Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine is traditionally known for its love for singing and Ukrainian language was named the second most melodious language after Italian. Over the last 10 years Ukraine has been extremely successful in the top European music competition – Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). The second time Ukraine competed in this annual competition – in 2004 – Ukraine won the first prize and the right to host the ESC next year. In the following years Ukraine always placed high in the final table with two second prizes and one fourth behnd its belt.
Pop-folk singer Ruslana became the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 rocking the stage of the competition and winning the hearts of the Europeans – the audience voted the singer to her victory. The song Ruslana chose to represent Ukraine Wild Dances carried classic folk tunes mixed in a pop-friendly way and featured catchy lyrics. The clothing of the singer and her onstage team impressed the audiences nearly as much as the powerful voice of the performer – leather wraps and prehistoric warrior attire reminded many of a popular TV character – Xena, the Warrior Princess.
The next triumph of Ukraine on the contest came in 2007 when a standup comedian Anriy Danylko took one of his onstage personalities Verka Serduchka to perform in the competition. The idea of a straight male dressing up kind of as a woman with no actual intent to fool the audiences into believing that he is in fact a female proved to be extremely striking for the European public. Verka Serduchka became an instant hit of the competition despite quite limited (quite surprising for a Ukrainian entry in the contest since traditionally the country boasts skilled singers) singing abilities of the comedian. Verka Serduchka’s song Dancing came second.
The following year one of Ukraine’s best voices Ani Lorak won the second prize for Ukraine. The singer presented a powerful pop song Shady Lady that has a vocal feministic undertone. The most recent achievement of Ukraine in the song competition is the fourth place obtained by Mika Newton with her ballad Angel.
Ukraine has also been an engaged participant of less publicized Eurovision projects: Junior Eurovision Song Contest (Ukraine even obtained the right to host the annual competition in 2009), classical music competition Eurovision Young Musicians, and Eurovision Dance Contest.
Official Web site of the ESC