The girls in Alexander’s Belarusian band

Alexander with his girls band. The picture is from his official Instagram

Alexander Rybak, who was recently traveling around and auditioning in Belarus, has picked his girl band, which will compete for the right to travel to Eurovision 2015. On his FaceBook page, the musician has posted a video where he announced the names of the winners. “Znamenka” found out the girls’ reactions to the news, how they made it into Rybak’s quintet and also what they will have to go through to make their dreams come true.

Article was published on 06.11.2014.

Author: Nikolaj Machekin. Translation: Marina Rolbin.

Anna Raj

The only issue that Anna Ray from Minsk is worried about is this- how to combine her new job in the group, driver’s ed and classes at the Institute of Culture. Anna is a second year student in the music (vocals) department. Every day she is busy 100% of the time. In the first part of the day she has combined pairs vocals and in the second part- individual.

“I learned about my victory at the driver’s ed school. I accidentally noticed online that someone mentioned me in a video and everyone started congratulating me. At first, I was in a stupor. Then, exhilaration. I immediately dialed my mom’s number. I was at school, so I only left this message: we’ll talk at home.”

Even though Anna knows Alexander (they worked together during the Singing Cities project), she did not think she would win.

“The format of the audition for Eurovision is different from Singing Cities. Sasha mentioned a folklore-type project and I’m a variety performer. I thought that he wouldn’t pick me for the group. So I’m still confused. I do know for sure: it will be interesting and fun- this will be an amazing experience.”


Thanks to her triumph at the audition, Tanya Stahovskaya’s (who’s from Minsk) long time wish came true-to meet Alexander Rybak. Because of the audition, she waited by the doors of the auditorium for eight hours. She admits that she believed in her chances.

“I was walking my dog and saw online on my wall about 50 felicitations. My first thought-what’s happening? When I figured it out, I sat on the sidewalk and called my mom. I told everyone, and was on cloud nine from the excitement and elation.”

Tanya is an expert at two types of song: folklore and variety. But a few years ago, her fate could have been different- her mom was against her daughter picking performance arts as a profession:

“At 17, I was admitted to the MVD Academy, to the department of investigation. I quickly decided that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t tell anyone and sent in my application to the Institute of Arts & Culture. I got in. My mom found out about it after the first semester. She almost passed out. This year, I finished my studies at the department of choir arts. I work at the well-known “Ternitsa” ensemble. Now, my mom is proud of me. She called everyone we know and told them: Tanya got caught by Rybak.”


Victoria Nazarko lives in Grodno and is a fifth year student at the Yanka Kupala Institute in the department of linguistics. Next year, she will specialize in modern foreign languages. She came to Rybak’s audition to show her talent and to have a good time. She likes to participate in competitions.

“I’ve been singing for a long time, I’ve been studying at the “Millenium”, the national stage song studio. My mom is also a musician. When I was a child, we often sang the song “Ay agarodze verba rasla- In the Garden, a Willow Tree Grew”. That’s the song I performed at the audition. Maybe that helped me somehow?”

“When the producers from “Grand Music” called me and told me that they’re waiting for me in Minsk, I thought it was a dream. I actually had just woken up. It took me a few minutes to comprehend what was going on.”

The girl admits that because of the new project, she is ready to skip the lectures at school, but will try to get everything done:

“They’re right when they say: the first semester you work to get good grades, but the last semester, the grades work for you.”

д4Taisiya Serikova, who is from Gomel, received two degrees. The first one, from the N.F. Sokolovskiy College of Arts in the department of choir conducting. The second one, from the Maksim Tanka School of Education. She can work as a choir conductor and a music theory teacher.

“ I used to work in a regular school and then in a music school. I also give private voice lessons. A few days ago, I passed my driving test. I couldn’t believe it and I’m not even talking about Eurovision.”

In order to make it to Rybak’s audition, she had to travel almost 180 km. She went specifically to Mogilev, because Sasha didn’t come to Gomel.

“I was in an online video that one of the guys who helped Alexander organize the auditions, posted. You should have seen how I was jumping around! My mother-in-law heard my first screams. Everyone is very happy for me. My husband is a bit upset- he doesn’t really want to let me leave for a long time.”

д5Marina Putnikova wore a red dress to the audition and was right- Alexander noticed her among the dozens of competitors and invited her into the group. But the reason is not just in her brightly-colored dress- the young lady convinced the winner of Eurovision 2009 with her song:

“When I read the congratulations and saw Alexander Rybak’s video, I was more or less calm. But on the inside, I had a range of emotions. My hands were not shaking yet. It’s a good thing that my mom was sitting nearby.”

Marina graduated from the Mogilev College of Music and currently works at home, in Gorka as a choir instructor.

“My close friends and acquaintances tell me that my life will change drastically. I still don’t understand what’s happening. I will probably comprehend it when I come to Minsk on Nov. 9th to meet with Alexander. I was suddenly struck by great fortune.”


The application process to the national selection for the Eurovision 2015 contest has already begun and will continue until Nov. 25th. A professional jury will listen to all the contestants through December 5th and will select no more than 15 finalists. The name of the winner who will travel to Vienna will be announced on January 23, 2015 (during the TV concert on the Belarus 1 Channel )

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