Glossy wave icon. Free flag icons from UkraineUKRAINE
SONG   "Be My Guest"
SINGER    Gaitana
MUSIC & LYRICS   Gaitana & The Kiwi Project
DRAW   #7 in the second semi-final



Since first entering the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, Ukraine has been an ever-present finalist, winning the contest in 2004, and gaining six Top 10 results. Unlike previous years, where the Ukrainian Eurovision selections were shrouded in controversy, this year's national final was a straight-forward affair.

On August 23rd, Ukrainian broadcaster NTU confirmed its participation in Bakuand on November 25th, they confirmed the details about the national selection. Singers could send their entries to NTU from until December 25th and a total of twenty songs were selected by a jury to compete in a semi-final. Nineteen candidates were selected by a jury and one candidate who was selected through Inter Channel's show Number 1. A 21st finalist was chosen by an internet selection

The Ukrainian national final was held on the afternoon of February 18th at the NTU Studios in Kyiv and hosted by Timur Miroshnichenko and Tatiana Terekhova. The winner was chosen by public text voting and a jury, each with a 50% weighting. In a split vote, the song that won the jury vote and came second with the public claimed victory and Gaitana and her song "Be My Guest" won the ticket to Baku.



Gaitana was born in Kiev, at the time in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union (in present-day Ukraine), but subsequently moved to the Republic of the Congo where her father, Klaver Essami, was born. She lived there for five years. Afterward, Gaitana moved back to Ukraine with her mother, but her father stayed in Brazzaville where he holds a transportation business. According to the Female Magazine (Ukraine) her father Claver Essami is a chief of the Congo telecommunications. Gaitana, who has been one of the most popular singers in Ukraine for more than ten years now, will represent her country in Baku with Be My Guest, the music and lyrics of which she has written herself.

Gaitana is a Ukrainian singer and composer, who has recorded and released five albums and more than 20 music videos within ten years of career. She has received several awards already, including the Ukrainian Music Award for the "Best Female Singer of the Year" and the face of Francophonie Festival 2010.

Over the past year Gaitana became "Official Friend of UEFA Euro 2012", and started working on a set of creative sports and social projects. Among others she wrote the song You Are The Champion for the Klitschko Brothers Foundation, an "anthem of a social project for orphan children".

In the future she is going to release her new album, which was created by Narada Michael Walden, Eric Daniels, Rob Hoffman, Robert Damper. The album was recorded in San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Gaitana will represent Ukraine in the 2012 Eurovision song Contest, where she will sing her own composition Be My Guest, which won the national final in Ukraine, receiving the highest points from both the jury and TV viewers.



The initial reaction to the Ukrainian selection was generally very positive and most people saw the song as a strong contender to qualify, but a lack of international promotion has seen the Ukrainian entry faring relatively poorly.

Rumours of vocal problems meant that Gaitana pulled out of promotional visits to London and Amsterdam, but the song remains one of bookmakers' Top 10 favourites to qualify in the tougher semi-final. However the 100/1 odds to win the contest, suggests that Ukraine may not be in the final shake-out for victory in Baku.




Date Rehearsal Press Conference
Tuesday May 15th 16:40 - 17:20 18:05 - 18:45
Friday May 18th 18:20 - 18:50 19:35 - 20:05
*Baku is four hours ahead of Ireland and the schedule has still to be confirmed officially






  Running Order
  Fan Polls





  • First entry: 2003
  • Number of previous entries: 9
  • Best result: Winner (2004) 
  • Worst result: 19th (2005)
  • Qualification record: 6-0 (100% success)





"Gaitana is a fantastic singer and she really lights up the stage. Personally, I think she deserves a better better song, but given that Ukraine normally usually stages a fantastic stage show, I expect this to do well. I think Top 10 is very likely and I wouldn't rule out Top 5 with a good draw in the final." - Keith Mills


"The studio version of the song is really promising, with nice vocals and a hint of “Ring my bell”, a hint of a 70’s disco queen. The live performance though is dreadful; the vocals are ropey, the costumes, the styling, the makeup awful, the routine childish. Max Barsikh was far better." - Athan (Greece)

"I'm so glad that Ukraine choose "Be my guest" as their entry because it was the best song on offer in their final. It's such a strong and great song and I simply love it! For me it's their best entry since "Shady lady" in 2008. Gaitana is a gorgeous woman with a very good voice." - Chris Church (UK)

"Stands out in the second semi. It'd be awesome if this was the show closer in the final." - Sean P Casey  (USA)

"The best female voice this year. People may say what they want, but the song is very strong and memorable. I predict another good result for Ukraine and deservedly so." - Paschalis Barmpoutis (Greece)

"Typical Ukrainian entry - rather dull but guaranteed a decent result. Admittedly I like the trumpet-thing at the beginning and the chorus is inconceivably catchy but the rest doesn't have much of an impact, and it's also reminiscent of those inconspicuous workout songs from the 90's (think Richard Simmonds)." - Olivia Gavazansky  (UK)