In 2017 she hoped to sing “Flame Is Burning” at Eurovision…only to be banned from entering Ukraine. Now Julia Samoylova is back for Eurovision 2018 with “I Won’t Break”. She wants you to know that she’s still a girl on fire.

Her electro ballad picks up where “Flame Is Burning” left off, building on themes of perseverance and hope, once again drawing on notions of light and dark. Last year she sang that “deep in the night there is a light and in the dark a flame is burning.” This year she intones that “even in the darkness, even in the darkness, I can see the light.” No matter how you look at it, Russia’s Eurovision 2018 singer is lit.

The transition from 2017 to 2018 isn’t just thematic. It also comes through in more modern and contemporary production. “Flame is Burning” dripped Soviet nostalgia — it harked back to another era. “I Won’t Break” maintains an identifiable regional flair, yet it reaches beyond that.

Even the styling in the music video suggests as much. Last year Julia sported a big coiffe and a generally “safe” look. This year producers have let her be herself. She presents herself as an edgy woman with a nose piercing and a vampish purple lip. Think it. See it. Slay it.

But which song do you prefer? You can watch each of the music videos below. Then vote in our poll.

Be sure to sound off in the comments section to let us know which song you prefer and why.

Eurovision 2017 — “Flame Is Burning”

Eurovision 2018 — “I Won’t Break”

Poll: Russia at Eurovision

Vote in more of our Eurovision 2018 polls

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Marko
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Marko

I dislike both. Both are sappy, soapy, both feel lazy, and borderline pathetic. Russia has had some amazing ESC entries. Julia isn’t the best choice, with these songs at least. I strongly dislike both these songs. I like her voice, though. It would be interesting to hear her sing something a bit more jazzy.

blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

Neither of them. She was just chosen by Russia last year to make a scandal and show how bad the Ukraine was. And after she wasn’t allowed to entry the Ukraine borders, Russia just needed to let her compete this year. It still doesn’t make any of her songs good.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

That’s an easy one. Last year’s song was as flat and boring as it could get. “I won’t break” is better.

Mikey
Guest
Mikey

You should have put “neither” as an option. Because I have nothing to vote for.
Don’t like either of these two songs. Each is boring me in its own way.

Frau Loch
Guest
Frau Loch

So much negativity, give the girl a break and ask yourself. Would I feel the same if she would represent Switzerland?

Carlo Lazado
Guest
Carlo Lazado

The answer is still yes. Both songs are rubbish.

Jello
Guest
Jello

Yes. Yes, I would.

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

I like both of the songs! Her english still needs some work though.

poison
Guest
poison

The extreme photoshopping (or whatever the video-equivalent is) is disturbing on this new song – to the point that I can’t even really remember the song itself.

It certainly wasn’t necessary. She’s attractive on her own.

Thierry
Guest
Thierry

Russia is going to get 12 points in the UK televoting hahahaha

FlameIsNotBurningTonight
Guest
FlameIsNotBurningTonight

HAHAHHA

Ramina
Guest
Ramina

WTF?? a stupid poll

Roxy
Guest
Roxy

I like Flame is Burning better as a song but her singing kills it. She sounds much better in I Won’t Break but in both songs I can’t concentrate on her vocals because of excessive backing vocals and auto tune.
I’m pretty sure she will qualify thanks to, as William stated in reaction video, story, staging, and diaspora. You probably noticed “song” is not among them, because it’s just a mess.
It would be a good surprise if she don’t qualify with this mess.

Talula
Guest
Talula

Really,You made a specific poll only for Russia ? lmao! Both song are averege, not horrible but nothing special…

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

I would rank “I Won’t Break” a lot higher if it’s sang in Russian instead of English. No offense, but Yulia’s accent is absolutely awful.

Should’ve stick to Russian. They are going to qualify anyway, just because they are Russia.

Jello
Guest
Jello

My god, the autotune is real with both songs. They’re both really annoying to listen to. It really looks like Russia is caring more for Junior Eurovision than Eurovision… It’ll probably qualify anyways, because Russia.

Sangfreud
Guest
Sangfreud

Who styled that poor woman? She looks like a plastic pleasure doll. Plus with the autotune cranked up to 11, she comes across like a robot. Disturbing.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

“Flame is Burning” reminded me of songs performed by The Carpenters, in a good way.
“I won’t break” is a bit more modern-sounding.
Essentially though, they are both songs in an emotional minor key that are attempting to convey a positive message.
I like “Flame is burning” better because of the Carpenters call-back, but both are similar in design and intention.

Miss Uncongeniality
Guest
Miss Uncongeniality

None… both are really mediocre… if Russia qualify to the final, it would be only because of being Russia, or, because of the “emotional mumble yumble” about her disability, which being honest, is nothing more than a trick from Russian channel, to clean their international image. It’s a classical communist trick

Julie
Guest
Julie

Um Russia is not communist…

blueeyed
Guest
blueeyed

Russia is still using communist tricks. Is that not clear to you?

Anya
Guest
Anya

So sorry for her, neither of them is even average. Russia could have done better.

oggy
Guest
oggy

The Both is the worst entry in Eurovision 2017 & 2018 even more worst than 2 entry from Valentina Monetta (2012 & 2017). Russia always send Cheap English & Bad English with Politic Mission.

Btw, only Azerbaijan is friend of Russia in Eurovision Song Contest. Their mission are same, Cheap English & Politic Money.

Leo
Guest
Leo

Funny when someone criticizes bad English in very bad English lol.
And calling it the worst songs in these two years just shows how political your own judgement is. Last year was a good song, not one of the best but good. This year is weaker but there are worse acts for sure.

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

You forgot about Belarus and Armenia, as well as Moldova (after they give 12 to Romania, 10 always goes to Russia).

Timo1962FI
Guest
Timo1962FI

Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan are not going to save this as those countries compete in a “wrong” semifinal. Russia’s friends in semi2 are quite few.

SimonH
Guest
SimonH

Where is Option C : NEITHER The new song is just awful and a clear ploy. Its been autotuned to Hell and back and God only knows what it will sound like live, they better find 5 exceptionally loud and talented backing singers to cover her shortcomings in enunciation and tonality, of find a distracting gimmick to take the voters minds off this hot mess. All that said its Mother Russia and it will qualify easily and probably be on left hand side of the scoreboard. Again this is just my personal opinion, not an attack on Julia, as I… Read more »

Real Winner
Guest
Real Winner

C: both are crap

mack_the_knife
Guest
mack_the_knife

Neither of them! They are both horrible! Any other country would come dead last with rubbish like this! You wouldn’t even talk about it.

Oscillate
Guest
Oscillate

None. Both rubbish.

But I’m sure she’ll qualify.

JEFFERSON LAMAS
Guest
JEFFERSON LAMAS

More trash than Israel, Bulgaria, Austria, Australia and Czech Republic impossible!

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Difficult to choose. They’re so different, and they’re both good v good.
But I prefer the live performance of Flame is Burning to the music video this year.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

None, for God sake!

Jmfpds
Guest
Jmfpds

I should sue you for asking me to choose between two horrendous songs. I refuse to answer this poll *yuck*

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Both are 10/10s tho I love This woman.

Ari
Guest
Ari

Send Sofia Fisenko, I think that was her name. The one who wrote and sang “Water Of Life” and gave that useless junior competition an actual song to remember. I find it rather remarkable, that she, a so-called “junior”, wrote a far better sang than any of the Russian adults had ever been given at Eurovision. Just please don’t force Kirkorov on her too, he would only diminish her raw talent.

Alex
Guest
Alex

She did not write “Water Of Life”. It was written by Rita Dakota, belarusian singer-songwriter. “I Am The One” (Belarus 2017) also her song

Ari
Guest
Ari

“Water of Life” is a song by Russian group “The Water of Life Project”. It will represent Russia during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016. It is composed and written by Rita Dakota and Sofia herself.

That’s what it says on Wikipedia.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I agree. Water of Life is a great song, far better than any of their recent adult ESC songs, and so is their new winning entry, Krilya. I think Sofia is now just old enough to compete at ESC. If her new song is as strong as her previous one, Russia could just get their best song in several years.

Yulia is a NQ for me, but since it’s Russia, I can predict a qualification and maybe even a mid-table result in the finals.

