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Russia holds an enviable record at Eurovision. Since the turn of the century, it has finished in the Top 5 nine times, tying it with Sweden in this regard. And, unlike Sweden, Russia has made every final since the introduction of the semis in 2004. Excluding members of the Big 5, who have an automatic spot in the final, they are the only country to have appeared in every final since then.

But which of Russia’s lucky 9 was the best? It’s easy to say Dima Bilan and his song “Believe” since he won it all. But many would argue that isn’t Russia’s best offering, especially since the level of competition has arguably improved in recent years as Eurovision has gone more mainstream.

So it’s up to you to decide. You can review Russia’s nine Top 5 finishers of the 21st century below. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time.

Alsou

First up is the amazing Alsou with her beautiful entry “Solo.” Her elegant performance, which landed her in second position, helped take her career to another level. She has continued to deliver hit after hit since then and even hosted Eurovision 2009 in Moscow.

Buy Alsou’s “Solo”

t.A.T.u.

Their record label Universal Music Russia opposed the group’s participation in Eurovision, claiming it was for “young artists” rather than established acts. But the faux lesbian duo went anyway, and took third place with “Ne ver’, ne boisia.”  They broke up a few years later. Lena Katina has continued to wow us with song after song in language after language, while Julia Volkova has made offensive comments, which sort of turned us off to her. In any event, the duo reunited to perform at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

Buy t.A.T.u.’s “Ne ver, ne Boysia”

Dima Bilan

Three years later Dima showed up and wowed us with his first run at Eurovision, achieving second place with the beautiful “Never Let You Go.” Little did we know this was just his warm-up act.

Buy Dima’s “Never Let You Go”

Serebro

Sandwiched between Dima’s two entries was Serebro. A really good group with a number of killer songs, but “Song #1” was not their best. And yet they finished in third place anyway.

Buy Serebro’s “Song #1”

Dima Bilan yet again

The following year Dima returned and brought home the win for Mother Russia. With the incredibly energetic “Believe” he had all of Europe swaying to that heavy R&B beat. An amazing song from a very talented performer — and one that came with Olympic figure skater Evgeny Plushenko turning tricks on a makeshift mini ice rink.

Buy Dima’s “Believe”

Buranovskiye Babushki

After a three-year dry spell, we then got the Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody.” Yes everyone loved them… except me. I thought they were awful. But despite their lack of a melody and any sense of intonation, they managed an amazing second place and came close to unseating Loreen (in the televote anyway).

Buy the Babushki’s “Party For Everybody”

Dina Garipova

The following year Dina Garipova — the first-ever winner of The Voice Russia — turned up with the peace anthem “What If.” It could have easily been lost among the other entries, but the staging, the ensemble and Dina at the center of it made this something that really touched me and wound up in a deserving fifth place. I was right in front of the stage that night and she was just electric.

Buy Dina’s “What if?”

Polina Gagarina

Polina is a force of nature. She wowed all of Europe with “A Million Voices” bringing home a well deserved second place.

She had the amazing ability to reach out through the TV and grab everyone watching. Her talent has been so obvious for so long that we suggested she represent Russia way back in 2013.

Buy Polina’s “Million Voices”

Sergey Lazarev

And following Polina we have Sergey Lazarev, who came first with televoters and ended up third in the combined vote with “You Are the Only One.” He brought a level of creativity that has rarely, if ever, been equalled.

Buy Sergey’s “You Are The Only One”

Who best represented Russia? Vote your favourite in the poll below and tell us why in the comments.

Vote in more of our Eurovision polls

42 Comments
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360 frontal
3 years ago

360 frontal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny8rUpI_98I quality was excellent and i felt the website represented accurately the product’s quality.

Summer6277
Summer6277
4 years ago

Are you kidding, votes for Polina rigged! We voted for Sergey clearly!! I hope you’ll check it.

Christina
Christina
4 years ago

Dima is the best.I don’t know if he will win this poll but it doesn’t matter because all these years he has won the hearts of Russia with his talent,hw doesn’t care about a awful poll.

Nika
Nika
4 years ago

@Kris
Wow! do you like it now?

Nika
Nika
4 years ago

Now Polina’s scores are being rigged. More than 200 voices within 3 hours.

Kris
Kris
4 years ago

This seems very suspicious and rigged…..polina was leading comfortably and now all votes are for sergey even though polina was clearly the better singer??

Natalisa
Natalisa
4 years ago

Lazarev is our only one!!!

Ksen
Ksen
4 years ago

Sergey Lazarev is the BEST singer!

Lil
Lil
4 years ago

Sergey and Dima the best

Clomana
Clomana
4 years ago

I voted for Serebro. They are different from the others. They have a unique style in their songs. Song #1 was a energetic, funny, and catchy songs and i loved their performance. I was 10 times better than Molitva. I think.

