Aussievision's Belarus Decides 2020 rankings 1st to 12th
This weekend sees Belarus decide who will represent them at Rotterdam, and the Aussievision team have ranked the 12 songs that will be competing in the final.
These finalists were announced after the audition process in late January.
A mix of public and jury voting will decide the winner, and in the occurrence of a tie, the jury vote will take preference.
1st place - Angelica Pushnova - ‘True Love’ (84 points)
Highs: 12 points Guy and Emma, 10 points Alyce and Kyriakos
Lows: 4 points Fleur, 6 points Liv and Ruby
Emma: Catchy number with Shakira vibes. Angelika has strong charisma and good stage presence. I liked how she went for the audience interaction in the chorus.
Kyriakos: Now this is a bop with potential which gives me ‘Me Tana’ vibes. I can see this one grow on me. Angelika’s vocals are great and one to watch for in the final. I am really excited for her live performance.
Dale: Fun boppy song. She has good diction, a good voice and is super cute and infectiously happy. A good package overall.
Steven: A reasonable song performed quite well by a likeable and energetic performer. It sorta reminded me of a song on a children’s TV show. Kinda “Wiggles”-esque.
Liv: Fun and harmless. Not the worst and has a pulse. Really needs a revamp but there is something to work with.
Mike: This guitar-heavy pop bop has a decent hook and a nice vibe to it. Angelika has charisma and some of the best diction when singing in English. Will need some good staging to stand out however.
Fleur: Pleasant bop but it did not stand out too much for me.
2nd place - KeySi - ‘Chili Pepper’ (69 points)
Highs: 12 points Alyce and Dale, 10 points Liv
Lows: 2 points Steven, 3 points Ruby
Alyce: This is my favourite by a long way. This is the kind of song I generally gravitate towards – fun song with a good beat that you just can’t help but dance along to. It’s in a similar mould to Zena’s song from last year, but I don’t mind.
Dale: It's like Zena's older sister is performing. You can see they've gone for a similar sound to the 2019 entry but it's probably the most contemporary well put together entry in this national final. Fun, memorable and could really improve with proper staging..
Liv: With so many top tier dance drop numbers coming through the last few years I worry for this – especially with the success of ZENA, i’m sure it comparatively wouldn’t look as good. Overall, she does some big vocals and this is a lot of fun though! I hope it stands out.
Kyriakos: I like KeySi’s vocals and she delivers another great bop. Their dance routine adds some heat to the performance. I do think this performance will be a challenge for KeySi to keep up, but if she delivers the overall package it will be hot like a chilli pepper!
Emma: This has a touch of the Fuegos about it and is very polished. Marked it down for the simple lyrics particularly in the chorus.
Mike: This is a low key cheesy Eastern European bop. With some good staging I could see this winning the National Final.
Fleur: Fun, cheesy song but reminds me too much of ZENA and some of their later JESC numbers. It’s too much on-brand Belarus, I think I’d prefer to see something different from them.
Steven: A flat sounding, ethno-pop girlband song with vocal issues and an unoriginal drop
3rd place - VAL - ‘Da vidna’ (67 points)
Highs: 10 points Steven, 8 points Emma, Fleur, Guy and Ruby
Lows: 3 points Mike
Fleur: I quite like this. It’s catchy and gives off a cool vibe.
Steven: For me, this song gives off “Ministry of Sound chillout” vibes: “cool”, slick club beats from the mid/late 2000s with a decent vocal helped by non-English lyrics.
Kyriakos: This song has a nice beat and I really love the music behind it. Overall it has a catchy sound and lyrics, but it sounds too much the same as the other bops in this national final. I love the lead singers look!
Emma: Great to hear a song being sung in Belarusian yet it still sounds like something you would hear on the radio in Belarus. One of the stronger vocals in the competition.
Dale: A good quality non-English song. Some production with it makes it feel pretty modern. She can sing and also performs it with good stage-craft.
