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Oh, those Belarussians……!

Posted by Caroline on March 5, 2011

To say our jaws hit the floor when we heard this year’s effort from the mighty nation of Belarus is an understatement. Having only recently recovered from last year and their majestic butterfly wings, possibly the most amateur-ish special effect ever witnessed on a Eurovision stage (yet somehow they still managed to beat the United Kingdom, what was that all about exactly?), this year’s effort actually rendered us speechless (and not a lot of things do that, we can assure you). Probably because we’ve never actually heard a disco anthem extolling the virtues of the former Soviet Union, which is exactly how Anastasia Vinnikova’s Born In Bielorussia sounded when we first heard it earlier this week.

Everything about this whole enterprise, from the song itself to the actual video clip, is so wrong that it somehow ends up so right – in spite of ourselves and the fact we have vowed to give short shrift to any song which sounds as though it might have been at home in the 1984 contest, we have been walking around singing ‘BIELORUSSIA, USSR’ very loudly at inopportune moments all week. Which has earned us plenty of funny looks on public transport but should give you some idea of the ridiculous effect this song has had on us.

But we can’t quite put our finger on what it is that makes this such a moment to treasure, in spite of the nonsensical song. The fact that she is singing a disco-tastic anthem yet is standing alone on stage swaying slightly (surely some dancers might have helped? Some choreography? Oh never mind)? The somewhat bored looking audience who appear to be sitting there in total silence with rather glazed over expressions? The shouty backing chants from what sounds like an entire army of Cossack singers, yet none actually appear on stage? That strange man watching the performance who seems to be doing a turtle impression throughout? (we would hazard a guess he appears to be enjoying himself because he is watching something else).

It’s all so ridiculous as to be utter genius….and we WOULD have even put Minsk 2012 down as a VERY long shot for next year were it not for the fact that some enterprising person somewhere has decided to change the lyrics to make it ‘more contemporary’. Yes! Gone are the bits about being back in the USSR! In comes some nonsense about being Belarussian and ‘feeling it in my mind’. Er, in doing so haven’t you just removed the unique selling point of the song?????? Yes, it was rubbish, but in its original version had a certain offbeat charm. Now it’s just a boring old disco track with some slightly self-promotional lyrics.

It’s not the first time that Belarus have done this of course – they had a cracker of a song in 2008 with Hasta La Vista, only for them to change it from a dance track to a rock song and promptly sink without trace. Of course Hasta La Vista may now be an appropriate reaction to Anastasia’s song, since we now predict that the Belarussians are going to come last. Or at the very least struggle to make it out of the semi-final. Better draft in that Cossack chorus, pronto…..

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One Response to “Oh, those Belarussians……!”

  1. NickS said

    Hey, this is one of my faves so far purely for its eurovisioness… also, they didnt make it modern for no reason, the original had to be changed because it was performed before it was meant to or the like – but im sure you mentioned that somewhere else.

    Anywho, keep up the good work!

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