Belarus National Final
67 entries were submitted to the Belarussian broadcaster BTRC for Eurovision 2017. After auditions in November a professional jury whittled down the entries to the final 13, which will participate in the National Final this Friday.
This is my opinion on the finalists and who I think have the best chance of making the contest in May.
- July- “Children of the World”
I like the message, talking about eradicating racial difference. Yet the song sounds like a demo version and really would need a lot of work on it if it was to win. It reminds me of “What For?” Latvia 2010, in its structure and to a degree the message. The song needs to be performed with more flare, it could still win, but it is dated and wouldn’t be out of place in the 1990 contest.
My score: 6/10
- Aleksandra Tkach- “Be Stronger”
Love her voice, reminds me somewhat of Melodi Gardot, soft jazz start into a nice piano/ R’n’B ballad. Problem with the song is it flat lines and goes nowhere after it has transitioned into the ballad. Can’t see it winning, I had hopes during the first half of the song.
My Score: 5/10
- Vladislav Kurasov- “Follow the Play”
Possibly one of the biggest names in the competition, Vladislav is Runner up of The X Factor in Ukraine and a 2016 semi finalist in the Ukrainian selection. Follow the Play is a rousing R‘n’B ballad, and Vladislavs higher register is given a bit of a work out on this song. With work it could be more dramatic and was the first song I heard that could potentially win.
My score: 7/10
- NAVI- “Historyja Majho Žyccia (Story of my Life)”
Last Years 4th place is back for another go at the top spot. This time they have come with a more upbeat song, if that is possible. Their last effort was not too dissimilar, yet they have brought more energy. This song does remind me of Dulcima’s entry from U.K’s 2016 National Final, but they have injected some ethnicity into the song which works better. A song that could go to Eurovision with a few little tweaks.
My score: 7.5/10
- Isaac Nightingale- “On the Red line”
A very noughties style of song, it plods along, the lyrics are ok but Isaac’s pronunciation leaves a lot to be desired. It is unfortunately a boring song, with little to save it. Not a winner! But I appreciate he has put effort in to his entry.
My score: 2.5/10
- Kattie- “Wild Wind”
A soft gentle ballad with nice lyrics and a good singer. Yet there is something missing here for me, it really doesn’t go far enough for me. It plays with the idea of becoming a rousing ballad yet just doesn’t get there. It is a shame as Kattie is a good performer and you can see she is invested in the song. It gets a bit musical theatre at the end and then just stops, the ending is not good.
My score: 3/10
Nuteki- “Take My Heart”
I like the song it is contemporary enough while giving a nod to a past era of pop-rock music, it has a great hook and the lyrics are decent. It has one of the best chances of any of the songs on offer. A different approach for Belarus if they choose this. That is all good, now to balance this up. There is one big drawback and that is the lead vocals, as soon as we get into the chorus the vocals, ‘go out the window’, and we are left with a lot of shouting. Get this sorted and we have a contender.
My score: 7.5/10
- NAPOLI- “Let’s Come Together”
After 2 selections in 2016, NAPOLI comes back to Belarus for another go with “Let’s Come Together”. It is like a cheap version of Emmelie De Forest’s “Rainmaker”, that isn’t a bad thing it is just that these type of songs are now starting to saturate the Eurovision National Finals and they rarely do well. I cant see NAPOLI winning unless she really does take elocution lessons as her pronunciation is not the best. Not the worst, but far from a winner.
My score: 5.5/10
- Nikita Hodas- “Voice in My Head”
His voice could be likened to that of Ed Sheeran, the song has a rousing melody yet simple and soft. The spoken word is a welcome addition and something that I can’t remember being done at Eurovision. The accent is more apparent during the spoken word part of the song, but it is an interesting concept for a song, and a country like Belarus that doesn’t always follow the typical Eurovision route when it comes to music. I wouldn’t mind if this won, more to see how people reacted to it both fans and the general public.
My score 6.5/10
- Angelica Pushnova- “We Should Be Together”
This would have done very well 10/15 years ago, yet with the re-introduction of juries at the start of the decade and the more contemporary fare on offer in the contest, this type of cheap Euro-pop does not do as well anymore. Angelica’s voice is competent enough, but she struggles on the higher notes and this wouldn’t qualify from the semi-finals.
My score: 4/10
- Anastasiya Sheverenko- “We’ll Be Together”
Lyrics are ok and she has a decent voice, but this song needs more bass to really get it going. There is a good song in here, but it has no energy for me in this version. If this won it would need a major revamp. Not a contender in my opinion.
My score 4.5/10
- Lermont X Julic- “Heartbeat”
The half mic and tight jeans give us false hope that this song will become a rousing rock anthem, then he starts humming and gives us a smaltzy mid-tempo ballad about his heartbeat. He looks good, but please you need more than that to win over the juries and public. Must do better!
My score 2.5/10
- PROvokatsiya- “My Love”
This is all forced, the song, lyrics, and even the outfits. It is all to over produced and makes them seem amateurish. Their voices are fine, but they cannot qualify performing like this with a bland song. I wish them well but this ballad would get lost in any competition and it will in this one.
My score: 2/10
Well I was pleasantly surprised by some of the entries in the Belarussian selection. I was always a bit apprehensive as they usually have weak selections, yet I think this is their strongest in a few years. Although that doesn’t mean there aren’t stinkers as I have stated.
Here is my top 3:
3 Vladislav Kurasov
If I had to get off the fence and say who out of my joint favourites should win it would have to be Nuteki. I have said above, if the lead singer gets his vocals into shape then he should win. Until then though it really must be a tie.
Enjoy the final folks and let me know who is your favourite. 😀