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!

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Nick
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Nick

She consciously went on deceiving the whole of Europe. It’s a shame. Now he tries to justify himself. It should not be!!!

Kirby
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Kirby

The release of Julia’s entry coincided with a bad moment in my life. Her song cheered me up indeed, despite all its controversy. I still listen to it among so many other Lisbon 2018 songs. I Won’t Break has a special place in my heart now. Anyway, when I saw her in that SF2 evening, tears rolled down my face, I must confess. I could see Yulia was just doing her best, as much possible as she could. Why the hell did they put her on top of a mountain? That just made things harder for her. Yulia, I’m always… Read more »

Apple
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Apple

If this interview tells us anything, it’s that Julia deserves more respect as a performer. She owns up to her mistakes, and although many things were out of her control, she continued to smile for the people at home

zelenovi
Guest
zelenovi

Fully agree.

jdplatt
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jdplatt

I was on the verge of tears when I watched Julia’s performance. I was not surprised to see it fail to qualify, but I thought there was a chance it would squeak through in 10th place. Julia, had she been able to perform a song she could get behind, would have been able to make her mark on the Lisbon stage. Sadly, it didn’t happen. I’m glad she’s being honest, and recognizes that there was so much working against her. Russia, take note, you’re not invincible.

Jo.
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Jo.

bout time to that volcano spits some lava!!!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I rewatched the performance, and you can see that she took a long breath after the chorus, than continued to sing. She knew how bad it was, That must have been very painful to her.

Am.casablancas
Guest
Am.casablancas

It’s nice she realizes her performance wasn’t decent, and that the primarily one to be blamed is her. It takes a lot to assume your defeat. But then I go to the other side of the spectrum… how on earth did she not foresaw this when she basically knew the song prior to everyone in the media. Studio cuts improve vocals by A LOT and if she didn’t realized there that she wasn’t able to reach then effortlessly then why did she accepted to become the nightmare it is today. I don’t want to blame Russia’s propaganda but she sure… Read more »

Kuhkatz
Guest
Kuhkatz

She didn’t got the Support she needed to. Not from the Delegation but also from the backing singers. Yes, I agree that she didn’t sung well in Lisbon, but especially in Moscow but also in Lisbon, her voice wasn’t the only problem. What I like about her is that she realizes, why all went wrong, but she shouldn’t call her dream as ruined, she went far for someone with her disabilities. And also I like that she realizes that she was a puppet last year, there are just a few that realize that they are being abused for political or… Read more »

Malin
Guest
Malin

I get angry. Why be that hard towards her. Hope she doesn’t see her own value as a person, thoug her esc performance. No, I didn’t like the song. But it’s not the hole world. Good luck to her, hope she will find new goals in lives and continue whith music if that makes her happy.
Love from sweden

CarlosM
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CarlosM

I respect that she’s admitted to what we all knew. She was used. She had no choice. Russia only cared that she uses a wheelchair. They tried to ‘play’ the world twice, but we saw right through it.

Julia, leave Russia! Other countries won’t ‘use’ you.

Eyal
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Eyal

I definitely do respect her a lot for this interview, it’s incredible that she can be this down to earth yet optimistic. I have no idea how she does that but this interview is incredible.

tullskoify
Guest
tullskoify

I liked Julias interview, think she was used and Russia did not give her the support she needed for the performance. It was never a winning song and it may not have gone further, but Russia did not do their best to promote her. The video was awful, but when I heard the Eurovision songs on my Spotify playlist, I thought the song was ok.

TheBoyNextDoor
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TheBoyNextDoor

So sorry for her

DyGh
Guest
DyGh

If this all is true, then I feel very sorry for her. She wanted to change things but they saw her as a minor component of the performance. I really want to believe she is a great performer but we will never know.
It’s horrible, they basically ruined her dream and she starts to believe it’s all her fault.

Héctor
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Héctor

Well, as far as I didn’t like the song, her vocals or Russia’s intentions, I have to agree with Yulia. I’m glad she has recognized everything behind her performance and selection and she’s well aware of that. So kudos for this interview, Yulia.

