Tonight, the first semi-final took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, where nine musicians gave their best in order to advance to the next stage, the national final on 21st of February. But as all good things come in threes, so only three singers got through tonight’s competition. The qualifiers for the Ukrainian final are Jamala, The Hardkiss and Brunettes Shoot Blondes!
The show was hosted by Dimitri Tankovich and Aleksander Pedan who made a great job, cheering up the candidates, making jokes with the juries and entertaining the audience. Tonight's finalists have been chosen by a combined tele and jury voting (50/50). The jury panel consisted of three well-known personalities: the producer and composer Konstantin Meladze; the winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest Ruslana; and Andrdei Danilko alias Verka Seduchka who finished second in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with the entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai.
Ivan, the Belarusian participant in Stockholm was a special guest in tonight's show. He performed his Eurovision entry Help You Fly.
After the long consideration, the jury panel gave Jamala 9 points. Brunettes Shoot Blondes got 8 points. The Hardkiss with 7 points came third in the jury voting. The audience gave the highest number of points to Jamala. The Hardkiss got 8 points, and Brunettes Shoot Blondes 5 points (see the chart below). Thus these three candidates reached the final on the 21st of February.
It was the order of appearance on stage in tonight's show in Kyiv (qualifiers in bold).
All three juries praised Jamala for authenticity and originality of her entry 1944. Andrei Danilko said, that "it was the best performance" in tonight's show. Kostantin Meladze said that Jamala's powerful voice makes people feel. Ruslana showed her great respect for Jamala's choice.
Jamala is a Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar descent. She performs music of her own composition in different genres from jazz, soul, rhythm&blues to pop. Jamala is known to Eurovision fan as a participant in the Ukrainian national final in 2010 where she inspired the audience with her cheerful song Smile. In 2014 Jamala starred in the Ukrainian drama film The Guide that was selected as the Ukrainian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.
Jamala’s song 1944 is inspired by the tragical story of her great-grandmother and many fates of Crimean Tatar families.
The band The Hardkiss got a huge applause from the audience. Konstantin Meladze said that the band The Hardkiss is one of the promising bands in Ukraine. Ruslana called their rock ballad Helpless "fresh and trendy", she was not sure though that the song will do well in Stockholm.
The band Hardkiss consists of five members: Julia Sanina (lead singer), Val (guitar), Kreechy (drums), Roman Skorobagatko (guitar), Vitaliy Oniskevich (keyboards). They are known with their appearances at different international festivals like MIDEM festival, Park Live, Koktebel Jazz Festival etc. In 2012 The Hardkiss were the nominees of the international MTV EMA award ("Best Ukrainian Act") and of the national music award YUNA, having won in two nominations - "The best new act" and "The best music video" (Make-Up). In 2013 The HARDKISS became "voice and face" of the PEPSI TM in Ukraine and the nominees of YUNA in the nomination "The best band".
Brunettes Shoot Blondes
Despite the jury criticism regarding their vocal abilities of Brunettes Shoot Blondes, the audience voted for their song Every Monday and gave the band the ticket in the national final.
Brunettes Shoot Blondes is an indie rock band based in Kyiv, Ukraine, formed at the beginning of 2010. In 2014 the band released a self-produced music video for the song Knock Knock which immediately became a worldwide viral hit. With over 6 million views on YouTube, it was called an Internet sensation and positively reviewed by such medias as Billboard, Yahoo! Music, The Daily Mirror, USA Today and many others.
The band’s songs and videos are now on rotation on various radio and TV stations. The musicians have already performed numerous shows and festivals in their homeland and on the stages of Europe. Currently Brunettes Shoot Blondes is working on their debut album and looking for a record label.