Ukraine has decided: it’s Gaitana!
This morning, Ukranian broadcaster NTU held their National Final, where twenty-one songs fought it out for the right to represent the country in Baku this May. After a jury- and televote, it was Gaitana who stood above the rest, with her upbeat disco number “Be My Guest”:
The 32-year-old Gaitana (last name: Essami), who also penned “Be My Guest”, was born in Ukraine, but spent much of her childhood in her father’s homeland of the Republic of the Congo. She has released a half-dozen albums over the past decade, including a children’s album.
As for my thoughts, I see this as a madcap, hectic, yet welcome return to the over-the-top entries of Ukraine’s past. The past two years brought quieter, more subtle performances from Alyosha and Mika Newton, but I was beginning to miss the insanity that Kiev used to bring to the show. If Gaitana plays her cards right, she has the potential to create an unforgettable moment like Svetlana’s “Hell Machine” from 2009 or the hyperactive Cossacks from “Wild Dances“. If there’s any country that knows how to present a song like “Be My Guest”, it’s Ukraine. At the very least, this is going to be a hoot at the Euroclub!