Belarus has decided: it’s Alyona Lanskaya!
Well, another day passes, and we’ve got another name to add to our ever-growing roster of artists for Eurovision 2012. As a special Valentine’s Day gift to ESC Fans, Belarus held the finals of Eurofest today, giving us the name of our 20th act for Baku. And after a decision that split the opinions of the professionals and the public, jury pick Alyona Lanskaya has won the right to represent her homeland.
I hesitate to say that “All My Life”, the song that she performed on stage today, will be what we’ll see in Azerbaijan. Even before the Eurofest Final started, there were rumors that Alyona would be swapping songs if she won. And this isn’t an unprecedented move for Minsk: there was a song-swap last year, due to “Born in Belorussia” having been performed too early (we ended up with “I Love Belarus” in its place). The year before that, 3+2 had their song mysteriously changed from the upbeat “Far Away” to the sappy “Butterflies“. And back in 2005, Angelica Agurbash switched her song “Boys and Girls” to the epic glamazon affair that was “Love Me Tonight“. Until the deadline in mid-March, delegations can basically do whatever they want to do with their entries. But, for the sake of argument, here’s the song that Alyona is (for now) going to be presenting in Baku, “All My Life”:
Alyona is a 26-year old native of Mogilev, who has had a number of festival wins under her belt, and has even been proclaimed “Honored Artist of Belarus” (in fact, she’s the youngest singer to hold the title). She’s not just a purveyor of syrupy ballads; my friends over at Europopped recently pointed out one of her recent singles, “Life is Okay”. (It was actually co-written by the man behind “I Love Belarus”…small world!)
As for me, I’m somewhat gutted that perpetual finalists Litesound didn’t take this year’s crown with “We Are the Heroes“. Coming in second place, I personally think that they had a much stronger song that would be more easily memorable on a Eurovision stage. The crowd’s reaction in the studio was much more vocal, as well. The optimist in me is holding out a flicker of hope that Alyona’s new composition would somehow include her runners-up as her backing band…maybe a collaboration like Litesound’s 2009 submission to Eurofest with Dakota, “Carry On“? Please?