Belarus’ (in)famous live auditions took place today, as 93 hopeful acts went to Minsk. The judges have made a quick decision, and we now know the 11 acts who will take part in the final on 16 February.

Amongst those who made it is Ukrainian star Alekseev. Alekseev caused quite a stir this week when he revealed his Eurovision entry, “Forever”, having already announced his intention to “win Eurovision”.

Of course, the drama continued from there. It looked like “Forever” would have to be disqualified after being performed in concerts before 1 September. But as BTRC put him through to the final, it seems that alleged breach of the rules was no problem to them.

Remarkably, due to the low quality of the songs, only 11 out of the planned 15 spots were filled. You can see the full list below:  

Qualifiers for Belarus’ national final for Eurovision

Of the 11 entries, two are sung in Belorussian – Adagio with “Ty i ya”, and Shuma with “Khmarki”. All other entries are all fully in English. After Naviband’s success in their native language, is this a good sign for these two acts?

It’s also yet another return for some old “favourites”. NAPOLI and Gunesh have tried and come close on many occasions, but never yet succeeded to win the national final. Anastasiya Malashkevich also returns, having finished second behind Uzari in the 2015 national final.

Returning artists cut off early

Many acts who didn’t make it were familiar faces to Belarus’ audition round. Last year’s televote winners, PROvokatsiya, failed to impress with “Party’s Like Tonight”.

Amongst former Eurovision acts were Olga Satsyuk, Belarus’ first Junior Eurovision participant and former 3+2 member Egiazar Farashyan. Both didn’t make the final list of qualifiers.

As we’ve seen before, the judges were harsh to some acts. Possibly to escape from the torturous length of auditions as it was, the judges cut some songs off before they were fully performed – some were even cut off within a minute.

That fate happened to former favourite Angelika Pushnova. Her song “Fighting for Love” — written by two former Eurovision winners, Charlie Mason and Vladimir Graic — was cut off after just seventy seconds!

The final of the selection will take place on 16 February. The voting procedure will remain the same as last year, with 50% of the points decided by televoting and the other 50% decided by a professional jury.

Who do you want to represent Belarus at Eurovision 2018? Who was your favourite in today’s live auditions? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Belarus Eurovision news here

Picture: tut.by

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57 Comments on "Belarus: Alekseev amongst eleven qualifiers for national final after live auditions"

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Marta
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I really like the song “Forever”, but here is the poor quality of the video, so listen in good sound https://youtu.be/-WkXG4a8XxY
I want to see Alekseev in Lisbon! Good luck!

Laura
Guest

Forever – a really beautiful song!
ALEKSEEV – the best!
I hope he will become a winner in Belarus

Shuma BY
Guest
Dear Friends, thank you for your critics and support! I am here to clarify some points of information, if you don’t mind. 1. It is allowed to sing a folk song by Belarusian rules of the contest. So we didn’t expect for this kind of restrictions at all. We came to semi-final round following the rules. 2. The international Eurovision rules forbid to use folk text for the winner of final round. We are not chosen yet. 3. The artist may change lyrics (and even song, if jury makes a common decision). Shuma was offered by the jury to change… Read more »
Blaziker from SG
Guest

Unsurprisingly, I watched some of the rejected auditions for Eurofest 2018 before appreciating the top 11 that were selected (it was fun while it lasted, some rejected auditions were much memorable than some of the top 11). However, I do admit that the rejected auditions should have been given the full 3 minutes for a much fairer judgment and comparison.

As for my winner, generally this was a super weak selection (thanks to the rejected auditions since 95 acts auditioned, so around 84 were rejected), so I’ll go with “Forever”.

