He placed third at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and will represent Russia again this year. 

And since his entry “Scream” dropped on streaming platforms, fans have been waiting to hear Sergey Lazarev sing the track live.

Now we have our first indication of how things will sound at Eurovision.

In a post on his Instagram page, Sergey performs a stripped back version of “Scream” with vocal coach Alex Panayi and his backing vocalists for Eurovision.

The clip of “Scream” is limited to the bridge of the song, but even this short snippet sounds impressive.

The only instrumental accompaniment is noted vocal coach Alex Panayi on keyboard. He played the same role for Moldova, Azerbaijan and Belarus at Eurovision 2018. His extensive experience shows off in the tight harmonies Sergey already has locked down with the vocalists.

The team of four backing vocalists all hail from Sweden. The quartet consists of three men and one woman. Two of them – Jennie Jahns and Adam Svensson – performed as backing vocalists for Russia at Eurovision 2016. Erik Segerstedt will also be familiar to Eurofans, as a former Melodifestivalen contestant and backing vocalist for Robin Bengtsson at Eurovision 2017.

“Scream” composer Dimitris Kontopoulos, choreographer Fokas Evagelinos and producer Phillipp Kirkorov were all also present for rehearsals in Moscow. The “Eurovision dream team” have a string of Eurovision successes to their name. Acts from Ani Lorak to Sakis Rouvas have called on the talented trio to stage their songs at Eurovision.

In the post on his Instagram page, Sergey said the group has been in rehearsals for several days and are also focusing on the “number”.

How the stage show and performance will look remains to be seen, but the reference to the number suggests rehearsals have also focused on blocking the stage performance for Tel Aviv.

Russia will perform in the second-half of the second semi-final on May 16.

What do you make of the performance? Let us know in the comments below!

YOU CAN GET MORE RUSSIA NEWS HERE

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mark dowd
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mark dowd

He’s singing flat and out of tune in the opening bars….,maybe he can’t access the backing track?? Gotta fix this…..still don’t see this threatening the Netherlands….

Sheldon
Guest
Sheldon

What I don’t like in Sergey is that he always does his job 100% correctly. No improvisation, but like a robot. People want emotions and not just only a perfect pitch. He is professional, no doubt, but please give me emotions this time. Good luck,

KullerM
Guest
KullerM

Well he sings well , I already knew that
But I try to like the song but I can’t, unfortunately

Anita
Guest
Anita

This is great – the vocals! I am glad that I loved the song from the beginning. But this makes it precious to me. I love to listen to such great singing.

kimi kiwi
Guest
kimi kiwi

I want to spend my lifetime loving you – Marc Antony & Tina Arena.
Very original Mr. Kirkorov.

Gianny
Guest
Gianny

I like his vocals, just not his attitude. You don’t go to the eurovision to try everything you can to win. The goal is to show the people your appreciation of the music. Russia is really trying hard this year just because of 3 years ago. And don’t get me wrong, i like the song but i wish Russia didn’t approach this year’s contest with an mentality like that. Definitely in my top 3 with duncan though. I bet he’s gonna try to blow everyone away with the screens again.. just like 2 years ago. When will Sergev learn that… Read more »

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

If there are countries which are not investing their energy and enthusiasm to win the contest, then they’d better not participate at all 🙂

Escf
Guest
Escf

Actually, wining over someone was not main idea of this event in the first place, back then when it was established.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Ok, now I feel my confident that this can do really well… Tbh, I was doubting his vocal abilities to pull this off live, but from the sound of it he is more than up to to challange.

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

Seriously? That has steadily been the strongest thing about his act all the time – his pipes. It’s well known that the man can sing. The songs, however, keep lacking somehow.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Excuse me, but 2016 his vocal performance was very avarage to say the least, which ultimately led him to loose the jury vote, imo. Also the fact that he has very good backing vocalist is an indication that he needs some support. And check out his performance in 2008 Russian pre-selection… Well, if has pipes, then they were a little rusty back then…

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

Oh really? The jury ranked Poland 22nd that year. I doubt Lithuania, Israel, Azerbaijan and a dozen of other countries were vocally better than Szpak.

Teddie
Guest
Teddie

His vocal performance wasn’t the reason he lost the jury vote in 2016.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

Well unless you convince me of the contrary with some evidence or piece of information, my opinion is that it was part of it, along with the quality of the song , of course, (and I admit with some political voting maybe).

DarkSideoftheMoon
Guest
DarkSideoftheMoon

I really like this. I expected not to like Sergey’s song because there was so much hype about his returning, but it has something magical, operatic in a good way, like a song of Queen. For me, it talks about depression and fighting demons inside. I look forward to the staging!

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Kirkorov always there. That man is so cringy…

About Russia, I agree with some of you… his vocals are really good, the backvocals are on point, but the song is just average.

Pok
Guest
Pok

The problem is the song not his vocals.

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

And the fact it’s Russia, who have a horrendous human rights record

Gav
Guest
Gav

I love songs that make you feel something and its all conveyed here in the singing. The Eurovision stage is also a unique place to go a bit over the top with some drama. It’s going to be a great performance.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Vocals are top! So sad that the song is completely out of date and mediocracre. People will not vote for this. Why not a better song for such a great artist?!?

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

There are alot of ‘out of date’ songs that did great in ESC i the recent years. Who knows what people will vote for, everyone has a different taste. That’s what so exciting about ESC after all

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Remember Conchita’s James Bond song for example, it was very outdated.

stommie
Guest
stommie

But Conchita’s message wasn’t outdated.

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

So it’s not all about the song.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Conchita’s song was not “outdated”. Not being “current” or “on trend” does not necessarily mean your song is “dated”…Rise Like A Phoenix is timeless. Quality transcends fashion.

Mari
Guest
Mari

It’s vintage, not dated 🙂

Jon Hola Sand
Guest

Remember when Russia attempted to get Conchita banned because her appearance would corrupt moral values???

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

It is a better song, though.

Ana
Guest
Ana

The biggest competing country in the contest can not find 4 local backing vocalists to sing with Sergey. Isn’t that just sad?

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

It’s just musical business, nothing personal.

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

21 century. logistics, contracts, labels, taxes, etc 🙂 are you against cosmopolitism and diversity?

Ana
Guest
Ana

Oh, so why they don’t pay a bunch of Jamaican sprinters to compete for them in the Olympics? What’s the difference? Eurovision is a competition between countries. An opportunity to showcase your local music industry to the world. I can understand when very small countries are represented by foreigners, as they have a tiny music industry anyway. But Russia can’t find freaking 4 backing vocalists and has to turn to Sweden that is smaller by a hundred times? What is that? That is pathetic.

Make Eurovision Sanremo Again
Guest
Make Eurovision Sanremo Again

From dragons to vocals, Sergey slays all day, every day! <3

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Every time I see Kirkorov I’m almost expecting see Rita Geoff and Neil, the demons, flying around him.

No really, check photos of Simon Farnaby as Negatus in Yonderland. They look so alike.

JohnyBoy
Guest
JohnyBoy

Laughing at this annoying russian in comments, who responds to every comment about this cheap dated ballad with meh vocals

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

Although its not my favourite, I will be honest in saying that I think some people are trying to find a reason for hating on this song and can’t really find a good one. I think the delivery of the song will depend on staging.

Chloe
Guest
Chloe

Just don’t try to describe this song as art masterpiece- it’s not. It belongs to glitzy kitsch performances for Las Vegas. Sergey is only good thing in this entry tbh 😛

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

Isn’t glitzy kitsch definition of ESC? 😀

Chloe
Guest
Chloe

Here we go, same old story ”fireworks vs. feelings” 😀

Kkar
Guest
Kkar

I hate it cause it’s a copy of “I want to spend my lifetime loving you”. Is this a good reason for you?

Henry
Guest
Henry

Lazarev can sing and the staging will be epic, but the song is meh..

impressiveinstants
Guest
impressiveinstants

Everything seems pretentious as of now. Russia will probably get its act together but still…

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

What still? Ukraine is not there this year. So no still.

Fun or ban?
Guest
Fun or ban?

Did Phillip Kirkorov change his wig?

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Looks like…

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

He can sing, and he’ll perform the hell out of this song. What I find a bit odd is that the lyrics were written by a native speaker but they’re really quite bad. Example: ‘they can’t be heard or seen’. Next line: ‘tears aren’t quiet things, they scream’. Well, then you can hear them, can’t you?

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Radiohead’s lyrics are also quite odd. So what?

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

Odd lyrics aren’t the problem. There’s a fine line between poetry and utter nonsense.

Ana
Guest
Ana

There is odd and there is stupid. This is an example of plain stupid. Lol

Otto
Guest
Otto

It’s just too cheesy and tries to be dramatic but doesn’t feel sincere.

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Cheesy? It’s not about this song. You are the only one – may be.

Una
Guest
Una

This snippet is a-m-a-z-i-n-g and I had to listen to it several times. I am so impressed. Wow. Russia, I can’t wait to see your live performance. My most expected live performance and Russia isn’t even my country.

EmilyG
Guest
EmilyG

I ADORE this song.Its dark,its dramatic,its unusual and live its ever better.

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

It’s the musical Game of Thrones! It’s so obvious, don’t ya think?

alessio milan
Guest
alessio milan

sorry russia but i dont like jour song

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Sorry, I don’t like this comment.

Isa
Guest
Isa

I don’t like this last comment, and I’m not sorry.

AMonsterLikeMe
Guest
AMonsterLikeMe

Wake me up when this song ends.

Riri
Guest
Riri

Sergey is one of, if not the best live singer I know. This is amazing.
I’m really surprised that people don’t really like his song this year though. I have scream (and arcade) on replay 24/7 :’D

Reina
Guest
Reina

Gosh, these Sergey stans are unbearable “the best live singer” , lol 😀

Riri
Guest
Riri

That’s just my opinion. I don’t understand what’s so “unbearable” in it. I meant no harm with my comment. The opposite really. I just really enjoy his voice and he sounds just like the studio version. I don’t know why you have to go around calling me unbearable just because I enjoy something you don’t 🙁

Matija
Guest
Matija

Better then The Netherlands & Italy

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Yes.

Mark Dowd
Guest
Mark Dowd

So many people ask me: ” what’s this song about? ” They don’t ask that about the Netherlands! That’s a major handicap on a night when 95% of the televoters get to see and hear the song just once.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Ah AH HA, the staging itself will tel what’s it all about.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Three years ago, it wasn’t until the rehearsals started that “You Are the Only One” really started to come to life. Maybe Sergey just comes across better in person. “Scream” isn’t a song that I necessarily want to add to a Spotify playlist, but I can’t wait to see – and hear – it live!

RKN
Guest
RKN

Beautifull. Best voice of eurovision. 12 pointe from the Netherlands ??

Tim
Guest

This is NOT a winner for me. Why should a lot of contrys take help from Sweden, when people in Europe hate Sweden so mutch.

Kkar
Guest
Kkar

Who said Europe hates Sweden? Lol. When it comes to eurovision people hate how Sweden is always overrated no matter the song

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

They sound like the studio version!
He even reaches the high notes!
Amazing 🙂

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

Yeah, unlike Duncan, who just can’t perform his high notes well.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I actually think he can

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

May be, but now I can’t hear that he can.

Gianny
Guest
Gianny

XD lmaowrotfapimp

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

That’s what I call the good live! Way to go!

Euoiio
Guest
Euoiio

I love Sergey, he’s such a cutie. I really hope this wont win though. It just feels unoriginal. And I know the staging will probably be great but this is a song contest, and music will lose if a better song doesnt win in May.

VlaD
Guest
VlaD

You can say several things about his song but one thing you certainly CANT say is that it is unoriginal

Shining bright
Guest
Shining bright

Actually ”insincere” is better expression

Euoiio
Guest
Euoiio

Its VERY unoriginal.

Kkar
Guest
Kkar

VlaD, it is the definition of unoriginal. When the verses of the song are identical to the verses of another song then the song is not original

Susane
Guest
Susane

Sounds good but i still dont like the song much, maybe top 5 but not a winner for me

Jjjjj
Guest
Jjjjj

Can’t believe that guy on the piano is the same guy who sang Sti Fotia in 1995, one of my favorite ESC songs of all time. He looks so differently!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Anytime someone says Fuego is the best Cypriot song, I point them toward Sti fotia.

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Mana Mou outsold tho

Skiwalko
Guest

Nah, “Sti fotia” was good, but “Mono i agapi” was a masterpiece.

Joe
Guest
Joe

All great. Also worth making a case for Life Looks Better In Spring as one of the most underrated ESC songs ever.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Evridiki 1994 remains my favorite Cypriot entry.

Joe
Guest
Joe

‘Member that decent decade-long stretch where Cyprus almost always outdid Greece? Plenty of slept-on Greek entries during that time, but it’s pretty insane to think how well Cyprus did almost from the start, considering how much smaller it is than Greece.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Russia will outperform the Netherlands in every way : vocals + staging.

Paola
Guest
Paola

C’mon, it’s easier to create a vocal ballad, call 10 backing vocalists from Sweden and … make an expensive and pompous staging.
It is much more difficult to create a simple, but beautiful, emotional and modern song that people will like without the expensive stuff on stage. But Duncan did it

ESCfan
Guest
ESCfan

No. It’s a lot easier. You try sing 2 octaves like Sergey – that is hard.

Kkar
Guest
Kkar

It’s easier to hire professional song composers to write you song (which surprisingly is a copy) than writing a song that come right from your heart. Emotions win

Una
Guest
Una

Bulgaria 2017: artist alone on stage plus five backing vocalists hidden from sight. Sweden 2014 same. Both balads. Greece 2017 also with backing vocalists. Countless examples. Why does Russia get this criticism when so many countries have the same MO and no one says anything? Russia 2014 had a backing one for the high notes. Bulgaria 2018 too for the female singer.

Susane
Guest
Susane

but will lose in more important ways : the song + true emotions

RKN
Guest
RKN

Did you already see the perfoming on stage??? Were can i see that

Mark Dowd
Guest
Mark Dowd

But no amount of good vocals and staging can dress this song up… As you’ll see from loads of posts on here, it’s a widespread view that this sing is musically inferior to the Netherlands. I can see Sergey third.. Again.

Iejdhcr
Guest
Iejdhcr

Sorry but post here are just random tastes of random people, it’s not like everyone here in a world class composer

Henry
Guest
Henry

Nicolas, why comparing this with the Netherlands? This is an article about Russia, Not netherlands.. I guess you see Duncan as the Biggest rival for lazarev.. don’t you?

Skiwalko
Guest

I’m not really “Scream” fan, but damn, they sound amazing. I hope Sergey will keep the same level of vocals while doing all those tricks on the stage, it’s gonna be a tough task!

Hermès
Guest
Hermès

I agree. I’m not a fan of the song but I can’t deny they deliver live. And I’m quite curious of what they’ll bring to the table staging-wise.

PP77
Guest
PP77

Dream team without victory in so many attempts in ESC.

Hermès
Guest
Hermès

But with a consistent top-5 finish ratio. There are worse teams to mock.

Wai
Guest
Wai

Yeah, but pompeuos Kitsch team is always aiming for victory, so I’m not blaming people for mocking them. Such a waste for talented performer like Sergey.

Someone
Guest
Someone

*Demy eyerolls*

PP77
Guest
PP77

Azerbaijan 2018 stay in semi

PP77
Guest
PP77

He sound good with 5 backing vocal singers.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
Guest
WannaEatMySpaghetti

Sure he needs them, have you heard the song? He juste can’t do everything only with his voice. Still, his voice is on the top! He is really impressive. 2016: good song (generic) but that’s all. 2019: good song (a bit weaker than 2016) and he can show the best of him!

A lot of people are mad about this song. For me it’s a real contender for the victory. I couldn’t agree more with de bookmakers than this year, my top 4 is: Netherlands, Russia, Italy and Switzerland.

Wai
Guest
Wai

Yes, we already know he sounds good live, in fact nearly all performers in esc this year sound good live, what else is new, wiwibloggs?

...
Guest
...

The French guy needs to improve a lot.

Wai
Guest
Wai

Lol, true, but that song and his sincere interpretation gives me vibes of “Color of your life” by M.Szpak, he will do well, mark my words 😛

...
Guest
...

Well, there’s no hate in my comment about Hassani. The point is only his voice.

...
Guest
...

You’re right, practice makes perfect. That’s all Mr. Hassani needs to give us his best. I don’t want to see France in the mid-table for the third year in a row.

Wai
Guest
Wai

Fine, good to hear he’s improving! I like that entry actually and have a feeling it will do well.

