While three competing countries have already selected their acts for Tel Aviv and numerous others have national final plans well under way, Belarus had been keeping quiet. Until now. A BTRC spokesperson has confirmed that Belarus will use some sort of national selection to choose its entry for Eurovision 2019.
BTRC press secretary Svetlana Smolonskaya-Kraskovskaya confirmed the news to Euroradio.fm. Regarding the selection method for the 2019 act, she said:
“Yes, we are working in this direction. As soon as we are ready to announce the details of the selection to the press, we will do so on our website and let you know in the news. The selection is planned, it’s a work in progress.”
The confirmation ends speculation that, after having hosted Junior Eurovision 2018, the broadcaster would keep things simpler by internally select their act for Tel Aviv.
However, BTRC have revealed no further details for the national selection. The broadcaster has not confirmed what format the national selection will take, whether they will use the same national final format of recent years or go for something simpler.
The broadcaster is leaving it somewhat late for 2019 . By this time last year, BTRC confirmed it had received 95 entries, with the iconic live auditions held on 11 January and the national final held on 16 February.
In previous years, the Belarus national final has typically taken place at some point in mid-to-late January, though the national final for Eurovision 2015 was held as early as December 2014.
However, with some countries not holding their grand finals until early March, Belarus still has plenty of time to organise its traditional national final.
In recent years, Belarus has used a national final where around ten acts — sometimes more — compete at a single grand final. Prior to the final, all the entries are shortlisted after live-streamed auditions. The auditions have become known for the judges, who will not hesitate to cut off an unsatisfactory performance with a curt “spasibo!”.
Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest
Belarus’ best ever result at Eurovision was Dmitry Koldun’s 2007 entry “Work Your Magic”, which included gravity-defying staging that predated Sergey Lazarev’s “You Are the Only One”. It placed sixth in the grand final.
However, in recent years Belarus has had mixed fortunes at Eurovision. In the past decade Belarus has qualified for the grand final four times, with the best results being Alyona Lanskaya in 2013 with “Solayoh” and Teo in 2014 with “Cheesecake”, who each placed 16th.
Most recently, the Ukraine pop star Alekseev represented Belarus with the frequently revamped song “Forever”. Despite attention-grabbing staging, the song only placed 16th in its semi-final and didn’t make the grand final
What do you think? What sort of national selection should Belarus use? Would you miss the live auditions if they were cut? Share your thoughts below!