Belarus sends 16-year-old Zena to Eurovision
Belarus is not exactly known for their great results at the Eurovision Song Contest. The country debuted in 2004, the year that the semi final was introduced. They only managed to make it into the big final five times since their first participation. Their best result so far is the 6th place in 2007, achieved by Koldun with his song ‘Work Your Magic’. After Alekseev’s 16th place in his semi final last year, Belarus could really use some more success this time around. 16-year-old Zena won the national final after trying her luck before in the preselections for junior Eurovision. She is going to represent her country with the uptempo pop tune ‘Like It’.
Zena co-composed ‘Like It’ with Yulia Kireeva and Victor Drobysh. They came up with a contemporary pop tune that echoes the sound that made Zara Larsson and Dua Lipa into major pop stars. ‘Like It’ is fast paced, it swings and it has got some major hooks. Sure, by the third time the chorus comes around the repetition of the line ‘yes, you gonna like it’ could get on the nerves, but that should not be too much of a problem for the general Eurovision watching public who only hears the songs once or twice before voting. What could be a problem for Belarus this year however, is that Switzerland, Cyprus and Malta all have songs in a similar contemporary, uptempo pop genre, which are so far all received with more praise than ‘Like It’.
Performance wise, the vocals need to be stronger on stage in May. Zena does a few big notes before the final chorus kicks in and these all need to be spot on to make it work. The choreography during the Belarusian final was on point, but they could easily turn it into something a little bit more surprising and daring without affecting Zena’s vocals too much. As it stands now, the bookmakers give her almost no chance to qualify to the final, but I would no mind hearing this cute little bop again on Saturday night!
Review on Zena’s semi-final performance:
Zena’s cute bop ‘Like It’ is extremely catchy and admitted, a bit simple, but it sure is a guilty pleasure (considering Eurovision itself is a guilty pleasure too, this is some proper guilty pleasure inception). It seems like the rest of Europe did ‘Like It’ too as Belarus qualified against all odds. Zena and her dancers delivered an eye catching high energy performance and the backing vocals helped her out a lot, making sure that the majority of the notes were hit just right. I don’t expect Belarus to play a big part in Saturday’s final, but I am pleasantly surprised they qualified! Now excuse me while I bop to ‘Like It’ once more.
Review on final performance and result:
The 16-year-old singer Zena from Belarus gave us another high energy and vibrant performance of her simple yet effective pop tune ‘Like It’. The backings helped her out with the vocals so she could impress us with a choreography on stage. It turned out juries saved her during the semi-final as she did not reach the top 10 with televoting on Tuesday. In the final she ended up on the 24th spot, but she sure can be proud that she reached the final in the first place.
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