russia-confirms-participation-eurovision-2017-ntu-ukraine

If ever there was a year to doubt Russia’s participation at the Eurovision Song Contest it would have been 2017, as the country remains locked in conflict with geopolitical rival and the next Eurovision host Ukraine.

But on Saturday, Zurab Alasania, the General Director of the National Television Company of Ukraine, confirmed that Russia will compete at Eurovision.

In an interview with the Weekly Mirror (zn.ua) he said: “At first, they were grumbling about it, but then said they would participate and even named a potential candidate.”

It’s an unusual way for Russia’s participation to be confirmed.

Normally national broadcasters issue press releases and decide how and when to reveal they’re coming to the party.

But Russia has not yet made an official announcement, which stoked rumours that they might not participate owing to security concerns or even sour grapes after perceived mistreatment by the juries at Eurovision 2016.

There is, of course, a history of broken political relations leading to broken Eurovision relations. Armenia withdrew from Eurovision 2012, hosted by regional foe Azerbaijan, on March 7 — just two months before the contest and amid security concerns.

The journalists at the Weekly Mirror also asked Mr. Alasania whether artists currently listed on the government’s blacklist will be allowed to visit the country during Eurovision.

He said that it’s a “question for the SBU [security services]”, but pointed out that Konstantin Ernst, the director of the First Channel of Russia, can attend, despite being blacklisted.

The journalists asked specifically about Russian composer Philip Kirkorov, who composed Sergey Lazarev’s “You Are The Only One” last year, and Alasania made it clear that he is not on the blacklist.

Interestingly, rumours are currently swirling that Russia will internally select a Ukrainian-born singer to compete to sing for Russia in Kyiv.

There is a lot of buzz around Aleksander Panayotov, who is also a favourite to win the current series of The Voice of Russia.

Aleksander was born in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, back when it was part of the Soviet Union. Since the early 2000s, he’s lived in St. Petersburg and Moscow. In 2002, he competed on the Russian version of Popstars, where he made it to the top 10 in the grand final. And then in 2003 he competed in Russian Idol, where he placed second.

He’s also been a regular at Russia’s national selections for Eurovision.

In 2005 he placed fifth with the song “Balalayka”, which he sang with Alexey Chumakov. In 2007 the duo were shortlisted during an internal selection, and in 2008 he narrowly missed out (by only two points!) as a solo artist, placing second with the peace song “Crescent and Cross”.

Then in 2009, he tried his luck in his home country, again placing second with “Superhero” in Ukraine’s national final. And finally in 2010, he was back in the Russian national final, where his song “Maya Showtime” placed sixth.

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Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I agree with Charles, it is going to be a bit of a soap opera though I think we already know how a Russian performer might ‘go down’ in a hall full of Ukrainians and Eurovision fans. Bring it on!

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Bermooda
You forgot to mention that Lazarev had been the tutor of MBAND on “I want to Melaze” project and he won the project as a tutor.
Today MBAND has congratulated Sergey on the teacher’s day in their official instagram=))

Bermooda
Guest
Bermooda

“rumours are currently swirling that Russia…” Those rumors are made by wiwibloggs. No one in Russia gives a f*ck to ESC. Need another rumour? After the success of Korean born Dami Im in Eurvision, Russian broadcaster decided to send to Eurovision Russian pop-diva Anita Tsoy, who is of Korean decent, or the most popular Russian boys-band MBAND, as one of the members of the band is also Korean. Intriguing?

Napaw
Guest
Napaw

With all due respect, but those conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Nahapa For me Dami was good but pretty dull. Sorry. I support the wiewpoint that Australia was pulled to win by the juries to escape Russia’s or Ukranis’s win. But what happened – happened. Everything happens. Deserved, not deserved… tastes differ so much that there will be no end of discussion. Never. And the opinions are sometimes so amazing… It’s not that I roote for my country (Russia, if someting) every year… It’s not that Russian song was good or bad (for me it was good just even since I know what Lazarev had done before ECS 2016 and I… Read more »

Nahapa
Guest
Nahapa

@Polegend Godgarina

What suspicious votes for Australia do you mean exactly? Dami was the best act this year, vocally and the song itself.
There’s nothing suspicious about that. a very well deserved first place.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Nobody says about The Netherlands that their country song is dated, but seems that Poland and Russia should feel bad for having songs that makes some people remember about 90’s.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

@Where is the logic, I dunno why you trying to explain this song to me while I just quoted few commenters below. Ensure them, it’s a big bunch this year. I feel fine with the song even without it’s message. Moreover, despite of my growing criticism about jury’s influence and methods I was more than agree with them ranking dated pop lower than winning song.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Maybe the song ” 1944 ” is about a ukrainean woman that fell in love with a extraterestrial creature, that was already married and did not wanted to have children, this is why she is crying with her arms like she is holding a baby …… come on …… we are not stupid.

Maru fr
Guest
Maru fr

@Adam87 @Plum
Yes, I understand Russia is a multinational country! It`s ok! 🙂
I just don`t like their emphasis on his “Ukrainian origin”…
I would prefer wiwi call him “Russia`s Alexander” instead of “Ukrainian-born singer represent Russia at ESC”…
P.S. But I still hope Sergey Zverev will represent Russia! 😀

Where is the logic
Guest
Where is the logic

Zebb, Jamala’s song wasn’t anti Russian. It wasn’t even anti-Stalinist. It was just an average song. I am sure a lot of people liked it in Russia. Nevertheless it ranked 2nd in televoting because nearly 10 percent of Ukraine’s population are working in Russia as gastarbeiters. They always vote fore their homeland regardless the song. Denis, it is weird to think that a country song about childish dreams and euro-pop love song have anything in common. Different bpm, different vocals, different instrumentalism, different choreography, different dynamics of the staging and even different auditory if compared marketing-wise. If the criteria is… Read more »

Qwerty
Guest
Qwerty

Zebb, it was 2nd in russian televote because nearly 10 per cent of Ukrain,s population are working in Russia.

Qwerty
Guest
Qwerty

@Denis It is weird to think that a country song about heroes is similar to a europop love song. Choreography is different. Dynamics of the staging isn’t similar either. Vocals and instruments have nothing in common. What makes you think Heroes and You are the only one are similar?

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Perhaps it makes no sense to ask the witnesses of anti-russian song if they know that the song was actually 2nd in russian televote…
P.S. That guy defo lacks charisma and I wanna see some uralic nations! -ends caprice line-

Denis
Guest
Denis

You are all slagging the juries as if Russia brought something truly extraordinary to the contest this year.
They didn’t. The song got the place it deserved. It wasn’t something original nor was it anything new. It was recycling old material.
A mixture of Måns Zelmerlöw “Heroes” plus random generic entry Greece used to send 10 years ago. What was so new about it?
Sending that kind of song one year after a similar song won will never give win. All winners these past years were complete opposites of each-other and completely different.

johanleekens
Guest
johanleekens

@an esc fan
“Russia did something new”
They didn’t, it was just a copy of Ukraine 2008

Plum
Guest
Plum

*sorry for multiple “?” signs. It was a quote in Russian but Russian font is not supported here. The exact translation is in brackets.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Vlad,

Many thanks. I’ve really never read this before. This is more about financial part and the safety situation in Ukraine. But…
— ??????, ???? ?????? ????????, ??? ?????? ??????? ? ???????? ? ?????. ???????, ??????, ?????????, ?? ????? ???????, ??? ??????? ??????, ? ???? ??? ???????? ???????????. (You know, even Russia has announced that it will participate in the contest in Kiev. First, though, grumbled, but then said that will participate, and even called a contender).
Russia hasn’t announced it yet and there is no contender of course=))

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

@Plum

Sure, here you can read russian version: http://gazeta.zn.ua/CULTURE/zurab-alasaniya-sudba-evrovideniya-v-rukah-gosbyudzheta-_.html

Honestly, for me Zurab sounded like regular person that carefully observes internet&social media and after his words about Russia’s participation i thought “I wouldn’t be too sure as they might change their mind when it’s closer to contest”. That cannot be treated like confirmation of Russian participation.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Vlad
Will you kindly give the link to that interview? I read Russian but no matter how hard I try I cannot find it.
I am dead against Russia’s participation in 2017 but I want to be objective as much as possible.

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

@ “The wrong thing is that the Ukranian broadcaster is confirming Russia’s participation. Btw. The same person claimed that Ukraine will ignore ESC 2017 in case Russia won just on the eve of the Grand Final.”

I read interview in Russian and by his tone it doesn’t seem that he knows that exactly. He’s just sure they will participate based on some information he heard from Internet or media resources.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@johanleekens
This is exactly why any juries cannot be trusted. But at least Russia honestly expressed it’s objection against Ukranian song to EBU well before the contest, so there is no wonder the Russian juries voted the way they voted.

@Polegend Godgarina
Totsally agree.

@Vlad
The wrong thing is that the Ukranian broadcaster is confirming Russia’s participation. Btw. The same person claimed that Ukraine will ignore ESC 2017 in case Russia won just on the eve of the Grand Final.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

In the last few months I hear that staging is called ”tricks”. Since when is ESC a radio competicion, and why staging became a dirty word ? Maybe since Russia did something new (2016). And if Ukraine just want to give an ”tell all” interview, then tell all about all participants from 2017. As a fan I can’t wait to hear who will be in 2017.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ johanleekens – the juries don’t make any sense anymore. Last year Italy won the televote, and they made the mediocre, uninspired Heroes win instead (Iceland’s televote put Italy 1st and the juries screwed it up). EBU just put them there to make sure certain countries don’t win… I mean, look at that suspicious lead Australia had this year in the jury vote. It needs to be 100% televote in order to be fair.

Sarah Boucher
Guest

If Anastasia and Maria win UMK 2017, they would win ESC, becoming the first Russians to sing for Finland………… huh?

Vlad
Guest
Vlad

What’s wrong with it? This is usual interview, nobody aimed to put shade on Russia or something like that.

johanleekens
Guest
johanleekens

For me, Russia doesn’t have any right for being pissed off about the juries. Their jury put Israel last, Ukraine 24th and GAVE TEN POINTS TO THE HORRIBLE VOCALS FROM AZERBAIJAN. They have lost all credibility when it comes to juries I think

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

Well done, Ukraine!

The best kind of shade is the subtle kind.

Alexander
Guest
Alexander

@stephen podesta
“The juries voted according to a set of criteria.”

I would really love to see those criteria, according to which Lithuanian jury for example put Russia last. Second year in a row.

Charles
Guest
Charles

… and the controversy begins … this for me marks the beginning of 2017 right away …having Ukraine and Russia in the centrepiece of it all it’s like watching a soap opera go down and all I need is my pop corn to follow through … while I wait for everybody else to focus on the music so that I can breathe peacefully.

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

Just found Alexander’s Instagram – he is quite a handsome chap, I need to say. Something tells me that Russia decided to stick to an (almost) winning formula from last year. No more female blondes, sticking to attractive male brunettes with good voices is a better choice for Eurovision. Alexander’s pic from Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BKJ1qb-AF5H/?hl=en

Plum
Guest
Plum

@fikri
I vote for Iosif Kobzon, 79 years old Ukranian-born Russian artist who’s sang a lot of songs about peace.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Yes, is true about russian citizenship and other nationality, if people would only knew russian diversity. Russia is centuries ahead USA when it comes to diversity this is why is very hard for it to accept lessons from west about political correctness.

Jamaraqueer
Guest
Jamaraqueer

Anastasiya Prikhodko, a Ukrainian, sang for Russia at ESC 2009 in Russia. Russia loves Ukrainians.

stephen podesta
Guest
stephen podesta

That it precisely why we have jury votes because of all this political rubbish which I am really sick of hearing it. Russia received votes from the jury at the level it should of received and for nothing else, there act was riddled with special effects and that out shone the song which was mediocre at best, why are they always thinking that they should of won, the juries voted according to a set of criteria. people vote for each other in the east and don’t care about if the song is any good. So stop with rubbish.

fikri
Guest
fikri

somewhat hopeful that russia will select one of the blacklisted artists to sing about peace… that will be hilarious.

Adam87
Guest
Adam87

Oh, and don’t forget Dima Bilan is a russian citizen of cherkess nationality 🙂

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I feel like Russia really wants to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the televote again next year, but EBU will probably make sure the juries sabotage them again.

Adam87
Guest
Adam87

Maru fr, Russian Federation is a multiethnic country. These citizens have about 40 different nationalities, it is typical to be citizen of Russia with different nationalities. For example – Vladimir Putin is a russian citizen of samoyed nationality. Patriarch Kirill of all Russia is a russian citizen of mordovian nationality. So that’s normal there are loads of people there with ukrainian nationality.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Maru fr
He was called Ukranian-born but not Ukranian, this is true and quite ethical I think.

Maru fr
Guest
Maru fr

@Plum @Jr esc nl
If he lives in Russia since the childhood (and if he`s a Russian citizen)
then please people, DON`T call him Ukrainian…

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Ukraine won in Sweden with anti Russia song, Ukraine is the host, they should start acting like polite host, otherwise everything will backfire and they will lose the support they have from people that voted for them. Throwing shades over Russia is not a decent move. I guess they act like spoiled brats, because they think the whole world loves them for their pretentious song. Hope that next year, Russia will send a song like Spain 2008 Chikilicuatre (Baila el Chiki-Chiki)

Plum
Guest
Plum

Half Russian citisens have Ukranian or some other origin so I see no problem if Alexander Panayotov represents Russia.
But who is Zurab Alasania? He is definitely not the person to confirm Russia’s participation which is still doubtful.

Jr esc nl
Guest
Jr esc nl

@maru fr
I’m pretty sure Alexander panaytov sees himself as russian after living there his whole life…

johanleekens
Guest
johanleekens

It will be really interesting to see how the voting is going to be. All eastern countries, for instance, normally vote for Russia and Ukraine as top votes, normally Russia at 1 and Ukraine at 2. I think this may change this year. Also, it will be very interesting to see what happens when Russia qualifies (we all know that is going to happen)

Maru fr
Guest
Maru fr

RUSSIAN people should represent Russia!!!
Otherwise I won`t watch an Eurovision…

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Armenias Eurovision 2012 was really scary and bad, they probably wouldn’t have qualified. I am happy Russia is in, as they always send good songs with interesting staging. The Tolmachevy sisters REALLY didn’t deserve the booing in 2014, they sang and performed amazing and their song was really good.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Jesus, that guy looks a lot like Sergey…