As a Eurovision competitor, Belarus hasn’t had the best luck. Out of the 13 times the country’s entered the contest since 2004, Belarus has only once scraped a top 10 place. But, could that all change this year? Could their latest entrant, Alekseev transform their fortunes?
Here’s everything you need to know about the 24-year-old performer – and why his song Forever was almost barred from the contest.
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Who is Alekseev?
Full name Nikita Vladimirovich Alekseev, the young singer-songwriter was born in Ukraine. And it’s in his home country where his career took off: in 2014, Alekseev entered The Voice of Ukraine, where he finished as a semi-finalist.
After this, he released Russian-language single Pyanoye Solntse (translating as Drunken Sun), which became a number one hit. Following this, Alekseev was named Breakthrough Artist of The Year at the MUZ-TV Awards (Russia’s version of the MTV awards).
What is Belarus’s Eurovision 2018 song called?
The country is hoping to win with Forever, a ballad written by duo Kyrylo Pavlov and Evhen Matyushenko.
Why was Belarus song Forever almost banned from Eurovision?
Flick through your Eurovision rulebook and you’ll see that songs competing in the 2018 contest shouldn't have been performed prior to September 1 2017. But Alekseev performed Forever, albeit in its Russian version (Navsegda), in May 2017.
Several singers in the Belarus national selection accused Alekseev of cheating and pulled out of the contest.
However, earlier this year, the European Broadcasting Union finally ruled that Alekseev could enter the competition after the singer made a few changes to Forever’s melody.
What will Belarus’s Eurovision 2018 song look like on stage? Is there a rehearsal video?
Alekseev has already taken to the Lisbon Eurovision stage for the technical rehearsals, giving us a sneak peek what to expect come finals night…
How did Belarus fare at the semi-finals?
Alekseev did NOT qualify for the final.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final is on Saturday 8th May, 8pm on BBC1