Two more finals approach in east and south east of Europe. Belarus is never without a little bit of intrigue, drama or even state interference; for Montenegro, it’s their first time in almost a decade they haven’t selected internally. By end of Saturday (17 Feb) we should have 11 confirmed artists with released songs – a quarter of the way there!
The main drama surrounding Belarus this year has been around the favourite, Ukrainian singer Alekseev. He had originally entered the Ukrainian national selection but withdrew from that to enter the Belarusian selection. It then transpired that a Russian-language version of his entry had been performed publicly before 1 September (which should it make it ineligible). I gather it has been cleared (as song has had some tweaking in the move to the English version). Other participants have complained however, believing the contest is being rigged in his favour, and one artist withdrew in protest, meaning the final only has 10 rather than 11 participants.
For what it’s worth, here is the favourite, Alexseev with “Forever”. I think his vocal is very ropey in this – lets hope he gets vocal coaching or great backing singers in the meantime…
None of the other stand out hugely, but the best female voice comes from Anastasia Malashkevich on her fourth attempt to represent Belarus, and best male voice for me is Radiovolna. Songs are so-so, but you can see for yourself!
Montenegro holds its first public selection for many years this Saturday (17 Feb) and all 5 participants will be singing in Montenegrin. We only have snippets to listen to in advance of the final. No real stand outs for me, but I think the first snippet shown in the video is the strongest and most Eurovision-friendly song, from Nina Petković.
Any thoughts or comments on the Belarusian or Montenegrin selections! Let me know in the comments!