Russia made an internal selection as in previous years, as all of the entries reached Top 10 positions. The Russian broadcaster RTR has chosen Sergey Lazarev with the song “You Are The Only One”, which has been written by the ESC composer guru Dimitris Kontopoulos and the drama queen Philip Kirkorov. Both composers have written several entries for Eurovision entrants such as "Work Your Magic" (Belarus), "Shady Lady" (Ukraine), "This Is Our Night" (Greece), "Hold Me" (Azerbaijan) and "Shine" (Russia).
Sergey Lazarev, whose original name is Sergei Wjatscheslawowitsch Lasarew was born in Moscow in 1983. Since his early childhood he has been studying singing, dancing and rhythmic sports gymnastics, joined a children’s choir and a band called Neposedi. In 2001 he has been founding the boy group Smash, which went under contract by Universal records. This band has been selling albums worldwide also in Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In parallel Sergey has also been working on his solo career and studied drama at the drama school in Moscow. In 2008 he tried to enter the national final in Russia for the ESC with the song “Flyer” which came 4th, when Dima Bilan made the race with “Believe”.
The song “You Are The Only One” is an up-tempo pop song which is already being seen as the winner by the betting offices. The composers Dimitris and Phillip have desperately tried to write a winning song. But this song falls under the same scheme typed song like Sakis “This Is Our Night”. Even if Russia made a wonderful 2nd place last year with Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices” composed by other composers, it does not automatically mean that Russia is #1 already. There are too many good songs this year. When listening closely to this year’s Russian entry, it’s noticeable that there is a superficial top modern entry, but works with Schlager-escque elements which is not very radio friendly. Despite of that Sergey is a very talented and attractive singer, but a bit over hyped internationally, as well as in Russia. Good luck anyway.
Top 10: 11
Chance for Top 10: 55 %
This is the 20th anniversary for Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Congratulations! Russia’s debut year has been in 1994 in Dublin with “Vechni Stranik” by Youddiph, she made a very good 9th place in Dublin. At that year the ESC has opened its doors to six new countries, which were Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Hungary and Estonia.
In the history of Russian entries it’s quite obvious that almost all songs have been sung in English. Furthermore the aim of the Russians is to spread out the image of the utmost contemporary music to the world – the new music from Russia.
The big wish to win the ESC came true in 2008, when Dima Bilan sang “Believe” in Belgrade, with the help from the violinist Edvin Marten and the Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, who won three gold medals at the Olympic Games. This was the first ice-skating performance at Eurovision. For many this exaggerated performance was far too much, but it also contributed to the first Russian victory.
One year later the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Moscow for the first time in history. The Russians have put every effort into these three live shows to make it the most modern ESC ever. The latest technology has been used, in particular the massive usage of LED lights ever in ESC history. But the Russians have often been close to victory four times 2nd place, and two times 3rd place. With such a good statistics nobody can complain. 11 times Russia made it into the Top10, so there is a chance of 55% for Russia to be on a top position. There is always a lot of neighbour country voting from the ex-Soviet countries, so Russia always qualified for the Grand Final.
Russia is the biggest country in the world and therefore it has a huge amount of viewers, the interest in the ESC has grown from year to year, there were also singers from the Asian part in Vladivostok: Mumiy Troll with “Lady Alpine Blue” (12th).