The Scoop

Drama in Belarus as Sofi Lapina withdraws over Alekseev controversy

One of the Belarussian finalists, Sofi Lapina, has just revealed in an online forum that she has withdrawn from the Belarussian selection. Why? Because of the unfair leniency given to fellow contestant Alekseev!
Sofi was going to take part in the Belarussian final with the song Gravity, co-produced by Petr Elfimov who represent Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. However, she had found it very difficult to find a song to send, because all her songs that she originally wanted to send had been performed in concerts or made available online. Gravity was just the last resort.

Now, Sofi is furious that Alekseev is allowed to use his song in the contest, despite it being performed before the 1 September deadline!

Sofi’s statement

The announcement was made on Euroforum, a Russian Eurovision forum, just hours after the draw for the running order took place:

Alekseev is not ashamed to lose in a fair competition. To all of us, losing is not shameful. But not in this situation. I won’t be humble and ask for a replacement song, and I say this with emotion.

I have decided by myself to withdraw. I’ve only left this until now for the open letter we made. Dumping the rest is not pretty. Therefore, I will be at BTRC tomorrow. But my decision is final. Thank you so much for your support.

The Alekseev controversy

Last month, Alekseev announced his intention to take part in the Ukrainian national selection. However, he chose to withdraw, submitting his entry instead to the Belarussian selection. Nevertheless, news broke prior to the live auditions that Alekseev had performed the Russian-language version of his entry all the way back in May 2017!
Many of the other Belarussian finalists, including Sofi, signed an open letter appealing for Alekseev’s disqualification. You can find all the details about that and read the letter for yourself here.

Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018

Belarus’ national final will take place on the 16 February. 10 acts will compete for the right to represent Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, and the current big favourite to win is Alekseev, despite the controversy described above!
Last year, Naviband represented Belarus with Story of my Life. They came 17th in the final with 83 points.
What do you think of Sofi’s withdrawal? Would you have done the same in her situation? Should Alekseev be made to change his song or even disqualified?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

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