BTRC confirmed Sofi Lapina as one of the eleven finalists for Belarus’ national selection on January 11. But five days later the Russian songstress has given up on her dream to represent Belarus at Eurovision 2018.

The announcement comes one day after the publication of a letter in which six finalists, including Sofi, wrote that they intend to withdraw in case Alekseev does not get disqualified from participating in the national final, citing a lack of fairness, among other concerns.

Sofi decided to withdraw from the selection a few hours after the running order draw took place. She first confirmed her withdrawal from the national selection at Euroforum, a Russian Eurovision discussion forum.

She commented there yesterday:

“Alekseev is not ashamed to lose in an honest and open struggle. No one who will lose is ashamed. But not in this situation. Being humble and asking for a replacement song, I won’t. I said that with emotion.

I decided for myself to withdraw from the finals anyway. The only reason why this has not been done so far is the collective statement. Dumping the rest is not pretty. Therefore, I will be at BTRC tomorrow. But the decision has actually been taken. Many thanks for your support.”

Today, she confirmed that she is not going to appear in the final:

“I have left. That’s all./I won’t participate in the final”

Sofi Lapina was going to participate with the song “Gravity”, co-produced by Pyotr Elfimov, who represented Belarus at Eurovision 2009. One of the reasons of her withdrawal is the fact that she actually intended to apply with a few different songs, but she found out that all of them were ineligible to participate with.

Her first potential entry “Just For Fun” had been performed before during concerts in its Russian version and her other songs “Castles” and “Greater Scheme” were published on a closed online music expert community by its author before September 1st. Sofi stated that “Gravity” was chosen in a hurry to still be able to participate.

The announcement of Sofi Lapina’s withdrawal comes hours after she was drawn to perform fourth at the national final. According to Alexander Slutsky, who is the producer of both NAPOLI and Alen Hit, finalists were given a contract after the draw to confirm their participation within a week.

Running order of Belarus’ national final

1. Adagio
2. Alekseev
3. Shuma
4. Sofi Lapina
5. Napoli
6. Anastasiya Malashkevich
7. Gunesh
8. Radiovolna
9. ALEN HIT
10. Lexy
11. Kirill Good

Are you sad that Sofi Lapina has withdrawn her song from the selection? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow all our Belarus news here

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The Inevitable Spoon
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The Inevitable Spoon

Belarus have shot themselves in the foot. If Alexseev had been banned then I believe Gunesh would be genuinely in with a chance of winning the whole contest. As it is, Alexseev will be very lucky to make it into the final – especially as he finds himself in the hardest semi-final.

kamilk11
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kamilk11

Well, now we have Sofi in our Krajowe Eliminacje. I am sure, she is one of the favourites there!

Laura
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Laura

Forever is a very beautiful song
Alekseev – is the best
I hope he will win in Belarus

Zebb
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Zebb

Drama there is so huge that it’s overshadowing some other good entries atm. Too much mess around relatively bland song with PR investments, dare I say, yet someone was moved out. This has gone toxic all the way.

Zebb
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Zebb

this was related to Alexeev entry*

Kaz
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Kaz

I’m pretty sure Belarus wants Alekseev to represent them so I doubt they are gonna do much honestly.

????????
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????????

Ehhhh?? Sofi no!! You had the best song… ?´-`)

Liam Lindsay
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Liam Lindsay

Favouritism or not. When the EBU finds out that the song breaks the rules when it’s wins the Belarussian National Final, he will be disqualified and Belarus will be forced to do the following. (In order of likelihood)
1. Withdraw from the contest for the year
2. Have Also seen choose another song
3. Have the 2nd placed artist perform in his place

Comments are welcome.

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

2. Have Alexseev choose another song.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the EBU will follow its own rules. It did not do so with Jamala’s “1944” back in 2016, because, it says, the earlier versions of the song were performed at events seen by only a few hundred who wouldn’t have affected the result. Even so, an earlier recording of that song (with lyrics suggesting a more obvious current political meaning) was leaked after the contest, almost as if to prove to the EBU that they were wrong. With the Alekseev situation, the song has been seen on tour by a lot more people than… Read more »

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

To be fair, her objection is that she tried to enter with songs that she had previously performed at concerts in Russian and was not allowed to. Alekseev seems to have been allowed to do just that. From her point of view, that does suggest some favouritism.

Laime
Guest
Laime

Hold on a second, she didn’t try to enter and was rejected, she said she thought herself the songs were unsuitable to perform due them being performed before September the first, so she quickly submitted “Gravity”. She also said she wasn’t too happy with it as it wasn’t too ready, yet she decided to go for it. No mentioning about getting rejected by anyone! Where have you got that information from?

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Sorry, I was basing on how it I read the wording in this part of the article.

“One of the reasons of her withdrawal is the fact that she actually intended to apply with a few different songs, but she found out that all of them were ineligible to participate with.”

You are right though! Intended and tried to are not quite the same thing.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Oh no! So much potential wasted. Sofi has a great live voice! Disaster for Belarus. 🙁

Africavision
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Africavision

I completely understand 100% why these artists are up in arms and threatening withdrawal over this. Whilst I feel Alekseev’s song should be withdrawn for the obvious reasons, I don’t think he should be excluded from Belarus’ selection, as it was BTRC’s clear double standards that brought about this mess. So I think possible solutions could be: (1) Alekseev could withdraw entirely from this years selection, having given certainty of being internally selected by BTRC for ESC2019. (2) Postpone the national final to give Alekseev time to generate a new entry. I’m not sure how feasible this would be, but… Read more »

YoungsterJoey
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YoungsterJoey

#2 and #3 doesn’t seem fair to the other participants not named Alekseev.

