Overthinking Eurovision 2013: Ukraine

If you were wondering if there would be any unicorns in Eurovision this year, WONDER NO MORE.

Here are some facts about Ukraine’s singer, Zlata Ognevich:

  • Her father was a military surgeon aboard a Soviet submarine, which is awesome
  • She was born above the Arctic Circle
  • She likes to mimic bird calls
  • Her favorite books are The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter
  • Her favorite movie is Avatar… but you really didn’t need me to tell you that if you’ve watched her music video. In fact, it doesn’t surprise me at all that someone has made an Avatar montage to her song. It may have actually been her.

Only two weeks to go before E-Day (May 18)! And we have… jeez, 15 countries left? How is that possible? We’ve reviewed like 56 countries already. How big could Europe possibly be?

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6 Comments on “Overthinking Eurovision 2013: Ukraine”

  1. Lee OTI Staff #

    I initially read the first two bullet points as “Her father was born on a Soviet submarine.” Now THAT would be awesome.


  2. cat #

    OK, I lied. What in the heck is this song about?

    In the breathier parts at the beginning of the verses you can definitely tell that she’s a fan of Celine Dion. But then there are just a lot of big notes with her background singers shouting at her aggressively.

    “Nothing comes from dreams but dreams/Still you believe in wonder” seems to first devalue the importance of dreams, as if the singer is saying the dreams will never be accomplished or lead to anything. And yet there is a “you” that still believes. So is the speaker admitting to the value of the dreams or just further criticizing the addressee for believing in wonder when nothing comes from dreams?

    “Nothing comes from love but love/Why is it growing stronger?”
    On the surface, this would seem similar to the structure of the first stanza. But isn’t love something positive? How many “all you need is love” and “love produces more love” songs are there? Is the speaker devaluing love the way she did dreams? If so, why does it matter that love is growing stronger if it’s not something useful and if nothing comes from it? Is the speaker taking some kind of stand against dreams and love and the inexplicable way they seem to be spreading though they don’t accomplish anything?

    Then there’s the violence in the song. “Something happens and it seems/Like a strike of thunder” “I am falling from above/I will wait no longer” Christian or pagan, Zlata seems to be channeling some pretty large scale imagery.

    But she then says “I’m like a butterfly/Spinning round a sword as if to dare/I should have stayed up high/(It’s stronger than me) My gravity, my gravity”

    So she’s not a god or a fallen angel but a butterfly? A weak butterfly that can only spin around a sword (apparently in combat) unable to defend itself effectively? And instead of celebrating the Gravity, in line with all the soaring vocals she laments her fall and says “I should have stayed up high”. This isn’t a speaker who gained knowledge in her fall or fell into humanity. She just feels weak and is very conscious of her gravity. It is odd that she says “my gravity” though as if she possesses the force of gravity.

    “Nothing comes from pride but pride/Mmh… my way is clear/Dancing on the edge tonight/Now I feel no fear”
    Wha–? What happened? So we’re back to that same structure that seems to devalue pride. Somehow after the whole butterfly sword thing her way is clear. And even though she’s dancing on the edge, she feels no fear. Even though she was just mourning her fall.

    I think I’ll stick with Sara Bareilles.


  3. Lanti #

    You forgot something: she can hold her breath for 1 minute 40 seconds underwater. (from her google+ chat with Eurovision)


  4. Badger #

    It’s Ukraine, not “The” Ukraine. And the song is terrible.


    • Lee OTI Staff #

      Huh. “In the past Ukraine was frequently referred to as the Ukraine; however, since Ukraine declared independence in 1991, most newspapers and magazines have adopted the style of referring to Ukraine without the the, and this has become the more common styling.”


      The more you know.


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