It’s back to Eastern Europe for the next song in my countdown and the second former Soviet country. Belarus have generally struggled to make an impact at Eurovision, overshadowed by their giant neighbour, Russia. Can ZENA’s dance pop song do better for them?
While both Georgia and Belarus are the two worst performing ex-Soviet countries in the contest, they do however have a much better record in the Junior Eurovision Contest. So perhaps the fact they are sending the youngest singer in this year’s contest (at just 16) may help their fortunes.
ZENA (real name Zinaida Kupriyanovich), won Belarus’s national final by a landslide – though in keeping with Belarus’s reputation as “Europe’s last dictatorship”, it was voted on by a jury in the studio, no public involvement! It’s a perky, modern dance pop song though I do find it quite derivative, very repetitive and feels a bit cheap/thin (and I don’t like that all white outfit she wore in the national final!). That said, she gives a credible live performance – that’s not always a given in Eurovision!
Belarus tend to not qualify more often than qualify for the grand final, and looking at the semi-final they are in, I think that will be the case this year. Few voting allies in their semi for a start plus a very strong semi-final mean I think it will be another non-qualification, but they have given themselves a better chance than in some previous years.
National final performance:
My preview video:
Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2004
Appearances (excluding this year): 15
Best result: 6th in 2007
Last year’s result: 16th in the semi-final (did not qualify)