It’s time for another “Throwback Thursday”. This time we look back and celebrate the independence of Ukraine. You probably won’t believe me, but – “Tick-Tock” – Ukraine is independent for almost 30 years already.
I’m super happy, that I can do a throwback for Ukraine. A year ago, I had no clue about Ukraine and how it would be to be in the capital. To go, or not to go, this was the question for many. Same for me. In the end, I would say, that it was one of the best decisions ever, to go and witness the contest in Kyiv. Beautiful city, great people and an amazing atmosphere. Ukraine is more and more ready for the western world and the tourism. I’m in love with this country ever since May 2017!
As you probably know, it is not always easy to be independent. I recently moved out and I try to be independent. I can tell you, the struggle is real. To imagine, that Ukraine still has to fight for independence is surreal. This is another reason, what makes this country so special.
Mariya Yaremchuk – “Tick-Tock”
Ukraine’s entry from 2014 is the perfect example of what the country stands for. It’s a very modern song with a great performance but still has some cultural elements. I love everything about this entry. From music video to performance. I thought it was a very dynamic entry and got a well deserved 6th place.
This is a love story of young and confident women. She has always tried to find real love, spent so much time on it and when it’s finally coming along it was a real surprise. We are never prepared no matter how hard we try and for how long we seek one true feeling. It hits us and makes our hearts tick-tock like nuts!
Ukraine’s Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of the country’s independence. Prior to 1991, Ukraine was a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). On August 24, 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow, Ukraine declared its independence. About 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for their country’s independence following this declaration, on December 1, 1991.
What the others had to say…
“Tick-Tock” was the perfect song to open the final of Eurovision 2014! I especially loved the live performance – I mean, who doesn’t love a hot guy running around a hamster wheel? The song wasn’t among my favourties however I can understand Mariya Yaremchuk did so well. Ukraine often impresses me with their entries and this was no exception. The lyric in the original version ‘we belong to each other like a sister to a brother’ still makes me laugh to this day though. A strong entry from Ukraine!
Despite Mariya giving it her all on stage and throwing quite a spectacular show, I always felt there was something missing. The staging (in true Ukrainian style) elevated the song and ticked all the right boxes. However, when the best thing about a song is the stage show I’m always a little skeptical. It certainly isn’t Ukraine’s best Eurovision effort, but at least it is memorable.
The Ukrainian selection in 2014 was the first national final that I have ever watched, except our Festival da Canção. I remember that after Mariya’s victory I was really disappointed. It was for me one of the weakest entries from Ukraine in the competition, and I couldn’t understand all the hype around it. It thought it was just a generic pop song, and the “Tick-Tock” all over it was annoying. However, the revamped version conquered me. The instrumental got stronger, and she made also some good changes on the lyrics, which turned the music less repetitive. The staging at Eurovision was just perfect. Her styling, her flawless vocal performance, the hamster wheel, her charm…everything was on point and contributed to a memorable show. From the bottom 10 of my top, she jumped to my top 10, and I was really happy to see her achieving a good result. Actually I thought she would do even better. I don’t think she is between my favourite ukrainian entries, but that’s because Ukraine is for me one of the best countries at Eurovision. With the exception of 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2017, I love all their entries. (Yes, I don’t like “Sweet people”. Not a popular opinion, I know). It’s really hard to compete with masterpieces like “Shady Lady”, “Wild Dances”, “Gravity”, and especially with “1944”, but it was a great entry anyway. I’m really curious to see what Ukraine will give us in 2018. My expectations are really high.
As anyone who knows me even one bit will guess; “Tick-Tock” is very much not my kind of song. It’s the kind of song I feel it must take longer to perform than it did to write (sorry; #thedarkside just woke up…), and I also HATE that rather monotonous drumbeat that is so typical for this kind of “Swedish schlager” inspired entries. And although even I have to admit that the hamster wheel was kinda fun, these kinds of stage shows make me think “they really can’t have very much faith in their song, can they?” And then there’s Mariya Yaremchuk. To me, this entry/artist combo is the perfect case of what I call “Eurovision Stockholm Syndrom”. You know; when you like an artist so much you want to, or even start to like a song you actually don’t like at all. It so happens that Mariya is one of the sweetest artists I have ever met! She’s warm, open and friendly, and after talking to her for a while I really REALLY wanted to like her song. I actually started thinking “Well, it is kinda good”, until I woke from the spell and realized that no, IT IS NOT!!! If we could talk about Ukraine’s 2005 entry instead… THAT’S a good song! I also really like their 2010 and 2011 entries. And 2016, I guess. The rest? Not so much.
Matt will take you to Australia next week for a throwback to one of the most memorable performance of the last couple of years. Any clue who that could be?
Which throwback would you like to read from us? Let us know in the comments below or on social media @ESCXTRA. Meanwhile, you could check out the throwback from last week.
Check out Mariya’s stunning performance of “Tick-Tock” from the 2014 Grand Final below: