She was one of the most talked-about singers of Eurovision 2017….despite being banned from the contest.
And today Russia’s Julia Samoylova teased fans with images she describes as “training for Eurovision” — despite the fact the broadcaster has not publicly confirmed her participation.
“This is the start of the training for Eurovision!” the ebullient singer wrote on her Facebook page. “At Last! Met our team with Director-Director Alexei Golubev, discussed the future number. The song has already been chosen, so now we work.”
Alexei, you’ll note, worked with Polina Gagarina on her stunning presentation for Eurovision 2015 in Vienna.
In May, Yulia’s management assisted me on a story I wrote for Billboard and kindly arranged an interview with their star. Following today’s news I reached out to them again to confirm whether her participation is, in fact, on the cards.
This was their response:
“Julia and her husband offered several songs of his own composition. But as a result decided to choose a song of other authors. The Russian broadcaster has confirmed Julia’s participation. Now is preparing for the contest, recording a song and staging a show program.”
The broadcaster has not publicly confirmed participation, and we are waiting for an official announcement and confirmation. But Julia’s team suggest they have been nudged behind-the-scenes.
Her official selection would put Ukraine in a difficult position. By EBU law they must broadcast all performances. By their own laws they are not permitted to broadcast “blacklisted” artists.
Julia prepared two songs for Eurovision
This follows on from the January 13 news that Julia had prepared two songs as potential Eurovision entries. Then, as now, broadcaster Channel One had not publicly confirmed her as its participant, despite earlier pledges.
Russian magazine Antenna-Telesem is reported to have published an interview with the singer where she talks about her Eurovision 2018 bid.
Julia was said to have co-written two songs with her husband/manager Alexei Taran (a romantic who likes to read her poetry under the moon).
One is about a fairytale, the other is on the theme of space. Both space and fairytales are attractive themes for Eurovision songs, as Alexander Rybak and Slavko Kalezic will testify. She did not specify in her most recent Facebook post which she had chosen.
The X Factor runner-up also revealed to the magazine that she is ready to sing in Russian, English or even Portuguese.
She said she’d like to keep the same high-tech staging that was planned for her “Flame is Burning” performance in Kyiv. “I want to show it exactly,” she explained.
Julia also discussed her ideas for the costume. “We will choose a dress for the song, but I do not want anything classic.”
She was clear that she wanted to move away from her X Factor image. During her time on the popular talent show in 2013, she became known for her edgy fashions, with rock chick styles and Gaga-inspired avant-garde costumes.
For a potential Eurovision appearance, Julia imagines soft curls, with “crystals on my face and horns on my head”.
JULIA SAMOYLOVA AND EUROVISION
Julia was originally announced as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2017 back 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 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.
We previously heard from Julia in October when she commented on the issue during a live chat with fans. She said:
“Regarding the Eurovision song — no guys, the song for Eurovision has not even been chosen yet. Well, they say that I will go. I hope that the end of the world won’t come and everything will be fine … And we will go to Eurovision.”
Julia also recently performed on a New Year’s Eve television special. Despite fans assuming the event would also be her confirmation for Lisbon, no announcement was made.
What do you think? Which of Julia’s two songs is best for Eurovision? Should Channel One select her as their act for Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!