, where the high hats join sluggishly in and add to the impression of a heavy burden that… Read more »
29th place: UKRAINE: It’s rare for Ukraine to be this low in my top since they are usually pretty good. However, this particular genre is not my taste at all. I always found it monotonous for my liking. The chorus also doesn’t resonate well with me due to all the drawn-out endings of each phrase. The instrumental choices are interesting but all in all the song is bland for me, even if it is well-produced and has dynamic elements. I applaud them for changing things up a bit, given that they have sent a folk inspired song two years in… Read more »
Side note: I have been wondering since December how this one will fare in the contest. I mean Ukraine perhaps is still bound to have a high televote given the current circumstances but I would think it will be very lower than last year. But how lower? Also is this a jury song at all? My first instinct tells me that this is a radio-friendly more mainstream kind of song and that songs are appreciated by juries usually. Far more than songs like Kalush Orchestra. But on the other hand it’s more towards the RnB genre which I am not… Read more »
Personally, this feels more of a jury-pleaser than televote-appealer. The thing is, with Ukraine and there being an ongoing war there, that at any time leading up to the contest, something could happen with regards that, which could move people to show their support again to the same extent they did last year. That’s just something we can’t predict. As things are, I don’t think the conflict receives the same level of media coverage it did and it won’t be *the* pressing matter in minds come voting time. There’ll still be some support but I see the televote being more… Read more »
Ruxandra’s review is so funny to me because it sounds like a beauty pageant contestant is answering the question.
Missed out the part about saving the whales though.
31. Tvorchi – Heart of Steel (Ukraine) – 5.5/10 – there are shades of some enjoyable 90s dance rhythms here but it feels a little too standard and over-produced for it to create any sort of wow reaction. There is a defiance and aggressiveness in the lyrical content which seems at odds with the relatively tame music. I find it quite difficult to slow dance to such an angry song. But it’s not bad, just a little too confusing.
“Tame” is a good word. I think both musically and lyrically, it’s very restrained.
All in all, I think it’s a hard song to know exactly how to react to. Difficult one to genuinely enjoy I think.
(We have rated very similarly).
Pleasant surprise- and the reworking is even better….. not a winner but certainly in my top ten.
This very average song can get a 7.11, with the lowest score of 5.5…
Honestly, this confuses me. If Ukraine were not the co-host, this entry could be their first non-qualifier…
Based on last years voting I don’t think it would be a non qualifier. If it was 2021 though it would be a non qualifier!