In May she became the first act ever to represent Russia and fail to make the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
And in the days afterward, Julia Samoylova admitted that her vocals and stage show weren’t deserving of a place in the final.
Julia made her explosive comments during an interview on the Russian chat show The Ludi. She also opened up about everything from her questionable performance at the Moscow Eurovision Party to the question of whether Russia selected her because of her wheelchair.
You can watch the interview below. We’ve transcribed the most relevant sections in the text that follows.
The interviewer doesn’t hold back, asking Julia if she agrees that her performance was “a failure”.
Yes, I do. And I think it is fair that we got such a place. I think that if I had sung better, if I had sung well, I would have made it to the final, but…would not have placed high there, because there are more factors than just my good singing. I want to apologise to everyone. I’m so sorry for not living up to people’s billing. Believe me, I didn’t do it intentionally. And my dream is ruined now. I don’t want to blame anyone but me, but it is not just a result of my work. There were some things I couldn’t influence.
What are her biggest complaints about the experience?
My main complaint is with myself — that I haven’t done my best. But our preparation was not the way I expected. Everything was half-assed. I had to solve a lot of problems myself. But I could not change most things. For example, a video to the song, mastering of the song. Also, proper rehearsals began just two weeks before Eurovision and we had just two rehearsals here in Russia. So many times I heard from my team that, “We’re not going to Eurovision to win.” It was sad to hear, as I understood that we participated just for the sake of appearance.
Julia’s performance at the Moscow Eurovision Party got attention for all the wrong reasons — most notably the strained vocals in the chorus. When she re-watched the video, she shared many of the criticisms that were circulating amid the fandom.
When I watch it, it’s like a drunk woman singing [laughing]. The problem is that I didn’t hear myself at all, the instrumental was very loud, but not my voice. And I didn’t hear that I made it lower and just sang awfully. Then I watched it and was shocked just like, “That’s f*cked up!” My mother phoned me and said: “You should never sing again, go back to your village.” [laughing]
During her actual Eurovision performance, she was seen not singing some of the words. Did she forget the lyrics?
Of course I didn’t. I know the words of my song by heart. Just… by the time of the performance I had already been too despondent, and I felt so many emotions at that moment that I decided that it would be better to take a deep breath and not to sing some words instead of singing them badly.
“Do you think that you were chosen to represent your country just because of the wheelchair?”
No, this year of course not.
“And last year?”
Last year…. I suppose yes, it was not for nothing. I think they needed a character with certain features. And, frankly speaking, I understood it…but it was a dream of my life to perform on the Eurovision stage and I could not refuse it.
She’s previously said that she didn’t like her music video and that she didn’t understand the concept behind it. She goes further with The Ludi:
When I heard the mastering of the song, I didn’t like it. I could not understand why my voice was so auto-tuned and why the backing vocals were louder than me. And I could do nothing about it. They said to me, “Keep calm, everything is good, you just don’t understand”.
I didn’t like the video either — I could not understand the idea of it and all the effects. I said so and asked to do it in another way, but they didn’t listen to me.
She doesn’t think that her elimination was political at all.
That’s ludicrous. I don’t see any political thing in it, and I haven’t noticed it. Some people say for example that it’s a strange contest with bad values, with winners like Conchita Wurst, but I don’t think so. I liked Conchita’s performance and I think she deserved to win.
What do you think of Julia’s interview? Do you respect her candour and sense of humour as much as we do? Should Russia’s team have listened to her more? Let us know down below!