Africavision
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Africavision

I agree that its not completely fair to the other artists that the national final be postponed or used to select the artist only. However, their issue with Alekseev is that his song breaks the ESC 1st September rule. So if that really is their only reason for wanting him to be withdrawn, then they should be okay with either of those 2 suggestions I gave (for fairness, they could also be given the opportunity to create a new song for the postponed national final, if they wish to). The artists should understand that Alekseev did nothing wrong here… The… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Gunesh needs to win, honestly. Unlike Alekseev, she can sing and she has a great song. I hope the good sis doesn’t bow out.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Yes, hopefully we’ll another Turkic talent on the Eurovision stage. Her song is not that decent as 1944 though.

KESC
Guest
KESC

*see

D
Guest
D

She had one of the few listenable songs too. Hopefully more acts follow her so Belarus has no choice but to DQ Alekseev. He shouldn’t be there, and it is extremely unfair. Belarus you’re just proving what the international community already thinks of you.

Stich
Guest
Stich

I feel like on 16th someone random like Kirill Good will win the selection and everyone – Alekseev stans, haters and simple by-passers will come together and be like “what the hell was all this drama about then, huh?!” =D =D =D

Kirk
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Kirk

There’s no more corruption in Ukraine? That’s why he want to represent Belarus?

YoungsterJoey
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YoungsterJoey

For an easier victory in Belarus.

Pavel
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Pavel

He fears to be banned from touring Russia or Ukraine if he takes part for either of those countries

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

No corruption in Ukraine’s national final…just really bad taste.

Victoria
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Victoria

Cheering for Alekseev. Hope he wins in Belarus, and get to see him in Lisbon.

Grace
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Grace

Tbh if I was her I wouldn’t go so far as to quit the competition, but I see where she’s coming from.

Veronique
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Veronique

Cheering for Alekseev! To be honest, he is the best this year. Belarus will do good if they send him.

Yup
Guest
Yup

Just saw that Belarus revealed the running order for the 16th. So it’s going to be:

1. Adagio
2. Alekseev
3. Shuma
4. Sofiya Lapina (withdrawn)
5. Napoli
6. Anastasiya Malashkevich
7. Gunesh
8. Radiovolna
9. Alien Hit
10. Lexy
11. Kirill Good

AzeriChico
Guest
AzeriChico

Does anyone even like that song? OK, I understand he’s famous in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but the song he chose for Eurovision isn’t good at all. It’s average at its best, there’s nothing remarkable about that song. Obviously BTRC wants him to be chosen just because of his fame.

Pal
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Pal

I hope Kirill wil win! 🙂

Yup
Guest
Yup

How can someone represent their country if they are so unsure about their chances of winning even their pre-selection to begin with?? You either have strong song and performance and you put up a brave face and fight for the victory, or loose and go home. She didn’t believe in her song to be able to compete with “Forever” and that says something. I doubt Loreen in 2012 would’ve quitted Melfest even if ALL the rest of the acts violated the rules in some way. It either you know the song is good or not and give up and go… Read more »

Pavel
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Pavel

Luisa and Salvador were sure ”Amar Pelos Dois” is going to flop

Kayla
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Kayla

Yeah, but they loved their song so decided to perform with it anyways just to put it out there so more people could hear it. And the result? First win for Portugal! Imagine if they would’ve been like “naaaah, what’s the point? They won’t get it, let’s just withdraw”.. So why Sofi can’t do the same? What is stopping her to step on that stage, perform her song and get recognition from the public? I mean even if she won’t win – her song will be heard by lots of people and not only in Belarus. And she might be… Read more »

Hada
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Hada

She believes in the *quality* of her song, she doesn’t believe in the transparency of the juries and the process in general. If the juries are corrupt, you could have the best song in the world and still lose against the anointed one.

Kayla
Guest
Kayla

Well I just re-red some of her statements on that forum and it seems like she got really stressed out about the whole thing in general, not just about Alekseev and stuff, but she also mentioned receiving bad criticism on social media, personal messages, under her videos, at least one of her interview videos got lots of mocking comments about her looks too. It seems like she just got tired even before everything has started. I feel like she made the right decision for herself as I seriously would’ve been worried for her mental state during press tours and ton… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

I agree…. there shouldn’t be a NF with a song which has broken rules!
Either disqualify Alekseev or if they only want him to represent Belarus just internally select him.

Héctor
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Héctor

Alekseev should withdraw too or be eliminated.

Talentina Monetta
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Talentina Monetta

I would have done the same if they disqualified my songs, but kept Alekseev even though he broke the rules. Shame on you, BTRC!

Laime
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Laime

They didn’t disqualify her other songs, she HERSELF decided that they are not suitable for performing. She said it in that blog mentioned in the article.

Ulului
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Ulului

I hope they disqualify Alexseev. Anything short of that will be unabashed corruption rubbed in the face of everyone. If he ends of at Eurovision, every one of they juries should veto him in protest.

Xepher
Guest
Xepher

Wait if 3 of her songs weren’t allowed to be accepted due to the September 1 rule, this obviously shows Belarus wants Alekseev to win it if his song breaks the same rules. For shame Belarus

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

I hope they let Kattie and Lovisa participate, they had an actual good song.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

1000000000000000% agree

KESC
Guest
KESC

If the situation continues like this, they should just disqualify Alekseev, or internally select him.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

They should internally select Angelica Agurbash again. I want 2005 trashpop realness.
Or Angelica Pushnova.

Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Jerusalem 2019

Good old Belarus with their national selection dramas. (: