Pryvitannie Bielarus! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has arrived in Minsk. After exploring some of the city’s cathedrals and watching the National Library’s futuristic light display, we sat down to discuss Naviband and their Eurovision 2017 song “Story of my Life”. Were we charmed by their upbeat folk pop? Or did we want this story to end? Read on to find out…

Naviband – “Story of my Life”

About Naviband

Folk-pop duo Naviband consists of Arciom Lukjanienka and Ksienija Zuk. They’ve been performing together since 2013 and first competed in the Belarus national final in 2016. “We’re a romantic couple on the stage,” Ksienija told us in March. “But off the stage? We can’t decide,” Arciom said. He wrote their song “Historyja majho žyccia”, which they have since re-titled “Story of my Life”, following a vision in the night. “It was a dream,” Ksienija tells us. “He dreamed this melody and after he woke up he said, ‘Oh my god! It’s wonderful! I saw a wonderful dream and I must do something!'” They describe the song as an emotion — “to love our country, to love people all over the world.”

“Story of my Life” reviews

William: It feels like two singers have been lifted from the Navajo Nation, transplanted to Belarus and handed a top-notch producer. Wild, rambling, uplifting and just a little bit crazy, this song has character and personality in spades and it sounds current but indigenous at the same time. The singers’ charisma and chemistry make me smile and the vocals are as delightful. It’s the first song from Belarus that ever has made me want to shout, “Hey! Hey!” It’s a cry of joy that doesn’t get old.

Score: 9.5/10

Rezo: Traditional songs are very risky at the Eurovision Song Contest. Georgia failed to qualify to the final in 2014 because it was too folksy and regional. “Story of my Life” is a similar product, but this is more upbeat and catchy. The lyrics are not in English, so I hope Naviband will have good staging that helps establish a connection with fans on stage.

Score: 7/10

Padraig: Navi better scoff all their brownie points while they still have the chance – because while Eurofans may be excited about their decision to sing in Belarussian, regular viewers just won’t care. Once you strip back the layers, “Story of my Life” is simply another happy-clappy folk ditty that hovers dangerously close to irksome. It’s a genre that’s been done much better in the past, including by Navi themselves in Belarus’ 2016 selection.

Score: 4.5/10

Chris: Charm and enthusiasm can get you a long way at Eurovision. Naviband bring both in spades and a truly good song to boot. It’s not hard to imagine that many parents around Europe will be having their kids “hay-yay-yay”-ing for some time. The universal appeal of a Belarusian folk-pop song is hard to believe, but “Story of my Life” balances everything perfectly. If there was only one act I could root for, this is it.

Score: 7.5/10

Deban: Ethno-folk often nests in some form at the Eurovision Song Contest. As far as that genre of music goes, this is a decent effort. “Story of my Life” is bursting with energy and patriotic passion. However, much of this comes off as shouty. A softer delivery with masterful restraint can sometimes work wonders.

Score: 4/10

Jovana: “Story of my Life” is definitely not a Eurovision winner, but it certainly is a nice addition to the contest. It is one of those songs that make you happy and optimistic. Naviband seem really sweet and likeable, and with a good performance, they could actually go to the final – although the odds don’t give them the biggest chance. A big plus goes for singing in their native language.

Score: 8/10

Robyn: Navi are adorable, as is their song. They bring loads of positivity and cheer, to the point it’s impossible to listen without feeling all 😀 . It’s also a good example of how a song’s emotion can cut through potential language barriers. Audiences may not understand Belarusian, but they’ll still feel Navi’s good vibes.

Score: 7.5/10

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Bogdan: This musical equivalent of Zoloft should be prescribed as an antidepressant. Ksienija and Arciom have amazing chemistry, great voices, and charisma to boot. The only issues one can find with “Story of my Life” is the staging — which, in the national selection, was too static and repetitive. A key change would have been welcome in the final minute as well. Otherwise, it’s the best Belarusian entry ever.

Score: 8.5/10

In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:

Anastas: 5.5/10

Andy: 7.5/10

Angus: 2/10

Anthony: 7/10

Antony: 6/10

Antranig: 1/10

Bernardo: 6.5/10

Dayana: 9/10

Edd: 10/10

Erdi: 5.5/10

Forrest: 4.5/10

George: 5/10

Jacob: 6/10

Jason: 7.5/10

Jordi: 6.5/10

Josh: 7/10

Kristin: 9.5/10

Luis: 8.5/10

Marek: 9/10

Matt: 9/10

Mikhail: 9/10

Natalie: 8.5/10

Patrick: 7/10

Renske: 9.5/10

Sami: 5/10

Sinan: 6/10

Stanislav: 9.5/10

Steinunn: 8/10

Tobias: 1/10

Zakaria: 7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 1 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.9/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See our current Eurovision 2017 reviews and rankings

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Pablo Nava
Member

At first I thought it was the best case scenario of an abysmally weak NF, so I didn’t think much of this song at first, but then it growed on me a little bit. I still think I am grading Navi’s live and chemistry than the song itself. The energy they transmit is so infections and positive; I feel their offering here is miles better than last year’s, and the Belarusian language just ties it up into a very decent package. However, it does drag its hook along too much, and for the less optimistic viewer it would annoy, but… Read more »

Burger
Guest
Burger

Russia is out, so this should now qualify (even with not many Soviet bloc nations in this semi final): happy sounding songs never go old at Eurovision. Ironically Belarus’ top votes going to Russia probably would’ve scuppered their chances of qualifying until this week.

Johan
Guest
Johan
Johan
Guest
Johan

@AngieP I think that Kattie next year might be a surprise, given the moment that she is working with Eurovision related top songwriters.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

It’s one of those songs you have to watch it live to get it! I didn’t quite like any of the songs in the NF in Belarus. When Naviband won, I wasn’t surprised at all. “Ok, another song with no interest. What’s happening in Belarus?” However, it has grown on me. I also enjoyed their performances in the promo events. They fit so well together! And they have such energy! The strong folk element in the song is a positive. Now, every time I listen to it, it makes me feel happy and I want to sing “Hey, hey” with… Read more »

Tom V
Guest
Tom V

Getting a bit sick of seeing Tobias giving songs a 1/10.. in fact I don’t think I’ve seen him give higher than a 4? Come on, proper scores please!
In terms of Belarus, I’m happy for you that you love this song William! I love the song but it’s not one of my favourites. Still, it’s a good 6.5/10 from me 🙂

Napaw
Guest
Napaw

This is one of my favorite song and definitely one of the entries I’ll be looking forward to during Eurovision.

It’s fun and has a positive message with smooth pleasant vocals.

Another thing: Tobias seems to have a problem with East European countries? 1/10 for both Poland and Belarus, really?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

It’s a happy and jolly time walking through the woods with NaviBand in Belarus. So why do I struggle with this song? For a few reasons: 1. Harmonically it just seems to go round in circles, and falls back to the tonic at the end of every line – that’s too much predictability. 2. The lady’s vocal is a lot louder than the man’s vocal, and is often sharper in pitch. This imbalance is irritating to listen to. 3. For a happy song, I have trouble singing along to it, which is bad. 4. Hey. Hey. Hiyiyiyiyo. Enough said. But… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Large parts of it are just noise.

Amor A.
Guest
Amor A.

I love NAVI! I’m so glad they won their national selection! This song is my top 5 and I hope they qualify! Yes it is a little monotonous but still beautiful and I love how they changed the ending!

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

This is a 8 or higher for me and I’ll definitely vote for them. They really deserve to go to the final. I hope the fact that their live performances are so infectious, will gain them votes.
Sad to see this below Serbia in the jury score…

Ana
Guest
Ana

I dont understand why you keep allowing Antranig to be a jury. He is obviously unable to be objective and is rather rating with 1 or 2 points thesongs he just doesnt like for personal reasons.

We expect the jurys here to be better, maybe you dont like the song, but you should be able to analyze the different factors of the song. Rating 0, 1 and 2 to all songs just proves you are unable to do this task.

Popthorts
Guest
Popthorts

This has been my #1 since it won in their National Finals. Love them and the song!
I also read that they’re gonna fly or something on the stage (Read it on Eurovoix and watched their Diary and they were flying) and I hope they’ll be able to do it. 🙂

9.5/10

Alex
Guest
Alex

Only 6.9? This is a 10 in my book…

M_K
Guest
M_K

Personal rating:

I just love this one. You don’t have to analyse this entry, you just have to feel it, especially when it’s performed live.

8.5/10

Prediction:

It’s the only folkish entry in the contest this year. I guess it will be more popular with the televoters than with the juries (who tend to go for more radio-friendly songs), resulting in a placing somewhere towards the bottom of the left hand side of the scoreboard in the grand final.

What I expect: Top 5 in the semi final, place 11-15 in the final.

AG
Guest
AG

Can somebody finally exclude that guy called Angus from Wiwi jury like forever?

If you follow closely, you will see that his scores rarely go above 2 or 3. Especially when it comes to judging entries from east and south east Europe.

This is not about his personal opinions anymore, but about his bias and elements of hatred toward certain countries or music styles than can be seen. Check the last year’s Wiwi reviews.

Thanks.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

@CookyMonzta

Kattie’s result is the biggest injustice ever. 🙁

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I wanted Kattie to win, but she failed miserably. I read the lyrics to NAVI’s song, and I must say, music, singing and all, it is quite interesting. Sometimes a folk tune works, sometimes it don’t. In the 2nd semi, they are 7th on my card right now. I think they will do better than Ivan.

