EuroFest — Belarus’ national selection for Eurovision 2015 — takes place on December 26. On that night 15 acts will attempt to dance, shout and sing their way into Belarusian hearts, all with the hope of representing their nation in Vienna next May. In recent weeks the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — has been listening and reviewing all of the songs. Yes, we are that masochistic. Below you can get our panel’s take on this year’s first five acts — Napoli, Lis, Daria, Gunesh and Yana & Muzzart. They’re listed in the running order they will perform on the big night.

Napoli – “My Dreams”

Anthony: I wasn’t really a fan of their entry “Stay With Me” from last year’s final. So having heard “My Dreams” for the first time, it’s like I’m listening to an entirely different side of the band. Pretty good, although it feels too slow for a pop song, and could do with more oomph. 7/10

Chris: Really poor harmonies let this one down. I like the chorus when the group work well together, but it’s only sporadic moments where they shine. In particular, I’m not a big fan of the male singer, who really clashes with the sound of the rest of the group. 6/10

Deban: This track is borderline annoying! The verses are uncomfortably paced, and this leads into a shouty chorus (even on the studio version!) One thing though: it is very catchy. Belarus 2015 is a super weak field, so if this advanced, it wouldn’t be the greatest injustice in the world. That said, it’d stall in Vienna. 5.5/10

Sopon: One of Belarus’ (few) gems this year, it will certainly appeal to the non-mainstream crowd. The trio, when singing together, reminds me of Waldo’s People (Eurovision 2009) after a dose of sedatives. I’m okay with that. But still very nonplussed overall. 6/10

Francheska: “My Dreams” is a weird attempt at RnB. Nobody is loud enough, soulful enough, or even slow enough to make this a ballad. It exists in this uncomfortable limbo between danceable and introspective, and would be better suited for an ice-skating routine than the halls of Austria. 3/10

Sami: I think it’s one of the few good songs in a very bad bunch. Even though it feels like they are all fighting to be heard, it doesn’t sound as bad as it could. The melody is beautiful and it’s very well-produced. It’s not a winner, but at least it’s listenable. 7/10

William: When I go to bed, Belarusian R&B is certainly not in “My Dreams”. And now that I’ve heard Napoli, I think any dream involving them would certainly be a nightmare. Inidivudally they aren’t appalling singers, but their efforts at harmonizing fall painfully flat. Hopefully Lukashenko will override any victory involving this screechy act. 3/10

Wiwi Jury rating: 5.36/10

Lis – “Angel”

Anthony: The first few seconds of this song suggest a soothing ballad, but unfortunately his live audition ultimately made for uncomfortable viewing. “Angel” has cheesiness reminiscent of Donny Montell’s “Love Is Blind”. The long pause filler towards the end needs sorting out. 6/10

Chris: Typical Eastern European national final male ballad affair. There’s nothing special, there’s nothing that makes him stand out and that weird moment where he sort of staggers around his microphone stand is the only thing that caught my interest. And that’s just because it was so awkward. 5/10

Deban: Breathy voice, shaky promise. We’re back to the angels again — a familiar ESC topic. With the right stage management and technique, this song could unleash its potential. There’s enough drama in there to hold my interest. 7/10

Sopon: The first words of the song include, “How many dumb mistakes have we made?” It’s a good question in this instance. It also brings me back to the text of Emmelie De Forest’s “Only Teardrops”. In any event, Lis is a very breathy singer, and needs serious work on both his accent and his technique. And is it just me, or are those “angels” in the background more torturous than angelic? 2/10

Sami: As much as I’m tired of all these songs entitled “Angel”, this is quite enjoyable. However, the song really needs remastering and the singer isn’t one of the strongest ones. 7/10

Francheska: Ballads are not my thing, but “Angel” is such a pleasant surprise. It’s borderline soul and drama, crescendo and falling. Even the sudden electronic music inspiration at the end does not feel forced, but rather part of the greater story that is this song. Lis is clearly pleading to his angel, and we’ve heard his cry loud and clear! 9/10

