Continuing with the series of “What If…?” (I’ll spare you the horror of myself singing ‘What If”), I’ll take you to Belarus, where I’ll pose the question: “What if Alyona Lanskaya sang ‘Rhythm of Love’ and would it have done better than ‘Solayoh’ at Eurovision?” and get your views on the debate!
If you’re a Eurovision fan, you’ll know that 27-year-old Alyona tried to represent Belarus in 2012, and despite winning the national final, she was disqualified after Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko declared an investigation into the voting and it was revealed that the voting was rigged and so, Alyona was stripped of the role of representing Belarus and it was given to the band Litesound, who would finish in 16th place in their semi-final at Eurovision. But this year, Lanskaya was determined to represent her country and she entered the national final again with ‘Rhythm of Love’, a pop/dance track, which fans mostly approved of (apart from the fast flute-like sound that was heard through certain parts of the song). She easily won the national final and this time, she really would represent Belarus! If you’ve never heard the song, here’s Alyona performing the song at Eurofest!
However, a month or so after she won the national final, rumours emerged that she would scrap ‘Rhythm of Love’ and instead, sing another song she had recorded at Abbey Road Studios, where other popular singers, like the Beatles, have recorded their songs. For that time, ‘Rhythm of Love’ was forgotten about until the new song was revealed. This song was ‘Solayoh’.
This Latin-influenced track completely overshadowed its predecessor as it went on a tour around Europe, leaving ‘Rhythm of Love’ in the dark (which is ironic, as ‘Solayoh’ is about a planet where the sun NEVER sets!). By the time May came around, fans had gotten so used to ‘Solayoh’, that they were convinced it was going to do really well. And it did! Belarus qualified for the third time in the history of its participation in Eurovision, coming in 7th place in the semi-final! It’s position in the final, however, wasn’t as pleasing to see. Even her reasonably good-looking dancers couldn’t help her do that well as she came in a dismal 16th place.
So ‘Solayoh’ was a reasonably successful song for the country, but what would happen if ‘Rhythm of Love’ represented Belarus instead of ‘Solayoh? Well, for me, I had always loved the song and I was very disappointed when it was revealed that Alyona would change the song because when it was released as the Belorussian entry, fans were very happy with the choice and were looking forward to what was to come of the performance. But as Belarus was the first country to pick its song, it would eventually fall down as one the favourites of many fans as more songs would be selected to represent their respective country. Luckily, Belarus was drawn into semi-final 1, along with many of the other ex-Soviet countries (apart from Latvia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and so, would get votes from its geographical location. As well as that, the song contained some Eastern European influences and that would be appealing to the countries that would listen to that kind of music. The stage performance, especially at Eurofest, would have gotten votes for the song too. Given that the country was among the many ex-Soviet countries in the semi-final, the song would qualify from the semi-final, but would probably finish near the bottom of the table, as the Western countries are usually reluctant to vote for Belarus. So, the result would be very much like ‘Solayoh’, but a little worse.
Which song would you have preferred Alyona to sing at Eurovision? ‘Rhythm of Love’ or ‘Solayoh’?
Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: Both are good, but Rhythm of Love has more edge…
Rigmo Kannike from Estonia: Solayoh; because its catchier and we got to see a giant disco ball on stage for absolutely no reason!
Tomislav Tota from Croatia: I would say Solayoh, it’s kinda more catchy
Aydin Agayev from Azerbaijan (or Azerjaban, depending on your sense of humour): I liked both but Solayoh was the best. Because in Solayoh, they have beautiful rhythm and looks like a disco song.
So, since ‘Solayoh’ replaced ‘Rhythm of Love’, the song has charmed the fans into their hearts! What would you think if ‘Rhythm of Love’ was the song for Belarus this year instead of ‘Solayoh’? Tell us by leaving a comment below!