(#Time)
Guest
(#Time)

So irritating song..
I found it “too much” & shouty..
It’s from my least liked songs
in this year’s EuroVision..
My score: 3,5/10 – My rank: 40th/42
————-
{*My scoreboard so far*}

~ 8,0: Israel(5th) – Latvia(7th)
~ 7,5: Poland(10) UK(11) Iceland(12)
~ 7,0: Malta(13th) – Denmark(14th)
~ 6,5: Netherland(21th)
~ 6,0: Montenegro(24th) – Serbia(32th)
~ 5,0: Germany(35th) – Spain(36th)
~ 3,5: Belarus(40th)
~ 1,5: Norway(42th)

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I love this song! The fact that it’s in Belarussiun is amazing! There is maybe a bit too much heys! but I really enjoy it. Not in my top ten, but in my finals for sure! For me it’s a 7!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Wow, I’m amazed by this score! I absolutely love this song, it’s so uplifting and so culturally charged. Finally an entry that stands out and that doesn’t blend with the far too many radio fodder songs we have this year. The European public will definitely love this, since last year so many people here in Italy were complaining about all the songs in the final except Austria having English lyrics. Don’t be afraid to show your culture, y’all. This is a solid 9 from me.

Paul D.
Guest
Paul D.

It’s too repetitive by the end but it’s very enjoyable and I hope they do well and qualify! Glad to hear the belarussian language for the first time in the contest #celebratediversity

Kris
Guest
Kris

@JESC Fanatic

I’m not quite sure that this will definitely qualify.Cause its such a difficult semi to predict and Belarus doesn’t garner a lot of televote support.

Also I’m not a fan of them making these 3 person review videos when we can read more of them here.I’d rather they may made more fun top/analysis videos.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

This is so fun! It really brings a smile to my face. These two have lots of charisma on stage, especially Ksienija. This is obviously not winning, but guess what, it’s qualifying with an ease.

7.5/10

P.S.: I’m expecting quite an argument between William and Deban in the video. 😀

riggedObjectivoEurovision
Guest
riggedObjectivoEurovision

Antranaig is an Incredible jury!! Absolutely no credibility he has left!!

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Watching them perform puts a smile on my face. However, listening to the song sans-performance is torture. 4.5/10

*02 NOR* | 04 UK | 11 SRB | 14 DEN | 16 POL | 19 LAT | 20 ICE
26 NLD | *27 BLR* | 33 MNE | 34 ISR | 36 GER | 37 MLT | 38 ESP

Chupacabra
Guest
Chupacabra

I like it, it makes me smile, though a bit too happy-clappy and too HeyHeyHeyaho-cheery. In my top 20 out of 42(43). Should qualify.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

I was relieved when they’ve improved a bit last part of the song where I’ve been at tire mood because of constant identical loop. Everything is with them, just a bit more youth kidness on stage than is required, I’d say.
Prediction: If they’ll bring some enchanting visuals, they’ll make it to the final.
Currently: my 13th | 15. Latvia | 16. UK | 19. Denmark

Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

11 out of 10! Love it! Hasn’t got a prayer of winning, just love the fact that they’re here, they’re proud and lovely, and know how to sing a good song!

DragonairZ
Guest
DragonairZ

#FireAntranig is back

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

There are some parts I like, but some I hate such as the annoying “hey, hey, hey” bit. It has a feel good vibe and is different to everything else in the contest. It is not a favourite of mine but I think it probably will reach the final.

Sam
Guest
Sam

This doesn’t need to be in English to appeal – they have the catchy ‘hey hey’ part and they are a delight to watch on stage. This will stand out and bring a smile to people’s faces and I think it could be a dark house come the competition in May.

Eve
Guest
Eve

Overrated! Yeah, they sing in native language, yeah, they are cute, but the song? Annoying af.

Joe
Guest
Joe

6.5/10
and please qualify!!

Colin
Guest
Colin

They are so cute 🙂 This is one of my favorite songs this year. It might be bit repetitive, but it’s so darn joyful and happy. A big plus for originality as well, since this is the first time ever we hear beautiful Belorussian language.

9 – UK, POL, BLR, NOR
8 – MAL, LAT
7 – DEN, NET, ICE
5 – ISR, SER
4 – GER
2 – MON
1 – SPA

William Lee Adams
Admin

I just adore this song and the performers. Always performed with spirit, personality and passion. I hope to see them in the Top 10.

Digital Style
Guest
Digital Style

People say this is annoying and overrated, but I find it oddly beautiful. It’s raw and built on nothing but emotion; it’s just two random idiots singing a song, and I find that amazing.

JK
Guest
JK

We need this kind of music on the ESC. This shows us and our cultures, this is the most beautiful thing in our continent. So many countries, cultures and languages! I will always support singers singing in their own native language. And this song is really nice, so fresh and joyful, one of my favourite. Good luck!

Racal
Guest
Racal

First time I like a song from Belarus, and I LOVE it. It’s in my top 5 along with the only other songs I like this year: Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Macedonia (the studio version…).

gdf
Guest
gdf

WOW that escalated quickly…6,9 for this headache seriously?