Belarus became the third country to make its selection for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest Friday when it selected “Cheesecake” by pop singer TEO. Did the country make a good choice?
Here’s the thing about Belarus and Eurovision: do not get too attached to either the singer or the song. In 2011, the delegation had to scramble to replace its initial selection because it had been publicly performed prior to the eligibility window.1 In 2012, Alyona Lanskaya was replaced by Litesound due to alleged “voting irregularities” in the national selection.2 In 2013, Alyona once again won the right to represent the country, but her first song “Rhythm of Love” would not have advanced to the Final. “Solayoh” was not fantastic, but at least it advanced.
Anyway, here is this year’s winner of the national selection TEO with “Cheesecake”:
There will be changes. If the song survives, which it shouldn’t, the references to Google Maps will be removed due to potential product placement complaints. However, the lyrics as a whole are not great and there is nothing particularly musical happening with this song. There’s no beat or instrumentation to engage the listener and I have a difficult time understanding what TEO is saying. The song is not quite rap, but I think it’s close enough to fall into the pit of disdain the Contest has toward the genre.
Belarus has a history of approaching Eurovision strategically and making what are usually good decisions to further its position. Also, with a smaller field and a sense of openness in this year’s competition, Belarus could make a move if it can find a better song and/or artist.