Doko
Guest
Given that before the final all songs are revamped and sound is better at the final, I think the selection is not bad at all. Khmarki is very authentic. They are indie band. If professionals are involved in their team, their song can qualify. Alekseev’s song is a masterpiece in Russian (mainly because of the lyrics and Russian vowels beautifully pronounced with over-tones and melismas that are not applicable to the English version). However the song is very difficult to sing with the first verse sung in a key that Alekseev not always manages to sing appropriately himself. Gunesh’ song… Read more »
AngieP
Guest
The sound is not good, same with last year. However, I can imagine the tracks with a better sound, so that’s not a problem. But again, I’ve heard all the songs and most of them I forgot. A quick comment on them: “I Don’t Care”: It’s an up-beat pop song. It’s ok. “Ty i ya”: 6 people just standing there and dancing. No chemistry and a flat, repetitive song. “Ain’t You”: Starts well, but then I was lost. Not a good idea. “Gravity”: This is an interesting song has actually a good sound. However, I feel it gets repetitive at… Read more »
Laura
Guest

I completely agree with your opinion 🙂

oli
Guest

Shuma FTW!!!
The rest sound just old as f***

Marina Z
Guest

?he statement that the song Forever was performed before September 1 is not true!!!! There is NO evidence of this. Therefore, Alekseev participates in the final. He is the best

Colin
Guest
In short, songs itself verge from okay to utterly forgettable. The delivery is the problem. Most of them can’t speak English and it comes out as gibberish. It doesn’t help that the quality of the auditions isn’t very high, from sound to costumes and staging. Some of them try, but this is a school play production thus far. I hope they can step-up in the national final. For me, it’s either Alekseev, but with re-vamped image and staging, and definitely with clearer pronunciation, or one of the Belorussian-language songs. Both of them need a lot of polishing to work as… Read more »
Gobio
Guest

Oh Belarus, what a mess. Acts that worked hard on building an entry were cut off Midway through which is really disrespectful, and many amateur and dated acts, which weren’t any better, gone through. I don’t think there is much hope for Belarus this year…

Jo
Guest

Hot mess.

eurovision6
Guest

Alekseev should change his song back to russian, that version would do much better at Eurovision

LULU
Guest

never heard so much rubbish have they nothing better to send total utter rubbish
never gonna get to qualify

Dew
Guest

Since all the songs are bad, it’s better to choose the famous one. At least they can gain points from fans. So disappointed.

Esc
Guest

Amateur national selection, they need to change that selection process like lithuania…

Mark
Guest

I agree

Doko
Guest

sorry I try hard, but can’t remember any act at Eurovision from Lithuania. Do they even take part in the competition?

D
Guest

Shuma has to win, they would stand out so much at ESC

Esctim
Guest

NAPOLI . . . again

beccaboo1212
Guest

How come “Fighting for Love” was cut off after 70 seconds? 😮

Mark
Guest

They weren’t feeling the love

Colin
Guest

I am taking the benefit of the doubt to the bad sound quality of the live clips. Otherwise, many singers are really bad at English pronunciation, to the point that parts of songs sound like mumbling. They are ones that could benefit from some kind of lyrics videos. I like that the two songs are in Belorussian this year. I have no clear favorite from the first listening. Let’s just say that nobody blew me away. But, as I say, I will wait for the better sound quality on each.

Briekimchi
Guest

Someone is Belarus is seriously stupid.
You’re a country that has a hard time attracting talent and your idea is to have an audition process that cuts acts off you deem them not up to standard? Good luck finding professionals who are willing to go through this next year.

ZMG
Guest

I like all of the qualifiers – EXCEPT Alexseev! For me he is the most underwhelming of the 11; his vocals weren’t great and the song is pandering to generic Eurovision pop, it’s nothing special at all. I hope Belarus ignore the hype surrounding him and select one of the others. My preference would be for Shuma or Adagio (not because their songs are in Belorussian, I just enjoyed their performances the most)

Héctor
Guest

It seems I try to post a comment and I can’t. It’s happening in all the Belarusian news 🙁

Pe
Guest

Alekseev is really overrated. He has a good voice, but the song is really outdated and similiar to one unnamed hit song. He should try again next year with a song he deserves. And not in english. It’s awkward.

esc freak
Guest

Kattie & Lovisa are out?? What?! Belarus will stay in the Semi this time.
Also, how disrespectful to stop some performances before ending.

Polyna
Guest

The Sun for the Night (a.k.a. ‘Arciom and Maimuna but much worse’) were cut just after 23 seconds. Wow.

And apparently Anastasiya’s song was written by the well known recycling team Linda & Ylva ‘We’re not good enough for Melodivestivalen’ Persson. They’re really trying so hard, aren’t they?

Esc_fan_contest
Guest

It’s kinda disrespectful to cut off the singers in the middle of their performance?!

Esc_fan_contest
Guest

And also Angelikas performance wasn’t bad at all and way better than the 11 selected artists, but it’s Belarus I didn’t expect anything from them anymore…

Polyna
Guest

It’s also disrespectful to torture judges with a bad performance, you know.

Esc_fan_contest
Guest

It’s still really disrespectful because at the end they all worked hard for this…

me
Guest

I agree with Esc_fan_contest.
Jury is payed to be jury, they take money to be there, while the singers spend money from their own pocket.
Show some respect jury, you greedy a–h0les.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m devastated that they cut off all the bad acts. What’s even the point if they get to sing only a few lines then “SPASIBO”?

Pavel
Guest

Belarusian juries should have cut all the good ones and leave all the bad ones. Not enough Eurotrash these days, it is a good way to stand out from the boring crowd.

Matthew Esc
Guest

They cut off Angelika Pushnova?

BELARUS BYE

Vadim Kazak
Guest

Belarus? more like BYElarus. (Message approved by a Belarusian, me)

Amor
Guest

Oh my God. Your sass is amazing. Belarus bye! It was so disrespectful to cut the songs off. People spend a lot of time and money to record a track. Even if it’s awful give them the respect!

zheng
Guest

GUNESH FOR WIN

MTD
Guest

Why the whole charade when it is clearly rigged? C’mon!

And his song is lame, to begin with.

random.sage
Guest

Off topic but…

OT is trending #1 Worldwide on Twitter. Spain is really behind this selection, huh?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

OT is like a powerful combination of the X Factor, Big Brother, and the craziest Spanish NF ever. It’s unstoppable!

Pavel
Guest

wiwi, Belarusian press mostly considered Navi’s placing a huge flop and disappointment. They expected top 10.

Amor
Guest

That’s sad. I don’t think they flopped. Yes 17th isn’t great but you have to look at other factors. They gained some of the most points out of any Belarusian act plus they got their country to qualify for the first time in 3 years. Also they were a huge fan favorite and gave us a memorable moment with their kiss. I think they did well.

Purple Mask
Guest

As the article states, the selection process appeared to me to be too harsh, and was “playing favourites” with some entrants. 🙁
Having said that, Alekseev proved he is a very capable singer. I wish he wouldn’t sing in English though – at the moment the language sounds forced and unnatural.

Marco
Guest

Alekseev is so overrated

thomas
Guest

I totally agree

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Well, I guess we’ll see him at the Eurovision since there’s no way they’ll select someone else. His song is really lame, so his fame in six countries won’t help him reach the final.

Maclaren
Guest

So then he has exactly six countries more under his belt than anybody else in Eurovision – which is not the worst place to start at

James
Guest

He better hope he has all six countries voting for him in the semi’s (in the event he wins his selection).

Pavel
Guest

6 countries giving him 20 points each will be enough.
In fact, he will win because he can financially afford all the costs.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

That’s impossible because of the drawing pots which will make sure Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan aren’t all in the same semi. He will have 3 countries where he’s famous max.

NickC
Guest

Are they fixing it for Alekseev? Certainly looks like it…

Maclaren
Guest

I watched it live today and noticed that both Napoli and Alekseev got a chance to make sound checks during the ten minutes break between the second and the third group of participants (the sound was off but the internet streaming continued). They both performed full versions of their songs as well. So it was quite obvious who the favorites are even before the announcements.

Irene
Guest

Apparently one of the songs was composed by Uzari (2015) but it didn’t make the cut…

Luc
Guest

Kattie and Angelika were my favorites and both didn’t make it :/