Earlier today the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—gathered in Minsk where we gorged on potato pancakes stuffed with caviar, mushrooms and carrots. We then settled down to review Nadezhda Misyakova’s Junior Eurovision 2014 song “Sokol”. Did Nadezhda soar with her hawk-inspired dance routine and earthy song? Or did that bird fail to fly? Read on to find out…
Sami: This song is pure magic! I love all the instruments and it takes me to Narnia or some other fantasy world. Her wonderful vocals should already guarantee Belarus a place in top five. I think it’s one of the best JESC songs ever.
Sopon: I must give Belarus a huge pat on the back: this is splendid! Although her outfit reminds me of Neiokoso, the song is by far not a drag, but rather a three minute flight through euphoria. In contrast to Neiokoso, her voice is spot on and ridden of all screaming. As long as there is no horned drummer on the stage, she ought to bring Belarus towards the top of the scoreboard.
Liam: I’ve probably listened to this song the most out of any of the JESC entrants this year, but no matter how many times I listen to it I find no flaws or problems. The music is so mysterious and dark and keeps me listening, just wondering what will come next. Nadezhda is exotic and her voice really soars, like the falcon she describes throughout her song. Personally, I hope she drops the dancers in Malta, it takes away from her amazing vocal performance
Chris: Wow! This is a really great song – in fact, it’s probably better than most of Belarus’ entries to the adult Eurovision! Nadezhda is clearly a very confident performer and she delivers the song brilliantly. I hope that the routine stays much the same for the contest itself, as it’s effective and doesn’t steal the spotlight from Nadezhda and her voice. I really can’t find anything major to fault with this one.
Deban: Third time lucky Nadheza has finally won the opportunity to fly her national flag in Malta. She sings a song of hope, and seemingly, means it too. This is one of the few entries this year that could easily transition to the adult version of the contest.
Denise: This song is amazing. Without a doubt, my number one this year. This girl knows what’s she’s doing and she’s doing an amazing job. This 14- year old beats every single contestant that Belarus has sent to the adult version of Eurovision in the past years so there’s also hope for them in two years when she’s turning 16 and she can perform on the big Eurovision stage. Extra points for the full Belarusian lyrics!
Bogdan: A catchy song, easy to remember, and the singer is pretty and charismatic. I see Belarus doing well at the contest, but, considering the competition, I am not sure “Sokol” could win. It’s a bit uneventful and it might be overshadowed by some other flashier, more current teen pop acts — although I’m sure juries will give Nadezhda a helping hand.
Renske: I honestly think this can be the actual winner of this year. It’s the song Belarus has been waiting for, for years. I really love the instruments they chose for the background sounds, it gives the song some extra magic. Their act is very well organised and fits with the song. That’s something you don’t get with so many other songs in the contest. It’s amazing what they have made! Next to that Nadezhda has very strong vocals.
Mario: Belarus ALWAYS sends good songs on Junior Eurovision, and this year is no exception. Beautiful girl pairs up with beautiful song. Folk elements and slightly poetic lyrics are strong enough to convince me to take several more listens. It gets repetitive, but less so than other songs. There ARE better songs in the contest, but this one is doing well on my list.
Score: 7.5/ 10
Patrick: Well, well, well… Sokol is not bad at all but I’m not the biggest fan of it to be honest. I like the instruments in the song, Nadezhda can sing really well and the song is sweet, but I miss something special… Maybe it will convince me on the stage of JESC but for now it’s only a good song!
Ramadan: Yet another lovely entry from our Belarusian friends. Nadezhda has really strong vocals that go really well with folk/pop/jazz elements. The song gives me “Horehronie” vibes — hopefully it will do much better than Horehronie as I could see this taking the trophy. She reminds me of Nolwenn Leroy, hopefully she will do as well as her. I’m really proud of Belarus! Good luck, Nadezhda!
William: It’s very mature and wouldn’t be lost at the adult contest. Nadezdha has a great voice, her dancing is on point, and I would totally dress my children in those those indigenous-looking threads. But something about this just doesn’t resonate with me. I want to love this, but I only like it.
Some of our jurors have elected only to provide scores.
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 6.5 and a high of 10.