Belarus next, one of the relative newcomers to the contest, debuting 8 years ago when the semi-finals were introduced. They haven’t had the best record either, only making it to two finals, once with what I felt was a rather wishy-washy ballad (2010’s “Butterflies”), that staked their chances on some – admittedly striking – dresses that popped out butterfly wings at the climax of the song. Previous to this they managed a 6th place finish with the endearingly ridiculous “Work your magic”, but their lack of qualification doesn’t really reflect the quality of some of their entries.
Last year’s entry “I love Belarus” (can you believe some people said it was too nationalistic??) proudly walked the line between sublime and ridiculous. That was one hell of a catchy song. But alas, it was stranded in the semi-finals.
This year they are going modern, with a surprisingly (I’m not trying to be patronising) up-to-date production, mixed with the usual Eastern European cock rock. There’s something in this that reminds me of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, is it just me?
Anyway it works pretty well, I could easily see this becoming one of my more favoured entries of the year. Watching the video, they don’t look like I imagined at all! I think this could really work, and live it works a lot better than I thought.
OK the outfits are appalling, and the RAWWKK!! posturing is a bit much, but the frontman really makes this work. Good choice Belarus! Or sort of, they only came second, but the winner was found to be involved in some sort of voting scandal, so was disqualified. All’s well that ends well I guess, and good luck to Belarus!