Two months on from Eurovision 2018, questions have been raised publicly about Belarus’ performance at the contest. Ukrainian-born superstar Alekseev sought to qualify Belarus for the grand final for the second year in a row, but the singer failed to do so despite plenty of hype and a show-stopping rosy performance.
While Alekseev has bounced back strongly since with the release of his latest single “Sberegu”, Ukraine’s 2006 representative Tina Karol has voiced her opinion regarding the controversy.
Performing at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk, the “Show Me Your Love” singer spoke to KP News 24 about Alekseev’s participation, saying that she believed Belarus should have been represented by a singer from their country, rather than enlisting the Ukrainian.
“There are citizens of Belarus to represent their country,” she said. “Even if they did not get to the finals, it’s still a competition where countries meet. If Alekseev took citizenship, it would be a choice — I want (it) to be Belarusians… Belarus was supposed to be represented by an artist with a Belarusian passport.”
Karol was not the only artist to speak about Alekseev’s participation. 2009 Eurovision winner and 2018 Norwegian representative Alexander Rybak threw his support behind the singer, saying that nothing in the rules prevented the Ukrainian from representing Belarus. Alekseev also received affirmation in the highest form — receiving the Seal of Approval from Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus.
It’s also important to note that Alekseev was not the only artist in 2018 to represent a country without their citizenship. Bulgaria’s Equinox included members from the United States; Maltese singer Jessika represented San Marino alongside German Jenifer B; Latvian singer Laura Rizzotto spent most of her life in Brazil and the US; and the Polish entry featured the Swedish vocalist Lukas Meijer.
Many Eurovision winners have not hailed from the country they represented. Luxembourg counts five wins at the contest, with not a single winner being a Luxembourg national. Monaco’s only winner Séverine was said to have never visited the microstate when she won Eurovision in 1971. And global superstar Celine Dion won the contest for Switzerland in 1988, despite being French Canadian.
Do you agree with Tina’s assertion that acts should be represented by citizens of the country? Let us know in the comments below.