Normally Belarus received around one hundred entries into its national final, but this year numbers are down. Belarus state broadcaster BTRC has revealed in the broadcast of Panorama that they received “around half a hundred” entries for Eurovision 2021.

Receiving “around half a hundred” entries — which could mean anything — is a record low. Usually, BTRC tends to receive a stable number of around a hundred entries per year.

Last year, the broadcaster received 95 entries. However, the hopefuls then had have citizenship or residenship in the country. In 2019, the most recent year when international artists could enter, BTRC received 113 entries.

If we compare the number of entries submitted to BTRC this year to last year — and assume that “half a hundred” is around 50 — we can see a decline by about a half. If we compare it to 2019, the decline is even sharper.

How can Belarus’ sudden decline in Eurovision entries be explained?

Since the start of the pro-democracy protests in Belarus, many locals have critiqued the coverage of BTRC on the matter. Several reports made by the Belarusian state broadcaster shortly after the election of 9 August tended to portray the peaceful protesters as “hooligans”.

As a result of these events, a number of people involved in the Belarusian music and television industry withdrew themselves from involvement with BTRC.

In August, longtime Eurovision commentator Evgeny Perlin resigned from his role at BTRC. Artists, on the other hand, have simply refused to take part in television programmes made by the broadcaster.

On top of that, the broadcaster decided to not send Eurovision 2020 contestants VAL again after they had spoken to an independent publication in September, stating that they wanted to able to say what they want. BTRC told the protest-supporting duo they did not have a “conscience”.

As BTRC completely produces the Eurovision selection, it is logical that some artists do not want to enter. Seven-time national final entrant NAPOLI, who announced her refusal to take part in the selection.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian Culture Solidary Foundation has put out a call to the EBU to remove BTRC from participating in the contest. Telegraph.by reported that former Eurovision contestants NAVIBAND and Angelica Agurbash have supported this call.

BTRC is the only Belarusian broadcaster with EBU membership.

How will Belarus select its entrant for Eurovision 2021?

The broadcaster earlier confirmed that the usual live auditions would not be used in 2021, with entrants required to submit a live video performance of their song.

At the same time as revealing the number of entries, BTRC also repeated that the format of the selection is still very much up in the air.

In Panorama, it was reported that “the mechanism of choosing the winner of the ‘project’ would depend on a lot of different factors, and partially on the developments of the pandemic in the world”.

With this, BTRC has once again not ruled out that it might go internal after all. Last year, they internally selected their entrant for Junior Eurovision for the first time.

What do you think? How should BTRC select their act for Rotterdam? Who would you like to see represent Belarus? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read all our Belarus Eurovision news here

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sami
sami
3 months ago

Maybe stop being dictatorship mouthpiece, sis. Just a tips

Jo.
Jo.
3 months ago

probably 5 then

Linus
Linus
3 months ago

Can we all write to Daz Sampson and Katya Oceans instagram and tell them what we think? i will. JOIN ME!

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Linus

Why? They can make up their own mind about trying Eurovision or whatnot. Their own agency.
Going after them on their IG when it’s clear from the interview they gave wiwi that they are aware of what it’s said about them.

Linus
Linus
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

She is A SUPER PRO Lukasjenko supporter, She dont CARE. He does. So i feel sorry for him. NOT HER.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

That’s what they deserve. I’m glad that at least the regular journeyman NF songwriters seem to largely be putting their foot down. If they send an act like Daz, it’ll just confirm the obvious: they’ll only be representing BTRC, not Belarus.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I also think it’s worth noting that in spite of this “anyone-from-anywhere-can-apply” format, Belarus has mostly sent locals. As far as I recall, the only non-Belarusians to represent them have been Robert Wells from 2010 (Swedish, and he wasn’t even the main focus of the act) and Alekseev from 2018 (Ukrainian).

Ricky Gervais
3 months ago

And that includes Daz. Oh God help them.

Una
Una
3 months ago

Interview with Daz and Katya on the wiwi youtube channel!!

euroboy
euroboy
3 months ago

Guys please support people of Belarus and urge that EBU eliminate the public broadcaster. I am from a country in Balkans which is also corrupted and I know it means a lot when the international pressure is put.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago
Reply to  euroboy

Thanks. I’m curious: Does your country currently have a broadcaster that is an EBU member? If yes, how was the prior situation resolved?

