Today the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—gathered our readings on democracy and headed to Belarus, which George W. Bush once called “the last dictatorship in Europe”. Did Alyona Lanskaya’s Eurovision song “Solayoh” fill us with a sense of freedom? Or was it totes totalitarian and nasty? Read on to find out…

Mr Häggkvist: I’m just sick of all the drama this country makes every year. Belarus is the Telenovela of Eurovision. But even I have to admit that “Solayoh” is a very good song in the end. All the Arabian sounds really stayed in my mind after I logged out of YouTube. I want the songs at Eurovision to be fun and interesting, and I see all those things in this entry. This is so much better than the original song “Rhythm of Love” that we met in December!

Score: 7/10

Vebooboo: Surprise, surprise, we’ve got a singer with horrible English pronunciation yet again this year.  This is such a generic Eurovision song a la the type of stuff that Turkey used to produce year in, year out in the early and mid-2000s. However, somehow this generic stuff always does well, especially in a year with very few pop songs…so I feel pressured to give this a good score even though I find it painful to listen to. Average vocals, average staging, and way too freaking repetitive throughout. Europe, please don’t make this Top 10.

Score: 5.5/10

Belarus, Alyona Lanskaya, 1Bogdan: This is a great Eurovision song; the only problem is that it sounds like so many other good Eurovision songs. It has a bit of “Wild Dances”, a bit of “Zaleilah” (“Solayoh” sounds like Belarusian for “Zaleilah”), and a bit of “Dum Tek Tek”, to name but a few. If you are new to Eurovision, you will probably be hooked. If you are a veteran fan, you won’t be fooled. But you will still secretly root for it. Yes, “Solayoh” will be this year’s ESC guilty pleasure. And I’m guilty as charged!

Score: 7/10

Alexander: To be honest, I prefer “Solayoh” over Belarus’s original entry “Rhythm of Love”. It has a catchy Latino-inspired chorus and some decent lyrics (whose pronunciation needs to be worked on by Alyona). While it’s overall a decent entry that’s pleasant to listen to, my main problem with it is that it’s quite generic and doesn’t go anywhere. Unlike some of the other entries, I don’t feel like “Solayoh” uplifts me on a musical journey while I’m listening to it. It’s very middle-of-the-road quasi-Latino pop, which can be either a good or bad thing at Eurovision. It’s hard to say how it will do..

Score: 5.5/10

Deban: Congratulations Alyona. This is the third Wiwi Jury critique I’m giving you in 2 years. Please let it be the last. What was wrong with “Rhythm Of Love”? It’s one thing to re-work a song, but changing it altogether? That said, the backing vocals on this track feature far more prominently than yours. C’mon. Turkey may have responded to this melody, but guess what? They’re not voting this year. The PR spin is getting somewhat overstretched. Hardcore Eurovision followers now want to see ‘more meat on the bones’. Borrowing the words of Jamie (One of our readers in Belgium), ‘I’m tired of your drama’.

Score: 5/10

Alyona and her back-up dancers.
Alyona and her back-up dancers.

H.K. Dick: I rather liked “Rhythm of Love” and was very disappointed to see it abandoned in favour of “Solayoh”, which, on first listen, sounds like a substandard Greek 2000’s entry. However, it’s a grower. There’s a smouldering sexiness and with the stage bound to be filled with scantily clad hot male dancers this will probably get the juices going for enough voters to make it to the final. A more pulsating beat and this could have been a top contender.

Score: 7/10

Wiwi: I’ve never been a huge fan of Alexander Rybak, so I didn’t appreciate his cameo in Alyona’s official video. That aside, I’m excited that Belarus has guaranteed itself a spot in this year’s final. “Solayoh” is one of the more infectious songs this year. Depending on how you read that, it’s either a disease that won’t go away or a song that you’re happy to keep humming after the singer leaves the stage. The chorus is easy on the ears and a re-mix will be fun to dance to at EuroClub. The Latin sound is a nice foil to all the boring ballads we’re going to hear this year.

Score: 6.5/10 

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.21/10

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury pageYou can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.

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Banks
Guest
Banks

who let this untalented whore in?! she raped my ears with her irritating voice!! the worst song ever!!

Leon
Guest
Leon

Solahyoh brought a smile to my face and kept it there the length of the song. Never a dull moment with lots of creativity. A good song well delivered with lots of stickability.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Boney M, 1974, anyone? Reinterpreted by an EastEnders actress (apologies to non-UK readers). Bangy, clashy and loud. To no good purpose.

Callum Frazer
Guest

‘Solayoh’ is probably going to win so you better all get over yourselves. If I’m brutally honest I don’t really like the song that much at all but it doesn’t matter. The chemistry is perfect and it works. My five year old daughter was singing the chorus after only one listening – I rest my case. I think it’s a safe bet all round. I would be very surprised if it didn’t win. Either way it will almost certainly be in the top 5 so deal with it!

Momo
Guest
Momo

Yeah she’s got an accent for days. Yeah it’s East-Meets-Friggin-West again.

Whatever yo!

*joins in the Chacha! dance routine*

#StrikeAPose

Martin King
Guest

As the person who wrote the lyrics I think she has a good chance. The emphasis has to be the overall feel of the song. It’s just a feel-good, positive, bouncy, singalong with no hidden agenda, and love it or loath it that chorus sticks in your head. Contrary to some opinions I wasn’t paid to write the lyrics, I just wrote them because I wanted to that’s all. I think it’s the best Belarusian entry ever so good luck to all of them.

Best regards Martin King

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Martin-King-Military-Historian-Cultural-Ambassador/177666262245534

Ala
Guest
Ala

I really enjoy this song and Alyona! I think, that it’s very good song for competition. It’s also good for clubs and partys. Very easy to listen to, very easy to sing together with Lanskaya. Good luck Alyona!

Samo
Guest

Go Belarus! Who care if you are a dictatorship! This song is sooo catchy!

Pablo Nava
Member

Also, I’ll always remember this song as the one I was hearing when it was announced that the President of Vzla died.

Weird fact, but true story.

ines
Guest
ines

love itttttttttttttttt

Jamilla
Guest
Jamilla

THIS SONG IS CRAP.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Metze, we know that happened in 2012, but I’m not convinced it happened in 2013. She really did have the best song this time around.

Belarus is really going back in time to the early part of the last decade for this one – probably a smart move, as long as everyone pulls it off on stage. I’m hoping the performance is as enjoyable as it has the potential to be. As far as actually listening to the song, I preferred Rhythm of Love, and musically speaking even most of the ballads are more interesting.

Metze
Guest
Metze

@Z24

Exactly. “Solayoh” is Latin music for dummies – they have even spelled the name of the song phonetically, lol.

Metze
Guest
Metze

This song is rubbish. Moreover, it comes from a singer who rigged the voting of the Belarusian NF to make sure that she won, and then even chose to ignore those results by changing her song.

Vile – utterly vile. I sincerely hope Alyona flops in Malmö and Belarus once again gets a taste of its own corrupt medicine.

Pablo Nava
Member

Just because it says Cha-Cha doesn’t make it latin. Worst word to use to describe that song.

But, it has a very infectious beat and it just might make it to the final. It’s very enjoyable and Alyona may have the best English of Belarussian entries in a while.