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Eurovision 2010: Belarus

May 8, 2010

Belarus’ Glee-like feel-good anthem might be an entry worth keeping an eye on. Not because it’s necessarily a contender for the winning reprise but because their performance in the results table might beg the question: “What if you’d gone with the other song?”

Basically – and I’m deliberately summarising this as much as I can – there are two television companies involved in Belarus’ contribution this year. The first – ONT – mounted a selection programme in the summer of last year before their membership of the European Broadcasting Union had been confirmed (or indeed, even applied for).

What ONT ended up with was the group we see here – 3+2.

3+2 have gone through a number of different presentation styles and been selected to sing two different songs for Belarus. The first – Far Away – was the song they originally sung in the ONT selection programme ‘Musical Court’ in Belarus. It came second.

However, when it became increasingly apparent that the EBU wasn’t terribly keen on ONT using the ‘Eurovision’ brand in their output given the status of the TV company’s application for membership of the EBU, that programme came to an end.

Alternative TV company BRTC (they’ve worked on all the previous Belarussian efforts) took up the reigns instead, mounting an internal selection, ending up with the group 3+2 and – initially – trumpeting Far Away as the song to represent the country.

Then, on the 19th March, BRTC announce they’ve changed the song and that 3+2 will now sing the song Butterflies instead.

This is all completely above board, obviously. I’m not suggesting otherwise. But having listened to both songs – Far Away and Butterflies – I’m wondering whether BRTC might have shot themselves in the foot.

Butterflies does manage to stop itself from being unforgivably saccharin by some pretty good production and whilst their 2010 song shows a stylistic change from their previous disastrous attempts, it is the way the melody struggles to reach truly memorable heights which makes it unforgettable. It’s not bad. It’s not sickening. It just ‘is’.

In comparison to some of their other entries, Butterflies isn’t a bad stab really although Belarus’ presence in the final may not be a foregone conclusion. On that basis Belarus is definitely one to watch if only to wonder what might have happened if they’d gone with the considerably catchier Far Away.

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