Earlier this afternoon the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Minsk to sip on giant glasses of kvass and to feast on kalduny. After the bloating subsided we decided to review Ruslan Aslanov‘s Junior Eurovision 2015 song “Volshebstvo” (Magic). Were we left spellbound? Or did we beg Ruslan to put the rabbit back in his top hat? Read on to find out…
BELARUS’ JUNIOR EUROVISION 2015 Song
‘MAGIC’ REVIEWS – BELARUS AT JESC 2015
Angus: “Volshebstvo” shows more refinement than most of the adult songs that Belarus fields at Eurovision proper. Ruslan has a ton of mature tones in his voice and that gives this real depth: when he hits the lower register I see douze points gold. Holding the vocal together will be key for Minsk to net a good result on the scoreboard.
Edd: The studio version went straight over my head. THEN I watched the live version. Wow! Whilst the melody isn’t so impressive, the visual performance certainly lives up to the title and the vocals just blow you away. Since 2011, the winner has been an underwhelming song sung by an incredible singer – I’d place my bets on Minsk in 2015.
Josh: Ruslan’s vocal is absolutely amazing and the song brings some drama which I love in a Eurovision and/or Junior Eurovision entry. Belarus often like to bring something magical (pun intended) to the Junior Eurovision stage and one day I hope they’ll deliver something like this to the regular Eurovision competition. I really like this.
Deban: Like the magic it envisions, “Volshebstvo” takes you on a musical journey through peaks and valleys. It’s big but not overblown. It’s not Nickelodeon, it’s not too mature — just right!
Robyn: There’s no doubt that Ruslan has a great voice. It’s strong and clear and “Magic” provides him with plenty of opportunities to show off his talents. The staging at the national final was inspired, full of amazing meteorological effects. For me, the weak point is the song, but there is potential for it to be lifted with the staging.
Sopon: The boy’s got talent, but I don’t think he picked the right song for this. It’s slow and lulls me to sleep, and he will need some fantastic staging to make some sort of impression. But he has terrific stage presence already, so it shouldn’t be too hard to turn this dry studio recording into a spectacle on stage.
William: Ruslan has an amazing voice and a fantastic haircut. And boy is he feeling his song. He sings with the pain of a widower or someone who has survived a humanitarian crisis. And that’s the problem: this is a kid’s contest, and I want something a bit more juvenile and endearing.
Our jury consists of 21 people, but we only have room for 7 written reviews. Here are the remaining 14 scores.
William C: 8.5/10
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 5 and a high of 10.
I really like this song
When this was released, I pronounced it my favorite JESC entry ever. A middling revamp and a bunch more ballads later, my enthusiasm has cooled, but it’s still not bad at all.
This kid has a fantastic voice and along with his excellent performance are the values lifting the overall result. The song is not great, and it sometimes gets a bit boring and over-dramatic , yet I think I enjoyed it the first time a heard it, and that’s what counts in the actual contest. 6.8/10
From the other ones being reviewed:
– Russia: 7.0/10 (would be higher if they had kept the first version)
– FYROM: 6.9/10
– Italy: 6.8/10
I absolutely hate it. But like last year, my least favouite might win.
I’ll be dissapointed if this doesn’t crack the top three.