He won the televote at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and his massive fandom has been begging him to return to the contest ever since.

And on Sunday evening Russia’s Sergey Lazarev finally shared his thoughts on the matter in an exclusive interview with wiwibloggs at Zhara Fest in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The “You Are The Only One” singer recently traveled to Portugal — host country of Eurovision 2018 — to film a music video, which will drop in October. Following his Instagram stories posts from the Iberian country, his inbox and comments section blew up.

Scroll down for video interview

As he tells us: “I was shooting the video there and I received so many questions, ‘Why are you in Portugal? Is it something with the Eurovision next year or not?'”

Naturally we had to ask the same question backstage at Zhara Fest.

“Do you want me to go?” he laughs. “Well, to be honest, I haven’t decided yet because for going to Eurovision I have to have a song — the whole team and everything. But I’m so happy that I still have fans after my performance last year and everybody asking.”

Is that a yes?

“I don’t know yet — maybe.”

Sergey’s love of Eurovision comes through loud and clear, and when he talks about the song contest he beams with love and enthusiasm.

“The whole atmosphere of the Eurovision Song Contest is so amazing. When I look back from all these old photos from Eurovision I’m a little bit sad because everything is finished already. Sometimes I would like to come back next year, maybe later — I don’t know.”

His enthusiasm remains despite the fact that 21 of the 42 professional juries awarded him zero points. He was as confused as we were.

“It’s really strange,” he says. “For me it was like, ‘What?’ I didn’t expect these kind of scores from jury — these zeroes. It looks like we didn’t perform at all, like I didn’t perform, I didn’t sing, I didn’t do anything on the stage at all. For me it was very strange, but the audience supported me.”

You’ll remember that he was the televote winner.

“The funniest thing is that people from countries gave me 12 points, 10 points. Juries from the same countries gave me zero. Why? What happened? I won the televoting and for me the most important thing is — the whole thing is for the audience, for the people. I am an artist. I am doing it all for my audience who listen to me, who love me, who supported me.”

Sergey discusses Julia Samoylova

And what does Sergey make of Julia Samoylova’s ban from Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine?

“I was upset, to be honest, because I think that everybody should participate this year — especially Russia because Russia always has strong singers at the Eurovision, so I was upset that we weren’t there.”

Following Julia Samoylova’s Eurovision ban, Russia’s Eurovision broadcasters confirmed that they wanted to send the “Flame Is Burning” star to Eurovision 2018 — and they reiterated the point on the television program “Blacklist for Eurovision”, which aired on May 14.

But since then Julia’s status has seemed less clear, as Russian news site LIFE reported that the singer hasn’t received confirmation that she’ll be in Lisbon and Russian composer Philipp Kirkorov has said publicly that Russia is still looking for its singer. Sergey’s comments suggest there is still hope that the flame is burning.

“I supported her when she didn’t go to Eurovision,” Sergey says. “She was also very sad about this news and upset and we supported her. Next year maybe she will go.”

Regardless of who goes to Eurovision 2018 on Russia’s behalf, one thing is certain: Sergey will be in Portugal again soon. This week he’ll return to Portugal with Dima Bilan to film the music video for their duet “Prosti menya”, which they premiered at the recent Muz-TV Awards.

Sergey on Eurovision 2017

Sergey is a fan of Salvador Sobral, who he believes is a worthy winner of the song contest.

“Portugal was amazing last year. I think he deserved to win. He was different. It’s not the song I will sing myself — like in the shower or the club — but Eurovision has to be different all the time.”

Among his other favourites were Sweden’s Robin Bengtssons and Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov.

“We were in the same children’s band,” he says of Kristian, who was born and raised in Moscow. “When I was 12 years old I was in a children’s band —Neposedi. It’s like Mickey Mouse club, the same with t.a.t.u. girls. Ten years earlier Kristian was there.”

What do you think? Do you want Sergey to return to Eurovision in 2018 and snatch the trophy? Or would you rather see Julia go? Maybe a duet? Let us know in the comments box below. 

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[…] ???? ??? ??? ?????????? ??? Sergey Lazarez ???? ???????? wiwibloggs, ??? ??? ??????????? ?? ???????? ??? Yulia ?? ??????????? […]

Laura
Guest
Laura

I would love to see him represent Russia again!
His songs “7 wonders” and “Idealniy mir” are amazing. With a song like that, he will have a great chance at winning (sucks that he didn’t win in 2016, though)

ella
Guest
ella

I wouldn’t mind his comeback but not in 2018 (I don’t wanna him to take Yulia’s place) and only if the song is decent. I’d hate to see him wasting his chance and, even worse, his talents on a cheap song.

