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Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Eurovision Song Contest 2015
Country Belarus
National selection
Selection processNational Final
Selection date(s)26 December 2014
Selected entrantUzari & Maimuna
Selected song"Time"
Selected songwriter(s)
  • Uzari
  • Gerylana
  • Maimuna
Finals performance
Semi-final resultFailed to qualify
(12th, 39 points)
Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2014 2015 2016►

Belarus participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song "Time", written by Uzari, Gerylana and Maimuna. The song was performed by the duo Uzari and Maimuna; Uzari is a singer-songwriter, while Maimuna is a violist. Belarusian broadcaster National State Television and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus (BTRC) organised a national final in order to select the Belarusian entry for the 2015 contest. In a field of fifteen songs, "Time" performed by Uzari and Maimuna won the right to represent Belarus in Vienna, Austria. In the first of the Eurovision semi-finals, Belarus failed to qualify to the final, placing twelfth out of the 16 participating countries with 39 points.

Background

Prior to the 2015 Contest, Belarus had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest eleven times since its first entry in 2004.[1] The nation's best placing in the contest was sixth, which it achieved in 2007 with the song "Work Your Magic" performed by Dmitry Koldun. Since the introduction of a semi-final to the format of the contest in 2004, Belarus had managed to qualify to compete in the final four times. In 2014, Belarus qualified to the final and placed sixteenth with the song "Cheesecake" performed by Teo.

The Belarusian broadcaster for the 2015 Contest, who broadcast the event in Belarus and organised the selection process for its entry, was the National State Television and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus (BTRC).[2] The broadcaster has used both internal selections and national finals to select the Belarusian entry for Eurovision in the past. Since 2012, BTRC has organised a national final in order to choose Belarus' entry.

Before Eurovision

On 8 September 2014, BTRC confirmed that they would participate in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.[3] On 25 September 2014, the broadcaster revealed that it would select the Belarusian entry through a national final.[4]

National final

BTRC organized a national final in order to select the Belarusian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. The competition took place on 26 December 2014 where fifteen songs competed and the winning song was selected by votes from a jury panel and a public televote.[5] The competition was broadcast on Belarus 1 and Belarus 24.[6]

Competing entries

Artists and composers were able to submit their applications and entries to the competition between 21 October 2014 and 21 November 2014.[7] At the closing of the deadline, over 110 entries were received by the broadcaster.[8] An audition round was held on 4 and 5 December 2014 at the BTRC "600 Metrov" studio where a jury panel selected fifteen entries from the 89 attendees to proceed to the televised national final.[9] The audition round was webcast online at the BTRC website.[6] The jury consisted of Vasily Rainchik (musician/composer), Alexander Tikhanovich (singer), Elena Treshchinskaya (head of the radio station "Radius FM"), Olga Ryzhikova (television host), Evgeniy Papkovich (executive producer of the BTRC channel Belarus 1), Andrey Kholodinskiy (music editor at the radio station "Radio-Roks") and Marianna Drabovich (head of the Department of Arts, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus).[9] The finalists were announced on 5 December 2014 during the Belarus 1 program Panorama.[6][9]

Returning artists

  • Alexey Gross (2013) 1 time
  • Daria (2013-2014) 2 times
  • Gunesh (2009, 2012) 2 times
  • Janet (2014) 1 time
  • Napoli (2014) 1 time
  • Tasha Odi (2014) 1 time
  • Uzari (2012-2014) 3 times

Final

The national final took place on 26 December 2014 at the "600 Metrov" studio in Minsk, hosted by Olga Ryzhikova and Denis Dudinskiy.[10] Prior to the competition, a draw for the running order took place on 7 December 2014.[11] A seven-member jury (7/8) and a public televote (1/8) selected the song "Time" performed by Uzari & Maimuna as the winner.[12] The members of the jury were Gennadiy Davidko (BTRC Chairman), Eduard Zaritskiy (People's Artist of Belarus/composer), Marianna Drabovich (head of the Department of Arts, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus), Andrei Mikheev (music critic), Sergei Andrianov (journalist), Elena Treshchinskaya (head of the radio station "Radius FM") and Dimitri Novik (television presenter).[12]

