Although Belarus has never hosted Eurovision, the country does regularly host one of the most prestigious singing competitions for young performers. It’s called Slavianski Bazaar. It’s held in Vitebsk. And it’s a big deal.
The competition has been going strong for twenty-six years and many Eurovision stars have participated in the contest, with many actually winning the Grand Prix. Among those past winners are Donny Montell, Alyona Lanskaya, Ruslana and Zeljko Joksimovic.
This year’s competition saw a few similar faces (and voices). Nevena Bozovic from Moje 3 represented Serbia in the competition and Nina Kraljic was Croatia’s hope. The EM’s Egor Sharankov represented Belarus and “Kewbka” singer Janice Mangion sang for Malta.
Nevena had the highest amount of points on the first day of the final round, sharing a top score of 76 points with Ukrainian performer Vlad Sytnyk.
The second day brought big thrills.
Both Vlad Sytnyk and the Belarusian competitor Egor Sharankov climbed to 151 points. Nevena was the last performer to compete. She performed a rendition of Christina Aguillera’s “Hurt”, but came one point short of the two leaders in the rankings.
Eventually the jury awarded Nevena Bozovic Third Prize, while Egor Sharankov received Second Prize and Vlad Sytnyk First Prize. The difference between the three was simply too narrow for any of them to earn the Grand Prix.
Nina Kraljic earned tenth place with 129 points in total, while Janice Mangion finished one point above Nina.
But Nina didn’t go home empty handed as she was awarded the special Presidental Prize from the President of Belarus. She’s got admirers in the fandom — and in high office!
Besides the competition for young performers, crowds also turned out for the opening and closing ceremonies, which featured several familiar Eastern European and Eurovision stars. Among them were Belarus’ NAVIBAND, Ruslan Alehno and Dmitry Koldun, Ukraine’s Zlata Ognevich and Alyosha and Moldova’s SunStroke Project.
TEO and his wife Olga presented a special behind the scenes programme.
Are you proud of the Eurovision alums? Who gave your favourite performance? Let us know in the comments box below.