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I feel like the answer might be Montenegro but i can’t speak for Euroboy.

euroboy
euroboy
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

It’s RTS, the Serbian state broadcaster who has censored everything that has opposed the government. During the protests in July last year after the lockdown was imposed just after the elections were held (you know Corona wasn’t present during elections LOL). RTS didn’t want to show footages of protests even though it all happened near their headquarters. Basically we were held like prisoners with long curfews and when the elections were coming they behaved like Corona doesn’t exist and everything is ok, when the elections ended we were told that they are reintroducing it again. Eminent world media have informed… Read more »

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  euroboy

Man, that’s terrible. I will say you’re not quite the North Korea of Europe because you’re at least free to complain about how bad the situation is. The closer equivalent might be Azerbaijan (or, y’know, Belarus).

Last edited 3 months ago by Joe
Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago
Reply to  euroboy

Thanks, and my sympathies go to you. I don’t know enough about the current situation to comment properly on RTS, so I will let that subject go.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  euroboy

I knew the things are not ideal, as I’ve been to Belgrade 2 years ago. I’ve seen marches going through the city on Saturday afternoon and a neighbor told us it’s been going on for weeks. I didn’t know that the things are still going this south. As Serbia is a country I’m very attached to (I am quarter Serbian myself), I sincerely wish you all the best and for things not to get as bad as they are in Belarus. Serbia is a wonderful country and I’ll gladly return there. Hugs from Croatia. 🙂

Emkay
Emkay
3 months ago

I mean…there IS a global pandemic right now. Kind of makes sense if you ask me.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

What’s EBU’s stance on Belarus again?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

August 2020 statement: EBU Director General Noel Curran says: “Against the backdrop of recent events, the EBU strongly demands that freedom of expression in Belarus is respected as a fundamental human right provided in numerous international instruments, including Art 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Art 19 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Art 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). “Journalists have to be free to do their job without fear of violence and intimidation and we are deeply concerned by recent incidents in Belarus. The people in Belarus have… Read more »

Grft
Grft
3 months ago

Half a hundred? Wtf

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
3 months ago

“Receiving “around half a hundred” entries — which could mean anything”

Come on – anyone who reads the slightest tiny bit of English knows what this means – it means “around 50”.

Poor blogging here, very poor

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
3 months ago

To be honest, I think Belarus should take a break and return when in a context of democracy and turmoil

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
3 months ago
Reply to  Lorenzo Celli

I mean it could be 30, it could be 70

Lorenzo Celli
Lorenzo Celli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lorenzo Celli

Sorry, I mean WITHOUT turmoil

Last edited 3 months ago by Lorenzo Celli
Ed Jones
Ed Jones
3 months ago

‘Half a hundred’ ahhhh Belarus. Never change.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
3 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

well, even the blogger/author here is having trouble understanding basic English

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Denali Danesh

What’s the language of Belarus again?

esc_fl
esc_fl
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Belarussian technically, but most speak Russian.

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  esc_fl

Yes of course. My point was that the lovely author of this article quoted information from a non-English language source. Her English is just fine. The original text must have had the “around half a hundred”.
Criticizing her for *that* is poor taste. Lame, actually.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
3 months ago

Belarus’ dwindling number of internal entries demonstrates how far the country’s authoritarianism has extinguished cultural expression.

I hope positive change comes as soon as possible, for the people of Belarus and for all of the country’s artists.

Jamie
Jamie
3 months ago

Whatever the broadcaster will choose, it should come last in the semi. These artists do not represent Belarus and do not care about the future of Belarus. They are clout-chasers.

NickC
NickC
3 months ago

We know who will come dead last in the semi.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Will the general audience know or even remember by May?

NickC
NickC
3 months ago
Reply to  Badwoolfgirl

This is nothing about that. Yes some audience will remember, but what kind of talent do you think brutal autocracies attract? Are you expecting to find a masterpiece among the 50 submissions?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago

If the entries only halved, then the political situation against the broadcaster is not unanimous. However, it is still enough of a blow for them to reconsider their position in ESC. Let’s see what happens.

