Eurovision 2018 Review: Ukraine – Mélovin – Under The Ladder


Mélovin will finally represent Ukraine with ‘Under The Ladder’
After winning Eurovision in 2016, Ukraine had their worst result in the contest as a host in 2017, when they finished 24th out of 26 contestants with ‘Time’ by the band O.Torvald. The country however never missed qualification for the final. This year the country is represented by pop artist Mélovin. The singer won the televote in the national selection last year too, but finally managed to win the whole thing this year with his track ‘Under The Ladder’. Is there any chance we are going to Kiev again next year?

Well, never say never, but I don’t think Ukraine’s entry this year screams winner. Does it scream finalist however? It sure does. Mélovin is a charismatic performer with a distinctive styling. His hair, the coloured lens and his stage presence will still be remembered after all contestants took the stage. Vocally he is strong enough to sell his song ‘Under The Ladder’ convincingly. The staging he used for the Ukrainian national final suits the song perfectly and might just need some polishing to fit the big stage in Lisbon in May.

But what about the song? ‘Under The Ladder’ is a quirky pop track with a high pace in the chorus and some irresistibly catchy ‘oh oh oh’ chants. The chorus is powerful, memorable and easy to sing along to, which is definitely a good trait for a Eurovision success. In terms of message the song might get slightly lost, as Mélovin does not master the English language well enough to properly enunciate every word he is singing. It would have been interesting to hear a version in his mother tongue. The English version however should be enough for a spot in the final and probably a finish in the best half of the final.

Review of Semi Final Performance:
In this year’s Eurovision countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Romania and Greece who hardly ever miss the final at Eurovision, did not qualify. This makes Ukraine the last one standing of countries that always survived the semi finals of the countries that have been participating for a while. With Mélovin’s ‘Under The Ladder’ they thoroughly deserved their spot on Saturday night. The performance is visually spectacular with him rising from a coffin/piano and playing the same instrument while the stairs underneath him are burning later on. Mélovin will be remembered by the televoters because of his coloured lens, but also because of his strong voice and charismatic performance. He sings his heart out to the sing-along pop anthem ‘Under The Ladder’. This will be a great opener for the show on Saturday!

Review of Final Performance:
After closing down the second semi final, Ukraine opened the final with Mélovin’s upbeat, dramatic pop song ‘Under The Ladder’. After rising from a coffin, he sings his heart out on stage and climbs up a burning piano to finish his performance. I would have preferred it if he performed in his own language (from the interview in the green room, we learned that he does not speak English, so why sing in English!?), because he was hard to understand at times. This was always going to be a performance that would resonate more with the televoters, but juries putting him dead last was a bit much. He ended up on the 17th position overall and 7th with televoting, which is a respectable result for this talented young man!


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