20:11 CET: Hello, everyone, and welcome to escYOUnited’s coverage of the Belarusian national final! For those of you who are new to our live blogs, refresh the page periodically to follow along with the coverage. Hope y’all are ready for a fun evening of performances from Belarus!

20:24: And we’re off! As is typical national final fare, last year’s winners, NAVI, have returned to perform their entry from last year.

20:27: TEO and his co-host are both looking quite smart tonight. You’d almost think that they were attending something understated and tasteful.

20:28: While we’re getting the spiel sounds like a good time to mention that you can join your fellow Eurovision fans on our forum to discuss tonight’s selection!

20:34 Looks like we’re getting underway with our first entry, “Ty i ja” courtesy of Adagio!

20:38: I was not expecting that to go as massive as it did by the end. Maybe the harmonies would need a little work if that were chosen, but there’s a lot of impressive singing on display, including a very long note from one of the group’s members. Onto what is considered a prohibitive (but controversial) pre-show favorite, “Forever” from Alekseev!

20:42: Some odd and dodgy phrasing, but the visual presentation is stunning and could still carry that to a win. Onto Song 3, “Chmarki” courtesy of Shuma!

20:46: A very odd and distinct performance and song from Shuma – maybe that could carry it tonight! After our hosts finish up with their walkie-talkies, we’ll have NAPOLI with “Chasing Rushes!”

20:53: That feels like it could be a sleeper contender. NAPOLI have come close before. The performance and song felt a bit mismatched, but if they can sort that out, they may be on the way to Lisbon. Another perennial contender up next: Anastasia Malashkevich with “World on Fire!”

20:55: One thing that I’m sort of surprised by is how quickly this NF is going. Anastasia marks the halfway point.

20:56: Strong, slightly raspy vocals from Anastasia Malashkevich there. I could see the jury carrying that to victory. Up next is forum favorite Gunesh with “I Won’t Cry!”

21:00: A very strong, if a bit static, performance from Gunesh there. It sort of felt like mid-2000s Eurovision. I wonder if that nostalgia factor could carry it over the line tonight.

21:03: Really enjoying getting treated to Belarus’ answer to…Deal or No Deal? University Challenge? Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Big Brother Kids? here.

21:07: Annnd we’re back! Radiovolna will be up next once the songs get back underway with “Subway Lines.”

21:12: That didn’t really feel like it knew if it wanted to stay intimate like it was at the beginning or go bigger like it did eventually. Belarus have a knack for picking songs with odd structures, though, so I’m not counting it out! Onto “I Don’t Care” courtesy of Alen Hit!

21:16: Alen Hit really brought the energy and, perhaps tellingly, his song felt very Belarus. Lexy is up next with “Ain’t You!”

21:19: Another very odd and unexpected structure for a song, but there’s clear growth on Lexy’s part as a performer since last year. What a difference 12 months makes! Our final performer of the evening is Kirill Good with “Deja Vu!” After he’s finished, we’ll be back to report the results. Thank you very much for joining us this evening!

21:24: Another very energetic performance from Kirill to wrap things up. Thank you all for following along with escYOUnited, and we’ll see you after the show to talk results!

Image courtesy of eurovision.tv

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