Alyce: That fact that this is not in English will be a point of difference in a final full of English language songs, and it’s also a song that you can’t help but bop along to, which I like
Mike: A solid mid-tempo electro song with an interesting vocal. However something about the song doesn’t quite gel for me. 4th place - Daria Khmelnitskaya - ‘On Fire’ (60 points)
Highs: 12 points Kyriakos and Mike, 10 points Emma
Lows: 0 points Ruby, 1 point Guy and Steven
Kyriakos: This is another great sounding bop by Belarus in this national final selection. She has great stage presence and a strong delivery of the song. I love that back up dances are into it as well. ‘One Fire’ is one of the catchiest songs out of the selection.
Mike: Darya has the vocal polish that some of the others may lack in this selection. Eurodance with a decent chorus this should have appeal for many.
Emma: This gets my second place purely on the song rather than the voice. Well produced modern sounding track. I enjoyed the verses much more than the chorus which I found flat. Pop drop elevated the track.
Dale: This has some much potential! I love 50% of this and really was not won over on the rest. It has energy, verses are great but the pre-chorus and chorus of the song really seem to let it down. Again maybe a big live stage may work for it.
Liv: Does feel a tiny bit like a Junior Eurovision entry but that can be improved with better production. Overall a fun little entry.
Fleur: I liked this for the most part but for me, it got tiring at the end.
Steven: There’s possibly an OK song hidden here, but the karaoke style vocals and notable diction issues mean that this is a “no” from me.
5th place - AURA - ‘Barani svajo’ (57 points)
Highs: 12 points Fleur, 10 points Dale
Lows: 1 point Kyriakos and Mike
Fleur: I loved this. It’s a little bit rock and a little bit eastern. A bit dated but it’s performed well. Very enjoyable to listen to.
Dale: Ok this is very old school, some may even say dated, but this is performed really well with a lot of gusto. It has an identity and the song sticks with good staging potential. Extra point for traditional instruments…
Steven: The lead singer has a reasonably good, deep voice and I don’t mind the pop-rock vibe (complete with a traditional instrument). There’s also some emotion on display here.
Alyce: One of the very few songs in the final not in English, this is also one of the very few rock songs in the competitions. Something about this combination just works for me. Also, I loved that instrumental break. Was it a bagpipe or actually a traditional instrument?
Emma: Great to see some Belarusian rock in this final. Whilst it’s not my cup of tea, strong vocals set this apart from a lot of the other tracks. Could be a dark horse.
Liv: The traditional instrument in the background being ‘played’ that you can’t even hear sends me every time I watch this.
Kyriakos: Unfortunately the vocals didn’t grab me. It sounds too much like an audition and doesn’t shine like the other performances. I do love the inclusion of the bagpipe instrument. The backing vocalists really add something to the performance too.
Mike: I’m not sure what to think of this. It’s so cheesy and dated. But that, and a decent singalong chorus (kinda) makes this work.
6th place - Anastasia Malashkevich - ‘Invisible’ (45 points)
Highs: 10 points Mike and Guy
Lows: 1 point Ruby, 2 points Dale and Liv
Mike: It is a pretty basic pop song, but Anastasiya has the personality to elevate it. The vocal is good, particularly in the chorus. This has potential.
Kyriakos: She has a unique voice and I can’t picture some exciting staging for her performance. I do find myself bopping to it. But overall her performance does not pop like the other bops.
Emma: Couldn’t help feeling that Anastasiya would be more suited to singing a ballad than this number which didn’t really match with the instrumentation. Liked the beat but poor diction lets her down.
Alyce: The uptempo nature of the song works in its favour for me, but it just doesn’t have that hook to really grab the listener’s attention.
Steven: A pleasant enough song with a somewhat odd tempo. It leaves me rather cold, but it at least has a smiley performer in Anastasiya.
Fleur: I like her voice but this song is too simplistic to work at Eurovision.
Dale: Fun dated Euro-song but vocal has an unusual tone I couldn't warm to.
Liv: Can tell what the song was aiming for but it just misses the mark.
7th place - CHAKRAS - ‘La-ley-la’ (42 points)
Highs: 12 points Ruby and Liv
Lows: 0 points Fleur, Dale and Mike, 1 point Alyce
Ruby: This entry is a pure guilty pleasure – and I want a matching bed robe to join in! The pipes on the voices of CHAKRAS are incredible, and while I’m not sure this has any broad Eurovision appeal, I can imagine a sensational staging between the ethereal forest backing effects and the evolving motion of the song.
Liv: Does something a bit different and I feel like we are lacking in the ethno department currently at Eurovision so this would be a different addition.
Kyriakos: Spasiba!! This song sounds so different and beautiful. Their elegant vocals really stand out. I am not sure about the message of the song, it does sound a bit like an interlude. But there is something special and magical about their performance. It will definitely stand out as a whole package.
Emma: A song that delivers exactly what it promises, consisting almost entirely of la’s and ley’s sung in a style that could be classed as Enya meets Deep Forest. There’s no denying the girls have beautiful voices but many voters would be asleep by the end of the song.
Alyce: Where on earth did they get that bird noise instrument? Very cool Anyway, this is definitely a very interesting song, definitely very unique. I like it, but my only fear with this song is that it’s very repetitive and could lose audiences very quickly.
Steven: I can see why the group is called CHAKRAS. This sounds like a pre-massage relaxation CD track. Where are the lyrics? This scores points for the good vocals only.
Fleur: I liked it at the beginning but then it plodded along and I lost interest fast.
8th place - Anastasia Glamozda - ‘Burning Again’ (39 points)
Highs: 10 points Ruby and Fleur
Lows: 0 points Steven, Dale, Guy and Mike
Ruby: ‘Burning Again’ has, to me, the best shot at Eurovision success of the bunch, with one of the strongest choruses and vocals in the selection. However, repetitiveness is an issue in the middle two thirds, one I hope could be fixed in a future revamp.
Fleur: I liked this but it does not sound complete. It needs something extra to elevate it. One of the better songs in the competition though. Overall, it’s quite good.
Kyriakos: There is something absolutely special about this performance. Nastya gives the song great energy and attitude. The potential for this song is huge and I can’t wait to see her full performance.
Liv: Drama +++. Room for some interesting staging – it’s dated but in a charming way. She held the stage pretty well considering she had less than no camera angles to work with or smoke machines. Some potential with a revamp. Not bad diction at all – we know there can be some struggles out of this national final!
Emma: Nice harmonies here but uninspiring song. Felt like I was watching Anastasiya and her backing singers audition for the school musical production.
Alyce: I like this song, but the only problem I have with this song is that it doesn’t have that hook such as a big note or a key change to grip the listener’s attention.
Steven: English diction issues, an odd wailing/warbling tone of voice and an overly intense performance. Not for me. 9th place - Yan Yaroche - ‘Fire’ (31 points)
Highs: 7 points Guy
Lows: 0 points Kyriakos, Alyce and Fleur, 1 point Liv and Emma
Dale: He has a really good voice, and I think I like the song. It does give me 'groom at a wedding' vibes and staging will really need to lift to bring it into the 21st century but it has potential.
Mike: There’s some decent elements in this. He has an interesting vocal tone and the song has a decent chorus. The song feels a little messy overall.
Steven: A handsome young man sits at a piano and croons (sometimes mangling the English). This ballad in the “Elton John” style is OK.
Alyce: This is a nice enough slow song, but just doesn’t do it for me, and I reckon if this song does make it to Rotterdam it will get too many comparisons to Arcade from last year.
Fleur: I’m not sure where this song wants to be, it’s all over the place and left me confused. I can’t say that I enjoyed it.