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

I think Sergey deserved to win in 2016 and I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing him in Eurovision, but I think 2018 would be a bit too soon. I would like some other awesome singers to get a chance to represent Russia as well.

Rockhearted
Guest
Rockhearted

No please – generic and cheesy singer. Bring on some rock music!

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

Sergey – ” I didn’t expect these kind of scores from jury — these zeroes. It looks like we didn’t perform at all, like I didn’t perform, I didn’t sing, I didn’t do anything on the stage at all.”

Tell that to Jamie Lee. Was she not on stage at all?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

That’s how it works, you know. 10 songs out of 26 get points from a jury. Half of them thought his was worth nothing.

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

Zero points don’t mean zero votes, just not enough votes. I don’t know how jury works (ranks?), but not everybody is in top ten to get points.

Loll
Guest
Loll

Russia, send Timati. You have great modern and trendy music scene, but you are sending your old-fashioned estrada performances, because Kirkorov is still working for you. Lazarev’s performance was stupid, kitsch, strange.

May 8, 10 and 12
Guest
May 8, 10 and 12

He was upset that Yulia didn’t participate in 2017, but he has no problem to take her place in 2018, if……he has the right song.
The contest has moved to the other part of the continent (Portugal) and now Russia is angry…..”now nobody cares about our strategy to gain sympathy, our game has backfired, and…are we really stuck with Yulia?….WHF…..this wasn’t planned. We want to win…..to winnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!”

Catherine
Guest
Catherine

Julia will go to Lisbon. And you are creating all these ridiculous gossip or copying them from tabloid publications just disgusting. What is this all for?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

If Eurovision has to be different all the time, why did he perform anothet regular pop song?
Eurovision has to be different and my winner of course is Ukraine’s Jamala, 100% heart, 100% voice, 100% performance, 100% atmosphere, 100% perfection ?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Another*

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

I agree 100% with you

Charles
Guest
Charles

They still want that naked torso on stage no matter what … in a ballad or in another schlager-esque crappy tune that requires over the top staging to stand out .. they just want that naked torso … and pretty sure Kirkorov still feels desperate to win this regardless … it’s his personal pride and ego that have been consuming him for years … even if it’s a song contest and music should be first and foremost … but … anyway …. Russia of course, what’s else is new!?

Stephen Podesta
Guest
Stephen Podesta

Sergey needs to move on from this, why did he think he deserved to win. Dami Im was the one that got robbed not Sergey, yet Dami has accepted the verdict and moved on from Eurovision and has done very well since. I would have to say that the Televote can never be counted on and trusted. The Juries who are more professional and are not as biased and know music did not vote sergey because the song was not the best. The Juries are asked questions on certain criteria etc, and they have to vote on this criteria and… Read more »

The Truth
Guest
The Truth

Dami Im did NOT get overrated. She sang a basic pop song with boring staging. She only even came 4th in the televote because she was from Australia and there was a lot of novelty about voting for Australia so they could win. She benefited from the Bloc voting from the juries – who always place Australia highly just because it’s Australia,not because of the song. People like Michal,Poli,and Sergey still have tons of fans especially in the eurovision community but everyone has completely forgotten about Dami Im. She was way overrated.

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

If Sound of Silence was basic then so was You Are the Only One, if you enjoy one more than the other that’s fine but they are both the same old radio friendly pop song so you can’t give them different labels. As far as Dami’s staging goes just because it wasn’t an over the top meaningless gimmick doesn’t make it boring, it was more interesting than Micha? and Poli’s staging and at least it was actually conveying her message. More to the point isn’t that what Salvadore’s speech was about when he said music isn’t fireworks, I mean look… Read more »

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

Michal*

Gloria
Guest
Gloria

If you put Australia under the old system in 2016 they would’ve won. Simply put, Ukraine and Russia benefited with spikes in either Jury/Televote, while Dami got some points in both categories, although they weren’t high enough to garner a win in the new system. Furthermore, you cannot discount her appeal, I believe if she were singing another song (like “Super Love” or fast tempo with great vocal masturbation techniques) she would’ve won.

Kaz
Guest
Kaz

Vocal what?

Jo
Guest
Jo

Both jury and televoting are biased.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Juries are definitely more biased and not needed as clearly proved by 2017’s results.

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

The public likes the most entertaining acts and the juries like the professional acts. Countries like Australia and Sweden always sends sleek, polished acts that the juries prefer so they always do well in the jury vote. Juries don’t favour Australia they favour quality which Australia always sends, it’s that simple. Yes our performance was boring and Isaiah had a few vocal hiccups but we ticked all the boxes and he still did well in the jury rehearsals. So because you only agree with the results of the televote doesn’t mean the juries are more biased or need to go.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Yes. They do send polished acts. Are they the only ones to do that? Wasn’t Finland’s polished as well?
Also, good production can be used to mask poorly written songs…
And the televoting is full of bias as we all know.

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

I’m not saying other countries didn’t send quality entries all I’m saying is our entry was and that’s what juries like. In regards to Finland my guess is they didn’t find it “commercial” I know Amar Pelos Dois wasn’t a radio friendly pop song but I guess it had the timeless factor going on.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Australia’s performance was plain bad. The song was forgettable but not a disaster, unlike the performance, which was awful. Awful staging, backdrop, and stage presence from the singer. The public knew better.

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

Just because you didn’t enjoy something doesn’t make it bad, I found it boring but I am open-minded enough to acknowledge there were no flaws. To bad the juries don’t vote for memorable acts then and to call the staging awful just goes to show that you are doing exactly what you accuse the juries of doing and that’s voting based on taste. Now fair enough you’re suppose to vote based on personal taste but that doesn’t mean the juries are wrong because they disagree with you and at least they have an educated opinion. I thought the staging was… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

There’s nothing professional about juries. They’re just members of the general public who vote for what they like, based on their taste.

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

So Cezar, Wiktoria and Zoe are members of the general-public! Sorry I was just under the impression that they were professional singers, my mistake! Since the EBU are now allowing people off the street I’m sure you will be a jury member any day now.

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

I would love to see him in whatever in 2019, or as part of a backup/duet/ensemble for 2018, but I have no desire for Sergey as a solo artist doing something “You Are The Only One”-esque in 2018. He’s a great guy, and a solid performer, but Russia can start living up to its promises if it wants to be taken seriously.

Kris
Guest
Kris

#JusticeforJulia

Chicken Kyiv?
Guest
Chicken Kyiv?

I supported Russia in ESC in both 2016 and 2017 when many of the fans wouldn’t even give them the time of day however if they go back on their word to Yulia then my patience with them will have officially run out

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

This.

If Russia sends someone other than Yulia, they are going to crash in the televote. Hard. They promised they were going to do something, so Do It, already. If they can’t be bothered to do what they promised, many people can’t be bothered to care about what they do instead.

(If they want to have other high-profile people as a duet, or as backup singers, or as a large Russian All-Stars Ensemble, sure, fine, whatever. But Yulia needs to be a prominent part of it. Period.)

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I want a brand new face, please. Sergey’s gimmick-driven performance won’t do the trick twice in a row for Russia, anyway.

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

If and when Sergey goes back, it needs to be a different style of performance, agreed. Another over-the-top effects-gasm will be tired and Trying Too Hard, not refreshing and attractive.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Either way, there’s too much talent in Russia for them to waste it on someone who isn’t even a good vocalist or an original artist.

Elle
Guest
Elle

If you think Sergey is a bad vocalist then i think you have hardly listened to any of his live performances and covers. He is actually an amazing vocalist

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Said no one ever.

Elle
Guest
Elle

Said by a lot of people actually.

Mr. Abbott
Guest
Mr. Abbott

I want Polina Gagarina again, please!

Jo
Guest
Jo

I didn’t like his entry as well, but I’ll be happy if he wins for Russia (and we know Russia will win soon).

About the juries, it’s hurting the contest indeed. They were supposed to eliminate bias, not to create more.

Tomás Patrick davitt
Guest
Tomás Patrick davitt

Uh who is the muscular babe in the white t shirt to the right as he approaches you? Can we have an interview with him pls? Preferably topless!

Plum
Guest
Plum

Michail Dvoretsky, Sergey’s concert director. He’s been working with Sergey for already over tnan 10 years from the very moment Sergey left Smash and has done a lot for him.

Ddraven
Guest
Ddraven

Why Portugal of all places to shoot the videos?
I’d rather him not participate, although maybe I am biased for heavily disliking his 2016 entry, but I won’t be opposed to it. At the end of the day I want the best song possible for all countries so as to make the show more competitive. I’d like for Russia to keep their word with Julia, but like many have said they have no obligation of it.

Escboy
Guest
Escboy

because money talks!! one of the cheapest country in Europe!!

Charles
Guest
Charles

Did you really had to throw that shade for the country that had the audacity to win without using a pathetic pop bubblegum produced in Sweden that recycles another pop tune out there … but using authentic music made from scratch like real musicians always do? Still angry that something above your HQ capacity won killing the joy of the gay kindergarten? It’s a MUSIC contest … get a grip!

Kris
Guest
Kris

That person you are lambasting here Charles is actually Portuguese you know!! A Portuguese with DID traits!!

Ddraven
Guest
Ddraven

He’s talking to Escboy and not me, dumbass. When did I throw shade? All I asked is why Portugal for the video shooting and not another country.