Likely Televote Appeal
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A memorable song thanks to its simple 'Tick-Tock' hook. It's begging for some lively choreography, but will struggle to reach top-5. "Catchy but disposable"
Ukraine have just become the first country to select their Eurovision entry for 2014.
From a field of 20 finalists (mostly awful), Maria Yaremchuk was the eventual victor with the song, Tick-Tock, and will now represent Ukraine in Copenhagen next May.
Tick Tock sets an alluring mood to start, with an ethereal arrangement of oriental/ethnic stringed instruments that promise great things.
The beat kicks in and the first verse progresses. All is good so far and Yaremchuk’s vocal is solid, though it’s clear she’s not in Zlata’s league.
Then the chorus arrives and that rather plastic Tick-Tock hook takes some of the shine off of what we were hoping for during that dramatic intro. It’s like opening an Xbox One box for Christmas only to find a retro Gameboy rattling around inside.
If we strip away the stage show and solely concentrate on the song, we’re left with a fairly strong piece of pop – and crucially – a memorable hook. Some of the best songs in Eurovision owe their success to a memorable hook. OK, we’re not dealing with a Euphoria, Playing with Fire – or Shady Lady for that matter; perhaps Boom Boom mixed with Solayoh.
I believe we were collectively hoping for a more wholesome song to win the selection. I know Illaria had plenty of support on this site, and neAngely and Shyrko enjoyed strong backing elsewhere. I do understand the post-national final gloom in assuming we were sold a dud, but in my opinion, that’s far from the truth.
Tick-Tock is an infectious song that requires a few tweaks to the arrangement and instrumentation. Don’t forget that Gravity got a complete makeover and Tick-Tock is in far better shape than Zlata’s song was at this stage. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Tick-Tock is destined to surpass Zlata’s third place.
Talk of non-qualification is ludicrous and hyperbolic at this stage. I accept that Ukraine’s position in the final would not be as assured if they were drawn into a semi-final without allies, but with a competent vocal and a catchy song, I would always be a backer.
Gaitana is Ukraine’s worst result at Eurovision. In 2012 she qualified from the second semi-final in 8th place with just one 12 points awarded from Belarus. Other scores didn’t exceed six points. Despite having a catchy song and a scorching vocal, it was Gaitana’s race that reportedly cost Ukraine a much better result in the contest.
Yaremchuk’s vocal isn’t as strong as Gaitana’s, but Tick-Tock is just as catchy as Be My Guest and evidently, her race will not cost her as many points from Ukraine’s eastern allies. Provided the song is developed, I see Ukraine qualifying and finishing 8th-14th.
The kind of improvements I’m hoping for are:
- Clarify whether this is to be an ethno-pop song or not. Personally, I like the ethno bits and believe more flourishes should be added to the arrangement.
- Sharpen the transition from opening verse to chorus.
- The refrain needs a stronger and more distinctive bass line.
- The drums throughout the whole song sound too plastic.
- They need to build on the climax when exiting the bridge. Perhaps a key change?
What do you think of Tick-Tock?
- Qualification History
- Final Performance
- New Version
Highest score: 256 (2004 – Ruslana, Wild Dances)
Lowest score: 64 (2012 – Gaitana, Be My Guest)
Average semi-final finishing position: 8th
Average semi-final score: 124 points
Average final position: 8th
Average final score: 142 points
Belarus – 9.6
Azerbaijan – 9.0
Georgia – 8.5
Armenia – 8.0
Russia – 7.7
Moldova – 7.6
Portugal – 7.4