Emma: Liked his keyboard playing but this song is going nowhere. I hope his backing singers learn the words before the final!
10th place - NAPOLI - ‘Dоn’t let me down’ (30 points)
Highs: 7 points Steven
Lows: 0 points Emma, 1 point Fleur, 2 points Mike
Steven: Leaving aside the odd costume choices (Native American headdresses? Really?), this sounded reasonably contemporary and pretty good to me and, with some decent production behind it, could translate well. I see some potential in it, but it does need work.
Mike: A decent pop song with some good elements. An improvement in the vocal diction is badly needed. This has some potential however.
Kyriakos: ‘Don’t Let Me’ is undeniably catchy, but I am not sure about the approach to the headwear by the back dancers and how it goes with the song. Their choreography is great though. It’s a top song but for me it doesn’t shine as brightly as the others.
Dale: Well performed and she can sing. Worrying cultural appropriation in the live audition but this is not the worst of the bunch.
Alyce: It’s a nice up beat song that’ll get the crowd dancing, but that chorus is very simple. It’ll be interesting to see how the jury ranks this song. I didn’t get the reasoning behind the Indian headgear on the back up dancers in the audition, so hopefully the headgear is not coming back in the final.
Fleur: I was not keen on the vocals and the song itself is not memorable- other than the inappropriate costuming.
Emma: Cheesy pop song with weak vocals. I’ve no idea what significance the Indian costumes on the backing singers had. Was counting down the time till this song ended.
11th place - Sasha Zakharik - ‘Rocky Road’ (29 points)
Highs: 12 points Steven
Lows: 0 points Alyce, Emma, Kyriakos, Liv and Guy
Steven: This quirky song is pure sunshine and the only one I could hum/sing along to after listening to all twelve entries. Yes, it’s dated (complete with mandatory key change) and yes it teeters on the edge of the cute/cutesy precipice, but Sasha can sing, her diction is OK, the title is crystal clear and it reminds me of a better version of 2019’s ‘Love is Forever’.
Mike: Although fairly simple, the song is quite bubbly and has a feel good element. It is quite repetitive in parts, but it has a point of difference from the others.
Fleur: I like the quirky out-of-the-box songs. Her diction is not the best but my Belarussian is much worse. Sasha looks like she’s having a great time and I love that.
Liv: Feels like it belongs in an early 2000s romcom but it’s sweet enough.
Alyce: Interesting song, very different from all the other songs. I don’t mind this song, I just like other songs more.
Dale: Fun inoffensive jazzy pop but didn't get my pulse racing.
Kyriakos: Sasha has great vocals but I struggled to get into this one. The song sounds too dated for me. But kudos to her she really gives it her all.
Emma: Sasha’s enjoying herself but the extremely monotonous chorus destroys the song. Not even a key change towards the end can save it.
12th place - Anastasia Razvadovskaya - ‘Hello’ (27 points)
Highs: 5 points Emma and Dale
Lows: 0 points Steven and Ruby
Dale: I think the song is really quite good, with a strong chorus and even some RnB elements. Unfortunately diction really lets it down and not sure her voice is strong enough. Perhaps with a proper stage and sound mixing this could really lift.
Emma: Catchy radio friendly track with an 80’s vibe. Weak vocals let it down. Don’t think it would score well if it went to Eurovision.
Kyriakos: I’m not too sure about this performance based on the audition. I couldn’t hear her voice clearly in the beginning, but the melody of the song is intriguing. The song reminds me of the early 2000’s. The performance does have some strong moments when her vocals improve and she gets into her performance.
Liv: This is nice and she looks like she’s having fun. Can definitely hear the Eastern influences in the backing music and there are some aspects I quite like…but overall it’s a no from me.
Fleur: Very 1980’s sounding but nothing is fantastic. Her voice, the lyrics, the whole package. It just does not work for me.
Steven: Vocal issues, too slow, just no. I’d have said “spasiba” 20 seconds or so in.