Last week Ukraine pop star Alekseev qualified for the Belarus national final with his song “Forever”. But some of his fellow finalists aren’t happy. Alen HitAnastasiya Malashkevich, Sofi Lapina, Kirill Good, Gunesh and NAPOLI have threatened to leave Belarus’ selection if broadcaster BTRC doesn’t disqualify Alekseev for breaching Eurovision rules.

Controversy arose when Russian VK group ESCWORLDCLUB published short videos showing Alekseev performing his song “Navsegda” during his concerts in Kyiv and Stavropol in May 2017.

“Navsgeda” was later translated into English, edited down to three minutes and became Alekseev’s Belarus Eurovision entry “Forever”. This violated the famous Eurovision rule that states that a song cannot be distributed or performed before September 1 of the year before Eurovision takes place.

Alekseev’s Belarusian PR agent Sergey Adrianov told the Belarusian edition of KP newspaper:

“We affirm that this version performed at these concerts is neither the music nor the words that we presented for the selection for Eurovision 2018, and this is confirmed by the agreements with various authors of “Navsegda” and “Forever”. We are sure that this point can be proved by analyzing these two songs (a piano concert version of “Navsegda” and a contest “Forever”) on notes and see the difference. We believe that further proceedings on these issues should go to the legal plane. We understand that neither the Belteleradiocompany nor the EBU will admit any violation of the regulations and will make a legally sound decision.”

Belarusian Eurovision hopefuls wrote a letter in protest

Alen Hit, Anastasiya Malashkevich, Sofya Lapina, Kirill Good, Gunesh and NAPOLI severely disagreed with Adrianov’s claim and wrote a letter to the Belarusian broadcaster. They stated that they won’t sign any contracts with the broadcaster regarding the selection and would withdraw from it if Alekseev were allowed to participate. The letter, which was published in KP, provides us with the following statements:

“- We will not sign the contract of participation in the final part of the national selection until the BTRC takes an honest and fair decision on the disqualification of the artist Nikita Alekseev.

– We question the qualifications and business reputation of the artist Nikita Alekseev and his management.

– We do not consider it possible to participate in the farce, to what the final of the national selection will seem like in the event of the appearance of the artist Alekseev. Our participation will undoubtedly cause us reputational harm, insult our honour and human dignity.

– We call all not indifferent colleagues in the field of show business to pay attention to this glaring situation and PUBLICLY give their authoritative assessments to what is happening. Violations made when applying for Nikita Alekseev and / or his representatives:

– The composition of “Forever” presented in the application is an translated into English version of and is the slightly reordered and shortened version of the song “Navsegda”, according to independent expert opinions. The first public performance of this composition took place in May 2017 as part of a commercial tour, which directly violates the provisions of the current Regulations of the National Selection. The song was performed many times in the framework of the above-mentioned tour, which gave the artist Alekseev an undeniable advantage not only in the framework of the national selection, but also in the context of the main Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

– The presented composition has a duration of 3 minutes 06 seconds, which directly violates the restrictions on the duration of the sound. Often, a few extra seconds do not allow using this or that composition, because the song can not be shortened without losing the structure of the arrangement.

– Artist Alekseev signed guarantees that the song “Forever” fully meets the criteria of the national selection, which is a direct introduction of the organizing committee for delusion.”

Some finalists have also spoken about not wanting to waste money preparing an entry for an event when the result is — according to them — already decided. National final veteran Gunesh told KP that she and her team spent a lot of money, including personal artistic training by Tim Norell in Stockholm.

Other artists spend an estimated amount from US$2000 to US$10,000 for recording and arranging songs, costumes and their performance. An impressive amount of money is also dedicated to stocking up on SIM cards, which is, according to the artists, “no secret to anyone”.

The Belarusian broadcaster has yet to react to the statement of the artists. Belarusian newspaper Sputnik says that the broadcaster still has to make a decision on the possible violation of the rules.

The running order draw takes place on January 16, but the potentially withdrawing artists have confirmed that they will still attend the event, as it isn’t a confirmation of their eventual participation in the national final of February 16.

The letter was not signed by any group acts, including vocal group Adagio, rock band Radiovolna, and duo Shuma. It was also not signed by solo vocalist Lexy, who is under 18.

What do you think? Are the Belarusian finalists right to protest? Should “Forever” be disqualified? Tell us what you think below!

