Read back: Belarus selects their entry for 2019

BTRC hosted the final of Nationalny Otbor 2019 which decided the Belarussian entry for Eurovision 2019. Ten acts competed in which the winner was selected entirely through jury. You could watch the show live via this link. The final was at approx. 20:00 CET on the date of publish.

After tonight, the winner will become the next official Belarussian Eurovision entrant and will attend Tel Aviv for Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

The blog will be updated throughout the show and the most recent comments will be at the top. All times will be in CET.

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22:00: Zena now reprises her entry “Like it” and that concludes tonight’s show. Thank you very much for watching!

21:55: We now have seen all the performances and from the looks of it, the winner has been chosen already:

  • ZENA – Like it

21:50: Jury votes for KeySi are 59 out of 70 points with 4 x nine, 2 x eight and 2 x seven. KeySi seemed happy with her comments from the jury regardless of the fact it wasn’t enough current points to be seen as a potential winner in their eyes.

  • Song #10: KeySi – No love lost

Last performance now that opens in black and a weird drum beat before the electro-pop kicks in. Lightning visuals in the background while KeySi is joined on-stage with dominatrix-style police officers on-stage. KeySi wears a golden, flowing dress with a black corset on-top. Perhaps the best vocals on the evening. Song, however, is quite dissonant even though it does stand out but it doesn’t connect well with the imagery they’ve chosen to portray. Slow motion falling from the backing dancers suspended during the final chorus. Exceptional singer who deserves a stronger production on a track.

21:40: Jury votes for NAPOLI are 58 out of 70 points with 4 x nine, 1 x eight and 2 x seven. Intrigued looks from the jury members including Koldun. They were impressed but not enough to be one of their favourites of this evening.

  • Song #09: NAPOLI – Let it go

The penultimate artist next is Belarussian national final favourite NAPOLI. She wears an elaborate black jumper with pink ribbons sewn through it with a white dress underneath it. The dress looks absolutely ridiculous. but once the jumper is taken off, the white dress underneath is far nicer. Male backing dancer alongside who ends the performance throwing the pink knitting ball onto the ground. A fake audience soundtrack is played after the performance, very noticeably so. That is worrying.

21:35: Back in the green room where PROvokatsiya and Aura are being interviewed. A commercial break followed by the last two performances and perhaps the winner!

21:30: Jury votes for Aura are 55 out of 70 points with 6 x eight and 1 x seven. Jurors needed a bit longer to decide what they think about this entry however they nearly unanimously decided it’s an “eight out of ten” – perhaps mostly for the performance.

  • Song #08: Aura – Čaravala

Aura is next wearing a full flower-bed alongside her backing dancer. Looks really good to be fair but I’m sure it’s giving the Barbara Dex award a chance if this wins (which seems not likely). Very ethnic-styled ballad. Performance develops with the black, netted end of Aura’s dress being flown by the backing dancer. Unexpected key change within it, little bit out of place but captivating performance nonetheless. Perhaps not winning potential but thoroughly enjoyed.

21:25: We’re back yet again and now it’s time for the final three competing artists to take to the stage. Will we know the result once all jury votes have been cast or will there be more voting to come?

21:20: Commercial break now. Let’s see how the ranking is currently looking from the jury members:

  • 1st: ZENA – Like it (69 points)
  • 2nd: BLGN & Mirex – Champion (65 points)
  • 3rd: Sebastian Roos – Never getting close (62 points)
  • 4th*: Michael Soul – Humanize (59 points)
  • 4th*: Alyona Gorbachova – Can we dream (59 points)
  • 6th: PROvokatsiya – Running away from the sun (55 points)
  • 7th: Eva Kogan – Run (54 points)

21:15: Jury votes for PROvokatsiya are 55 out of 70 points with 1 x nine, 4 x eight and 2 x seven. Again, the jurors didn’t seem too impressed and didn’t have too much to say. Juries seem quite indecisive and not able to deliver lower scores than seven.

  • Song #07: PROvokatsiya – Running away from the sun

Next up is this Belarussian duo who are definitely getting into the Eurovision spirit with their performance featuring a pink card, good-looking backing dancers along it and some questionable shiny outfits on the duo members. Quite a bit of rap in this entry, gets catchy after a while however lyrics are mainly “la, la, la”.

21:06: Now we’re begin joined in the green-room while the previous three competitors chat with the host assigned there. Onto the next participants.

21:03: Jury votes for Alyona Gorbachova are 59 out of 70 points with 4 x nine, 2 x eight and 1 x seven. They didn’t seem too impressed and didn’t have too much to say to Alyona regarding the performance apart from one juror.

