After Georgia at 40, the next ex-Soviet country to feature on the list is Belarus. IVAN (yes he does spell it all in upper case), also known as Alexander Ivanov, is one of the more physically noticeable of this year’s entries with the combination of tall stature and long, flowing locks. Also now more widely famous (as has been reported in British media) for wanting to perform on stage naked and with live wolves…

Mercifully for us all, that won’t be happening due to laws of decency and animal protection. He did do a photoshoot along the lines of the above though – use Google Images to search for the photo if you really want to see it, but once seen, there’s no unseeing that pale moon. While IVAN will certainly remain clothed at Eurovision, partially restricting the impact on our retinas, our ear drums will be assaulted by a song that can be best described as quite retro, at worst, it’s a nul points candidate (in a semi-final).

I enjoyed Belarus’s entry last year, though I think their lack of staging meant that they lost out on a finals place. Generally, Belarus struggles to qualify and nothing suggests that this will be a good year for them. I can’t see this qualifying with both the (poor) quality of song and live vocal plus too few neighbours for Belarus in their semi-final.

Brace yourself for the live version, shown here from Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam. You may wish to remove pets and small children from the room before playing – it’s really quite painful in parts!

Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest:Belarus Eurovision flag

First entered: 2004

Appearances (excluding this year): 12

Best result: 6th in 2007

Last year’s result: 12th in semi-final (did not qualify)