Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of around 5 weeks where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Belarus who have never won the contest and in fact have only made 4 Final appearances in 12 participations. Their best finish is 6th and worst is 22nd(second last) in a Semi Final. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE,Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE and Iceland HERE.
So this year Belarus are represented by Ivan with the song ‘Help You Fly’. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Belarus but the overall reaction is fairly mixed so far. You can read our article on how Ivan might appear on stage in Stockholm HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Belarus are still looking to achieve a top 5 finish but based on their record a place in the Final would be good.
First off I am going to choose one of the best entries for Belarus. Last time we were in Sweden for Eurovision it was 2013 and it was Malmo. The entry that year was Alyona Lanskaya with the song ‘Solayoh’.
Now this was a fine piece of Latin pop which we had never seen from Belarus before. It was lively and catchy and really quite refreshing given what we had seen before from Belarus. At last they were starting to get Eurovision. After finishing 7th in the Semi Final it went on to finish 16th with 48 points which to date is Belarus’ 2nd best achievement at Eurovision.
Moving along we now look at one of the worst entries for Belarus. The year was 2006 and the place was Athens. Belarus representative was Polina Smolova with the song ‘Mum’.
Now the song was an energetic dance number in which Polina pleads with her mother to accept her lover. The performance was similarly energetic, with a number of dancers and backing singers performing acrobatic moves on stage. However it did not liven up the voters at home and it finished in 22nd place in the Semi Final with only 10 points.
The next entry that was one of Belarus’ finest is even more recent and was seen on the stage in Copenhagen in 2014. The song was ‘Cheesecake’ and was performed by Teo.
Now this managed to give Belarus it’s 3rd best result ever finishing in 16th place in the Grand Final with 43 points after coming 5th in it’s Semi Final. The song is about a man who ends a relationship with a girl because he knows she wants him to be something he isn’t. It was a refreshing style of song and went down well with the fans in the audience.
Back to another entry from Belarus that became one of it’s worst entries. We were in Belgrade, the year was 2008 and the entry was ‘Hasta La Vista’ performed by Ruslan Alekhno.
Now the song was originally written with a dance-pop element to it but was remixed to a more rock-pop style for Eurovision. Despite it’s Spanish title it was sung in English and he was accompanied by large marbles that lit up and silver clad dolly bird dancers/singer. What is not to love? Well the voters clearly didn’t love it as it came in 17th with 27 points which is the 3rd worst result for Belarus.
So moving on and my last bestie song for Belarus is one of their finest masterpieces of pop that they have sent. It was 2007 and we were in Helsinki to see Dmitry Koldun perform the song ‘Work Your Magic’.
Now Dmitry was singing a beautifully staged and crafted uptempo pop song that was penned by the legend that is Philip Kirkorov from Russia. He described the power that his lover has over him, likening it to “magic”. He tells her that, as a result of her power, she can “keep my heart forever bound”. He also promises that “you’ll get the best of what I’ve got”. Well thanks for that Dmitry, you have my number. It gave Belarus their best result ever finishing in 6th place with 145 points and came 4th in the Semi Final.
Now I have reached my last song for Belarus and it’s a case of saving the worst till last. The year was 2004 and we were in Istanbul to witness the debut entry from Belarus and they gave us Aleksandra and Konstantin singing ‘My Galileo’
The song is inspired somewhat by Belarusian country music and likens the singer’s lover to Galileo. Many of the lyrics were difficult to understand in the live performance, as Aleksandra’s accent was very strong. It was totally off the wall for me and left me numb. The voters agreed as it came 19th with only 10 points.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Belarussian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland