The EBU has announced that Belarus will no longer take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, following questions regarding their participation over the past couple of weeks.
BTRC had put forward Galasy ZMesta as their representatives this year with the song Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You). However, following significant criticism from the Eurovision community, the EBU asked BTRC to make significant changes to the lyrical content of their entry. Having not made these changes, and having failed to provide a suitable alternative entry, they will no longer compete in Rotterdam in May.
The lyrics were considered to put “the non-political nature of the Contest in question”. They appeared to endorse the presidency of Alexander Lukashenko, which has been contested by Belarusian citizens over the previous months through peaceful protests.
The statement from the EBU mentioned that while BTRC had put forward alternative songs, that these were still in breach of the rules –
39 countries will now compete in Eurovision 2021, following Armenia’s withdrawal. Belarus was due to compete in the first half of the first semi-final.
That Eurovision Site has discussed our position on the coverage of Belarus’ involvement in the contest this year as part of this episode of That Eurovision Podcast. Our statement begins at 1:11:21.
If you would like to read more about the current situation in Belarus, TES contributor Rory Gannon has an article here explaining this.
If you would like to find out about organisations providing support to Belarus, please see helpbelarus.eu.
A previous version of this article was posted with the title “Belarus withdraws from Eurovision 2021”. This has since been changed to more accurately reflect the situation.
News Source: EBU