Mark Beckenbreur
Mark Beckenbreur
4 years ago

Polina.. exceptionally beautiful performance – staging, voice and Polina herself))

Elina
Elina
4 years ago

Dima Dina and Dima..along with Polina the best artists Russia has in every aspect!

(J)ESC Fanatic
(J)ESC Fanatic
4 years ago

Polina! “A Million Voices” is my favorite song of all time! “What If” is another masterpiece and I also loved Alsou.

Ern
Ern
4 years ago

Polina was adorable !!

I loved how emotional she got during her performance, and her tears of joy as she thanked the audience.

Zebb
Zebb
4 years ago

Despite of not good live start Alsou remains my beloved and one of my images of quality entries. Yet it was pretty current song back then. 2006 was so difficult to stay with one. Bilan got his better but still remained way behind beautiful Hari Mata Hari’s song for me. Then energised Serebro rocked and I was very good with them to win but Serbia happened. I got hooked by Dina Garipova song’s luquid melody but messages like that makes no sense (and it has been proven before and after) when it comes from global-looking countries. Today I expect Russia… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Of course Talent, in the form of Polina Gagarina, is winning the poll. Because talent always wins! <3

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

Is this even a question? Polegend Godgarina’s “A Million Bibles”, of course. Best Eurovision song in the televoting era.

Napaw
Napaw
4 years ago

I voted for my tatu girls <3

Lidia Lozano
4 years ago

2012 Babunski is terrible

Vladimir
Vladimir
4 years ago

Polina, Sergey and Alsou:-)

Katy
Katy
4 years ago

Sergey, Polina and Serebro, but I actually like/love them all.

Peyton
Peyton
4 years ago

Alsou, Serebro and Polina!!

Plum
Plum
4 years ago

Alsou, Babushki and Sergey.
Madly in love with Polina but I am not keen on songs with messges.

Laburnum
Laburnum
4 years ago

Alsou, Dina and Polina. Dont really like any of the others.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 years ago

Dina Garipova easily.
Some other decent songs (and some bad ones!) but Dina had a real chance of winning. That year’s top five was pretty stacked in terms of quality (besides the “winner”).

Neil
Neil
4 years ago

Polina – she should have WON ESC 2015 – One of my all-time favourites ESC entries and she gave a winning performance. I like Alsou, Dima Bilan’s first try, Dina – should have been first or second in a weak year.

Bermooda
Bermooda
4 years ago

I voted for Serebro but I like all of them ?????????

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

I knew Believe would be down at the bottom. Of all their entries, it’s perhaps my least favorite. Bland. Boring. Yawn.

ESC84
ESC84
4 years ago

2015, 2016, 2008

esconly
esconly
4 years ago

Polina slays…as always

E
E
4 years ago

For me it is Sergey it is the only song on that list i love. Polina had a fantastic voice but her song did absolutely nothing for me

Nitzan
Nitzan
4 years ago

The amazing number is not top5 nine times but top3 eight times. A phenomenal achievement that I think was deserved at least in most cases. Russia just keeps on sending its best to Eurovision.

For me the best Russia has sent is Dima’s 2006 entry, and the worst is… Dima’s 2008 entry. After watching 2008 again it’s even worse than I had remembered. What a mess!

Mimimi
Mimimi
4 years ago

Babushkis and Polina of course <3

Make Frans Trend Again (and again)
Make Frans Trend Again (and again)
4 years ago

I would prefer Alex Sparrow over Dina Garipova. He was so underrated back in 2011 despite his unsteady live vocals and the “Do you feel my armpit (heart beat), Europe!?” yelling. But the grannies, Polina and Sergey are all golden and deserves to be in top 5.

Kris
Kris
4 years ago

Polina should have won and dima bilan should have not ….period.

Hello
Hello
4 years ago

Easily alsou and TATU are the best Russian en
The rest are either really calculated entries or plastic generic nonsense

fikri
fikri
4 years ago

the babushkis, hands down. they brought the house down back in eurovision 2012.

Héctor
Héctor
4 years ago

Is funny that the half of this entries didn’t deserved a top 5, but we know Russia always starts with advantage.

Leaf
Leaf
4 years ago

Definitely Alsou, Dima Bilan in 2006 and Serebro.

Dina was overrated as hell…. What a snooze Ikea fest that was.

HubertZnajomski
4 years ago

I voted for Polina and Babushki

Kate
Kate
4 years ago

*beautiful of corse, typo 🙂

Kate
Kate
4 years ago

Definitely Dina Garipova and Polina Gagarina, lovely women, beautyful songs with messages.