VAL will not be singing for Belarus at Eurovision 2021

| September 26, 2020

It has been confirmed that Belorussian duo VAL will not be returning to Eurovision 2021 for Belarus after relations between the duo and the Belorussian broadcaster BTRC have broken down due to political reasons surrounding the situation that is ongoing in Belarus at the current time, as well issues regarding their contract.

VAL and BTRC have both released statements on the matter. In an interview with IL, VAL appeared to be rather critical of the Belorussian broadcaster, and the way that they had been treated by them, claiming that BTRC had become distant with them. They went on to mention that they had an “unspoken agreement” with the broadcaster who controlled who they could talk to, and where they could perform.

"We almost signed it. But we had an unspoken agreement. For example, we could not give interviews to individual journalists or appear on some channels. It turns out that we have already broken this rule."

Valeria

We knew that if we didn’t show up at such a concert, then with a 99% probability they would choose a new artist next year. This is intimidation that is not directly discussed, but implied. Is it really? We could take a chance and check, but we wanted to represent Belarus at the competition, so we had concerns.

Vlad

After this interview, the broadcaster hit out at VAL, saying: “After reading the interview, we want to say only one thing. The VAL group will really not go to Eurovision 2021 and this will happen not because something “broke” on BT or the censorship is raging, but because the artists of the VAL group have no conscience.”

VAL did not have an official contract with BTRC, only an “unspoken agreement” as such, which the broadcaster pointed out.

"The contract, which is concluded between Belteleradiocompany and the representative of Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest, does not contain any requirements for participation or non-participation in concerts, whether public or private.In standard contracts, it is purely about the preparation and participation in the competition, participation in television projects is provided. But we did not contact the VAL group for any reason. We would like to emphasize that Belteleradiocompany has nothing to do with the organization of Slavianski Bazaar concerts, as well as state events with the participation of artists.Sometimes we act as a broadcaster at such events. And this is the maximum. We do not care where you performed, perform and will perform."

The broadcaster also had a lot to say about VAL’s claims that they were distant with them, and didn’t offer them much support with regards to their Eurovision 2020 journey.

"The "remote" work of BT consisted in the fact that we had negotiations with some of the best directors of Eurovision. As a result, the performance for the artists was to be directed by the director of the winner of Eurovision 2014, Conchita Wurst, and the performance of Austria at Eurovision 2018 (3rd place), Marvin Dietman, and the famous Cypriot Alex Panayi was to become the vocal teacher. At the same time, Belteleradiocompany was ready to pay for the work of specialists, which is not necessary under a contract. And this is not to mention the numerous broadcasts and diaries of Eurovision, which became additional PR for the artists. We did it all from the heart. In vain."

VAL were due to represent Belarus at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam with their song “Da Vidna”, but unfortunatley were unable to do so due to the cancellation of the contest. 

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