It’s the national selection that’s known for throwing up some truely off-the-wall performances. And, although it’s set to undergo a revamp in 2020, interest in Belarus’ Eurovision selection remains high.
Broadcaster BTRC has received a total of 95 entries. On top of that, Belarusian media reports that several familiar names are on the list of submissions.
This year, entrants need to possess a Belarusian passport or residence permit, as well as actually live in Belarus. This means that foreign acts — such as 2018 rep Alekseev — can no longer enter the competition.
But with 95 songs, the TV network still has plenty to choose from. The country’s leading newspaper KP reports that national final veterans such as Angelika Pushnova, Alen Hit, AURA, NAPOLI, Vitaly Voronko, Alexey Gross and Janet are all in the mix. Belarusian singers are, after all, not afraid to try twice — or five times — to represent their country at Eurovision.
Belarus Eurovision 2020: Submissions
National final veterans NAPOLI and AURA both participated in Belarus’ most recent selection, finishing seventh and eight respectively. Angelika Pushnova finished ninth in Belarus’ 2017 final with “We Should Be Together”. She attempted a comeback with “Fighting for Love” in 2018 but missed the cut.
Alexey Gross and Vitaly Voronko both recently enjoyed international success, but have faired less well in the preselection.
Alexey Gross won Slavianski Bazaar in 2016 — which was previously won by Eurovision stars such as Ruslana, Zeljko Joksimovic and Donny Montell — but failed to reach the final of the Belarusian preselection in 2018.
Vitaly Voronko appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, reaching the semi-finals. After appearing and finishing last in the 2015 selection, Vitaly unsuccessfully tried once more with an ode to the potato in 2019. He truly is a man who never gives up.
Amidst all the confirmations, there is one glaring omission. It seems that Georgiy Koldun — the brother of Belarus’ most successful Eurovision act Dimitry Koldun — did not send in a song after all. The X Factor Ukraine runner-up previously told reporters that he was thinking of potentially submitting an entry.
Belarus’ Eurovision 2020 selection: Format changes
While the live auditions are set for 27 January, they won’t be open to all. The broadcaster will pre-screen applicants and choose the ones they want to see. Previously, it had been a free-for-all in which every single entrant had an opportunity to perform.
After the live auditions, a focus group will select approximately 12 acts to compete in the national final.
Unlike the 2019 edition, where the winner was decided by jury vote alone, the 2020 final will see the televote return. The broadcaster says the winner will be determined by a mixture of jury vote and televote.
BTRC hasn’t given a date for the national final, but notes that it will be held no later than 6 March — the last Friday before the Eurovision 2020 entry submission deadline of 9 March.
Are you excited about any of those names? Are you looking forward to see the auditions? Let us know in the comments below!
Read all Belarus Eurovision 2020 news here