Review: Belarus- Ivan ‘How to Fly’

Ivan Belarus Eurovision 2016

Belarus have been grabbing Eurovision headlines in 2016 when their act Ivan announced his intentions to perform completely naked on the stage in Stockholm and added how he wanted to be accompanied by a wolf. Unfortunately (or fortunately), these ambitious plans for staging have been rejected by the broadcaster. Understandably so, given that it is a family show after all. But aside from this what has Belarus got planned for us in 2016? We have a listen to ‘Help You Fly’ in our review.

Belarus have entertained us over the years at Eurovision- remember TEO’s ‘Cheesecake’ from 2014? Remember Koldun as he worked his magic in 2007? Then there was the pop anthem ‘Solayoh’ from Alyona Lanskaya in 2013? Given this amazing back catalogue from Belarus we were disappointed at the offerings at the national selection show.

Most of the singers in the national final were flat, out of tune or screeched their way through their performance. Ivan was no exception. The long haired rocker’s live vocal would make you want to jump off a cliff, whether you had learned to fly or not!

Having said that the song has grown on me somewhat over the past few months, and the remastered studio version is almost enough to make you forget he is atrocious live. The song opens with what sounds like the caw of an exotic bird and repeats throughout. Despite the cliched lyrics, the choice of the drums and electric guitar combo compliments Ivan’s gruff vocal.

What makes Ivan stand out over the others is his personality. He clearly has a great sense of humour- you only have to listen to his plans for the staging of the song to see this. Although his plans have been stopped dead in their tracks, I am very intrigued to see what has in store for us next week.

I don’t see Belarus making it to the Final of Eurovision this year, bookies ranks them as one of the bottom five and Eurovision fans haven’t taken to the song either. But what do you think? Please comment with your thoughts!

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