Road to Malmö: Alyona Lanskaya – “Solayoh” (Belarus)

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.

Belarus Eurovision HeartA 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.

alyona lanskaya solayoh belarus eurovisionThe 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.

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7 Comments

Filed under Eurovision, Malmö 2013, Music, Reviews

7 responses to “Road to Malmö: Alyona Lanskaya – “Solayoh” (Belarus)

  1. Hey mate – loving this blog, having found it via a random search for a missing country logo (Montenegro if you’re wondering) for some materials for my usual nutty Eurovision party. Eurovision has been a guilty pleasure of mine since around 1989 as a kid, and I’ve only missed 1 so far (2012).

    Anyhow, thought I’d say hello and I’ll be sure to read the rest of the blog during my commuting days to London this week. I’m due to be live tweeting/updating for the semi finals, but then it’s the big one!

    Back on topic and I totally agree with your comments on Belarus. This track is a real grower and it deserves to do well. Sounds less like a polished X-Factor entry too, which is always a plus!

    Enjoy the Swedish hospitality – I’m very jealous.

    Ta, Steve

    • I read the comments in the wrong order! Thanks for the kind words, glad you’re enjoying it. The earliest ESC I can remember is 1993 when we sent Sonia, but I think it was about 2009 I looned up about it. 2010 was crazy though, that’s the first one I went to and I had the best time. Still haven’t been to an actual final yet though :\ you should pop your Eurovision cherry next year, especially if Scandinavia win it again.

      Hope your party goes well, I’ll keep up with you on Twitter!

      Have a feeling Belarus will be one of the undeserving casualties from that semi-final. Just as well though, I’m not sure Belarus could afford Eurovision, their currency is going through the floor.

      Take it easy!
      David

  2. Cheers David – I’m sure you’ll have a blast. And funny you mention about Scandinavia…. I’ve had long standing bets with Paddy Power that cover off Denmark, Norway and Sweden at really great odds, so I’m hopeful one, two or all of them get near the top 3 to earn me some cash!

    Plus, it’s a long standing wish for me to visit Denmark and Norway for many reasons, so it’ll be great to merge it with some Eurovision action in 2014!

    • Good luck! I chickened out of betting this time, the odds for all the frontrunners were barely worth it by the time I got around to it. I really can’t call this year, I think it’ll be Scandinavia or an ex-Soviet nation this year. I’m holding a candle for San Marino though 😀

  3. San Marino = I hear you. I try to only listen to the tracks once each every year (to retain the surprise for the semis and final) but I must admit that San Marino’s effort has admittedly been played during commutes to work a few times, along with Norway, Belarus, Latvia (!!) and a couple of others

    Denmark shook off my earlier shudders at being a mere Florence and the Machine crappy soundalike to win me over too. Got that one at 7/1 to triumph with £20 each way, so could be good if the bookies now are to be believed. Won’t make me rich, but will pay for a few beers here and there.

    Oh, and I love how San Marino is taking 2 tracks to the competition; the first part being an Italiano ballad up until about 2:20, then a kicking gay/metrosexual anthem afterwards. 2 for the price of one. Hope it gets through, if only to ensure some non-English tracks in there. Otherwise it might as well be XFactor Europe. Far too polished!

    Anyhow, enough comment-hogging from me. I’ll be sure to keep tabs…

    • Don’t worry about it, I don’t usually get comments! Apart from a suspicious number of Azeri followers earlier this week!

      I think I also didn’t bet (or at least the reason I’m telling myself) is that I don’t want to put too much pressure on a particular win – I think as long as they’ve put the effort it, I’m happy with who wins.

      But Latvia? 😀 Well, each to their own, I can’t imagine many people are rooting for Belgium like I am!

      Got a few days of Semi-final preview posts so I’ll make some predictions. Interested to see what you think of them and what you reckon will get through.

      Later!

  4. Pingback: Road to Copenhagen 2014: Teo – “Cheesecake” (Belarus) | Verbal Diarrhoea

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