Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — travelled to Minsk and visited the National Opera and Ballet of Belarus. After admiring the architecture and taking in a show, we gathered in the lobby to discuss Belarus’ Eurovision 2015 duo Uzari & Maimuna and their song “Time”. Did we want to make time for this duo? Or had their time run out? Read on to find out…

Belarus’ Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Uzari & Maimuna with “Time”

Robyn: This song is totally ridiculous and I love it. It seems like a perfect combination of drama and performance, Uzari’s urgent vocals and Maimuna ramping up the tension with her violin playing. And “time is like thunder” – what does that even mean? I don’t know, but it sounds cool, and it makes the chorus especially wonderful. The music video gives me great hope that the live performance will be just as amazing.

Score: 7/10

Uzari and Maimuna postcard

Padraig: I’m a sucker for strings. But strings alone do not make a good pop song. Thankfully “Time” is the full package. It’s got a catchy hook, a hummable melody and distinctive vocals. One of Belarus’ better entries, and it’s frustrating to see this being tipped to not qualify. Hopefully Uzari and Maimuna will be able to win over the sceptics with their live performance. They’re the perfect partnership, although Uzari could do with losing the mullet.

Score: 8/10

Bogdan: I can’t really connect to this song. One of the reasons might be that I wanted MILKI to win Eurofest it wants to be a rock song and a dance song at the same time, with a violin thrown in there for good Eurovision measure. Speaking of Maimuna, although I’m sure she’s a fine violonist, she looks more like a gimmick than a proper artist. Also, the lyrics make very little sense.

Score: 4/10

Angus: This was the only song I liked at Belarus’ selection and I am ecstatic Uzari & Maimuna won. Belarus are fielding a contemporary pop entry, laced with fiery strings courtesy of Maimuna and an intense sensual vocal from Uzari. ‘Time” has an urgency to it that demands and commands your attention, and in a one-year absence for Ukraine, Minsk have picked up the slack ably.

Score: 7.5/10

Chris: For the third year in a row, Belarus have delivered an underrated pop song that should make it to the final on merit alone. “Time” is very catchy and I like some of the minor tweaks they’ve made to give Maimuna a little more to do. Certainly the staging of the song is going to be key to make sure that it all translates well, but Uzari seems confident enough a performer to be able to work it out. The “thunder-ah-ah” hook is also considerably less annoying than, for example, the Netherlands’ same attempt.

Score: 7.5/10

Belarus, Uzari, 4

Liam: I actually adored this song right from the start. I so desperately wanted them to beat “Accent” and go to Eurovision. The revamp brought so much more to the table, and showed off Maimuna’s violin skills more than the original. This is the perfectly mix of drama and pop, but now, I think it’s meant for good fortune, but secretly inside I know that Belarus will once again be underrated by Europe.

Score: 10/10

William: This is greatly improved from the national selection. The strings have come into sharper focus and it sounds more symphonic and modern. Even so, I just can’t get into it and I get the sense this is more style than substance — how exactly is time like thunder? Ultimately this song is like a donut: tasty enough, but with a massive hole in the middle.

Score: 4/10

Ramadan: I like the song from Belarus this year, even if I did enjoy the song a lot more before the revamp. I find “Time is like thunder a-aa” really repetitive and I don’t like that. I love the intro, it really draws me in. I’m hoping for a spectacular performance from Uzari & Maimuna, as the music video is one of the best this year!

Score: 6.5/10

Uzari & Maimuna – interview at Eurovision In Concert

Max: Not gonna lie, I actually hated this when it was chosen back in January, but now, having had a much needed overhaul I really think its a dark horse. Yes, a nursery school child could have written the lyrics, yes, the violin solo is screechy on the ears and yes, the repetitive ‘ah-ah’ bit makes me want to go crazy but I kinda like it. Let’s face it: It was always going to be this or a recycled Disney ballad sung (or shouted) by Gunesh so we should be happy. If the music video elements can be repeated on the big stage then I have some hopes for this to make the final.

Score: 7/10

Belarus, Uzari Maimuna, 1

Luis: Belarus is definitively a grower for me. I thought the song sucked when they were chosen, but somehow they’ve snuck into my top 20. Uzari is a decent performer, and his knack for originality (the shirt of buttons in the national final or the elf ears in the video) will help the song receive a bit more of attention, and in a subtler way than the disco ball and dull dance moves of recent years. I’m only concerned about what Maimuna will be like on stage: In the video she proved that she deserves a leading role, and not just moving in the back pretending to play her violin.

Score: 7/10

Deban: Well-sung with good harmonies, but instantly forgettable. Even when I had it on repeat, it didn’t sound familiar. This genre sits between pop, classical, rock and noise. Nothing leaps out in the musical structure or delivery. No doubt, Belarus will throw money at it, and force it down our throats, but overall, it’s a rather pedestrian effort.

Score: 4/10

Uzari & Maimina – live at Eurovision In Concert

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 11 written reviews. Here are the remaining 18 scores. 

Anthony: 7.5/10

Denise: 7/10

Francheska: 9/10

Josh: 7/10

Judit: 4/10

Kristin: 6/10

Marek: 7/10

Mario: 1.5/10

Mike: 7/10

Mikhail: 8/10

Patrick: 3/10

Renske: 7/10

Rezo: 7/10

Sami: 8/10

Sinan: 9/10

Sopon: 3/10

William C: 8/10

Zach: 6/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1.5 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 6.52/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

I can see the giant egg timer and violin on stage in Vienna but that is all I will remember about this song
Not the tune or the words
Am sure it will somehow make the final but not from any votes from me

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

Well, it is definitely better that the cheesecake song, but it is nothing to write home about. The lyrics are pretty awful and frankly, it sounds like the kind of nonsense one would dance to in Ibiza.

Álex, from Spain
Guest
Álex, from Spain

One of the best songs this year.

Alex
Guest
Alex

A near-certain qualifier, I think. An unusually strong entry for Belarus this year.

Bogdan Honciuc
Editor

@ Noah, you made me laugh so hard. Please point out what in my review screams gay drama to you. Thanks.

Maltish
Guest
Maltish

IMO it’s an awesome song. Should qualify and end up in the teens. Quite similar to it’s 2013 and 2014 placings.

Darren
Guest
Darren

I hate when country whose first language is not English, enter the competition with an English language song that makes absolutely no sense, this is the second or third year that Belarus have done this..I do not see how time is like thunder, especially when thunder only strikes once, but time strikes twice in a 24 hour period? If this song was in Russian or Belarussian I think I could rate it higher, and it would probably still get a decent result, because it would be the same countries that vote for Belarus anyway that would vote for it. The… Read more »

2015
Guest
2015

Time is like thunder: Looks stupid, but its not!

Thunder strikes in a second, just like time!
You see it and its gone,
Every minute is already in the past,
When you’re old, you know the time when you were younger like yesterday,
Time passes… thats what it means

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

To the reviewer with the Greek flag, we don’t want just “Eurovisionary” songs. All sorts of songs are welcome in the contest. Just look at the past few winners.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

It is interesting and should finish above the blander and less inspired songs of the contest. Definite qualifier with the potential to finish in the teens. Uzari is a good male singer but they would be wise to feature Maimuna heavily when staging this. 7/10

Noah
Guest
Noah

@Bogdan, sorry, but what’s wrong with your marks and opinions? You act like a typical gay drama queen. Contain yourself.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

I like the fact that Uzari & Maimuna are both co-writers, but this song does very little for me and I sort of lose interest if the lyrics have no meaning. How can you hear time (“it”) like thunder? I just can’t connect with it at all and it’s one to skip for me and it’s just going to get lost in a lot of strong songs, especially if it gets to the final. There is however potential for good staging which could decide if it qualifies, but bottom 7 if it gets to the final for me. Belarus only… Read more »

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

@Wozzeck, Solayoh was annoying, and this is the best entry from Belarus for me 8.5/10.

just like the songs i hate were: Only Teardrops by Overrated Emmelie de forest,
boring song Birds from horrible singer Anouk.

Nicky1991
Guest
Nicky1991

Love this song!!!! and Time is like Thunder ah ah ah Go Belarus.

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

And what is that thing in his ear? Is he trying to look like a badass hi-tech elf?

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

Solayoh was better. And that was already bad enough.

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

8.5/10
One of two songs that completely grew on me mainly due to its revamp (the other being F.Y.R Macedonia). I absolutely love this version of Time over the first, which I did not like at all. The arrangement, the buildup, accompanied with the violin just works for me this time. If Belarus’s entry last year, which I also did not like, could qualify, this should easily be granted a spot in the final. Someone tell me how Cheesecake made it through, because even after a year I’m still baffled (at least it’s not as bad as Iceland – no hate).

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

It has grown on me but I don’t like the chorus lyrics. Rhyming thunder with thunder… is lazy.

Z24
Guest
Z24

I’ve grown to love this song a lot.

I didn’t like it immediately, but it has all the things I love since the revamp. String action, pathos, rousing bridge. It isn’t lyrically brilliant, but should do the trick.

I also had a soft spot for Uzari to win for Belarus once, and luckily he did so with his best offer.

Belarus has never qualifed in not Nordic hosted contests. This should break that curse.

8.5/10

davve
Guest
davve

The best song from Belarus since 2007

Mar
Guest
Mar

I do think they explained in an interview why time is like thunder. It was something like time strikes very quickly and you need to make good use of it, I’m paraphrasing some very broken english here, take that as you will.

This song has quickly grown on me, I wish I could hate it beacuse I’m still butthurt over Milky being robbed, but this is a very good effort from Belarus and deserves a spot in the finals.

Adams
Guest
Adams

Nope… “time is like thunder” doesn’t mean a thing. It’s pointless. As well as “Keep on hoping against all hope”. Pointless!

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Love it. 8/10

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

I agree with Denise–this is the best Belarus has sent out of a mountain of trash
it’s like finding a piece of IKEA furniture in Walmart
not good
but not abhorrent

Graph
Guest
Graph

8 / 10

I like it! For me, this has the same appeal factors as Satellite in 2010, but Time is even better and it stylistically stands out in the competition this year. 90% chance of qualifying and possible winner.

WTF
Guest
WTF

Belarus’ best entry since 2007. Guaranteed qualifier.

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

I feared that the jury may have ripped into Uzari and Maimuna, but thankfully they’ve been quite kind. I really enjoy this song, and the violin works fantastically well. My 11th overall, I think this one might go under the radar and do better than most expect it to.

8/10

Dar
Guest
Dar

i hate this entry .. it feels soo empty and soulless

PP
Guest
PP

Song is good, but for me Uzari looks so much pretentious with no any charisma. ( I have same feeling when I watched Danny Saucedo in MF 2011, 2012) and I think because of that , Belarus wili lost many points. They wili go to final, thank to semifinal with 6 ex soviet countries of 16 particpants.

John
Guest
John

Fatima, the videoclip is cheesy and weird. And need I point out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXhUmyAntAY. That performance has zero impact and they’ve pretty much ruined this song.
Maimuna is a good addition though, and I like her presence; Uzari isn’t as good.

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

7,5/10

The revamp is absolutely amazing! I like the combination of the violin with his voice. I preferred Milki (and was absolutely pissed when this won, and rage quited the livesttream..) but I got over it and now I think they will make a great act.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Honestly i never really realized how ridiculous that lyrics is lol “Time is like thunder” like do they even explain why? Lol. I still love this song, its so underrated. I hope it qualifies, it has block voting and running order in its favor but no ones really paying attention to it as a favorite. If it qualifies itll be from 7th to 10th place

Hollandique
Guest

If ‘Solayoh’, ‘Cheesecake’ and ‘Butterflies’ have all qualified Belarus to the final; and this doesn’t qualify, then something’s very wrong. This has the potential to be a dark horse competitor! I hope that the staging is good!!

Allen
Guest
Allen

Did you folks realize that Belarus always qualified in northern European countries:
2007 in Finland
2010 in Norway
2013 in Sweden
2014 in Denmark

?

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

This is a very underrated entry, I have it 11th overall and think that its Belarus’ best entry since 2007. I really hope it qualifies

8.3/10

Mario..
Guest
Mario..

On its initial version *Time* has the record of being my no1 most favorite belarussan entry of all times in Vision! <3 Uzari's vocals sound so fierce & sexy! <3 Im in gay love! <3

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

John, I think it’s a super effort. I hope they will be able to reproduces some of the elements in the video in the staging. Her trapped in an hourglass, him walking to save her on a concealed treadmill.

Mario..
Guest
Mario..

Well i fear that Belarus might gonna finish even last on the SF but NOT because of the song though..
Objectively this is not bad [email protected] song..

I love the videoclip <3 One of the best videos from all the songs in the Vision of Vienna <3

Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love ~ Uzari My Belarusian Sweet Teddy Bear.. :)
Guest
Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love ~ Uzari My Belarusian Sweet Teddy Bear.. :)

If they had used their initial version i would had their song as my 2nd most liked even! <3 With their remastered version their song went down on my top ranking unfortunately…It still is a good song but it is not the great song it used to be though.. Currently i have the Belarussian entry 9th on the 1st semifinal & in my top20 overall.. I want Belarus to qualify to the final but i really have my doubts if it will happen…Hopefully Uzari with Maimuna will surprise me & manage to get their ticket 4 the big final <3… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Hopeless song that will definitely stick to the semis, last place likely. 0/10, the fact someone has actually given this worthless crap 10/10 is completely beyond me, it’s complete crap.