Belarus: Song Released!

Belarus – BTRC , the national broadcaster, presented the song that they’ve internally picked for Rotterdam. The pro-Loukachenko band Galasy ZMesta was picked internally so sing the political “Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You)”!

First, we were supposed to get a national final. A call for entries was made and some artists, infamous among esc fans for touring NF around Europe, published their desire to send a song there (not many NF were kept this year, and the ones who were are more or less brand at home you can’t invite yourself in, like Melodi Grand Prix, San Remo, Festival I Këngës, Melodifestivalen, Festival da Canção). Of course, Belarus hasn’t a real national final: it used to be a mean to have a TV show (and all national finals have that bit understood) but the results were often decided through 100% juries (so that it becomes an internal selection disguised) or just changed after the final was over because of “allegations” of problems in the televote (in 2012, Alena Lanskaya won the national final but was changed for Litesound, who had already lost many national finals because considered not close to the power enough).

However, last year and after the 100% jury decision in 2019, a televote was introduced, which VAL won and they were kept as the entry. Since then, new elections have put more protesters in the street, whereas before, the resistance to the “last dictator” of Europe, as he’s often considered, didn’t take the form of very visual protests supported by celebrities, intellectuals and even the European Union. Most Belarussian artists supported the protests and were banned from the national broadcaster for representing Belarus in the contest. VAL were out.

They’ve found a band who made their entire recent career based on mocking protesters, calling for their emprisonment and supporting the last dictator of Europe. Moreover, they wrote lyrics that mention the need to “teach” those protesters. How? It does not say. Guess!

Now a call for a ban against Belarus is rising among Eurovision fans. It has 20k dislikes on Youtube and only 1.9k likes (and it’s very evident that an incredibly small margin of these are related to music). Let’s see how other delegations react. The famous Georgia 2009 case was mentioned, but it never comes to the EBU banning an entry. They ask for a change (in lyrics, in artists…), the country refuses and withdraws, which seems to be the road we’re going to take. In 2017, Russia also withdrew their artist when the EBU had a very difficult time handling the conflict there. What do you think will happen now?

12 thoughts on “Belarus: Song Released!

  1. The thin line between political songs and political agenda songs has always been too thin (Ukraine 2016 was allowed, Georgia 2009 wasn’t) but this is basically asking to “teach” violently protesters how to obey a self-claimed president (aka dictator). How can this be allowed in any way?

    • Armenia was also asked to change their title in 2015 to refer less to the genocide? Personally I think the same should have happened with Ukraine in 2016. Allow the song, get rid of a title that makes it “topical”.

  2. It’s last on my list, with or without controversy. It’s funny because if one checks the translated lyrics (” I’ll teach you how to dance to a tune, I’ll teach you how to take bait, I’ll teach you how to walk along the line,
    You’ll be content, happy with everything”) it seems more like a critique of an orwellian situation than an endorsement of it. If this is a satrap talking, it is not very subtle…

    In any case, I am not getting into the intricacies of this. At Eurovision, politics should be left out oat the door. I am all for bellorussian artists to have an opportunity to participate, but not with anything that might be construed in any way as a reference to the situation there.

  3. “They ask for a change (in lyrics, in artists…), the country refuses and withdraws, which seems to be the road we’re going to take…”

    Sounds plausible in this case too, indeed.

  4. An awful propaganda (lyrics-wise) covered with some Soviet charm and helped by the fact that the average viewer won’t understand what they are singing about. Straight into my bottom 2 !
    A NQ obviously (if the broadcaster doesn’t withdraw). The whole act comes across as amateur imo.

    Semi 1 :
    1. LTU
    2. RUS
    3. HRV
    4. BEL
    5. CYP
    6. UKR
    7. ROU
    8. AUS
    9. SVN
    10. IRL
    11. ISR
    12. NOR
    13. BLR

  5. Let’s be honest. Whatever Belarus sent this year would have been in the crosshairs and be a lighting rod.

    The least they could have done was send something great. The entry this year is just there. Just a song. Nothing earth shattering. Don’t understand the lyrics so that doesn’t sway me in any way.

    If the entry this year was Lanskaya’s or Story of My Life for instance, I would have listened to it more than once and would not batted an eye. I don’t follow ESC to be an activist not will I bother to thumbs down the entry on you tube nor sign any petition. Those are just empty gestures that won’t change anything in any country.

    Apricot stone is a political song (albeit disguised cleverly). You think I would boycott that?

    • And I won’t bother lying to myself and others by feigning outrage. The song made me feel nothing. It’s not my kind of entry music wise.

      Listened to it once, will watch it once in the semi final since it won’t qualify, and that will be the extent of my interaction with the entry this year.

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