Today we’re deviating from our alphabetical order to talk about everyone’s favorite country to hate, Russia. Putting questionable politics aside, Russia at Eurovision is a relative success story. With a win on their belt, and a number of top five finishes, Russia appears to have found a working formula for success at the contest. Finding an artist who would bring them more success was pretty simple, but the size of their music industry made it a (VERY) long process. However, I think I may have found some interesting prospects, and with reports saying Russia will opt for a national selection for next year, I’ll wait excitedly to see if any of them decide to make a go for it.
Russia first entered Eurovision in 1994, and came in a respectable 9th. Russia was absent from the contest in 1998 and 1999. Since the introduction of the semi finals, Russia has qualified each year, one of the few countries to do so. Since 2008, their best placement was in 2008 with Dima Bilan and “Believe”, which came 1st in the Final. Their worst placing since 2008 was in 2011 with Alexey Vorobjov and “Get You”, which came 16th in the Final.
From 2008 through 2010, Russia used a national selection process. In 2011 they opted for an internal selection. In 2012 they returned to a national selection, and in 2013 they once again reverted back to an internal selection. Reports indicate Russia will use a national selection for their 2014 entry.
Possible 2014 Entrant
Russia’s recent entries have all been from a range of musical styles, and I think continuing that will help bring them more success. That is why I am choosing Tatyana Bulanova as my possible Russian entrant for 2014. Tatyana began her career in 1990 with a band, and moved to solo singing in 1996. Since then, she has released 16 hit albums, the most recent in 2010. Her style is eclectic, she is known for melancholic romance ballads with orchestra backgrounds, as well as techno pieces with heavy beats. The thing I like most is she sings in Russian, a language that really needs to be brought back to the Eurovision stage. Russia would show that they do love their cultural heritage if they selected a song in Russian, and Tatyana has a beautiful voice to go along with the language.
Russian is a beautiful language, and with Tatyana’s amazing voice (THAT LAST NOTE!) Russia could easily sweep the jury vote. Plus, Russia always sends good ballads.
Serebro-Serebro is a girl group that represented Russia in the 2007 Contest. Their entry “Song #1” finished 3rd, and is also my favorite entry from Russia. Their punk pop style is very infectious, and their staging is always something to behold. Lately, they have gotten into some controversy due to the perceived “overly sexual” image they have been embracing. However, they are still popular in Russia, as well as Europe. Also, they have a new member named Dasha Shashina, who was not with them in Helsinki. It would be interesting to see what she, and the group, could bring to the fray in Copenhagen.
Pussy Riot-I know I said I would avoid politics in this profile, however Russia could pull off the ultimate European surprise by sending political prisoners Pussy Riot to Copenhagen. Pussy Riot is classified as a punk rock feminist protest group, comprised of several women who wear balaclavas to try to remain anonymous. Their songs cover a range of “controversial” topics in Russia, from women’s and LGBT rights to anti-Putin viewpoints. Some of the members are political prisoners, however there are still a lot of the anonymous members free, and them representing Russia would certainly bring attention.
What do you think? Who could bring the show back to Moscow? (Assuming anyone would go…) Let us know with a comment below!
Zachary Thomas is Wisconsin-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter @CheerZach. Then follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter at @wiwibloggs to keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip!