I love Belarus, I feel it in my mind. They have certainly been value for money since their debut in 2004, especially considering the nosediving value of the Belarussian Rouble. However tragically, Belarus haven’t had a lot of luck in Eurovision, with a paltry two qualifiers out of 9 entries.
A few of these, such as uncomprehensible “My Galileo” from 2004 and mindblowingly patriotic “I love Belarus” from 2011 were honestly among my favourite entries of their respective years. I’m not sure what they’re doing wrong, particularly when gimmicky “Butterflies” qualified in 2010. I have faith that this might be one of their good years.
Belarus were one of the first nations to hold a national final (see my review here) back at the start of December, with a fairly reasonable selection of hopefuls. Alyona Lanskaya was chosen with her song “Rhythm of love” to represent Belarus in Malmö next week. Alyona was no stranger to controversy, having been selection to represent Belarus last year. Her win was stripped after a vote-rigging scandal, and 2nd place Litesound went to Baku.
The winner of Belarussian Eurofest was apparently allowed to change the song after winning, which is what happened. “Rhythm of Love” was out, and “Solayoh” was in. While “Rhythm of Love” was a strong entry, I think “Solayoh” has much more potential. Channeling Ruslana’s “Wild Dances”, it’s an energetic tribal dance pop track, with a really killer chorus.
It might play fast and loose with the nonsense lyrics, but it’s really grown on me. With a good stage performance, this might do well in the touch first semi-final. I think Belarus are really making the effort this year (though if “I Love Belarus” wasn’t making an effort, God knows what is). A swish video with a surprise cameo from former winner Alexander Rybak (of Belarussian descent), and a beach finale (does Belarus have a coastline?), it’s all thoroughly enjoyable.
They really deserve to get through this year, and I hope they do!
For more Eurovision 2013 reviews and news, please visit my Malmö 2013 hub, which has reviews of all 39 entries (or it will tomorrow) and national finals. Alternatively click “Malmö 2013” at the top of the page.