  • Song #06: Alyona Gorbachova – Can we dream

Alyona wears a space-style suit with white feathers throughout – very Eurovision. Sky-visuals in the background. One of the nicest performances in terms of visuals. Vocally from Alyona are quite decent, enough to sell the song. Musically, the track doesn’t go far enough to captivate the audience however a decent ballad even if not “epic” enough to stand out from the crowd.

20:55: Jury votes for Sebastian Roos are 62 out of 70 points with 3 x ten, 1 x nine, 2 x eight and 1 x seven. We can hear some of the jury members speak in English for Sebastian. Koldun comments that he likes the “little bit of Belarussian spirit” within the song.

  • Song #05: Sebastian Roos – Never getting close 

We’re going back to the nineties with “Never getting close”. Quite a haunting melody with a standard Eurovision message with orchestral and rock elements and of course, a key change. Pure kitsch but I quite like it. Perhaps has no change against a Belarussian jury but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

20:45: Jury votes for BLGN & Mirex are 65 out of 70 points with 4 x ten, 2 x nine and 1 x seven. Boos were heard in the audience upon the seven-point announcement.

  • Song #04: BLGN & Mirex – Champion 

Next, we’ve got something different. “Champion” has got a strong beat and a very soul vocalist in Mirex. Mirex sings while with BLGN as DJ (I believe), while on-stage with three backing singers. Very vocal-strong song and the male singer does deliver. This caught me by surprise in a great way. Unsure, if any song is beatable by ZENA but this may have a small chance.

20:40: We’re back and next VT is rolling for tonight’s fourth competing entry.

20:35: Here is the current top three from the jurors:

  • 1st: ZENA – Like it (69 points)
  • 2nd: Michael Soul – Humanize (59 points)
  • 3rd: Eva Kogan – Run (54 points)

20:32: Now our green room host is chatting to the first three participants Michael Soul, ZENA and Eva Kogan in the green-room. Now time for a commercial break.

20:30: Jury votes next. 54 out of 70 points for Eva Kogan. with 1 x nine, 3 x eight and 3 x seven. Worst scoring yet but still respectable.

  • Song #03: Eva Kogan – Run 

Time for a dramatic ballad next from Eva. Vocals sound well however the Belarussian accent comes across quite strong. Very Eurovision-style composition. Great use of lighting on Eva with her alone on-stage. Quite a translucent performance which definitely has it’s Belarussian charms, however could it even dare to catch up to ZENA?

20:25: Jury votes for the previous performance. 69 out of 70 points for ZENA! with 6 x ten and 1 x nine. This is incredible, can anyone beat this now?

  • Song #02: ZENA – Like it

Next up is Zena wearing a white-silk two-piece dress. Superb vocals from Zena with minimal choreography while surrounded by four, female backing dancers dressed in black. The song is well produced but definitely needs a revamp to sound fresher. Vocals are the main selling point however lyrics are quite repetitive but nice pan-pipe elements in the melody.

20:15: Jury votes immediately after each performance, this is different and I quite like it.
59 out of 70 points for Michael Soul with 4 x nine, 2 x eight and 1 x seven. This is a strong first scoring.

  • Song #01: Michael Soul – Humanize

Opening with one of tonight’s fan-favourites, hopefully, performing first won’t ruin it’s chances however with a 100% jury all rules could be off. Large use of red hues and background visuals for Michael. Vocals sound well, however, performance has little content in it apart from Michael walking different sides of the stage. Final chorus Michael belts out brilliantly while the visuals “glitch” adding some great visuals finally. Very simple but will it be enough to win with the jury?

20:10: We’re now in the quite empty green room with our third host who hopefully will be getting some participants to join her once the performances begin. First VT plays for Michael Soul. Performances beginning already!

20:05: We’re now being introduced to tonight’s seven-member jury who will decide entirely the representative for Belarus this year. In the jury includes Dmitry Koldun who gained the best placement for Belarus in Eurovision yet – 6th in 2007.

20:00: The show has begun! We open with our two hosts who you may notice includes Teo who represented Belarus in 2014 with “Cheesecake”.

19:50: The show will begin in 10 minutes. Here’s tonight’s running order:

    1. Michael Soul – Humanize
    2. ZENA – Like it
    3. Eva Kogan – Run 
    4. BLGN & Mirex – Champion 
    5. Sebastian Roos – Never getting close 
    6. Alyona Gorbachova – Can we dream
    7. PROvokatsiya – Running away from the sun
    8. Aura – Čaravala
    9. NAPOLI – Let it go
    10. KeySi – No love lost

 

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