Jamie
Jamie
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Of course it’s not unanimous, when you fill the selection with imported Russians and rejected UK artists.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Ah snap, we had the same thought at exactly the same time! 😀

Last edited 3 months ago by Jimmy Smit
Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Ahaha, yes, indeed! 😀
P.S. I think this might become embarrassing for the UK, especially if one of our musicians is selected under these circumstances. Ouff

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I remember Daz’s comment about Silvia Night after her performance; something like, “She’s the first Eurovision act to get booed like that, and I think it’s deserved.” Well, pal, you might be on your way to being the next.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

It’s worth considering how many of those entries are from non-Belarussians though.

Una
Una
3 months ago

Curious to know who will represent Belarus. Songwriters. Song. The easiest on everyone will be a foreing artist and a foreign team. Someone powerful enough not to care backlash. Because there is only that much that “love for music” and “culture” and “being a human” and “solidarity” and “being positive in trying times” and “unity” can do.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Daz Sampson and Katya Ocean!!! Yes, their song is awful, but it’s kinda fun. It’s a semi-fun last place. 😉

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

🙂 I can’t wait for the official confirmation.

Daz Sampson
Daz Sampson
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

thank you for your words of wisdom

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Daz Sampson

Thank you, kind sir. It’s a guilty pleasure for me in a ”so bad it’s good” way. But I do unironically enjoy Teenage Life. It has a nice nostalgic vibe. All the best.

Una
Una
3 months ago

“Around half a hundred entries” – around four dozen entries / around 50 entries / around five tens entries / around 10 + 40 entries / around 1.234.567 – 1.234.517 entries. Who said Maths is not creative?

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

You mean (sqrt(log100000+e^ipi))/(2!*(sin30/625^0.5)) entries?

Last edited 3 months ago by Skiwalko
Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

“Da”!! But not the “Da” from “Da Vidna”. I meant “yes” to your question 🙂 Granted if the Belarusian word is the same as in Russian.

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

“Da”!! But not the “Da” from “Da Vidna”. I meant “yes” to your question 🙂 Granted if the Belarusian word is the same as in Russian.

Denali Danesh
Denali Danesh
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

nope – the author/blogger here still doesn’t understand that

“which could mean anything”

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Denali Danesh

BLUE HEAVEN!!

‘Belarus state broadcaster BTRC has revealed in the broadcast of Panorama that they received “around half a hundred” entries for Eurovision 2021.’

“around half a hundred” is quoted in the article from the statement of the broadcaster.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
3 months ago

The broadcaster needs to reach out to regional artists. I’m thinking MARUV.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
3 months ago

Because maruv would like to represent a foreign authoritarian dictatorship very much..

Last edited 3 months ago by Frisian esc
Erasmus
Erasmus
3 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

like Ukraine isn’t just that with a touch of democracy.

Cameron
Cameron
3 months ago

It’s as if she never said “I will only ever represent Ukraine”

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

I don’t think anyone would accept that offer.

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Someone will. Whether for “money”. Or for a certain “status” that participation in Eurovision offers. Or both. Or just because “I love Eurovision so much that …”.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Those who think of participating for Belarus should better read the room. There is no status in representing the country under these particular circumstances. It’s not a “career move” to speak of. Do they want people to remember them as *that* artist? Pleaz, no.

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 months ago

yeah I don’t think an open call was the right decision I really doubt there are good songs in the mix.. lowkey not even decent, 90% are probably just straight up bad.. they need to really consider picking an artist internally – it’s not too late I hope.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

Bang

Lollipopmonster
Lollipopmonster
3 months ago

It’s a shame, I am against this dictatorship in Belarus and against its leader – but over the years I have always enjoyed looking at the national selection. In my opinion Belarus should send the singer KAZNA with the song “Braids” … then qualification for the final would be possible.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

She should get those braids off, she hasn’t earned them! She should do a poneytail instead.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
3 months ago

Oh no, anyway

Last edited 3 months ago by Ashton Schier