Eurovision 2017 is over — and with it all the controversy surrounding Russia’s banned singer Julia Samoylova. But now that the dust has settled, we’re keen to rewind and find out where you would have ranked her song “Flame Is Burning” in Semi-Final 2 and the grand final.

This is obviously difficult. During Semi-Final 2 you saw 18 live performances. All we have of Julia is a re-mastered studio cut performed inside a different arena. Accepting that we aren’t comparing like-for-like, it’s still an interesting exercise.

Why you ask? Because recently I was filming Eurovision 2017 reaction videos with my sister Suzanne, who was visiting from the United States.

She has very little knowledge of Eurovision (she doesn’t have LOGO, which airs the show in America) and she freely admits that she knows nothing of the War in Donbass, Ukraine-Russia relations or the controversy that engufled this year’s contest. It all means that she can judge the song more neutrally than the vast majority of Eurofans.

Her reaction surprised me. “I liked her — I really, really liked her,” she says, before saying she’d put the song in her Top 7.

“Flame Is Burning” — American woman reacts

But where would you rank the song?

Let’s kick this off with a poll on Semi-Final 2. Russia has always advanced from the semi-final, owing partly to the strength of its diaspora vote. Given that, Julia stood a good chance of getting through.

That would have knocked Denmark — the tenth-place qualifier — out of the final. Below you can see the actual results of the semi. Then vote in our poll and let us know what position you’d have ranked Russia.

Semi-Final 2 results

  1. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov – “Beautiful Mess” (403 points)
  2. Hungary: Joci Pápai – “Origo” (231 points)
  3. Israel: IMRI – “I Feel Alive” (207 points)
  4. Netherlands: OG3NE – “Lights and Shadows” (200 points)
  5. Norway: JOWST – “Grab the Moment” (189 points)
  6. Romania: Ilinca ft.Alex Florea – “Yodel It!” (174 points)
  7. Austria: Nathan Trent – “Running on Air” (147 points)
  8. Croatia: Jacques Houdek – “My Friend” (141 points)
  9. Belarus: Naviband – “Story of My Life” (110 points)
  10. Denmark: Anja – “Where I Am” (101 points)
  11. Serbia: Tijana Bogicevic – “In Too Deep” (98 points)
  12. Switzerland: Timebelle – “Apollo” (97 points)
  13. Ireland: Brendan Murray – “Dying to Try” (86 points)
  14. Estonia: Koit Toome and Laura – “Verona” (85 points)
  15. FYR Macedonia: Jana Burceska – “Dance Alone” (69 points)
  16. Malta: Claudia Faniello – “Breathlessly” (55 points)
  17. Lithuania: Fusedmarc – “Rain of Revolution” (42 points)
  18. San Marino: Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson – “Spirit of the Night” (1 points)

Where would you rank Russia in Semi-Final 2?

Now let’s take a look at the grand final.

If Russia had advanced — and Denmark had not — where would you rank “Flame Is Burning” in the mix of songs?

You can review the actual grand final results below to help you make your decision.

Grand Final Results

Where would you rank Russia in Semi-Final 2?

Vote in more Eurovision polls

74 Comments
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historyjamajhozyccia
historyjamajhozyccia
3 years ago

Some people say it would’ve taken votes from Belarus so that they wouldn’t qualify, not true. Yes, they might have taken some televoting points but most juries usually doesn’t like Russia ( especially not Ukraines jury ) and they would still get televoting points, just maybe a few less. And, if we look at how Russia has voted in the past, Belarus would likely get a lot of points from there and therefore qualify, just like they did without Russia.

Zebb
Zebb
3 years ago

It’s evident she would qualify, more interestingly though would she upset/steal Portugal favour enough to make Bulgaria a consecutive winner (that gathered good yet quite random televote score)?

Svetoslav
Svetoslav
3 years ago

Definitely Russia would have been in the top. With Russia there we would have had a very different top. Especially because Julia would have taken a lot of the vote that went to Portugal (and yes you know it is true …) . And a little out the vote for Bulgaria perhaps… So big lost without Julia …?

DyGh
DyGh
3 years ago

She wouldn’t have done great. She looks like a wonderfull woman with a beautiful voice but the song was a bit dull…

Áustria
Áustria
3 years ago

I think she would have made 9th or 10th in the semifinal, kicking out Belarus. Around 18th in the Grand Finale.

