Belarus’ 2016 Eurovision Entry
Now you’ll have heard about this one. This is “Ivan” – the guy who’s said that he’s planning to perform naked surrounded by live wolves. I suppose part of me has always wanted to know the Belarussian for “Help! – wolves have eaten all my clothes and are starting to sniff at my genitals!” This could be a very useful phrase to memorise in a very extreme set of circumstances.
But I’ve checked and “Ivan” is going to be singing in English anyway. And the lyrics themselves make no reference to any aspect of the experience of running naked with wolves.
Not that it will probably matter, because the stuffy ol’ Eurovision supremos are threatening to stop him expressing himself as he sees fit. It turns out the problem isn’t the nudity (this is Sweden after all), but the animal welfare considerations. Apparently it’s considered cruel to force real wolves to sit through Eurovision.
It’s easy to see why Ivan has been spouting the nudie wolf malarkey cos he’s going to have to come up with something if he’s going to stand out. 2016 is shaping up to be the year of beautiful men with very long hair. And the song itself… well – I’ve played a few times and I can’t really hum it. It doesn’t have that kind of basic mnemonic competence.
Another way of looking at it… think of Ivan’s point of view. This guy hails from the most repressive regime in Europe. He’s enjoying the hospitality of (arguably) the least repressive regime in Europe. You’re going to want to make this circumstance count somehow – now aren’t you? Now I suspect Sweden is far more liberal about nudity than Belarus, but Belarus is probably more laid back about cruelty to wolves. Of course, if you’re a wolf then you’d contest such definitions of “liberalism”. But wouldn’t you want to test the limits of freedom to its uttermost if you were a Belarussian in Sweden?
The video offered is just a performance video, bereft of real wolves or nudity. This is obviously disappointing and does not bode well for those hoping for vulpine inflected nakedness on stage in Stockholm. I mean, if you can’t get naked with wolves in a video (where parts of you can be tastefully obscured and the wolves digitally edited in) then you’re unlikely to be able to do it on stage.
So I don’t think Ivan’s going to be running in the buff with the pack in Sweden. But he might just let down a shoulder strap and woof a bit – just to tease his way through the semi-final so that folks are curious to see how far he’ll go during the final itself.
My understanding is that prisoners in Swedish jails enjoy rather more personal freedom than most law-abiding citizens in Belarus.
In the meantime, here is Israel:
You might prefer this GameofThronesy offering from Switzerland
Here, on the other hand, is Poland.
And here’s cheery Latvia,
Someone else who doesn’t look cross at all is Malta’s representative –
Meanwhile, I found Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhat intriguing this year – see below…
More interesting than Montenegro, anyhow
Far, far more conventional is Azerbaijan
More chillingly, here is Estonia
But here, by way of some (but not much) relief is Cyprus
On a lighter note, see the Czech Republic’s offering…
San Marino – folks…
Meanwhile, here’s the Netherlands…
Here’s Austria by the way…