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

I saw some additional transcripts of that interview . The fact the shocked me the most were details of her operation. She said that last year she was literally ‘cut’ from the neck to the rectum and a special metal structure was implanted inside. This ‘straightened up’ Yulua by ca 10 cm however as a result she lost her vocal support (I think somebody made a comparison with a tight tension spring being stretched). So effectively Yulia cannot sing as she used to at this point of time but nobody checked that before offering her an opportunity and Yulia did… Read more »

Fulia is slightly insincere
Guest
Fulia is slightly insincere

The last year Julia was chosen under the slogan “celebrate diversity”, it’s essential, don’t forget it. It so happenned that she wasn’t allowed to participate and she was promised one more chance to fulfill her dream. She could refuse if she felt bad but she didn’t, so what sense does it make to blame anybody afterwards?

Denis
Guest
Denis

At least she is honest. I mean she basically admitted that last year she was chosen for her wheelchair and went along with it. It would be a sad case of being a puppet but she agreed to it? That is a bit worying..
I do like her though. With a voice and song that suits her she could do well! None of the songs fitted her!

JEFFERSON
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JEFFERSON

She sings very well in Russian. She should not return to ESC, but I love her, and I really want what’s best for her. I will follow your career always.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I mean, when has Russia ever left its participant some artistic freedom? Most times they do a good job, but turning Julia into a label puppet didn’t work. They should have allowed her to be creative and have a voice.

adriana
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adriana

I didn`t liked her at first,but now i have a great respect for her.

Adam
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Adam

Wow! I’ll admit that I despised this entry this year – everything from the generic song to the vocals and messy staging – it was my last place overall, but I’ve gained huge respect for her. She is admitting all this, but I don’t think she needs to be so harsh on herself. We can’t blame her for everything, such as the stage concept which is probably the delegation’s fault.

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

Please show Some respect.

ted
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ted

She deserves credit for accepting what we all knew. Bad song, bad vocals on a hard to sing song and badly staged. Now she can put this to rest and move on to bigger and better things.
At the end of the day, she was a vocalist, hired to sing a song for a television performance as directed by the people who hired her. That’s how authority works . She accepted the gig, then complained. Clearly she didn’t read the T&C’s. The very essence of manufactured pop. Turn up, wear this, sing this, smile.

Ern
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Ern

Good for her !!!

Julia is a very respectable person. I like how she’s being 100% honest about what went wrong.

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

What she said about Conchita was sweet. I actually liked her song a lot. It was just the performance on that was weak for me.

Curve
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Curve

Very sad to see her accept all this. But she should not be so hard on herself. At least she is a part of the contest which gave her plenty of opportunities like having to sing on stage, meet new friends, go to another country like Portugal, and see the ocean there. It may not be like what she have wanted but she can still focus on the positives as time goes by. There are some people who have experienced worse than her.

Simon
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Simon

I honestly think if she had have connected with the cameras, and by extension, the audience at home, and even simply looked into the lens the performance would have been much more relatable and elevated, and that alone could have improved her score significantly.

Davve
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Davve

So, why did she perform at all. This is fabrication of events after the fact.

Curve
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Curve

Umm can’t the woman dream despite the odds? lol

Danny
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Danny

They used her for a provocation against Ukraine and got “stuck” with her for 2018 (she pretty much says that herself). I actually thought they will make up some excuse that she can’t participate this year because of her health or something, but they were afraid that she will tell the truth. Anyway, sad for her but not surprised that this is how Russia treats the disabled.

Marco
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Marco

I think that’s a fantastic interview – she’s honest and has got a sense of reality, without complaining about things. A shame she didn’t get a better song or preparation and in the end sang better…

DERYA
Guest
DERYA

I am here to confess
Because of the last year’s happenings i was prejudiced towards to Yulya, i thought she was a provocateur. But i see i am wrong, all i see is a fearless, honest, brave and classy young lady. She says what she thinks she doesn’t do political runaways. I am sorry Yulya u made me think i was wrong. You have a fan here already. You really won’t break I am sure about it. Kisses from Turkey, GO GIRL!

