“Tick Tock”: Sam’s Awake Too Early for This
I’m going to have to level with you guys. I am really not a morning person. During the weekends, I’m more than likely to be fast asleep until lunchtime. Getting up pre-dawn is akin to torture for me, necessitating an intricate series of alarm clocks and thermonuclear devices in order to get my lazy tush out of my cozy bed.
But for the first official National Final of the year, scheduled to start at 4:15am Central Standard Time (or a perfectly reasonable 11:15am in Kiev), desperate times called for desperate measures. If the Australian fans have to get up at the arse-crack of dawn to watch Melodifestivalen, I could brew a pot of coffee, force my eyes open, and tune in to a Ukrainian National Final.
Oh, the sacrifices I make for you, Eurovision…
Twenty acts went head-to-head on Saturday in Kiev, with many eyes on JESC-alum Viktoria Petrik’s “Love is Lord” and neAngely’s Swedish-written “Courageous“. But after the jury had its say, and the SMS votes poured in, it was Maria Yaremchuk‘s sassy, self-penned “Tick Tock” that stole the show. She received 3,478 votes from the public, more than the next three contestants combined, and also took top marks from the jury.
Twenty-year-old Maria, the daughter of popular singer Nazariy Yaremchuk (who passed away in 1995), is no stranger to international competition. She represented Ukraine at the New Wave Festival in Jūrmala, Latvia in 2012, coming in third place.
One of the benefits of a country choosing their entry so early is that they have months to refine, revise, and rearrange the song as needed. Over the past few years, Ukraine has made a trend of sending highly-polished presentations (generally with powerhouse female voices) to the international stage, utilizing every tool at their disposal to make their three minutes as memorable as possible. Hell machines, shirtless silver gladiators, sand artists, and the tallest man in America have all figured into recent performances…with four and a half months to mold “Tick Tock”, will we see Ukraine hit their seventh Top Ten placement in twelve years? This is only the first song out of approximately 36, so it’s probably too soon to tell.
Could I have slept in and watched the replay of the show on demand when I woke up? Sure, I could have. But there is something about witnessing the first check mark being inscribed on the roster that kept me awake. Although I was too tired (and, in all honesty, incoherent) to actively tweet, it still gives me the warm-fuzzies to feel like part of the global ESC community, all of us watching the sun rise over a new year.
(That being said, I’m thrilled that the lion’s share of National Finals take place during the mid-afternoon in my time zone…)
What do you think of the first entry of the year? Leave a comment, and get the conversation going!