Belarus Independence Day: Their highest positions on the ESC250 countdown
Today is the Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. The day celebrates the liberation of Minsk during the second World War.
To celebrate their national day, we’re taking a look at Belarus’ entries into every Eurovision fans favourite music chart – the ESC250!
The ESC Radio Top 250 (known as the ESC250) is an annual countdown of the top songs from the Eurovision Song Contest. It has been hosted by online radio channel ESC Radio every New Year’s Eve since 2009.
ZENA – ‘Like It’ (2019)
Highest Position: 228
Belarus’ most recent Eurovision entrant, ‘Like It’, is the first entry on this list. The song was performed by Zinaida Kupriyanovich under the moniker of ZENA.
ZENA has a long history of competing in singing competition. She competed in New Wave Junior 2013, Junior Slavianski Bazaar 2014, and even attempted to represent Belarus in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest by competing in the national final in 2015 (placing 4th) and 2016 (placing 3rd). She then went on to co-host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest when it took place in Minsk in 2018.
‘Like It’ came 24th in the grand final in Tel Aviv last year, and appeared in 228th position in the ESC Radio Top 250 last New Year’s Eve.
Alekseev – ‘Forever’ (2018) Highest Position: 228
‘Forever’ is a Belarusian Eurovision entry that didn’t come without some controversy. Before the national final took place, it was revealed a Russian-language version of the song had been performed before 1 September, 2017 (the Eurovision rules state a song cannot have been publicly released before 1 September of the year prior to the contest), and another national final performer, Sofi Lapina, withdrew from the competition.
The song came 16th in its semifinal in Lisbon, failing to qualify for Saturday night’s grand final. The song also came 228th in the ESC Radio Top 250 the same year.
‘Forever’ is also still a fan favourite in Australia, as it came 54th in OGAE Australia’s recent Top 100 Non-Qualifiers list.
Ivan – ‘Help You Fly’ (2016) Highest Position: 203
He wanted to perform naked with two live wolves on stage, but the EBU refused to allow either request. But we still get to remember Ivan as the wolf-man from the animated wolves that appeared on screen and that one moment in the interval act with Måns Zelmerlöw and a toy wolf.
‘Help You Fly’ might not have qualified for the grand final, coming only 12th in its semifinal in Stockholm, but it was remembered in the hearts of Eurovision fans, as it came 203rd in the ESC Radio Top 250 that same year.
‘Help You Fly’ was also the highest-ranked Belarusian non-qualifier when it came 26th in OGAE Australia’s Top 100 Non-Qualifiers.
Alyona Lanskaya – ‘Solayoh’ (2013) Highest Position: 200
In 2013, Belarusian broadcaster BTRC selected their Eurovision entry through a mix of both a national final (Eurofest) and an internal selection. Ten artists competed in Eurofest, which was won by Alyona Lanskaya (who also beat out future Belarusian representative Uzari).
Alyona’s Eurovision song, ‘Solayoh’, was released three months later, in March.
The entry came 16th in Malmö, and finished 200th in the ESC Radio Top 250 the next year.
Aleksandra and Konstantin – ‘My Galileo’ (2004)
Highest Position: 187
Aleksandra Kirsanova and Konstantin Drapezo form the duet Aleskandra and Konstantin, and together represented Belarus in their debut entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul in 2004.
Together, they beat out fourteen other entries in Belarus’ first national final to gain the honour, including Russia’s 2005 Eurovision entrant Natalia Podolskaya and Belarus’ 2006 Eurovision entrant Polina Smolova.
The duet came 19th in their semifinal in Istanbul, failing to qualify for the grand final on Saturday.
The song debuted in the ESC Radio Top 250 fourteen years after its initial release, coming 187th in 2018.
Dmitry Koldun – ‘Work Your Magic’ (2007) Highest Position: 124
Dmitry Koldun’s ‘Work Your Magic’ holds the title of Belarus’ best performing Eurovision song, when it came 6th in Helsinki in 2007.
But coming 6th on the Eurovision stage isn’t the songs only record for Belarus. ‘Work Your Magic’ is also the Belarusian Eurovision entry with the most appearances on the ESC Radio Top 250 at six appearances since 2011.
The songs highest position on the ESC Radio Top 250 chart is 124th.
Uzari & Maimuna – ‘Time’ (2015)
Highest Position: 106
Singer-songwriter Uzari and violinist Maimuna teamed up to write and perform ‘Time’ in Eurofest 2015, the Belarusian national final for Eurovision.
Uzari had previously attempted to represent Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest on two previous occasions, competing in the Belarusian national finals in 2012 (coming 5th) and 2013 (coming 8th). He also co-composed the Belarusian entry to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 (which came 7th).
In Vienna, the pair came 12th in their semifinal, failing to qualify for Saturday night’s show.
The song came 106th on the ESC Radio Top 250 in 2015. ‘Time’ isn’t only a hit on the ESC Radio Top 250 – the song came 41st in OGAE Australia’s Top 100 Non-Qualifiers.
Teo – ‘Cheesecake’ (2014)
Highest Position: 88
Fans may remember ‘Cheesecake’ for its reference to Google Maps, which had to be changed to “all the maps” for the contest, as the reference to the company was in violation of the rules. Others may just remember it for the dance moves on the stage. But fans remembered the song enough for it to make its way into the annual end-of-year Eurovision marathon.
In Copenhagen, Teo came 16th in the grand final.
‘Cheesecake’ has appeared in the ESC Radio Top 250 twice, coming 168th in 2015 and 88th in 2014.
Anastasia Vinnikova – ‘I Love Belarus’ (2011)
Highest Position: 74
‘I Love Belarus’ wasn’t originally the song planned to be sent to Düsseldorf. The song originally intended to be sent ‘I Am Belarusian’, was withdrawn after it was discovered it had been performed in public in the summer of 2010.
Anastasia came 14th in her semifinal in Düsseldorf.
The song has appeared on the ESC Radio Top 250 three times, coming 179th in 2011, 177th in 2016 and 74th in 2015.
‘I Love Belarus’ also appeared 28th in OGAE Australia’s recent Top 100 Non-Qualifiers.
Naviband – ‘Historyja majho žyccia’ (2017)
Highest Position: 59
Also known by its English title of ‘Story of My Life’, this song marked the first time that Eurovision fans heard the Belarusian language on the Eurovision stage.
The song has appeared on the ESC Radio Top 250 every year since its debut in 59th position in 2017, coming 143rd in 2018 and 150th in 2019.
It’s also loved by Australian fans. The song came 132nd in OGAE Australia’s Hottest 100 in 2019, narrowly missing out on being broadcast. The song is also the only entry from Belarus to make the top 200 in either of the two editions of the Hottest 100 that have been held.