Every year there is always particular interest in the act representing the host country of the Eurovision Song Contest and this year is no exception. O.Torvald has been chosen to fly the Ukrainian flag in Kyiv with the song Time. The group beat five other acts for the right to represent Ukraine on home ground in May.
The search to find Jamala's successor has been going on since last year. In January submissions for the national selection closed and 24 acts battled it out for a place in the final. You can read more about Ukraine's national selection in our live story feature. Serhii Prytula hosted the Ukrainian national selection which was broadcast live from Kyiv, host city of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. during the show.
Two acts from each semi final qualified resulting in the following line-up (in order of appearance):
- Salto Nazad - O Mamo
- Melovin - Wonder
- O.Torvald - Time
- Iliaria - Thank You For My Way
- Tayanna - I Love You
- Rozhden - Saturn
After all the songs had been performed the lines opened and the jury made their final deliberations. The results show opened with Alma, France's participant in 2017 performing her entry, Requiem. The jury then gave their results:
- Salto Nazad - 1 point
- Melovin - 2 points
- Rozhden - 3 points
- Iliaria - 4 points
- O.Torvald - 5 points
- Tayanna - 6 points
Poland's Kasia Moś then took to the stage to perform a powerful rendition of her 2017 song, Flashlight. Following this, the votes from the public were announced:
- Iliaria - 1 point
- Rozhden - 2 points
- Salto Nazad - 3 points
- Tayanna - 4 points
- O.Torvald - 5 points
- Melovin - 6 points
O.Torvald emerged victorious after finishing higher than Tayanna in the public vote and will represent Ukraine in May with the song Time.
Time for Ukraine
O.Torvald is composed of lead singer Zhenia Halych, guitarist Denys Myziuk, drummer Sasha Solokha, bass guitarist Mykyta Vasyliev, and DJ Polarnik. The band was founded in the city of Poltava but relocated to Kyiv in 2006 where they began performing to large venues with thousands of spectators. They released their first album in 2008.
As with last year, the winner was decided by a combination of jury and public votes. The jury for 2017:
- Konstantin Meladze – Composer and producer
- Jamala – singer-songwriter, winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine
- Andriy Danylko – comedian and singer, represented Ukraine in 2007 as the drag artist Verka Serduchka.
About the other acts
Salto Nazad was created in 2011 and are experimental in their musical style performing combinations of reggae, hip hop, funk, and electronic music. During the first semi-final of the Ukrainian selection they performed a song called Oh, Mum!
Melovin is the stage name of Kostiantyn Bocharov and in 2015 he won the sixth series of The X Factor in Ukraine. As a child he performed in a choir, studied choreography and attended a theatre school. His song for the Ukrainian national selection is called Wonder.
Illaria was educated at the Kyiv Institute of Music and first took to the stage in 2007. The singer first participated in the Ukrainian national selection in 2014 with the song I'm Alive. Over her 10 year career Illaria has released three solo albums, Free, 13 Months and I'm Alive.
Tayanna is the stage name of singer and songwriter, Tetiana Reshetniak. Her song for the national selection, I Love You, was written by Tayanna herself alongside Maks Barskykh who is also a singer and composer. Tayanna has also collaborated with Ukrainian video director Alan Badoiev and has released an EP, Tayanna Portraits.
Rozhden was born and grew up in Odesa, and began his musical career at just 14 years old. His first genre was hip hop and in 2014 he recorded and released his debut album, The Truth. His entry for 2017, Saturn, was written exclusively for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine made its debut at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Hasta la Vista performed by Oleksandr Ponomariov, finishing in 14th place. The next year Ruslana with her song Wild Dances took Europe by storm scoring the first victory for Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest. Jamala won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine earlier this year with the song 1944, providing the country with its second victory in the competition.
From sand artists to drag acts, Ukraine has sent a variety of musical styles and performers to the Eurovision Song Contest over the years. Check out our video below which features the ten most successful Ukrainian entries in the Eurovision Song Contest.