Добры вечар Еўропа і добрае раніца Аўстралія! This is Minsk calling! Tonight we’ll find out who Belarus will be sending to the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon!
Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are!
Tonight’s show comes to us courtesy of Belarusian Broadcaster BTRC from their studios in Belarus, and will be hosted by none-other than former Belarusian Eurovision singer TEO and his wife Olga Ryzhikova! The final result will be decided by a combination of 50% jury votes and 50% public voting. In the case of a tie, the jury vote will take preference over the public vote.
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments and points of view!
10 acts will perform tonight, but there can only be one winner! Singing tonight we have (in order of appearance):
- Adagio – Ti I Ya
- Alekseev – Forever
- Shuma – Chmarki
- NAPOLI – Chasing Rushes
- Anastasiya Malashkevich – World On Fire
- Gunesh – I Won’t Cry
- Radiovolna – Subway Lines
- Alen Hit – I Don’t Care
- Lexy – Ain’t You
- Kirill Good – Deja Vu
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
Dobry Vechar everyone! James here giving your your 15 minute warning before the show starts in Belarus! Who is going to Lisbon? Let’s find out!
Loving the jumpers on the Belarusian news readers… where’s Victoria Wood when you need her? 😉
The circus is coming to town!! Always love watching foreign television adverts, you see some really remarkable things!
If there’s any confusion over what link you should be using, try THIS ONE. Although reliable sources told me you could watch the show on either link, it seems that only one of them is showing the right channel… the perils/fun of live blogging!
Here we go! Only 10 minutes later than we expected…
Awww… I LOVE THESE GUYS!! This song is brilliant and always makes me want to dance! ❤
HEY! HEY! HI-YA-YA-YA-HO! HEY! HEY! HI-YA-YA-YA-HO!
Here are our hosts for the evening, Eurovision 2014 alumni TEO and his lovely wife Olga – don’t they look smart!
A look back at Belarus’ Eurovision highs and lows… 5 qualifications since 2004… can they choose someone tonight who’ll bump it up to 6?
They’re explaining how the voting tonight will work… it’ll be 50-50 vote between a jury and a televote… more cynical members of our readership, keep your thoughts to yourselves… 😉
Those were the members of the jury… composers, cultural ministers… interesting group!
On to our first song of tonight!
Adagio – Ti I Ya
Nice touch to start the show in the audience, even if the fans look slightly alarmed rather than excited… I’m happy they started with something in Russian, would be nice to hear more languages at Eurovision. The song itself is a real big show ballad, with a slight rock edge to the music which works really well with their vocals. Sometimes blending styles doesn’t work, but this puts a slightly modern twist on a classical approach. The vocals have fallen apart somewhat by the end, but it was a nice idea… shame it didn’t quite live up to the potential
Alekseev – Forever
According to Eurovision Ireland’s readers, this will be our winner tonight! Gina G meets Poli Genova with an impressive light up sequins shirt that has immediate impact with the audience. Visually, the performance is stunning with lights and effects – this is the kind of thing Eurovision Top 10s are made of! Vocally it’s a work in progress. But with some fine tuning, this could do very well on the Eurovision stage.
Shuma – Chmarki
Next up we have another non-English song Chmarki, or Clouds. Hmm… it’s all a bit new agey for me… again, it’s got visual impact, not least of all because of the jewellery on the singer’s face and their costumes, but substance wise it’s a lot of echoed music and wailing… but not in the powerful, heart-rending 1944 way, but more in a high at a rave kind of way… I want to like it, but I’m not sure… psychedelic spring to mind…
A quick break from the songs to look through Belarus’ Eurovision history – including the EPIC I Love Belarus from 2011 – I’ve seen this song pack a dance floor!
NAPOLI – Chasing Rushes
Back for their annual try, it’s NAPOLI! Or is it the Phantom of the Opera? A nice use of the Eurovision Reveal, I must say. What exactly does “I’m sick of chasing rushes” mean? Of all the performances so far tonight, this is easily the biggest show, what with the reveal, choreography and lights. But it’s all style and no substance for me. Sorry Napoli, I don’t think this will be your year either.
Anastasiya Malashkevich – World On Fire
Red dresses are the must-have this year in Belarus it seems! Well, it did very well for Lucie Jones, Timebelle and Tako at their national selections! This is what I like in a Eurovision performance, strong vocals and staging lite – just some coloured lights, simple backing singers and flags (flags are always good!) Let the singer and their song take the centre stage, not an attention grabbing gimmick. Very solid performance, I enjoyed that!
Gunesh – I Won’t Cry
Gunesh got possibly the biggest reaction from the crowd in Minsk so far tonight – could that be an omen? This is the kind of schlager Europop that has been missing from recent editions of Eurovision – real sing-along pop that the fans will love. One of my favourites so far I think! (I’m listening to 90% of these for the first time tonight – I like to be surprised!)
