giggle Oh Belarus…
Behold TEO and “Cheesecake”:
The core concept, the backing singers’ visual aids, the Bugs Bunny samba dance moves… everything about this performance from the Belorussian national selection is a comedy goldmine.
Singer-songwriter TEO (real name: Yuriy Vashcuk or Yuri Vashchuk, depending on the source) is known to Belorussian Eurovision fans if not by name then by reputation. He has the unfortunate distinction of having composed a string of Belarus publicly-selected-but-ditched songs (2010: 3+2’s “Far Away”, 2012: Alyona Lanskaya’s “All My Life”, 2013: Alyona Lanskaya’s “Rhythm of Love”). He also competed with Anna Blagova in the 2009 national selection. After all that, one might say he deserves a break. (“One” in this context includes the Belorussian jurors, who overrode the public televote to give TEO the win over Max Lorens.)
TEO’s songwriting talent is on fine display in this outing as well — this tune has a great groove. However, what everyone will focus on is the title and the lyrics, the tacky, unbelievably silly lyrics:
I don’t wanna be a toy in your hands today
I don’t wanna be your boyfriend, it’s too late
I look over Google Maps trying to escape
Cuz I’m tired of being your sweet cheesecake
I gotta admit it, boyfriend as sweet cheesecake is a new metaphor for me. So, TEO, thank you for that. He also name drops Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, but I think we all know in our hearts that’s no shout out to Andy Kaufman. One does wonder if the reference to Google Maps will need to be changed. Of course one also wonders, given Belarus’ habit for replacing its original choice, whether the whole thing will be changed.
In a time where countries are taking the contest more seriously, Belarus is unabashedly holding out as an oasis of kitsch. That’s hardly a bad thing because, damn, this song is fun. And come on, on the night don’t we all want our WTF moments?
UPDATED 14 FEBRUARY 14: As suspected, TEO has announced a lyric change for the Google Maps reference. According to EBU rules entrants are not allowed to reference commercial brands. The new lyric is “all the maps,” and frankly, we think that works better. TEO has remained adamant that he will not be switching to a different song. Baby, you do you. Heaven knows they owe you one.