2016 Reviews – Belarus – Ivan – Help You Fly

This year, Belarus has caused a bit of a stir with their participant, Ivan. The song is Help You Fly, and the song was seemingly under the radar… that was until news reports claimed that Ivan wanted to sing on stage naked with live wolves, and that the delegation was trying as hard as possible to make that happen. Obvious publicity stunt, as we all know that the Eurovision rules stipulate that live animals cannot be used on stage, and so Ivan’s outlandish performance just simply couldn’t happen. Aside from that, there’s still the song to be judged on, and here’s what we think!

Upon first listen, I thought this song was pretty mediocre – and I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that, however, this song has grown on me a lot since then. The opening of the song is mysterious, and then it breaks into the kind of ‘pop-rock’ sound that it maintains for the remainder of the 3 minutes. The bridge breaks up the song nicely, and if pulled off with confident vocals, I think this will go down well.

The downfall of this song during the national final time was Ivan’s voice, however over the promo period, you could tell he had been working on his live vocals. Whatever Ivan lacks in voice, (which makes it sound dramatic, because I think there are way worse this year) he makes up in enthusiasm and personality. He at least has the raspy/edgy factor down, it’s just those high notes he will have to watch out for, because there’s a potential cringe moment, especially in that bridge before the last chorus.

With all that controversy about the unconventional staging for Eurovision, it will be very interesting to actually see what Ivan and his team do in Stockholm. I really enjoy the geometric wolf theme he had going on in the national final, and I do hope they choose to continue that to Eurovision. At least then the wolves are making some appearance.

In listening to a live performance with live instruments, I’m realising how much I do actually like this song. For me, it’s a guilty pleasure, and an earworm. With a melody that easy to catch on to, and a simple chorus in terms of lyrics, I think this may stick in the heads of the audiences more than other songs – it’s just whether they actually enjoy the song.

I’m going to give it a 7/10. Might seem a little excessive but I’m genuinely enjoying this song right now, however not sure we’ll see Ivan in the finals…

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