Today, we will take a look at the Ukrainian entry at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine is sending Zlata Ognevich to sing her song “Gravity” in seventh position in the first semi-final on the 14th of May (only 12 days away!!!), following neighbour Russia and preceding the Netherlands.
Ukraine stayed with their normal national final, Evrobachennya. Songs were sent in from the 1st of October to December 22nd, where the seven-member jury had one night to go through all the songs, even though the national final was originally set to the 15th of February, but moved to the 23rd of December. Therefore, the deadline was moved a day forward and the jury chose the top 20 songs that would battle it out to represent the country in May. In the final, a 50/50 combination of the jury and the Ukrainian public’s televoting would decide which song would represent Ukraine in Sweden. Zlata was the favourite and this was proved when she won the NF, receiving the maximum amount of points from both the public and the jury. The song, since then, has undergone some changes, which include a longer opening and the loss of the last verse. Zlata has said that the version performed in the NF was only the idea of the song, but now the masterpiece has been finished. Both versions of the song will be posted below.
“Gravity” is a pop song that uses classical influences throughout. Zlata has said in many interviews that the lyrics of the song talk about reflection and bringing the idea that life is fragile and we must take care of it. Zlata opens up the song after the prolonged opening, singing “Nothing comes from dreams but dreams,/ Still you believe in wonder” suggesting that the person in question is a little naive. As the first verse goes on, very Africanised beats are added, turning the song into a dance ballad. The chorus begins and Zlata sings very highly that
she’s “like a butterfly” (ironic, given the logo for the Contest is a butterfly!) and that she “should have stayed up high”. There is a key change at the beginning of the second verse, which talks about being very courageous and Zlata sings at the top of her voice that she now feels no fear. The chorus is repeated again and another key change happens, with Zlata crooning after the chorus that she’s like a butterfly twice and the chorus is then brought back to the same key as it was in the first play of it, and at the end Zlata shouts “GRAVITY!”, bringing the song to its climax. Here’s fans’ opinions:
I think it’s a really interesting song. Vocally, Zlata is pitch perfect, which will lift the song in a live version. For me, it’s a little too Disney with a little too much trying to be ‘African folk’… still, I like it, 7.5/10 – Nick from The Netherlands
Overrated…Nice enough but not great…Not a winning song certainly…7/10 – Stathis from Greece
Walt Disney has returned from the grave! 8/10 – Rigmo from Estonia
One of the best songs this year. Amazing singer who gives a great power to the song. 10/10 – Honza from the Czech Republic
The NF version:
The new version prepared for Europe: