For months, speculation has been rife about who will represent Russia in Tel Aviv, with a number of names being tossed into the ring. More recently, rumours of a certain Eurovision 2016 bronze medallist have reached fever pitch. But finally the rumours can be turned to fact, with broadcaster Russia 1 confirming that Sergey Lazarev will be the country’s representative for Eurovision 2019.

An act that will need no introduction to Eurovision fans, this will be Sergey’s second appearance at the contest. In 2016 he topped the televote with his song “You Are The Only One”, ending up third on the podium overall. No doubt he’ll be aiming to go all the way and take home the trophy this time around.

In the announcement made on Eurovision.tv, the Russian star says that he is honoured to represent Russia for a second time, that he is thankful for the trust the broadcaster puts into him and he promises to represent Russia in the best possible way.

Sergey’s song will be revealed at a later date. However, we may already have an idea of who is going to be behind it. Greek songwriter Dimitris Kontopoulos posted to Instagram to celebrate the announcement of Sergey’s participation.

Dimitris let the photo talk for itself, keeping the caption simple, but humorous: “Sergeys’ back or Sergey’s back?”

Interestingly, Dimitris has tagged Philipp Kirkorov and Fokas Evagelinos in the photo. This suggests that Sergey’s Eurovision 2019 song and staging will be produced by the ‘Dream Team’.

The ‘Dream Team’ is a creative collective including Dimitris Kontopoulos, Russian Eurovision maestro Philipp Kirkorov, and Greek choreographer Fokas Evagelinos.

Both Kirkorov and Kontopoulos have a long history in the Eurovision scene, both together and separately. Multiple countries have had the honour of working with the team, including Ukraine’s Ani Lorak, Greece’s Sakis Rouvas and of course Sergey’s 2016 entry. Most recently Azerbaijan singer Aisel and Moldovan trio DoReDos worked their ‘Dream Team’ magic in Lisbon.

Fokas Evagelinos, however, is known for combining the inspirational musical ideas of the team with iconic staging moments, such as Farid Mammadov’s glass box, the Tolmachevy Sisters’ giant seesaw and the screen extravaganza at the centre of Sergey’s performance in Stockholm.

With such an experienced team possibly behind Sergey’s song once again, we can undoubtedly expect something big and bold. Thunder and lightning it’s getting exciting y’all!

Sergey will now become only the second Russian representative to make a return appearance at Eurovision (if you don’t count Julia Samoylova’s withdrawn 2017 entry).

Back in 2008, Dima Bilan participated with the song “Believe”, after originally placing second in 2006. Naturally Dima went on to win the entire contest. Sergey will be hoping he can replicate that success in Tel Aviv in May during his own comeback.

Further details about Sergey’s participation are set to be revealed on Saturday 9th February at 15:30 CET in the tv show Hi, Andrey! on Russia 1.

Are you excited to see Sergey Lazarev back at Eurovision? Do you think he’ll be able to do better than his third place finish in 2016? What are you hoping from his song? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below!

Read more Russia news here

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AngieP
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AngieP

For me, an artist should return to Eurovision if he/she has sth to give and if it’s worth a try. I’m not excited but I’m ok with Sergey coming back. I love his performance in 2016! Hope the song is good!

Kat
Guest
Kat

so now there will be 2 professional contestants – Kirkorov and Lazarev. they will go every year till someone breaks and give them the victory. Kirkorov is old, he can die every year but worry not, Lazarev will take his place and will pass it to next pro 🙂

dygh
Guest
dygh

Imagine the song being called “Back”

Rantik
Guest
Rantik

I think this is awful decision. Sergey is a good singer and I know that he has many really good songs, but he again got song from Phlipp ….WHY SERGEY? Kirkorov and Kontopoulos just can’t give something interesting and new to Eurovision. I have no doubt, this will be non-original hit from 2000 x in Kirkorov style.

Teddy
Guest
Teddy

I feel very meh about this. I didn’t like his generic song the first time around (that relentless 2-against-3 rhythm in You’re the Only One got on my nerves very quickly). I’m not too hopeful this year will turn out something new based on history.

Tatarpussycat
Guest
Tatarpussycat

He said his song would be different

Emily
Guest
Emily

no disrespect to Sergey who is an amazing artist, but I would have liked to see someone/something new from Russia. I feel like after Julia’s catastrophe last year, they’re reverting to something that they know will work.

Rantik
Guest
Rantik

I think this is awful decision. Sergey is good singer and I know that he has many really good songs, but he got song by Phlipp again….WHY SERGEY? Kirkorov and Kontopoulos just can’t give something interesting and new to Eurovision. I haven’t doubt, this will be non-original hit from 2000 x in Kirkorov style. And honest, I don’t know why the country with most population in Europe chooses one artist again, for the third time

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Well, that feels like taking care of unfinished business… Anyhow, I just hope for a better song and maybe improved vocals, which will help with the juries.

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

People went crazy. THERE’S NO SONG YET. Calm down. Maybe it will be a terrible peace of sh*t, maybe it will be pure masterpiece. Reading all this comments I conclude some people are either against Lazarev, or against Russia.

Karl B
Guest
Karl B

I love Sergey so I’m definitely happy to have him back!
(imagine if Ukraine wins again this year though……)

SoldierOfLove
Guest
SoldierOfLove

Well, aren’t the comments filled with Anti-Russian sentiment. You people have clearly forgotten what Eurovision is really about. Thus, I made my decision, stop following any esc related news until May 1st. Bye.

ESTKID
Guest
ESTKID

I’m not trying to start a holy war, but you should research how Russia is using things like this as their propaganda tool, and that’s not hypothetic, it’s a proven fact.

Nika
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Nika

Give your proof pls.

ESTKID
Guest
ESTKID

I guess the discussion about Julia & Crimea & Ukraine & Russia playing the victim flew you over? The proof is on Russian federal TV channels. Look them up.

Seasick catfish
Guest
Seasick catfish

/facepalm/
Lol, if so, you can keep watching TV more and more. I live in Russia and I’m both shocked and confused, how can non-russian man(or woman) “know” about Russian “propaganda” more than Russians. Anyway, I’m amazed by those who consider eurovision as a political contest. And actually, there’s no more propaganda in Russia than in the rest of the world. And I’m not praising my country right now, there’re also many cons that need considering and solving.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Life is more important than any song. Russia should respect the human rights. These rights are from God, and they can’t be confiscated by any regime. Once a singer represent a nation he become a national statement! I am not anti-russian, I love the great russian culture, literature etc, but, in my opinion (and if I make a mistake saying that, I am sorry), you can’t be that hypocrit to sing about love when you represent a country that make war, to sing about freedom when you dont respect the freedom, to sing about inclusion, when you sent gay guys… Read more »

ESTKID
Guest
ESTKID

You are very right in your opinion. Thank you, coming from a Russian.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Thank you
#PeacePeaceLoveLove

I't's
Guest
I't's

But the artist representing a country doesn’t have a say in the politics of the country, neither does the broadcaster. It’s not Putin choosing the entry for Eurovision, no. It’s not the broadcaster who starts a war with another country (except media war, and the news about other countries being biased). Let’s take Polina Gagarina as an example… she sang about peace, right? Do you think she didn’t really meant it? Do you think she supports what her country does politically? The artist and the song doesn’t have to reflect what’s going on in the country, it should reflect what… Read more »

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Come on mate, there is no independence, no institutional freedom! Their Russian broadcaster is part of the country’s politics, and the artist is just an innocent instrument. But on the Eurovision stage, the artist’s voice is his nation’s voice.
To me it looks like Russia uses Eurovision to whitewash the country’s profile., and that’s why Russia is not credible to me! And I feel sorry about that.

#CredibilityNulPoints

ESTKID
Guest
ESTKID

I’m laughing so hard @ Polina singing about peace. It was not her song, it was handed to her by the Broadcaster (read: political technologists). Yes, she herself may not be supportive of the gov-t’s actions, but it doesn’t matter, she is not just going under her name, she is going under a whole country. P.S. No, the broadcaster is not responsible for starting a war per se, but it is fueling it with its constant spew of propaganda. If only you knew, what horrible things are being said and shown on Russian federal television. If only you knew.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

I completely agree with you. Let’s not forget this: when Conchita won, the Russian Broadcast, their Archbishop and most of their papers said terrible things against Conchita and Eurovision, and they suggested Russia should not be participating again. That was a big turning point for me, understanding the real Russia. Also, next year, after Polina and Conchita took a photo together, they starting talking rubbish about poor Polina.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Let me guess: Mother Russia will send a song about love, inclusion and peace! Ha! Ha! A bit too rich coming from such a country!
Or let me put it this way: I am sorry,but I will never vote for Russia. Human rights first!

#BeReal

EscFan
Guest
EscFan

Thank God your vote is not decisive

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

I feel like in 2016 it was! Ha Ha!

Eurojack
Guest
Eurojack

Russia will send a song about love and Ukraine will send a political song and everyone will applaud. Double standards much?

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

History is not politics

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

All songs of the Ukrainian participants are already known and there is not a single political one among them.

Kat
Guest
Kat

now, once all Ukrainian songs are revealed, is there any political song? I believe you should take your words back

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

I, too, will never vote for Russia just because I don’t want such a strong Eurovision country as Ukraine to miss next year.

Eurojack
Guest
Eurojack

Yes, god forbid Ukraine would miss out. It’s better that they stay, win and ban other countries from participating. That’s the spirit.

Kat
Guest
Kat

they banned no one. what happened to Samoylova is not banning a participant but banning individual who broke Ukrainian law. it was Russia who decided to not replace their criminal contestant. Maybe they just had no law abiding individuals left among 140 millions of citizens?

srulik
Guest
srulik

I like sergey an a singer and he is aleays a good choice. I still think the juries will crush him and in this climate russia can’t win.

123
Guest
123

he got 5th place form juries with that trash song…some countries can’t even get to the finals with much better songs…

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Jamala gave him a good lesson that year. David put down Goliath!

ella
Guest
ella

The pressure is going to be huge on him.
Sergey, you are crazy!!

Denis
Guest
Denis

Why? We had enough of one overhyped generic shallow entry from him, now we get another one? Composed by a team who does nothing but trash?
What did we do to deserve this?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Well, considering that European countries recently sent home most of their diplomatic staff… I just thought I would mention it.
More realistically, this has everything to do with how Russia did not win ESC in 2016 due to the jury scores. It’s revenge, obviously. 😀

Susane
Guest
Susane

Revenge on who? On our ears? …god save our souls…

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

It might be the revenge of a former empire, frustrated today because we don’t take Russia seriously at ESC and only because we can’t find any reason to do so

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

It’s only revenge if he actually manages to win.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Exactly. He is a handsome, smart guy, but when he sings I feel like he is using a lot of nasal spray

Pandaman
Guest
Pandaman

He seems like a genuinely cool person, but I don’t like this choice for one reason – there will be a lot of unhealthy competition between Eurovision fans. There’s already so much trash talking, it’s almost unbelievable.

Viktor
Guest
Viktor

I am super happy that he is back 🙂 I am not very happy about the Dream Team though… I think they have a lack of originality in the song writing.
Greetings from Bulgaria! 🙂

Nick
Guest
Nick

thousands Russians all over internet gone crazy, they already celebrate their “victory” and curse everyone who don’t agree with them, poor Sergey… he probably will be slashed after 18th May….or Russia will find another scapegoat to blame for …. and yes Ukraine still gets most the hate from them, sometimes i want to forget that i know Russian language…. oh god….

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Don’t say that mate. Russian is a wonderful language. This language gave us one of the best writers in the world

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

It will be interesting to listen to the Russians hate, especially considering that the two most powerful participants from Ukraine are very popular in Russia itself.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

So it looks as if the same people will be responsible for the song, which does not make me hopeful that I’ll end up liking it. It looks like they want to make a copy/paste of 2016.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Russia wants to finish high after the non-qualification last year, and Sergey is the safest choice. But it seems, that since 2012 Russia has never made a bald one. Anyway, in May we can expect Sergey to be levitating on stage, splitting in two, walking upside down, being cut in half, thunders, flames, tornadoes and I don’t even know what else Evagelinos has in mind.

Chingiz Khan
Guest
Chingiz Khan

Is he going to sing a ballad?

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

Ugh I hope he has a song completely different from his 2016 entry, that was generic, faceless and overhyped. I like some of his other songs so I know he is capable of delivering a good song.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Indeed, his song sounded like a Greek entry from 2000’s. Sakis Roufas style

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

I’m pretty excited by this annoucement. Russia is always controversial but from 2015-2017 they brought a lot of good songs. Hopefully they do well as I hope that all countries do their best.

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

I really like him in Tel Aviv 2019. Why? Because things are gonna get SO INTERESTING. Grab your popcorn, guys!!! *clearing throat* ——> Saint Petersburg 2020 anyone?

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

yay! lets bring ESC to hometown of bloody tiran Putin who lynch gay people and has occupied neighbor countries, how ‘awesome” ! NOPE!

wasistdas
Guest
wasistdas

When the topic is Israel hosting the show, ‘ Eurovision is not about politics and governments, no boycotting etc.’ When it’s Russia ‘No way we are going to Russia. We hate Putin and his politics so, who cares Eurovision not about politics’

This hypocrisy makes me sick.

Sal
Guest
Sal

Calm down, there’s going to be no calls for boycotting if Russia wins – we’ve already seen that kind of hypocrisy this year with Israel hosting.
And it’s not hypocritical for LGBT+ people (many ESC fans) to feel safe going to accepting Israel but not wanting to go to Russia where you can get beaten in the street or send to prison for even talking about being gay.

Smb
Guest
Smb

Who’s told you all this crap, really. Or maybe you’ve already been to Russia and suffered for being a gay?

ESTKID
Guest
ESTKID

Google is open, sweetie. I’m Russian myself. If you’re not in Moscow or Saint-P, you pretty much can’t be openly gay. You risk to be beaten, bullied, laid off from a job, or even killed in some regions. Russia is VERY bad at maintaining even basic human rights for ANYONE, not just “the gays”. It’s very bad, the whole country is suffering right now, and if you want to deny that… well, shame on you.

I't's
Guest
I't's

but there’s still so many gays in Moscow tho

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

U are absolutely right. I have gay friends in Russia, I visited them, and I know exactly how their life look like

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

We have gay friends in Russia, we know how their life look like, don’t worry. We also travel

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Oh god i alredy imagine how russians gonna hyping it to the sky and celebreting their ‘victory’ and ‘ revenge’ till the 18th May…. i having headache even think about it… where is my Demi and Jamala ? Please come back…

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

Meh. I get more highs when watching a chess game…

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

I’m happy he’s back. I’m thinking maybe he wanted to compete last year, trying to directly follow the Dima Bilan path, but Russia had backed itself into a corner saying they’d let Samoylova compete. I wasn’t a huge fan of his 2016 song, but in another artist’s hands I’d have hated the whole thing, but because of him I was rooting for him.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Dima Bilan? Good for him he won, but that victory was really poor. Honestly it is one of the worst winning song in the last 30 years. Average song, average vocals, the staging was over the top, nobody talks about that song or victory. It simply happened. If Dima is an average singer, vocally Sergey is a bit worse than that. But Sergey has the look and the charisma. Maybe he is lucky enough to win, but I don’t think so. Anyway let’s see the song first.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I can smell the drama already ^^

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

you can tell Russians trolls already going crazy all over internet and saying how they gonna win and how Ukraine will be crushed …it’s annoying and kinda pathetic….

Chingiz Khan
Guest
Chingiz Khan

So the Russians are the new Spanish fans now

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Ukraine is proud enough to withdraw when Russia will host the contest

Ana
Guest
Ana

He had a horrible song in 2016. Too bad it’s not a stripper competition, so his looks are irrelevant. Kirkorov is responsible for Moldovas unlistenable entry and releases absolute garbage himself. So there’s very little chance for a decent music from him.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Maybe Kirkorov will also design Sergey’s outfit. It could be fun

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Guess we got our first genuine contender. Let’s go Sergey!

Bruno
Guest
Bruno

genuine contender? why? what about his song (have you heard it already?) or it does not matter anymore in the song contest? ugh…

LazarevFan95
Guest
LazarevFan95

I really don’t know what to think about this… I don’t trust Russia to give Sergey a good song the only songs i like are 2000 and 2007 and the ‘Nightmare’ team are awful Sergey is too good for them as was Demy and Aisel.

MikolasFan
Guest
MikolasFan

well it’s totally understandable…….as we know Russia is the ‘smallest’ country in the world (even smaller than San Marino) so they just have no other options …..that’s why they have sent Bilan, Samoylava and now Lazarev twice…LMAO!

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

There is nothing wrong if Russia want to send same artist every year. It’s up to them

PP77
Guest
PP77

Dream team without any win in Eurovision till now in so many attempts

Eurovisionfan
Guest
Eurovisionfan

In regards to the composer and the songwriters i pretty much agree with you…Their songs are pretty generic and dated. However, Fokas Evangelinos (stage choreographer) who is regarded part of this Dream Team , is pretty good at what he does. Let us not forget that he was the stage choreographer of two winning entries: Greece 2005: Helena Paparizou & Russia 2008: Dima Bilan. Also, he was involved as a stage choreographer in other successful entries: Azerbaijan 2013 (2nd Place) Ukraine 2008 (2nd Place) Greece 2004 (3rd Place) Russia 2016 (3rd Place) Greece 2007 (7th Place) Russia 2014 (7th Place)… Read more »

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

You did not get it right. They area just dreaming to be a dream team :))) It’s “the dreaming team” :))

Rose
Guest
Rose

I was hoping it would be someone else. Give someone else a chance. Manizha should go. He’ll collapse from hype. I’m sure of it.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Sergey? Again?

*pretends to be shocked*

OohHoney
Guest
OohHoney

Russia has so many talented artists to choose from but they go down the recycling old artist route. How very, very disappointing.

Cesar's salad
Guest
Cesar's salad

Of course there is a reaction video for Sir Gay, but still none for Paenda

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sir Gay? The reek of homophobia…

Pandaman
Guest
Pandaman

That’s how many people mispronounce his name, calm your buttcheeks.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I have set my cheeks to calm. Thanks!

Kat
Guest
Kat

mispronounce? no this is exactly how it sounds in Russian. he had to be born in Ukraine, then his name would sound different 🙂 btw I’ve noticed there’s not much parents call their newborn sons that name 🙂

Ezal
Guest
Ezal

OMG, wonderful!!

SoldierOfLove
Guest
SoldierOfLove

Ooh, Russia is angry! They really want to win this time, there is no doubt in my mind that they will go all out. Although I am all for Russia kicking arse, in 4 years they sent only 2 artist. That’s 2 lives that could have been changed forever. Pity, but Sergey deserves to win after he was robbed in 2016, that was the best performance in the history of Eurovision.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Even breaking the voting system, he will not win

Darren
Guest
Darren

I have no problem with this at all! Welcome back Sergey Lazarev! He’s a showman, a likeable personality, a great singer AND he’s gorgeous <3

I’m not filled with optimism songwise. The “Dream Team” ironically has entered some amount of garbage into ESC. As long as Sergey comes with something contemporary and polished, with actual English lyrics that make sense.

Either way, Russia is going back to Top 5. I knew their NQ last year was going to be a one-time thing.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Hes won already then Russia 2020 forgone conclusion competition killed stone dead.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

…. so if he wins, we wouldn’t have Russia 2020, since Russia would be ‘stone dead’ from hosting?

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Bringing Sergey back is sensible. After the Samoylova avalanche, they brought back the artist that surely qualifies to the grand final. Let’s wait for the song–since that’s what matters.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Well hes won already then show over Russia 2020 competition killed stone dead.

opus1612
Guest
opus1612

I mean…all he had was a overproduced stage performance. He can be a hard-working guy but still i found him very generic and his last song in ESC was really dull. I never get the hype around him and it’s sad when in a music contest fans are looking more for the visuals (performance and the singer’s beauty) than the actual song and talent.Thanks we have some juries than can make a honest appreciation about this.I will only change my mind if he sends a really good song, otherwise he is in the same level than the other contestants

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

“it’s sad when in a music contest fans are looking more for the visuals (performance and the singer’s beauty) than the actual song and talent.”

This can also happen if Chingiz was sent for Azerbaijan. Even if the song was good, I’m worried people started voting for him because he can make wombs and balls heat up.

Apple
Guest
Apple

Sergey is great, but I hate that Russia is going the whole “throw as much money at the contest as possible so we win” route again

bastian
Guest
bastian

I really like Sergej as an artist, but why cant they send anyone else? I mean, Russia has a great music scene with a lot of amazing and fresh talents out there that need to be heared on ESC.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Welcome back, Sergey! A guy with charisma and stage presence. I hope his song is great. I WANT Russia to do good of they give an effort.

Petersu
Guest
Petersu

Just heard the first song from Darude throug his YouTube live stream. It’s a good EDM track but a bit repetitive.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

i hope his 2019 entry has less gimmicks and more substance

LazarevFan95
Guest
LazarevFan95

It wont be it will be the bloody dream team again.

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

Yay, looking forward to interviews 😀