Colin
Colin
3 years ago

Realistically, Russia would have qualified if they participated. (A ”Thank You” note from Denmark would be in order!) When we are talking about *my personal* opinion, we are still having Russia placed in two completely different orders: A) How they should have placed under the existing order. And since that order is already not exactly how I would have sorted it out (I’d qualify Ireland instead of Israel, for example), it’s hard to place Russia. But, I’d say 17th, since it’s clearly better than San Marino and Lithuania, songs that deserved to be bottom 2, but not as good as… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

It would’ve qualified instead of Denmark (qualified with 5 televote points… a travesty) but it would’ve finished 11th in televote in the final. The juries would’ve given a one digit total to it. So ~85 points.

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

Portugal with a similar act won this year.. I don’t think your asessment is accurate

Graph
Graph
3 years ago

Come on people, the current poll results are rediculous. Last place in both the semi and the final???

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago
Reply to  Graph

Yeah Russia has automatic televote points from like 10 countries

mel
mel
3 years ago
Reply to  Graph

That shows that Europe doesn’t like Julia anymore.
Diaspora will not help her next year.
Europe is tired of Russian games.

Rhingo
Rhingo
3 years ago
Reply to  mel

Nah, just shows that the Russia hate is strong on wiwi 😉

fikri
fikri
3 years ago

she would’ve won. point blank. period.

Kris
Kris
3 years ago
Reply to  fikri

Finally someone who is looking at the facts before making a prediction.

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
3 years ago

They would’ve finished around the same position as Belgium in the grand finals. Maybe 2nd place at the semis. I’m sure televotes would be very high for Russia.

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

In the least third.

Justin K.
Justin K.
3 years ago

I don’t think think the jury results would have differed, but the televote would have rallied behind her due to the tone of the press when it dealt with the situation. Belarus may have not qualified in that sense, but Denmark was also close on the bubble due to its low televote. However, seeing as how much one really good vote can bring up your rank, I placed her 5th with a strong televote and weak jury vote. Seeing as Australia still finished Top 10 with 2 televotes, it’s more than possible that the public could have pushed her up… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
3 years ago

I had Russia 16th on my card in my first of 3 evaluations (before their official withdrawal). I had Macedonia qualifying 2nd and Estonia qualifying 3rd in that evaluation.

Let’s assume Russia were to benefit from the failures of MKD and EST to qualify. That would move Samoylova up only 2 spots on my card, and still she’d fail on my card. I have no doubt that, if she had failed to qualify, they would have pulled their team out of Kyiv that same Thursday night, cut their broadcast, and not even bothered to vote in the Grand Final.

Nikos
Nikos
3 years ago

I would have ranked it 17th, above San Marino and Lithuania. Just like “Aina Mun Pitaa” a few years ago, I will judge every song with the same set of standards. And so the reality is that “Flame is Burning” is dated and underwhelming.

.Andrew
.Andrew
3 years ago

She would have got into the final and top 5 in the final aswell nothing to do with the song tho .

Ern
Ern
3 years ago

I think Russia would have taken votes from Belarus — NOT Bulgaria as some suspect. Bulgaria would still have come 2nd place. Thus, the results for Russia would have looked like this:

Semi-final: 7-10th place, displacing Belarus (NOT Denmark) from the final.

Grand-final: 13-17th place, and the top 10 would be the same.

Rhingo
Rhingo
3 years ago

If Russia was in then the dead lock of Italy, Bulgaria and Portugal would have welcomed Julia as well. Russia and Portugal would split their votes. Portugal still would have the edge thanks to anti-Russia vote however. Bulgaria will probably lose some of its Russian voters but would not be accused of being Russian proxy (resulting in less votes from other countries) so it will remain fairly strong. Italy would probaly stay in sixth position since it was overshadolled by Moldova anyway. I would say Julia would have placed in top 7 for sure. Good chance for top 3 as… Read more »

Hada
Hada
3 years ago

One of the last three places. It was BAD.

Unknown Melody
Unknown Melody
3 years ago

Sure qualifier and sure top 10 for reasons that have very little to do with music. Would be in my personal bottom 10.

Marcus (Day One)
Marcus (Day One)
3 years ago

Probably top 5 televote and bottom 5 jury vote in the semi
In the Final probably top 10 televote and bottom 5 jury vote.

Glad that her terrible song was withdrawn and she and her Russian nationalism was kicked out.
She deserves no sympathy for trying to politicise eurovision and her pro Russian agenda.

Jordan
Jordan
3 years ago

My prediciton in semi final they would be on 10 position , with televote maxiumum 70 points from juries max 35 points in total max 105 points.
In final prediction with televote max 100 points from juries max 35 total 135 points 12 and 13 place with France.

Jo
Jo
3 years ago

Since it’s a song contest, in my opinion, I wouldn’t qualify that song. However, semi-final 2 had a lot of average songs that sounded like non-qualifiers in the Grand Final. I guess Russia would probably qualify this year, but I don’t think they will always make it no matter what they send to the contest. In the Final, Russia has the total power. All the neighbours, diasporas, political voting, they’re all there for them. So she wouldn’t flop, I guess 15th-20th. Let’s remember that this year people only cared about 10 songs in the Final. I don’t think “Flame is… Read more »

Jo
Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  Jo

One thing I’m sure: they will be back at full speed in 2018. Going for the win!

AngieP
AngieP
3 years ago

Semi final 2 was tough, I had trouble choosing my top 10. And I’m still trying to get used to Estonia’s non qualification that night.

Russia would have qualified. It’s not a bad song. There’s a story behind and Julia is so sweet. Not to mention the strong Russian diaspora. If I would put it in the top 10? As a song maybe not, but as a performance yes. That was better than Croatia for example.

In the grand final, I would probably put her in the top 15, but in reality she would have reached top 10 easily.

Héctor
Héctor
3 years ago

It was my dead last prior to Russia’s withdrawn, so for me Russia would have placed last in its SF. However, I’m sure it would have qualified if it had participated and maybe placed in the top 10. At the end, I’m happy Russia withdrawed, I’m tired of blockvoting. It’s highly unfair Russia start with and advantage just for being Russia. Yulia would have also received sympathy votes…

Dimitrios Daskalakis
Dimitrios Daskalakis
3 years ago

I’m still trying to recover over Estonia’s tragic ending at the semi final. Poor ‘Verona’. Still my personal fave.

Kris
Kris
3 years ago

I think Portugal wouldn’t have won(at least not with that clear margin from the 3rd placed song) if Russia were there …… The singer has the same USP as Portugal(quirky and politically incorrect singer with a lethal medical condition and a dated ballad trying to tug at the hearts) and the song is more modern (*heads turn in shock at the truth*) than Portugal’s?. So in the least it would have taken away a few points off Portugal’s? score. Would Bulgaria have won though? Can’t really say……A significant proportion of Bulgaria televote came due to Russia not being present ??… Read more »

Oxana
Oxana
3 years ago

3rd place in the semifinal and 9th in the final

Dimitrios Daskalakis
Dimitrios Daskalakis
3 years ago

I reckon she would’ve landed no. 5 in the Semi Final and no. 3 in the Grand Final. It was a beautiful song. Julia was endearing with some very meaningful lyrics.

Julie
Julie
3 years ago

Top 5, easily. One of the most memorable melodies this year + inspirational message/song. She would have done well.

Hersi
Hersi
3 years ago

She would’ve qualified. Her jury score might not have been too high, but she would have at least a hundred televoting points in the semi final, this would probably lessen Bulgaria’s lead. In the final she would end up top ten in the televote no matter what- if their horrid entries in 2014 and 2011 could come top ten in the televote then so will this entry.

dfsd
dfsd
3 years ago

My 15th in Semi-Final and 20th in this final with this 26 songs

Sash Animenkos
Sash Animenkos
3 years ago

I have just one small issue with this article and wiwibloggs in general: Why, after the contest, were there not a single blog of such a kind about Romania last year? During last week there was too much info about Russia and Yulia Samoylova in particular. There was literally nothing about Anton Ovidiu last year, though last year’s situation with Romania was no less outrageous than this year’s with Russia. Suzanne Lee Adams also visited William last year, but somehow William forgot to record a video with his sister about Romania. I do realise that wiwibloggs.com is a comercial enterprise… Read more »