William: From a distance it looks like Lis is making out with his mircrophone, which is perhaps the most interesting part of this song. He’s got a good voice, and I believe he believes what he’s singing. Sadly the song isn’t interesting enough to make me want to care. The one redeeming feature is the Valentina Monetta-inspired tempo change in the final minute. It prevents me from falling asleep. 5/10

Wiwi Jury rating: 5.86/10

Daria – “Love Is My Colour”

Anthony: They say first impressions count, and for me Daria made a really bad one. She has taken away three minutes I’ll never get back, ever. This sounds like a throwback to the 60s and it’s simply unbearable. How this managed to end up in the final I simply do not know. 1/10

Chris: I didn’t quite see what everyone’s problem was with this song until the chorus. Then my ears started bleeding and I had to go sit in a dark room for a while. There’s some good ideas in this song but it just never comes together. 2/10

Deban: Love may be her colour, but the only salvation I need right now is a pair of earplugs. The chorus is beyond whiny, making this an uncomfortable listening experience. The verses on the other hand hold some promise. 3.5/10

Sopon: My thought’s journal while listening to this song: Okay, some cool electric guitar. Rock chick, maybe? Wait, no, I’ve just been totally proven wrong. Groan. Groan. Groan. How am I supposed to sing along to this? Hawaiian riffs with a chorus sung like a ballad? My ears! Think of the children and puppies that you are torturing with this, Daria! “I wish (something about candles and soul), I wish I did not have to work at all”–what the actual… Overall: Daria would be better off as anything other than a singer; there are cats that sing like angels compared to her. 0/10

Francheska: BURN IT. BURN IT WITH FIRE. The lyrics are completely nonsensical, the chorus is boring as hell, and the rhythm is just bizarre. It’s trying to be funky and rock at the same time, but just ends up sounding like a bad 1970s love ballad sung by a tone-deaf troll. 0/10

Sami: Are the jurors deaf? Or is daddy an oligarch? How did this make it to the final?! The girl sounds horrible, but the backing track is what makes it a total mess. I wish I could get these three minutes of my life back. 0/10

William: When the announcer said “Daria” I mistakenly heard “diarrhea,” which is somewhat fitting. This song started out promising and made me think of Dolly Parton’s hit “9 to 5”. Sadly the late 70s / early 80s vibe never dissipated and Daria struggled with her vocals. She’s a lovely woman. Sadly this song isn’t her colour. 2.5/10

Wiwi Jury rating: 1.29/10

Gunesh – “I Believe In A Miracle”

Anthony: Her 2012 attempt with “And Morning Will Come” was one of my favourites that year. “I Believe In A Miracle” however, is pretty much another Disney-esque ballad. Part of me feels like it’s becoming rather samey. I expected more from Gunesh. 5/10

Chris: I adored Gunesh in Türkvizyon, but this is a bit of a letdown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did manage to qualify for Eurovision at the end of all this, but that would spell the end of Belarus’ qualification run. A nice build towards the end saves this song, and maybe with a bit of work it could be more of a contender. 7/10

Deban: This sounds like an Asian karaoke version to an unknown Celine Dion b-side. The problem here lies not with the songwriter, but the singer. She is two keys too low, and mispronounces the simplest words. A real pity, because this song is beautifully constructed. 6/10

Sopon: Gunesh is the first Türkvizyon contestant to try for the European counterpart, so this is very interesting. Similar to “Son Hatiralar”, she sings in the foreign language very well, but “I Believe In A Miracle” is not the tiger she brought to Turkey, but rather a tame little fluffball kitten. She styles herself very well in this song, and between her looks and her sweet voice, it’s as if she is the Belarusian Snow White! But let’s be realistic here. If this is in Vienna, this will be towards the bottom of the board – in the semis. 7/10

Francheska: This screams “schmaltzy American Evangelical Christmas song” in the beginning, and unfortunately this doesn’t progress much more. It’s a nice song, and by “nice” I’m not referring to the quality, but rather the fact that it is pleasant and doesn’t risk much controversy. Needless to say, I won’t completely bash this song because there are many that are so much worse, but Gunesh needs to ripen like cheese. Fast. 4/10

