For months Eurovision fans have wondered aloud whether Russia’s Channel 1 would make good on its promise to send Julia Samoylova to Eurovision 2018 following Ukraine’s ban on the singer last year. There had been such a long silence from the broadcaster that fans were skeptical when Julia announced her participation on Facebook on January 26, and again when her management confirmed to us that she was, indeed, singing at Eurovision.
Well the speculation can now stop, as Channel 1 has finally and officially confirmed her participation in a statement published this evening.
“The decision was made last year after [the broadcaster] was forced to withdraw from Eurovision 2017,” the statement reads. “Julia has already started preparing for the contest.”
On Friday the blonde singer teased fans with images she described as “training for Eurovision”, along with the news that she was working with Polina Gagarina’s Eurovision stage director.
“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.”
In an e-mail message sent to wiwibloggs, her management said:
“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.”
That followed on from the January 13 news that Julia had prepared two songs as potential Eurovision entries. 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).
Long wait for Julia
Today’s news will surely put Julia’s fans at ease, as they’ve long wondered whether she would fulfil her wish of singing at ESC.
In October Russian website So Groovy reported that Julia discussed the issue during a live chat with her fans. The “Flame is Burning” singer revealed that while she still hadn’t heard from the broadcaster, she remained hopeful. Barring some sort of apocalyptic outcome, Julia seemed determined to make it to Lisbon.
“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.”
In a video accompanying the announcement, Julia discusses her Eurovision dream and the various hurdles she has overcome. You may recognise the footage: It was intended to be used in the run-up to Eurovision 2017 and was previously uploaded to YouTube.
“In 2000 I saw Alsou at Eurovision and decided than that I wanted to sing there too,” she says.
In terms of her career she says that “Eurovision will change absolutely everything” and that “my favourite Eurovision song is Molitva by Marija Serifovic. It gave me goose bumps”