This Friday the 13 Belorussian acts vying to be their nation’s 2017 Eurovision representative will battle it out in a live broadcast. Before then we take a look at all the entries and rank them in order of our preference. Read on to find out where your favourite song placed with us.
On a whole Belarus’s finalists do very little to impress. I’m not sure if it is because of the poor production recordings of the live studio auditions or if it is because many of the artists have poor vocal ability or charisma, but it was very difficult to sit through all 13 songs. Having said that, there are a few songs which stand out above the rest and which could go on to achieve a solid result for Belarus at Eurovision 2017.
There also seems to be limited imagination when it comes to song lyrics. There seems to be a preoccupation with hearts beating (as their recurs in the lyrics of multiple songs) and staying together with three songs featuring this in their titles. See how the songs rank below.
13. Lermont x Julic- Heartbeat
Lermont and Julic’s song has the same name as Latvia’s 2016 song ‘Heartbeat’. However the 2017 song doesn’t live up to its predecessor in every way. Firstly the lyrics are very cliched, one such example ‘Well you can go, or you can stay…’. Secondly the duo’s vocals are all over the place and neither can sing well live. Thirdly there is a distinct lack of charisma and chemistry from the two men on the stage. The only saving grace is that the song’s chorus is quite catchy.
12. Anastasiya Sheverenko – We’ll Be Together
Running the risk of being confused in name with Angelica’s ‘We Should Be Together’, Anastasiya’s ‘We’ll Be Together’ is a boring piano ballad with jazzy, breathy echo vocals and for want of a better description it is dull, whiny and eternal.
11. PROvokatsiya- #mylove
The opening chords for ‘#mylove’ is basically straight out of ‘Songwriting 101’ by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. But it’s too late to apologise, and apologise PROvokatsiya should. Not only for this clear rip off of the OneRepublic song but also for the at times dodgy vocals, the matching maroon pyjama suits and the cheesy smiles. Very few good things to say about this one.
10. Vladislav Kurasov – Follow the Play
Vladislav comes across as someone who didn’t quite make it into a 90s/early 00s boy band. From his Jordan Knight-esque vocals, to his vest top attire. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I love pop music from this era, in fact it’s my go-to playlist on YouTube. ‘Follow the Play’ however unfortunately, doesn’t quite take you to where you want to go. It’s not ballad enough to be a ballad and it’s not anthemic enough to be a dance floor filler, and so we are left somewhere in between feeling awkward.
9. KATTIE- Wild Wind
‘Wild Wind’ is a slow tempo piano ballad that starts out slow and is at its best when the beautiful harmonies come in on the chorus that echo like a howling wind. The song very much put me in mind of Azerbaijan’s 2014 entry from Dilara ‘Start a Fire’. The song however remains quite one dimensional until we reach the last quarter and the key change allows Kattie to better convey the emotions of the song.
8. Lexy Weaver- Be Stronger
There is a real diva quality to Lexy Weaver. The youngster’s is voice is powerful and is on par with some of the great female Eurovision singers in recent years. The video is sweet and Lexy has real chemistry with her piano playing love interest. The song has moments of beauty like when the piano gives way to a jazzy trumpet solo and the fact that it allows Lexy to showcase her great vocal ability. The song’s downfall however is that it is very repetitive, tedious and runs the risk of boring its listeners.
7. Nuteki- Take My Heart
Nuteki’s lead singer Mikhail Nokarashvili is a very handsome and stylish man which can go a long way at Eurovision. While the verses however are quite pleasant, his vocals are bordering on atrocious, particularly when he sings the chorus. The song is a mixture of an angry power ballad and an Euro-NRG song that Avicii would be proud of. There are touches of an American accent in places that which could get annoying. He would also need to master the art of microphone placement as during his audition, he moves it away from his mouth at key moments making it difficult to hear the lyrics.
6. Isaac Nightingale- On the Red Line
‘On The red Line’ certainly has potential. It is an upbeat poppy number with a little bit of emotion thrown in for good measure. The song seems to be equating a love gone wrong with the idea of peace and trying to reconcile with the lover. Isaac’s breathy vocals queries ‘Can we still be friends now?’ ‘Can we put the guns down?’ in a decent chorus and pre-chorus. One thing is for certain that they need to increase in production value if it is to succeed at Eurovision.
5. Navi Band- Story of My Life
‘Story of My Life’ (not to be confused with the One Direction song of the same name) gets off to quite a funky start with guitars and ‘Hey hey hey hi ya ya ya yeo’s. The two singers are quite accomplished and their voices compliment each other well. The song has a folk vibe with a kick of pop and blends together with a masterful fluidity. The video sees the pair chasing each other through a forest and they make it look like a lot of fun, but still convey their passion for their music.
4. Napoli- Let’s Come Together
Napoli has a striking resemblance to Joss Stone, especially her facial features. But there is where the comparisons between her and Joss stop. The song is fun especially the steel drums in the chorus that puts me in mind of ‘Kizungazunga’ from last year’s Melfest. The singer’s voice is quite weak in the beginning, but gets stronger as the performance progresses. The staging of the song also leaves much to be desired, but I think if successful and given more money, Napoli could put something entertaining out of the bag.
3. Nikita Hodas – Voices in my Head
Nikita Hodas’s ‘Voices in my Head’ would not be out of place on the soundtrack of Grey’s Anatomy. Nikita’s almost keening voice is bristling with emotion. Then something really interesting happens, the singer begins to describe a scenario talking rather than singing. This would usually grate on me (think Frans’s talk singing in ‘If I Were Sorry’) but I think here it works well as it appears to be less of a gimmick and ties more effortlessly in with the song.
2. July- Children of the World
July’s ‘Children of the World’ starts out with the electronic murmuring drum beat that has become synonymous with the Latvian entries from the past two years penned by Aminata. While ingenious rhymes like ‘betrayal’ and ‘fail’ are great, the lyrics in the chorus are very cliched vocalising the age old Eurovision imagery of how we are the world, united and that love prevails over all else. Despite this, the mantra is very effective when coupled with the singer’s ‘Ho ah ho ah hey ah hey ah hey’s.
1. Angelica Pushnova – We Should Be Together
‘We Should Be Together’ is like something straight from 1998. It seems very influenced by the likes of Sash! and Tina Cousins, Steps or the Tamperer feat. Maya. The ringing bells and dance floor feel makes it instantly memorable. It is easily one of the best songs in the running for Belarus. One thing that detracts from the song is the singer’s pronunciation of the word ‘missing’ which is slightly off putting.
Which of the 13 contenders is your favourite? Vote in our poll! Results will be revealed on Friday, before the selection show takes place!