Vowy
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Vowy

She doesn’t run politics but people behind her do!

vf99
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vf99

I’m impressed by her honesty. She reads the people around her to filth and rightfully so. She deserved something she would have been comfortable with.

Tomás davitt
Guest
Tomás davitt

The bitter irony in this whole thing is that in the end, unlike her song, she did break. She was broken by a team that clearly made no effort to hide that they were using her, were not trying to win and were not taking her creative opinion into account. How could that not completely demoralise anyone who thought that they would be living their dream? The final straw was hiding her on the top of a ridiculous volcano, hoping that no one would see her and focus on the absurd dancers far away from her. I feel terrible for… Read more »

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I appreciate her honesty and I think it’s very noble of her to take responsibility, even if we know that she was the victim there. It must be terrible for an Eurovision artist to listen their own team saying that they’re not going there to win. Especially when you come from a country that always shows so much ambition. They avoided confirming her as an act for a whole year, then gave her a song that doesn’t suit her and it seems that she hadn’t had a voice about anything. Julia was disrespected through the whole process.

Louis from France ?
Guest
Louis from France ?

I’m very sad for her, but it’s great that she’s recognizing the mistakes and laughing a little of that… Actually I think that an Eurovision entry is done by someone or made for/with someone, the artist must take part of all the preparation and must say his thoughts. This didn’t seem to happen with Julia. She is a great person with lot and sensibilities, she had to fight and pass over all the problems she met. Her dream is waste out and I feel sorry for her. I really wish her the best for her career and hope that she… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I love This woman so much. Vocally She was faulty, but I feel like the Russian delegation could have tried better with the staging. I am glad she doesn’t speak English because Some of the comments Some of the fans Made About are absolutely disgusting and it makes me sad everytime I see the hate she gets. Her song is still My second favorite of the year but it was kinda butchered live but I hooed She would still qualify. I hope She becomes an international hit and Lets Eurovision be a bad spot in her carreer. Nothing but respect… Read more »

Safiya
Guest
Safiya

This is so sad and just painful to read. I knew from the start that they used her. They could have given her a song that actually works with her voice. She shouldn’t not be so hard on herself because it’s not her fault. I hope she’s going to find a right path in her career and be happy.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

That’s really heartbreaking. I still don’t understand why a delegation who has shown so much professionalism in the past screwed this up so badly (I mean, personally, I had my ups and downs with the Russian entries, but when it came to production and staging, until this year they always seemed to know what they were doing). I completely agree with what she says about the bizarre production of the studio cut (I already pointed that out in my comment to the wiwi-jury vote) and the rather peculiar staging. But she shows a very professional attitude by also and foremost… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Both her 2017 song and her 2018 song were awful. Julia was used, but it seems like she went in with her eyes open.

Her toughness remains an inspiration, so her appearances have not been a total waste of time.

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

she is a beautiful person

Orange
Guest
Orange

My god… Bless her soul. I feel so bad for her and the Russian delegation should really think about their actions…

CJGE
Guest
CJGE

To be honest, I liked her song this year, but I think it was already obvious from the start that she won’t qualify. I just feel sad for her now. I just hope she will still continue to have a great music career ahead of her.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin

I’m happy to see her real side. We knew there’re something wrong in the team throughout the whole journey. She acted like a muppet and seemed she’s been hiding some truth. I feel so sorry for her facing such a huge criticisms and even bullying while that’s not even her fault. She wanted make improvements but the team ignores her….
All my respect to Julia. The show must go on girl?

Yanis2Y
Guest
Yanis2Y

i feel really bad for her. she’s so lucid.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Sad because she had a bad song/revamp

Danielsen
Guest
Danielsen

I’m absolutely gutted for her. She deserved so much better and I’m so upset she’s blaming herself. Will never forgive the Russian broadcaster for that, absolutely pathetic. Love to Julia ??

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

She was sabotaged! She’s edgy and original, look at her videos on the blue carpet.
Julia can still try 1in360 next year ^^

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

She’s a smart woman. Wish her all the best in life.