Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
1944 has a ceiling and at the moment, I doubt it's in the top-5.
After their year long sabbatical, and what felt like a year long national final, Ukraine have returned to Eurovision and selected Jamala with song 1944 to represent them in Stockholm.
It didn’t tale long for the Kiev 2017 tweets to start flooding in from excited fans. Likewise, ‘this year’s Suus’ was posted in various places.
Firstly, Kiev 2017 isn’t going to happen; 1944 isn’t the next Suus or Molitva and Ukraine’s only hope of a reasonable Eurovision finish went up in smoke when The Hardkiss finished second. Their national final performance was far from perfect, yet their song was far more accessible to a Eurovision audience. Furthermore, Helpless was better suited to creating a competitive and engaging stage production – something the Ukraine is renowned for.
Jamala’s 1944 describes the forceable removal of Tatars from the Crimea. It’s an atmospheric, if not rather morbid song, but based on last night’s performance, the message is vague and poorly delivered, so will likely struggle to gain traction outside of its eastern bloc target audience.
Some of the lyrics chime with recent Crimean events and Russia might raise this with the EBU. However, the main negative for Jamala is the lack of a hook for people to remember or hum along to. Not every song needs a hook, but the absence of a discernible melody adds to a growing list of problems.
Jamala’s aloof performance adds to the disconnect and the whole package seems way too self indulgent and esoteric. The wailing and screeching moments remind me of last year’s Don’t Deny (another political song), which was at least memorable and musically palatable. Rona Nishlu also enjoyed a good screech, but comparing Jamala to Rona is like saying Rykka could be the next Margaret Berger.
I’m sure the staging will be vastly different in Stockholm and there’s bound to be a musical rework in the pipeline, nevertheless, 1944 has a ceiling and at the moment, I doubt it’s in the top-5.
Will this be a successful return for Ukraine?