There’s a new song in this updated top 5 but no great changes in most other ways. Belarus remain overshadowed in Eurovision by their giant neighbour, Russia. Two contests on from when I first said were a minnow in Eurovision terms, that is still the case with just 5 grand final appearances out of 15 contests entered. That still gave me enough scope to get a top 5, just don’t expect to see all the finalists!
5. Naviband “Historyja majho žyccia” [“Story of My Life”] (2017, 17th place, 83 points)
Naviband showed a very different Belarus to Eurovision – often Belarusian entries tend to be cheap Russian style Europop, and not sung especially well. But Naviband brought both Belarusian folk rock and for the first time, the Belarusian language to Eurovision. It also helps that it was such a positive and uplifting song delivered by a cheery real life couple, and into the grand final.
4. Anastasia Vinnikova “I Love Belarus” (2011, 14th place in semi-final, 45 points)
A patriotic number this one – I do like the Slavic/Russian instruments used in this uptempo number. One of the backing singers in this song will be appearing a little further up this top 5 as an entry in his own right…
3. Alyona Lanskaya “Solayoh” (2013, 16th place, 48 points)
Another rare finalist for Belarus, and a high camp Europop entry: the singer emerges from a giant glitter ball, she wears a sparkly dress and has young, tanned male dancers with pecs and muscular arms!
2. Uzari & Maimuna “Time” (2015, 12th in semi-final, 39 points)
This could have been my number 1, but the live performance (well, the bare staging actually) let this down a bit from reaching the top (though I don’t think Belarus have much to spend on that to be fair). The duo came together from a mutual love of Tolkien (instantly getting my approval!) and you may notice Uzari with an earring/ear effect that was based on Elvish jewellery!
1. Dmitry Koldun “Work Your Magic” (2007, 6th place, 145 points)
By far and away Belarus’ most successful entry at Eurovision, it’s not surprising to see this at the top – catch, well produced (unlike many of their entries) and sung by a strapping young man, it’s my Belarusian number 1.
Teo and his cheesecake didn’t make the cut (despite being a finalist) – should he have done? Let me know in the comments below!