Songwriter Tim Norell is threatening to sue the European Broadcasting Union over allowing Alekseev to compete in Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Speaking to Aftonbladet the songwriter behind “I Will Not Cry”, which placed second in the selection process stated that they are looking to take the European Broadcasting Union and the Belarusian broadcaster to court. The threat comes after the EBU allowed Alekseev to still compete in Lisbon, despite having performed and released a Russian version “Forever”, his song for the contest since May 2017.
Tim Norell stated that;
The EBU does not follow its own rules. How, then, as a songwriter, I will know what is applicable. I’ll let our lawyer look at this
The European Broadcasting Union responded to enquires by Aftonbladet stating;
As in previous years, it is up to each country’s broadcaster to elect an appropriate representative of the Eurovision Song Contest in May. The EBU and the host country’s television company will then ensure that all contributions comply with the competition rules. All potential contributions to the Eurovision Song Contest are reviewed by the EBU prior to the Delegation Manager’s meeting in March, to ensure that the songs follow the rules before they formally qualify for a contest.
Alekseev won the Belarusian selection process topping both the public and jury voting. The singer rose to fame having participated in the Voice of Ukraine and has gone on to be a rising star in Ukraine and the CIS. He had originally entered the Ukrainian selection process for Eurovision 2018, before withdrawing and opting to try and represent Belarus instead.
Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belarus debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and has made it to the final on four occasions. For the past two years, Belarus has failed to make it through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Their most recent entrant, IVAN, finished in 12th place in his semi-final and was 21 points away from qualification. Belarus’ best result in the contest came in 2007 when Dmitry Koldun finished 6th in the final with a total of 145 points. In total Belarus has qualified for the Eurovision final five times in fourteen attempts.