Today the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Moscow and had a personalised tour of The Kremlin by our favourite Eurovision bae, Sergey Lazarev. After eating our body weight in borscht we were feeling a bit tired, so livened things up by reviewing Russia’s entry for Junior Eurovision 2016. Did “Water of Life” from Sofia Fisenko and the Water of Life Project quench our thirst? Or did we just spit it out? Read on to find out…
Russia’s Junior Eurovision 2016 song
“Water of Life” reviews – Sofia Fisenko and the Water of Life Project
Andy: Arguably the catchiest song of this year’s competition. The vocals are on point and these young ladies are bringing the tone and attitude of a Russian Little Mix. I’ve already listened to this song on repeat. It isn’t just pleasant to tap your foot to — it actually goes somewhere! Watch for this to do very well the night of the competition – and not just because it is Russia.
William: Call Mother Nature, send Aphrodite a telegraph and let Odin know the show is about to start — this song is a gift from the Gods, whoever your God may be. Crossing borders — of nation, of age, of musical taste — “Water of Life” has a tribal folk quality that grabs you and never lets go. The chorus feel spiritual and wouldn’t be out of place at a musical seance. If the dead could speak back, surely they’d say, “This could be the winner.” My only 10 of the year.
Deban: This revamped version breathes life into what was originally an excellent offering. Sofia Fisenko is an excellent team player who engages well with her backing vocalists, whilst capturing key moments to shine as a soloist. “Water Of Life” is the entry that ticks all the boxes and then some. Russia’s commitment to everything Eurovision is evident yet again. If there’s any justice in this game, this should peak within the top three.
Chris: Oh, I love this song so much. It’s like Sokal 2.0 and then some. Sofia and the rest of the Water of Life Project should be very proud of themselves. Great harmonies and a great look — this should be the obvious frontrunner going in to the final. They nail the English/Russian mix perfectly, too. It’s perhaps not the most contemporary song and that makes me worry about a jury song, but I personally feel it ticks all the JESC boxes.
Bernardo: “Water for Life” is that song this year. It starts off classy and soft before erupting into an amazing, well-produced chorus that you just can’t stop humming. These girls know how to work those harmonies. The transition to English is very smooth. Overall, it’s a catchy entry with a lot a potential and I’m sure Russia won’t disappoint with staging. Potential winner!
Dayana: Well, I’ve just found my winner! I’m loving everything in this entry. But for me the main advantage of the Water Of Life Project is that their song is really catchy. It’s been stuck in my head for days — and after just one listen! By the way, Sofia reminds me of Nadezhda Misyakova, Belarus’ representative in JESC 2014, who was my favourite that year. Anyway, hopefully the girls will do well in the contest!
Jason: Understated, elegant and with a natural flow, “Water of Life” marks a superb effort from Russia. I love the simplistic earthiness of this song, which should set it apart from the ballads and up-tempo numbers. Sofia Fisenko is a captivating performer by herself but seems entirely comfortable with the other Water of Life Project members. This is another of 2016’s JESC songs that could easily pass as an entry in the adult contest, which is certainly not a bad thing. Excuse me Russia — the top three is calling.
Josh: H-E-R-E: Russia is here! I love absolutely everything about “Water of Life”. Sofia Fisenko’s subtle lead vocal on the track is so choc-a-block full of power and quality without sounding like she’s screaming. The other young ladies in the backing were, in my opinion, the only thing missing from Sofia’s national performance that could’ve improved the song, so I’m thrilled they’ve been added in. This entry excites me and I cannot wait to walk the streets of Moscow with my girlfriend at JESC 2017. Yaasss!
Matt: Barring the fact that they have the same name for their group as the song title, this song is surprisingly good. I find it a little loud in the chorus, but overall the song is very strong vocally and if they get their vocals right on the night, this will win over the juries and blow away the pack.
Robyn: “Water of Life” is a really decent and modern pop song, with a mature sound that wouldn’t be out of place as an ESC entry. If the music video is anything to go by, the girls will deliver a performance that’s just as slick. My only issue: the song isn’t especially memorable and might not have the sticking power to inspire votes.
Our jury for 2016 consists of 21 jurors, but we only have room for ten reviews. The remaining 11 scores are listed below.
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 7.5 and a high of 10.