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Good old Belarus, always good for a bit of controversy. This year marks their 10th participation, but they’ve only qualified for the final twice. That looks set to become an easy three this year with Alyona’s contribution. Alyona was the winner of the Belarusian final last year until the President intervened querying her televoting result and she was bumped in favour of the Litesound boys. To put that into some kind of context for viewers at home, it’s a bit like Tony Blair ordering an inquiry into Terry Wogan’s mistaken announcement of Cyndi ahead of Scooch in the 2007 UK final. She’s got her time this year though, and won the first national final of the season back in early December. This being Belarus though things are never that straightforward, and this time she’s kept her place but not her song, which has been changed. She’ll now Salayoh, a Spanish-hued number that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Summertime Special replete with scantily clad dancing boys mincing around her like 4 big Jessies. It has the possibility of being a summer hit in all those countries where Eurovision music still gets an airing on the wireless and in the beachfront bars, and might well be Belarus’ best chance yet. If Alyona’s voice can hold out whilst she dances it will lend her an extra advantage, although she may cancel that out if she doesn’t manage not to look quite so startled. I don’t see it as being quite so catchy as it’s trying to be though, and whilst it may well be a top 10 finisher I don’t see it as a winner. Minsk will have to wait another year.
My score: 7 points