In addition to the performances from the competitors, the show featured guest performances by 2014 Belarusian entrant Teo, 2013 Belarusian entrant Alyona Lanskaya, Drozdy, Victoria Aleshko, Misters, Eliz, Dubravin & Krasovskiy, Aura, 4L and Olga Gornichar.[12]

Draw Artist Song Composer(s) Televote Jury Total Place
1 NAPOLI "My Dreams" Olga Shimanskaya, Aleksey Zubarevich 1,159 7 29 36 6
2 Lis "Angel" Denis Lis, Dmitriy Minin 424 2 17 19 9
3 Daria "Love Is My Colour" Daria, Pavel Baranovsky 193 0 14 14 11
4 Gunesh "I Believe in a Miracle" Gunesh Abasova, Svetlana Geraskova 531 3 59 62 3
5 Muzzart "Only Dance" Vladimir Krutikov, Yana Butskevich 2,862 12 18 30 7
6 Valeria Sadovskaya "Summer Love" Leonid Shirin, Alexei Shirin 403 0 28 28 8
7 Rostany "Electric Toys" Viktor Rudenko 373 0 9 9 13
8 Janet "Supernova" Ylva Persson, Linda Persson, William Taylor 200 0 5 5 14
9 Alexey Gross "Stand As One" Leonid Shirin, Alexei Shirin, Yuri Vashchuk 917 5 40 45 5
10 Milki "Accent" Alexander Rybak, Yaroslav Rakitin 2,226 10 37 47 4
11 Uzari & Maimuna "Time" Yuri Navrotsky, Svetlana Geraskova, Maimuna 1,188 8 68 76 1
12 Beatrees "Fighter" Jamie Sellers 939 6 10 16 10
13 Vitaly Voronko "Drajv" (Drive) Vitaly Voronko, Vladimir Kubyshkin 268 0 1 1 15
14 Anastasia Malashkevich "Don't Save My Name" Pavel Klyshevsky, A. Vahomchik 710 4 62 66 2
15 Tasha Odi "Giving Up Your Love" Ylva Persson, Linda Persson, Peter Hageras, Niclas Haglund 408 1 9 10 12

At Eurovision

Uzari and Maimuna during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. In the 2015 contest, Australia also competed directly in the final as an invited guest nation.[13] The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into five different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[14] On 26 January 2015, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Belarus was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 19 May 2015, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[15]

Once all the competing songs for the 2015 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Belarus was set to perform in position 11, following the entry from Serbia and before the entry from Russia.[16]

All three shows were televised on Belarus-1 and Belarus-24, with commentary by Evgeny Perlin.[17] The Belarusian spokesperson, who announced the Belarusian votes during the final, was 2014 Eurovision entrant Teo.[18]

Semi-final

Uzari and Maimuna at a dress rehearsal for the first semi-final

Uzari and Maimuna took part in technical rehearsals on 12 and 15 May,[19][20] followed by dress rehearsals on 18 and 19 May. This included the jury final where professional juries of each country, responsible for 50 percent of each country's vote, watched and voted on the competing entries.[21]

The stage show featured the vocalist, Uzari, dressed in black and the violinist, Maimuna, dressed in white. The lighting transitioned from red to blue as the performance progressed. The background LED screens displayed an electrocardiogram as well as vibrating strings and strikes of lightning.[19][20] On stage, Uzari was joined by three backing vocalists: Yury Seleznyov, Artyom Akhmash and Denis Lis.[22]

At the end of the show, Belarus failed to qualify to the final and was not announced among the top ten nations.[23] It was later revealed that Belarus had placed twelfth, receiving a total of 39 points.[2]

Voting

Voting during the three shows consisted of 50 percent public televoting and 50 percent from a jury deliberation. The jury consisted of five music industry professionals who were citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury was asked to judge each contestant based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury could be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member were released shortly after the grand final.[24]

Following the release of the full split voting by the EBU after the conclusion of the competition, it was revealed that Belarus had placed thirteenth with the public televote and seventh with the jury vote in the first semi-final. In the public vote, Belarus scored 32 points, while with the jury vote, Belarus scored 65 points.[25]

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Belarus and awarded by Belarus in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[2][26][27][28]

Points awarded to Belarus

Points awarded to Belarus (Semi-final 1)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Points awarded by Belarus