Belarus

Belarus 2013 : Driving down the “Re-entry” Road Again?

Flag of Belarus

Flag of Belarus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Belarus Strikes Again

It was with a certain degree of scepticism that we saw Alyona Lanskaya win the right to represent Belarus at Eurovision with ‘Rhythm of Love’ back in December. The reason for the scepticism was on account of last year’s debacle (see below) and that for the last 4 years, the Belarusian authorities (BTRC) have decided to send a different song to the one chosen at the national selection competition.

News has hit the Eurovision wires suggesting that Alyona Lanskaya may decide to change the song that won her a place at Eurovision 2013 following this news report from Belarus.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of EuroMelodiboy)

This isn’t new at all really, given what we have seen over the past 4 years surrounding the selection of the Belarus national entry to Eurovision.

Belarus first joined the Eurovision family back in 2004 with the joyfully bonkers ‘My Galileo’.

(YouTube Courtesy of 2004ESC2005)

In the first year of their Eurovision participation there was no indication of what would become Belarus’ signature move, but we’d only have to wait until the following year, 2005 to see it in all its glory!

Angelica Agurbash won the Belarusian national final in 2005 with a song about the Beslan school massacre, ‘Boys and Girls’. The song/subject matter wasn’t greeted with much enthusiasm and so Angelica decided to change it to the up-tempo, multi costume changing ‘Love Me Tonight’ instead. The performance of ‘Love Me Tonight’ was a personal highlight for me with its camp routine and Angelica’s diva like presence.

‘Boys and Girls’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Hikaru Freeman)

‘Love me Tonight’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of 2004ESC2005)

The Belarusian entries for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were less contentious, bar a remixing of the songs here and there.

Cut to 2010 when changes emerged. The group 3+2 were internally selected to represent Belarus in Oslo. They initially were going to sing a song called ‘Far Away’ for the broadcaster ONT but ONT’s application to join the EBU was rejected meaning that 3+2 could not perform with that song. BTRC then stepped in and 3+2 were again selected, this time with another entry ‘Butterflies’ which they did successfully perform in Oslo, butterfly wings and all.

‘Far Away’

(YouTube Video courtesy of EurovisionKZ)

‘Butterflies’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision.tv)

2011 was a different year but the same old story for Belarus. Anastasia Vinnikova was selected to represent Belarus with ‘I am Belarusian’. However, it emerged that the song was sung in public in the summer of 2010 and therefore broke one of the fundamental rules of Eurovision in that a song must not be commercially available or performed before the 1st September of the preceding year. The song was changed with the equally patriotic title of ‘I Love Belarus’. The original song was far better than the song that was sung on the stage in Düsseldorf in my opinion, pesky Eurovision rules getting in the way of good songs!

‘I Am Belarusian’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Bojan Lazarevski)

‘I Love Belarus’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision.tv)

The most controversial Belarusian selection process occurred last year when Alyona Lanskaya ‘won’ the national selection competition with her entry ‘All My Life’. However, on foot of a presidential investigation following allegations of a rigged vote (could you imagine, Enda Kenny investigating Ireland’s national song contest winner!), Alyona was disqualified. Litesound, who placed second in the national competition were then selected to represent Belarus with ‘We Are The Heroes’ but not before it was significantly re-arranged.

‘All My Life’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of EurovisionPortugal)

‘We Are The Heroes’

(YouTube Video Courtesy of Eurovision.tv)

So there we have it, a brief history of Belarus’ entries to Eurovision. They could form a chapter in their own right in the next edition of the Official History book!

So this year we currently have Alyona Lanskaya performing the very catchy “Rhythm of Love” but as we have shown the news reports today in Belarus is that the song may be changed.

(YouTube Video Courtesy of eurofan97)

Finally, it is worth noting that even with all the changes made by Belarus throughout the years, they have made the final twice out of their 9 participations and their highest position has been 6th in 2007 when the magic of Dmitry Koldun worked (only major Eurovision fans will get that joke).

(YouTube Video Courtesy of 2006ESC2007)

What should be noted that Belarus or any country for that matter – is allowed to change their song or act before the official submission date for all Eurovision entries. Some countries have done this in the past but some more than others. This was just a walk down the now somewhat familiar Belarusian National Selection Path.
Signing out.

Alan Cromie – Guest Blogger

 

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