She’s the Russian singer who was promised a second chance at Eurovision 2018 after getting blocked from entering Ukraine in 2017. But now Julia Samoylova is still waiting to hear from the organising Russian broadcaster to confirm her role as Russia’s act for Lisbon.
Russian news site Life reports that four months after initially being told she would be the Russian representative in 2018, Julia still hasn’t had any official confirmation that she’ll be heading to Lisbon.
A spokesperson told Life, “Julia has never been to Portugal. Of course, she would like to go because the performance at the Eurovision Song Contest is the dream of her life.”
Life also reports that Julia is currently busy with her solo music career and has not prepared a song for Eurovision 2018.
The only one?
Julia was originally announced as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2017 in March. 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 contested 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. But it seems that particular flame might not be burning so brightly after all.
Russia’s entry for 2018 will be organised by Russia-1, who may wish to select their own act for Lisbon, different from Channel One’s pick for 2017.
However, Russia has never been known to announce their Eurovision acts early. They typically leave their artist and song reveals until mid-March, close to the deadline. So it is very possible that the wheels are still in motion for Julia to finally make it to Eurovision.
Julia’s experience has parallels with Anna Book’s Mello-drama. In 2016 Book was disqualified from the Swedish national final after it was discovered her entry “Himmel för två” had previously been performed two years earlier. Broadcaster SVT was said to have promised Book a place in Melodifestivalen 2017.
However, when the 2017 line-up was announced, Book wasn’t part of it. She said she was “incredibly disappointed” being left out. However, SVT said they did not hear anything from Book regarding an entry for Melfest 2017.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Julia Samoylova, it’s that she’s a fighter. Speaking to wiwibloggs editor-in-chief William Lee Adams last month, Julia revealed that “The news that I could not come to the contest hurt me, but I never give up, never.” She added, “I would like to say to all the people — with physical challenges or without them — believe in yourselves, never give up and make your dream come true.”
What do you think? Should Julia be Russia’s representative for Eurovision 2018? Or should Russia be free to select someone else? Share your thoughtful comments below.