Russia: Julia Samoylova performs “Flame is Burning” on New Year’s Eve show

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Nine months after her ticket to Eurovision 2017 was cancelled, Russian star Julia Samoylova performed her song on a New Year’s Eve special on Russian television. And while she gave a heartwarming performance of “Flame is Burning”, it wasn’t quite the big news that fans were expecting.

In mid-December, Channel One revealed that Julia would be making an appearance on its New Year’s Eve television special. While nothing about Eurovision was mentioned, many fans jumped to one conclusion. They deducted that Channel One would use the occasion to confirm Julia as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2018.

Then along came New Year’s Eve. Julia showed up, looking angelic on a Moscow rooftop. She performed a lipsync of “Flame is Burning” and delivered plenty of festive cheer and good spirit.

But there was no mention of Eurovision or Julia’s potential involvement in it.

This has left fans to wonder what was behind the performance. Was it intended to keep the X Factor runner-up fresh in the minds of Russians before she is later announced as the Eurovision candidate? Or was it literally just a festive performance with no other motive?

We’re still no closer to knowing if Julia Samoylova will compete for Russia at Eurovision 2018.

JULIA SAMOYLOVA AND EUROVISION

Julia was originally announced as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2017 back in March 2017. Channel One had internally selected the X Factor runner-up who would perform the song “Flame is Burning”.

However, controversy soon erupted when Ukraine authorities banned Julia from entering Ukraine for three years after having previously travelled to the Crimea region. This led to Russia withdrawing from Eurovision which ended Julia’s chance for 2017.

At the time, Russian broadcasters Channel One and Russia-1 issued a joint statement which promised that Julia would have the chance to represent Russia at Eurovision 2018. Now it seems that particular flame might not be burning so brightly after all.

The last we heard from Julia was in October when she commented on the issue during a live chat with fans. She said:

“Regarding the Eurovision song —  no guys, the song for Eurovision has not even been chosen yet. Well, they say that I will go. I hope that the end of the world won’t come and everything will be fine … And we will go to Eurovision.”

What do you think? Should Russia select Julia Samoylova for Lisbon? Who should make Russia’s big Eurovision comeback?

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