Some months ago, NAVIBAND were officially selected as the first Eurovision entry to sing in Belarusian when they won Belarus’ national final with “Historyja majho zyccia” (Story Of My Life).
Now, in honour of the occasion, Belarus’ broadcaster Belteleradiocompany has announced that their TV commentary for the second semi final on May 11 will be conducted through Belarusian, instead of the usual Russian.
Evgeniy Perlin, the channel’s commentator since 2013, explained why:
“The slogan of this year is “Celebrate Diversity”, so we wanted to show the world the diversity with the Belarusian language, since Eurovision is actively watched by many Belarusians in other countries.”
In other Belarus news, “Solayoh” singer Alyona Lanskaya will be their spokesperson for 2017. Speaking with Belteleradiocompany, the Eurovision 2013 finalist expressed her delight at dishing out the Belarusian points for a second time.
“For the second time, I have the honour to present the results of the voting of Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest, which was a very important step in my career. Unfortunately, we cannot support our country by voting on it, but we can support the group with our heart during the performances.”
Previously, Alyona was a little sceptical about NAVIBAND singing in Belarusian, telling Nasha Niva:
“I personally think the group is both young and cheerful. […] Secondly, the song is in Belarusian. It’s a wonderful fact that we show our culture to the world. But according to statistics, songs in the national language of a country win rarely. I don’t say this because I don’t want them to win. No, I’m always supporting our representatives. But I remember the words of producers and specialists with whom I worked at the time. They always operated with the fact that the song should be in English, so it is understood by all listeners.”
Russia, one of the countries that traditionally gives Belarus the most points at Eurovision, has withdrawn from this year’s contest. The superpower was set to perform alongside Belarus in the second semi final. But is their withdrawal good or bad for NAVIBAND?
In fact, over the history of the contest, Belarus has received the most points from Ukraine. And conveniently, this year’s hosts will also vote in the second semi final. Back in February, Alyona Lanskaya (again) told Nasha Niva that she didn’t expect much support from Russia anyhow:
“This year, I think Ukraine will vote a lot for us. Maybe Russia. But that’s not a fact, during my time at Eurovision, Russia did not give a single point.”
What do you think of NAVIBAND’s Eurovision chances? Let us know in the comments below.