Follow all our Belarus news here

Total
168
Shares

64
Leave a Reply

avatar
36 Comment threads
28 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
45 Comment authors
Purple MaskEdmundXPEH BAM BCEMHéctor123 Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Edmund
Guest
Edmund

Does anyone have a link to the live performance? Or is there no recording of it?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Of whom? Alekseev? His live audition is here: https://youtu.be/Kw-63OOZyg0

XPEH BAM BCEM
Guest
XPEH BAM BCEM

Lol I hope they will keep their word! 😀 Alekseev is the best in this selection!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I don’t really know if this drama is caused by these artists fearing Alekseev is going to win because he’s famous there or because they really want the competition to be fair. Anyway, I think they are right. Alekseev is breaking the rules and should be disqualified. He has perform the song before the established date in front of a big audience which added to his already famous status, give him an unfair advantage. Moreover, I must say his song sounds dated and cheap and his live audition is really weak. Some other things to comment: – “Our participation will… Read more »

ArmRus
Guest
ArmRus

So the fact that Gunesh is azeri living in Belarus is acceptable choice but Alekseev isn’t?
Oh my gosh, what a people, and Gunesh herself is against his partisipation. Claps claps claps

123
Guest
123

he performed this song earlier than he should have and thats the rule…the fact that gunesh is azeri is not against the rules…so whats your point?

Colin
Guest
Colin

Apparently, Alexeev is still participating (and with Forever), but if he wins, he has to change the song. This has zero sense, and even less sense would be voting for him now. Why? Because he is a cat in a bag. His actual song could be the best, but it could be the worst as well. Basically, you don’t know what you are getting by voting him. But thanks to his fanbase and people not being acquainted with this fact while watching Eurofest, he has a good chance of winning anyway.

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

I believe that the EBU should step in the Eurofest drama, and declare that if Aleeksev wins, Belarus will be banned from Eurovision 2018,
I believe that is what will make this corrupted jury to finally disqualify him.

Pablo Nava
Member

Apparently he will compete, BUT has to change the song if he wins

Graham
Guest
Graham

Poor song and poor vocals

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

” Our participation will undoubtedly cause us reputational harm, insult our honour and human dignity”. DRAMA QUEENS big time. But then again. What is this statement on Sim cards? Do they publicly plea guilty if rigging the results themselves? Needs explanation and journalistic investigation. IMHO if an entry does not comply to the rules it should be fixed, withdrawn or disqualified. I am not in favour of artists shopping in other countries to participate. Rumour has it he withdrew from Ukrainian selection. That raises question marks on his Belarus entrance. What did he knew or was told or even guaranteed… Read more »

filipko54
Guest
filipko54

there was the same problem in Czech national selection with Pavel Callta’s song, he was performing it in Czech unfinished version before 1st September but he got some exception from EBU, you still care about Belarus and don’t care about Czech Republic as usual :/

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

EBU does not interfere with preselections, so I guess you are misinformed or mean the CZ broadcaster?

Omar Deniz - Mexico
Guest
Omar Deniz - Mexico

Well, I think Alekseev’s song is the best in Belarus but still not good enough to get to the Eurovision final, I don’t care what Belarus decides, it will stay in the semifinal.

Ada
Guest
Ada

So, in May he presented his song with an orchestra and the versions have some differences in melody. Of course they are not big, but they are there.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Life (and Eurovision) was so much simpler when it was just the USSR. We wouldn’t have had this or any of the controversies of the past decade. And there would have been far fewer doping disqualifications from the Olympics, too.

Nickc
Guest
Nickc

On the other hand these events you mention aim to build bridges, and make people come together.

Choderi
Guest
Choderi

I hope God will punish you for what you said and next live you will spend in Russia or better back in time in USSR.

Choderi
Guest
Choderi

Life:)

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Thanks Choderi, I’ve always wanted to go to Lake Baikal so that’s not much of a punishment!

Choderi
Guest
Choderi

No, God should place you in dirty place like Norilsk, Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk, Omsk or in wild place like Mahachkala, Chechnya, DNR or LNR… There you will live like 90percents of russians

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

I like the song and hope he will win the Belarusian Selection. He will be an interesting participant to the ESC this year.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Belarus has gone back to the days of shady Eurofest Drama. #corrupt.

loci
Guest
loci

Well he’s the best. They’re jealous and scared of losing.

Esmee
Guest
Esmee

They should’ve not allowed the song in on the first place, but now it’s too late in my opinion. I guess it’s not fair from other participants perspective, but it also is not fair to disqualify Alekseev so late in the “game” when he is unable to try and join any other national selection. It’s clearly broadcasters fault as they should’ve checked the songs before putting them out to the public and officially confirming participants. My suggestion is to leave everything as it is this year and re-write all the rules (specifically focusing on potential loopholes) for the competition in… Read more »

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

If the singer declared he fits the rules it’s the singers fault and him to blame.

Sam
Guest
Sam

In that case I can apply next year with “Euphoria”? I fit the standards, have the voice, and even have Belorussian roots so I guess nothing is stopping me? I think I fit the rules. So then I will perform on the big stage, get my hour of fame and only later on, they will discover it was a Loreen song? B******t! They have to check the songs they selected prior the contest, otherwise next year I’m in with “Bohemian Rhapsody”. 😀

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Bohemian Rhapsody in Belarus? This I would like to see. 😀

A FACTUAL FAN
Guest
A FACTUAL FAN

God just disqualify him already, he’s broken the rules and the selection seems like it’s been in favour of him since the moment he was rumoured for it. His song is the worst of the selection aswell, so what harm would it do. The artists are 100% correct to rebel against the decisions made by the Belarusian broadcaster.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s not the ‘artists’ right to judge and decide which song fits to the national selection, but the broadcaster’s responsibility. Singers should deliver the message of their songs and try to win, without this kinda incorrect, pathetic behave. Even if they find it unfair, the minimum is to show respect into the other people’s direction and accept the rules. I am wondering how belarus people feel about this, because I feel ashamed instead of them already this kinda things can happen… come on..

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Ah Belarus! What is going on?
It is so obvious that they want him to win. They should have just internally selected him and spared the fans/artists this farce of a national selection.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Sure it’s the same song. I mean, I’m not sure if all the lyrics are the same (although navsegda literally means forever), but the music is exactly the same. If he breached the rule, and in such a high profile manner, he should be out. Belorussian jury should be the first to agree.

On the other hand, I cannot stop face-palming as all the artists who threat to leave have songs which are in the various degrees of ‘meh’. I don’t think either of them could qualify at the actual ESC contest with the performances we saw.

A FACTUAL FAN
Guest
A FACTUAL FAN

lol what? gunesh and napolis songs are way out of “forever”s league. if he was breaking the rules he should be disqualified

Ohh no
Guest
Ohh no

Hahahaha, are you serious? I would’ve agreed on Adagio being decent, could’ve justified Kirill Goods song for being catchy, but Gunesh.. Ohh my.. I agree she has the voice, but the song is just hurrendous.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Okay, I might have been harsh, but I am really underwhelmed by the whole NF, as most songs need a lot of polishing. Starting with the audio, which was awful. Still, I wouldn’t say Gunesh’s song is my pick. Nonetheless, she did get there deservedly, while Alexeev’s participation is questionable. I’m not saying he in particular is actively doing anything against the rules, but Belarus had an example of a fixed win with Alyona Lanskaya in 2012. As she actually represented them in 2013, apparently for them fixing the rules isn’t a deal-breaker for long.

Mia
Guest
Mia

Hahahaha, they are just salty because don’t know what to do with all those extra SIM-cards they stocked up on!

Mark
Guest
Mark

They’re so desperate.

Enchanted Lobster
Guest
Enchanted Lobster

Such drama!

Can’t get enough of it. :mrgreen:

Mark
Guest
Mark

I don’t want drama.I just want a good show.

Ciarán
Guest
Ciarán

He broke the rules therefore he should change his song. I love how all his fans are like “they’re so jealous” wouldn’t you be mad if you were beaten by a song that broke the rules? “Artists should support each other” they are supporting each other. They’re supporting each other to get someone who broke the rules off unless he changes his song. It’s only fair

Mark
Guest
Mark

I agree, changing his song looks like the safe decision that will make both sides happy.

Let’s be honest, if he is already seen as the favorite to win, then he could definitely get a great song writer to give him a even better song.

