Earlier this month, Belarus hosted the second last National Final of the season on Thursday 7th March 2019 which was won by young singer ZENA and her uptempo pop song 'Like It'. The results of the national final caused controversy across Europe when the results was decided entirely by a 10-person jury, with the public audiences not given a say at all. Since the selection show, the official video for ZENA's song has been struck by nasty comments, trolls and a large dislike to like ratio.
As reported on ESCKAZ, head of Belarussian broadcaster BTRC - Ivan Eismont - has made a statement addressing all of the negative comments towards ZENA and her winning song and outcries that the national selection was rigged:
"This is a real attack, roughly speaking we understand who of the losers of the national selection have started it. And there are two objects of the attack: BTRC, as if someone paid us for something, and this poor child, just 16 years old, who almost wrote the song by herself, came and won. I was the project manager, I swear by my health, that it was an absolutely professional and honest vote."
In addition to this statement, Eismont also added information on why for the first time televoting was removed from the national selection, taking away the voice of the public. Eismont claims that this is actually a result of the artists themselves requesting the change.
"At the request of the artists and producers, we removed the telephone vote, which they themselves used to wind up, it was a vicious cycle, they did not cope with it."
Eismont is also confident that a lot of the negative comments have been part of a planned attack on ZENA.
"And for those who write such comments to the child - I am just ashamed of our people. We later checked, most of these accounts have been newly created. Absolutely planned action. I am ashamed of it, ashamed that the 16-year-old talented singer must face this."
However it is not only negativity surrounding ZENA and her Eurovision Song Contest 2019 entry as at the time of writing this, the official video for the song which you can watch below has amounted over half a million views and 6,700 likes.
Are you a fan of ZENA's song for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know if you'll be supporting Belarus in the comments below or via our social media.