Loin de La Bas
Loin de La Bas
3 years ago
Reply to  Sash Animenkos

First of all, Wiwibloggs made a video that covered the topic of Romania’s case last year, and even ended the ending of the video with a somber tone, without the usual techno party tune. Literally like their own ‘moment of silence’. Secondly, Suzanne is only William’s sister who happens to visit her brother. She has never been a Eurovision person. So the idea of the video with her last year might even come up last minute, and I think William didn’t even show her the REMAINING songs that were in the semis. At the end people loved that video so… Read more »

Alex
Alex
3 years ago
Reply to  Sash Animenkos

Because she is handicapped

beccaboo1212
3 years ago

On the surface, “Flame is Burning” is an ok song. However, I was really disappointed when I figured out that Russia withdrew from the contest. They sent a lot of great entries to Eurovision. 🙁

Racal
Racal
3 years ago

That song did not deserve to go through, however we all know it would have. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this in the top 10, even though if it had been sent by any other country it would have crashed.

mel
mel
3 years ago

If Eurovision wants to be fair, ban all countries that are aggressors in another country. Before 1989/1990, when East was communist, those countries were not allowed in Eurovision, and to be honest, none were at war with anybody, they were just communist. Nowadays EBU allows even countries that attack other countries, how is this fair?

Loin de La Bas
Loin de La Bas
3 years ago
Reply to  mel

Eventhough it wouldn’t seem right, because you know, they like to show “inclusiveness”. Deep in me I’d prefer for them to go.
What the hell with some countries of the east that deliberately make each other look bad. Also some reports of a ‘certain country’ buying votes. And some bitching and whining when their contestants don’t win.
Many countries of the west are so put off by that, thats why some have left and never come back, and some who remains no longer take it seriously. They don’t wanna deal with that mess.

Maclaren
Maclaren
3 years ago
Reply to  mel

Well in accordance to some Spanish politicians, the U.K.’s ownership of Gibraltar represents an unlawful annexation from Spain. Geopolitics is a tricky criteria to follow

Jordan
Jordan
3 years ago
Reply to  mel

This is not true. One communist country participate in Eurovision from 1961 Yugoslavia , because Yugoslavia was members of EBU. Other comunist countries from Europe was not member of EBU , they are member of Intervision. And in past they sometime broadcast Eurovision.
In 90 ties becuase sanction of UN, EBU don t allow FR Yugoslavia to particapte in Eurovosion and allow other ex Yugoslavia countires to participate and in first year from 1993 to 1995 , Bosnia, and Croatia send song with politcal message on stage and lobbyong to others countries suporte them in wars.

Maniac
Maniac
3 years ago

She wouldn’t go through , the song is just not strong enough , I hope she will have stronger song in 2018 , and I hope she sings in russian , this is the MUST

Loin de La Bas
Loin de La Bas
3 years ago
Reply to  Maniac

Yes, sing is Russian for Putin’s sake! lol I mean, for her sake! She sounds awful in English it sounds so forced! If she is so patriotic then why can’t she sing in Russian? It would be more genuine AND unique!

David S
David S
3 years ago

I LOVE Suzanne, William please involve her more next year if you can

SpirK
SpirK
3 years ago

It would’ve been 18/43 , being my 10th qualifier in semi final 2 and based on the field of songs of the final it would’ve been my top 13. Don’t know you wouldn’t have qualified if Russia had participated. From the one hand Belarus would’ve lost points that it got because or Russia not participating, but Belarus would’ve received 24 points from Russia. The question is, are the first points more or the second ones? I think Belarus would’ve benefited slightly with Russia’s participation and still would’ve qualified from Semi Final 2 as the 10th place qualifier, still scoring more… Read more »

Ugnius
Ugnius
3 years ago
Reply to  SpirK

Don’t forget the original position Russia had to perform in the Semi-Final. Usually, countries who perform 3rd are not very lucky ones (just like Macedonia or Australia, who received only 21 point from televoting), so I don’t think Russia would have received 110 points – because only diaspora (that is Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia & Croatia) would have voted, others simply would not have paid much attention to this performance, as they did in Macedonia and Australia cases. Gaving said that, 60 points from televoting and ~20 from jury would not have been enough for them to qualify. And… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Ugnius

Russia don t have diaspora in Serbia, Croatia, Romania even Bulgaria. Russia have huge dispora in Ukraine,Belarus, Moldova,Estonia and not so huge in Latvia, LIthhuania, Armenia, Israel and rich people buy house and live in Cyprus, Montenegro.

