Mariya Yaremchuk will represent Ukraine with the song “Tick-Tock” in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. How will the country do at the competition this time?
Song Title: “Tick-Tock”
Artist: Mariya Yaremchuk
Semi-Final: First, Position 9
Last year’s entry: “Gravity” – Zlata Ognevich (3rd Place)
If there were an award for Most Improved Entry from debut to final presentation at the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine would be in the running to win it. “Tick-Tock” by Mariya Yaremchuk was the first entry selected for this year’s competition. This gave the entry the advantage of seeing what everyone else was doing while the delegation worked on rewrites and remasters. Take a listen to the new version:
Let me be clear: this isn’t a great song, but it is so much better than where it started. Although Ukraine has a perfect record so far for making it to the Final, their entries have been hit-or-miss the last few years. Yaremchuk has a charisma about her that I think will help sell the performance. Meanwhile, the video suggests we could see an amazing stage show. If Mariya continues to serve Paula Abdul “Straight Up” realness, I am completely on-board.
Prognosticating for this entry presents a challenge. This year, the first semi-final will likely turn into a referendum of sorts with regards to the situation in Crimea. Yes, the Contest is supposed to be apolitical, but let’s not kid ourselves. I would not be surprised if Ukraine has an inflated score in the semi-final.1 Since this version of the song is such an improvement over the original, I think advancing to the final would have happened anyway. There is no need to call for shenanigans.
I don’t think score inflation will carry over to the Final—there are far too many variables for Europe to take a united stand. Unfortunately, this could mean a less-than-stellar overall ranking. Azerbaijan has stolen Ukraine’s performance thunder over the years, so the stage show will need to be spectacular. This year’s field has a higher caliber of lyrics and instrumentation, which means this song may not register with juries.
Ukraine’s perfect record of Final appearances should continue this year, but “Tick-Tock” is too disposable to be a viable contender for the win.