Our first ad break tonight – remember to buy everything they show you!
Did anyone else see the singing lottery balls?!?
And we’re back… and TEO’s brandishing a guitar and explaining the similarities between the Portuguese and Belarusian languages…and back to the songs!
Radiovolna – Subway Lines
Well the crowd are going wild, although why has escaped me… it’s a very traditional crooning ballad from the mid 1990s, sung by a man dressed entirely in white… but Johnny Logan it ain’t! These kinds of songs are like Marmite, you either love the simplicity of them or are bored into a coma… I’m teetering on the latter, sadly…
Alen Hit – I Don’t Care
The title says it all really… I’m immediately reminded of a gangster penguin for some reason (lack of sleep on my part possibly!) It’s a kind of rap that comes straight out of the early 90s and from a personal point of view should stay there. But, reluctant to be ONLY critical, I will say I admire his energy bounding around the stage dancing to it. But I do think sending to Eurovision would be a mistake.
Lexy – Ain’t You
With large projections of her face across the back drop, this already has a very Eurovision feel to it – mainly thanks to singers like Jacque Houdek and Issiah Firebrace in Kyiv last year! Lexy is gorgeous and has a strong voice, but the song doesn’t deliver a lot of impact for me. Interesting use of staging though!
Kirill Good – Deja Vu
Hmm…. I was compiling a list in my head about all the strengths of this performance, the staging, his vocal control… then we hit that cringing dated chorus and all that flew out the window… had this entered a national selection in the 1970s, I’ve no doubt it would have won by a huge margin. But as it’s 2018, it sounds dated and even Kirill’s enthusiastic and polished performance doesn’t do anything to save the song. Sorry!
Well, that was quick! That’s all 10 hopefuls for Belarus done and dusted. We’ve seen the winner… but who is it?
TEO and Olga explain how to vote, should you wish to do so. But I’m guessing you need to be in Belarus to vote!
VOTING LINES ARE OPEN! You have 10 minutes Belarus, so don’t delay!
So, if I had to say who I think will win tonight, part of me wants to say Alekseev because of all the hype around him, but if it were my choice, I think it has to be Gunesh. Her song stood out to me as the most well rounded performance vocally and in terms of staging.
Honourably mentions to Anastasiya Malashkevich and Kirill Good too, as they both gave great performances vocally and staging-wise – even if I ranted that Deja Vu is incredibly dated!!
Just had a peak at the televoting results as they flashed on screen… Alekseev has an almost 2000 vote lead over his nearest competitor. That won’t come as a surprise to many.
Time for another ad break – remember though, the voting window closes soon!
And we’re back, and not a minute too soon – literally! 60 seconds left till the voting lines close!
Disco balls and fire, naked with wolves, flying hover crafts… Belarus have certainly given us some interesting staging ideas over the years! Several memorable shows, and they’ve only been taking part since 2004!
Alekseev has run away with the televote… but will the juries feel the same way?
While the jury deliberate, Iyul’ is going to serenade us with Dances with Wolves meets Stargate… so, basically a musical salute to Avatar, I’m guessing… don’t believe me? Just take a look!
The dream catchers on the background keep fading in and out, but they’re there!
Anyone else think this gentleman looks like Manel Navarro? 0_o
Our third interval act Viola looks quite angelic with her immaculate hair and shoulder wing! Definitely not a Barbara Dex nominee here!
Has Viola ever tried out for Eurovision? And if not, WHY NOT?!
More ads… and maybe some results when we return??
Nope, apparently not… more interval acts with Angelika Pushnova – fun fact, Ms Pushnova auditioned for the Belarusian Eurovision selection THIS YEAR and was booted out at the audition stages of the show… why!? This is a good song!!
TEO is playing with a football doing kick-ups…
More looking through Belarus’ back catalogue… am I the only one who actually liked Butterflies from 2010? Gets a lot of scathing remarks from a lot of people I know!
This is interval singer number… 6? We’ve had almost as many interval singers as we have acts!
NAVIBAND are back! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Ksienija looks radiant – they both look delighted to be together, and are sooo cute!!!
Siento que bailo por primera vez… where have we seen this before?? 😉 At least this is genuine love and not a cynical stage device!
❤ N ❤ A ❤ V ❤ I ❤ B ❤ A ❤ N ❤ D ❤
More adverts… what do you want to buy more, the porridge or the heart medication?
We’re back! Everyone is on stage… the jury’s votes must be ready… wish I’d bought some of that heart medication now, this is tense!!
Here’s the full table of results – as you can see, was a landslide victory for Alekseev – see you in Lisbon!
Thank you for a great show Minsk! And thank you all for reading along with me tonight – hope you enjoyed my take on things!
Thank you Europe and Good Night! 😀
Author: James Scanlan