Ari
Guest
Ari

Unfortunately, I am inclined to agree, until proven otherwise. There was that one time where Greece did not qualify, so strange and just things can happen.

Stevan
Guest
Stevan

Flame is Burning is so much better. It would have been my top 10 in 2017

Ari
Guest
Ari

Neither.

Jelly
Guest
Jelly

Hah! So true.
But if I had to choose, it’d be I Won’t Break. It’s less offensive to the ears.

Colin
Guest
Colin

It’s autotuned enough to be so. Let’s wait for the live version. Maybe she can surprise us, but unlikely.

Julia
Guest
Julia

Yeah there should be a third option – both are awful
Most of the Russians are outraged with the choice of the contestant to represent their country as they don’t even have national selection
Tbh, the vid is weird and not appealing to watch, her accent is stronger than my grandma’s, and her voice is too much autotuned. The army of backing vocalists can save this.
But Russia will definitely qualify due to the neighbouring votes
Bring back stunning Gagarina or Lazarev pls

Ekaterina Rozhkova
Guest
Ekaterina Rozhkova

I’m Russian and I hope we will never have national final. Nobody amoung russian star will no take part. Noname singer you have now. Belgium and The Netherlands have no national final too and they have great song, it’s not a problem. But channels must choose more wisely – professional artist with enough expirience and with song, which will be example of it’s real work.

Kobe
Guest
Kobe

None

Yu
Guest
Yu

I think both songs are good, but there is something in her voice that annoys me a lot. But good luck for her. And i appreciate, that she’s making her dreams come true.

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

They’re both awful.

Rafael Pedro
Guest

She’s back with another great song with strong lyrics, sweet voice and with an official video, not just a live performance video with studio audio like last year. ‘I Won’t Break’ is growing on me and got to my top 10 (but as I can’t vote, my top is just useless XD)

‘Flame is Burning’ is great, also. Unfortunately it couldn’t get to the Eurovision stage last year, but now she really deserves a place in the grand final. I can’t wait to hear a live version of IWB

Ana
Guest
Ana

“Flame is Burning dripped Soviet nostalgia” – I was thinking exactly the same. In a good way, you know. I really liked that song because I associated it with old russian compositions, with characteristic melody and sweet-longing way of singing. But I Won’t Break is another attempt to catch the flow. Sorry, there are too many songs like this one.

Ana
Guest
Ana

*Russian

TK
Guest
TK

She’s still winning the award for most auto tune and worst English accent but “I Won’t Break” is a marked improvement.

The song is catchy and I wish her all the best!

Ps fab make up job in the video 🙂

Kris
Guest
Kris

I think Melovin has the award for worst English accent in the bag! No competition there!

I didn’t even realize it was English till I was told by commentors that I was counting Ukraine wrongly in the list of countries singing in National languages.

TK
Guest
TK

Lol I thought Melovin was winning the award for “Timothy Chalamet Impersonater of the Year”…

Kris
Guest
Kris

I have no idea who that is but we can give him two awards….. It’s Ukraine… It should get more than is warranted

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Kris Come on, Melovin’s main problem is the pronunciation of complex words, but the song of Julia consists of simple words, and everything is terrible. I don’t hear the singing, only a whisper.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Actually frankly speaking i didn’t make out one English word other than oh oh

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

I actually enjoy both. They have a nostalgia sing along feeling. Not dying for them but I’d listen to them willingly.

Alex M
Guest
Alex M

Well, the second one is a little better, but neither of them is good. I just hope she will actually sing.

John Moynahan
Guest
John Moynahan

We must be honest here
Anything is better than “Flame is Burning”. However Julia is not a great singer and why do people insist on singing in English when their ennunciation is so poor!
Might have more respect if she sang in Russian but neither performance is good enough!

impressiveinstants
Guest
impressiveinstants

This year’s one is more bearable but everyone took it seriously this year so it is my least favorite.

Yulia ftw
Guest
Yulia ftw

IWB obviously
Both songs are nothing special but IWB has great catchy melody

Colin
Guest
Colin

Both songs are fine, neither is really strong. Both are brought down by Yulia’s accent.

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

Need 3d option: don`t like both.