14-year-old Helena Meraai is set to represent Belarus at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017, but who is she and what do we know about her?
Helena Meraai was born on May 2, 2003 and is 14 years old, she currently lives in Minsk, Belarus. Her mother is Belarusian while her father is from Syria. The young singer is no stranger to the stage having been performing since she was six years old. Aside from being a talented singer she also plays the piano and writes songs.
Last year the young singer took part in the Voice Kids in Russia, going on to be selected by the winner of Eurovision 2008, Dima Bilan to join his team. She made it through to the Battle Rounds before being knocked out. She went on to take part in New Wave Junior later in 2016 representing Russia as part of “Trio EV’YA”, they went on to finish joint victors in the contest.
She has been coached by Olga Drozdova, who is a Peoples Artist of Russia and has worked with a number of singers who have gone on to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. At this years contest in Tbilisi, Helena will be performing the song “Ya samaya”. The song was written and composed by Rita Dakota and Vlad Sokolovsky. Rita who is Belarusian and Vlad who is Russian are married and both competed in the seventh series of Star Factory.
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Belarus debuted at the first edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, and have been present at every contest since. To date, Belarus have won the contest twice – first in 2005 with Ksenia Sitnik and her song “My Vmeste”, which received 149 points, and the second time in 2007 with Alexey Zhigalkovich and his song “S Druz’yami”, which received a total of 137 points. Their worst entry came from Egor Volchek and his song “Spjavajtse So Mnoj” in 2004, which received only 9 points. Belarus have placed in the top 3 a total of 5 times to date.