Ugnius
Ugnius
3 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

You are wrong. In 2016 Bulgarian, Serbian and Latvian televoters gave Sergey 12 points while Croatians and Lithuanians gave 8
2015: Latvian televoters gave 12, Serbian 10, Lithuanian 8, Romanian 6 (Bulgaria&Croatia didn’t participate)
These are huge numbers

Branko
Branko
3 years ago
Reply to  Ugnius

Sergey performed in a TV show in Serbia before Eurovision. So winning Serbian televotes was no problem, especially with such a song and Performance.

Victoria
Victoria
3 years ago

No final.

Fognazzori
Fognazzori
3 years ago

Don’t believe in rumors and conjectures! Comply with the law!
Ban and sanction aggressive and racist Armenia and Russia perpetually unless they stop their occupation of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine according to the UN and EU directives!

Ramona
Ramona
3 years ago

My votes: in the semifinal 10th place (Russia is Russia, they always qualify)
In the Grand Final: 23th, because I find it better that Ukraine, Germany and Spain, and these 3 truly deserved to be in the bottom 3.

Stan
Stan
3 years ago

I’m not a fan of the song, it’s too cheesy… I agree that probably that would have kicked Belarus out of the final and not Denmark.

In the final, i’d see her finishing 23rd, side by side with Ukrain, 36pts both. Like it was before Putin got all territorial…

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
3 years ago

I would have her 4th in semi-final two (not my personal opinion of the song but where I THINK she would have finished). Denmark would still have qualified in 10th and Belarus would be the non-qualifier as most of their points would have gone to Russia.
In the grand final, I would have expected maybe a 7th place finish.

mel
mel
3 years ago

I have no problem with people who give sympathy votes, as long as they listen the song after ESC. This year Yulia would have been between 1-13, but next year, Yulia will be lower. Sad, but she was a trick, and if will be proven that Putin made Trump president, I don’t think that 2018 will be a good year for Russia.

Julie
Julie
3 years ago
Reply to  mel

“And if it will be proven that Putin made Trump president…”

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

Alex
Alex
3 years ago

It would have qualified but it would have trouble in the final, much like 2011 entry.

Marc
Marc
3 years ago

She would have come 4th in the televote.
Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania were so strong.
And the rest pretty weak.

Juries are the worst and dead inside, so probably around 13th there.

Davve
Davve
3 years ago

Lets not forget that this is Russia. She would have advanced no matter what. And in the final she would have placed anywhere from 10th to 20th I think.

Ricb
Ricb
3 years ago

I actually think she would have advanced…she wasn’t my favorite my I am sure her story and courage would have Sent her through maybe as a borderline qualifier…about The final I would have put her about 20th but I guess that in the actual contest she could have pulled off even a top 15…not a winner though…

Nick
Nick
3 years ago

With all the attention Julia got by the media before the contest + her backstage story would’ve put here quit high in the televoting. The jury’s might have put her a bit down, but a top 10 (or top 5) result wouldn’t be unrealistic.

I don’t think we can say how the semi final would’ve turned out with Russia, because the division of points might have been a lot different. And with Austria before Russia in the running order I could totally imagine a semi fail for Nathan. (so happy it didn’t turn out so much better)

Nick
Nick
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick

made a few mistakes: I mean backROUND story and I’m happy it turned out so much better for Nathan).

Matt
Matt
3 years ago

I would have personally just barely sent her through to the final, in 10th place in her semi-final, before putting her in 17th place in the final (between Germany and Italy as far as my personal rankings went).

Matt
Matt
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I meant to say between Germany and Bulgaria. I originally had Italy 15th, Germany 16th and Bulgaria 17th.

Miguel
Miguel
3 years ago

Agree.
They wouldn’t qualify for the final.

I put them around 13th in the semis and 22nd in the grand final.

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 years ago
Reply to  Miguel

OMG same! I would only put San Marino, Croatia, Romania and Lithuania and maybe Malta behind her. And in finals I would put Cyprus, Romania, Croatia, Spain and Germany behind her.