#TeamAlekseev
Guest
#TeamAlekseev

Why such a bad blood? Artists are supposed to support each other, not fight against each other. Where is the good, team spirit? I think they are making this too big thing..

alex.09
Guest
alex.09

What a mess, Belarus! It’s organisers fault they allowed “Forever” to enter the competition, not Alekseevs, so why to punish him?? It’s their responsibility to double check participating songs for plagiarism, but they can’t even check if the song was put up on YouTube before the stated date? What a joke!

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

The only way a protest like this would have been totally effective is if all 10 artists signed up to the motion. The very fact that 4 of then didn’t sign up makes me suspicious of everyone’s motives. Because 4 of them didn’t sign, unfortunately, the broadcaster has the option of just replacing them, or going with 5 entrants for the final, if they want to. I really hope the broadcaster can sort this out somehow. For example, by changing Alekseev’s song. I never like such legal mess involving musicians. True artists should be working together on their problems, not… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I mean, he will 100% win if he goes because of his fame, and then he’ll have to change the song… I think they should ask him to come back next year. Among those other ten acts there are talented singers with songs that could actually qualify, something Alekseev doesn’t have (Gunesh is my favorite, and I also love Adagio).

escDisney
Guest
escDisney

i guessing lexy couldn’t sign because she’s a minor
and the group acts idk why

Liamoo
Guest
Liamoo

C’mon, seriously?! They simply realised they will loose because his performance was way above the rest of the contestants! If it would’ve been a random guy with so-so voice no one would’ve cared of that song would’ve been performed before the 1st of September or not. :-/

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

His performance was below most of the other finalists’ in every way, but I wouldn’t expect a Liamoo stan to be discerning!

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

Why would they care? Or are they just sore losers before they even lost?

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

> stocking up on SIM cards, which is, according to the artists, “no secret to anyone”.

“The whole selection process is RIGGED! And they won’t even allow me to rig the contest in MY favour! Sad!”

xup
Guest
xup

I do agree with these artists. Alexeev got a head start and was at an advataged position over the other contestants coming into this national selection process. I he does end up “winning” and going to Lisbon, I hope the international juries give him the Manel Navarro treatment so that he ends up dead last (of course, Manel’s song was horrible too and still deserved to place last regardless, but that’s a different matter).

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

> I hope the international juries give him the Manel Navarro treatment

Lol, as if any jury cared about the whole Spanish “scandal” (even though Manel won fairly and according to the rules of the Spanish selection). And spoiler: they won’t care about Belarusian “scandal” either.

Luz
Guest
Luz

Well the proof is that no jury gave him points. The only country that gave him 5 points was Portugal and that was in the televote. So there is something to be said about the international juries.

Polyna
Guest
Polyna

That’s only proof that none of them liked the song enough to give it tenth or higher place. Says nothing about their motivation.

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

You mix up proof and observation/fact.

sam
Guest
sam

what about alma last year???

Erique
Guest
Erique

Alma performed a not-finished version of her song while she wasn’t widely known, therefore not giving her much of an advantage. Alekseev on the other hand is an established artist in Ukraine and, more importantly, a couple of neighbouring countries eligible to vote in Eurovision.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

She’s sitting unbothered with her talent, beauty, class and top ten position in televote.

xup
Guest
xup

I know! Destination Eurovision should also be about promoting French artists, not just picking the representative to go to next year’s Eurovision. They should have Alma sing a new song at the DE final at the very least.

Luz
Guest
Luz

What about her? If the French did not protest her election and song, then on them. Same thing for Ukraine. However, the other Belrusian artists are asking for transparency in the process. They are absolutely right in protesting. I’m not sure why people here are even questioning this. Smh…

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Also, I think it’s a huge difference if it’s just a performance without a track being released. This might’ve been why Alma performed at ESC with a revamp.

Also, Alma was internally selected, while the main issue of contention with the other participants is Alekseev’s unfair advantage in gaining more public support, something that doesn’t apply with internal selections.

And as people have said, Alma had one song under her belt (La Chute est Lente) and was not at all established, meaning she couldn’t leverage her fame like Alekseev can.

454
Guest
454

Out with him!!!!!!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Such drama! The “1 September” rule has been tested a few times in recent years, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. It seems that Alekseev’s concerts were huge events and could genuinely have given him an advantage by familiarising fans with his song.

Eurovisionquotes
Guest
Eurovisionquotes

Well if it means that Angelika Pushnova could get a place in the final then go ahead!