Sami: All I can say for Gunesh is “yes, you need a miracle, if you want to win it”. The song is dated, boring and totally lacks originality. Gunesh sounds nice, but she needs a better song to reach Eurovision. 2/10

William: Oh honey, we know you’re here — the drapes on your arms, the cheesy melody, and the swaying back-up dancers make you hard to miss. As with so many acts in the Belarusian selection, this sends me on a time warp back to the early 80s and I just can’t cope. Gunesh has a few great moments, but this feels like a knock off of something from the animated film “Prince of Egypt”. The miracle, Gunesh, was that you made the EuroFest final. 2/10

Wiwi Jury rating: 4.71/10

Yana Butskevich & Muzzart – “Only Dance”

Anthony: They look and sound like Switzerland’s Takasa performing in a Wild West saloon. And seeing a male vocalist impersonating a trumpet is neither cool nor clever. 2/10

Deban: Folklore on crack! The bridge of this song tested my limits. Was that a saxophone impersonation? Seriously?? 4/10

Chris: Caro Emerald and the Puccini Sisters inexplicably gave birth to a group and unfortunately none of the talent got passed down. There’s enough to kind of like about this song to be able to listen to it for the first minute or so, but then it just gets on your nerves. 3.5/10

Sopon: “Hello Belarus! It’s Ovi calling! Give me my song back!” I loved 2Fabiola and Loredana with all my heart last year (there’s a reason I call them Fab & Lord), but this is just pathetic. This also feels like “Love Symphony” too: Yana seems haphazardly thrown in there so that there are some form of vocals. 3/10

Sami: It’s not bad, but I can agree with it being a copy of “She’s After My Piano”. I like the intro, but after one minute I’ve already heard the whole song. I really hate all those weird noises they make – do they think it’s cool?! 3/10

Francheska: I wouldn’t find this tune in the sleaziest of the 1920s speakeasies. This song actually sounds like it belongs in a comical scene in a Scooby Doo episode where everyone is chasing each other through the doors. The instrumentals are laughable, vocals barely intelligible, and this is just a bad shtick on behalf of the Belarussian TV network to get some laughs. Please spare us! 2/10

William: Has the Corpse Bride just joined Koza Mostra? I can’t bare this….but it is more original than the other non-sense we’ve heard in this first grouping. I give it 3 points — one for the costumes, one for the use of a clarinet, and one for the choreography. 3/10

Wiwi Jury rating: 2.93/10

You can read all of our EuroFest 2015 reviews here.

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9 years ago

Belarus please send Gunesh it would make the final.

9 years ago

1. Gunesh – I Believe In A Miracle 2/10
2. Lis – Angel 2/10
3. Napoli – My Dreams 2/10
4. Daria – Love Is My Colour 1/10
5. Yana Butskevich & Muzzart – Only Dance 1/10

9 years ago

Uzari & Maimuna and Janet are the only ones with respectable entries. Milki isn’t that bad but it’s still extremely annoying.

9 years ago

Only dance is the most amazing thing tbh. Milki is better though, and will probably win (and qualify).

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
9 years ago

This year, Belarus has a very weak field. Unless they send Milki, Napoli, Beatris or Janette, they will need a miracle to qualify in Vienna.

9 years ago

They all are pure idiots, because they have no chance for good result with such “compositions”.

9 years ago

My rational and objective rating of entries:
Napoli – My Dreams 1/10
Lis – Angel 1/10
Daria – Love Is My Colour 1/10
Gunesh – I Believe In A Miracle 2/10
Yana Butskevich & Muzzart – Only Dance 1/10

9 years ago

Uzari and Maimuma HAVE to win.

Luis Felipe
Luis Felipe
9 years ago

Out of these i really liked Yana Butskevich & Muzzart – Only Dance. It’s danceable and fun. Really think that charlestonish music should come back from the 20’s. It’s really good

9 years ago

I wish the best of luck for MILKI. I think they’ll do well enough to represent Belarus at the Eurovision next year.

Yudhistira Mahasena
9 years ago

I don’t know if these will do well in Eurofest, but I wish best of luck for Milki with “Accent”. I’d suggest Nadya Misyakova performing as an interval act in Eurofest.