Will Alyona turn her country’s luck around?

Nýjasti penninn okkar hér á Öllu um Júróvision er Casper Wallström, félagi í FÁSES. Capser er mættur til Malmö og mun skrifa fyrir okkur um sínar hugrenningar um keppnina á ensku. / Our latest writer is Capser Wallström from Sweden and member of OGAE Iceland. He is with us here in Malmö and will write for you in english.

CasperThroughout the years Belarus has proved to be all but successful at Eurovision – only qualifying for the final on two occasions. The first time was in 2007 when Dima Koldun finished sixth with the song Work your magic, which was a big disappointment at the time since the song had even been predicted victory by many. The other time came quite unexpectedly in 2011 when the group 3+2 qualified with the song Butterflies, co-written by famous Swedish pianist Robert Wells. Only to finish second to last in the final.The problem is not that Belarus does not take their selection seriously. Quite the contrary. Even the country’s president has had his fingers in the choice. Like last year when he ordered a special investigation of the case when Alyona Lanskaya, who represents Belarus this year, had one the national pre-selection. The investigation led to her being disqualified as the producers were found guilty of rigging the vote. However, many believe that the accusations were false from the beginning.

Either way, Alyona is back with a vengeance. The odds of her making it through to the final are pretty good according to the bookies. As an example, PaddyPower puts her at number six to make it through.

The way to Malmö has not been a completely straight and transparent one though. She originally won the national final with the song Rhythm of Love, which could be described as a Kylie-esque electro pop song. The song originally did get a good reaction from many Eurovision fans. Still, for unknown reasons, Alyona decided to ditch the song selected by Belarussian voters and replace it with the southern beats of the song Solayoh. Solayoh, does not have an actual meaning though  – it’s just something she made up. The rest of the song may not have any specific meaning to Alyona either since she speaks almost no English, if any (one of the lines in the song is even: This word makes no sense, let’s sing it again now, ahey).

With the song change, Alyona follows the footsteps of former Belarussian representatives and now a song change has become rather the rule than the exception. The first one to do so was Angelica Agurbash in 2005, who replaced her song Boys and girls (written about the Beslan hostage situation) with the more glamorous song Love me tonight. The group 3+2 then did the same in 2010, and Anastasiya Vinnikova in 2011 (changed from the patriotic song I am Belarussian to the even more patriotic song I love Belarus). Then last year Alyona was replaced, as previously mentioned.

Now, will Alyona’s song change do the trick? I personally do believe so and I can guarantee that at least one person will be waving the Belarussian flag in Malmo Arena on Tuesday.

Alyona Lanskaya

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