Mika-FRA
Guest
Mika-FRA

ESC needed Jamala to sign her own song from the heart and he didn’t win…this year we have Conan, Mahmood, Hatari and Duncan….each of them will probably slay cause they know what they’re singing about…Sergey, with all my respect for his talent, he is no Jamala/Sobral/and one of the mentioned above

mara j
Guest
mara j

No, thankfully he’s not one of the above mentioned. He’s BETTER than them
P.S: I only rescue Manmood because his entry is definitely one of the strongest and most unique songs of this year. The rest…. don’t know who’s worse lol. 2 are part of my bottom 3 and the other is so bland and generic that I forget the name of the song LOL
And the song that the ESC 2016 “”””””winner”””””” sang was pure politics disguised as a song.
Nothing else to say

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Why no article on Zena also singing like it on Instagram.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I assume that since Sergey was internally chosen and we’ve heard only a studio version that one had priority in publicizing. We already know how Like It sounds live. Still, nice to hear more from Zena (and all the participants).

Henry
Guest
Henry

Love Jennie, she was with Sabina,Farid,Dilara, Sergey, and Dihaj

Joe
Guest
Joe

Ok, so that’s Azerbaijan and Russia. She ever try with her own country? What drives me crazy about the whole Dream Team thing is that it keeps the songs from being authentic products of the country they’re representing. Sure, Hold Me and Skeletons are fine songs, but how much do they actually connect to Azerbaijan and their music industry and how much are they just trying to co-opt the Greeks and Swedes so they can have a leg in the competition? Russia might win, but it’d be a bit of a hollow victory when only two members of the team… Read more »

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

Ehm… and how all of this is Jennie’s fault?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Oh none of it is. Just kinda connected.

Una
Guest
Una

I see your point Joe but too many countries use foreign talent for their entries. Not that much the artist but songwriters, production or creative team. Some markets are much smaller than others (for example the Cypriot and Bulgarian Heads of Delegation talked about the difficulties they have because of that). Russia could definitely afford to use their own talent because they have it in overflowing buckets. I see that some countries, not only Russia, use established teams to get some sort of advantages. I side eye that a little bit.

Joe
Guest
Joe

That was more my point. I’ll never begrudge a smaller country for outsourcing, but for a big country with s big music industry like Russia, it feels off.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I had zero doubts that Sergey would sound good live. He slays on stage. It’s something we know since 2016. Now that Russia and Netherlands have presented their live performances, I know how most of my top favorites sound in live.

I’m really curious for Austria and Poland. Live performances could totally make or break these two.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

You can find a live performance of Palie Sie on Youtube.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Thanks. They sound great live. They know how to harmonize. I hope their ESC performance will be more dynamic in terms of movement, though. I’d love to see Ivy Quianoo type of staging with setting things on fire. Poland really brought something different this year and I appreciate it a lot.

TheDrMistery
Guest
TheDrMistery

Don’t count on them moving.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

They’re sounding great. I still have a problem with the hollow lyrics, but I’m starting to love its melody. The bridge is my favorite part.

Colin
Guest
Colin

personally I really like the lyrics. They are dramatic and powerful, fitting with the song. Bridge is awesome, yeah.

Rimig
Guest
Rimig

I’m with Sabrina on this point. I like to hear the song but I try not to listen too much to the lyrics. Specially, I find the “fire, liars, dryer” part a bit cringey. But he definitely sounds great live

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

They surely fit the spirit of the song, Colin, but I must say they don’t convince me. Do you know when someone is being dramatic but you think they’re overreacting? It’s how I feel about the lyrics. And I agree with Rimig that the “fire, liars, dryers” part sounds a little random. But since this is basicly musical theater, the way they present the entry will end up counting a lot. It’s one of those songs that can become a moment.

Chloe
Guest
Chloe

True that, one could expect that native speaker will write more creative lyrics than that..

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I still like the song, but progression’s still kind of too predictable to be honest. It’s harder to add a surprise factor on ‘Scream’, but since this is the “Dream Team”… we’ll be surprised for sure.

FanESC
Guest
FanESC

I’m not a huge fan of the song (I’m not saying that it’s bad, though) but It’s amazing. Anyway I had never doubt he would nailed it live. They will probably go for something both simple but epic for the staging, it might win.

ESCalator
Guest
ESCalator

I think something epic such as fighting dragons to save his sweetheart might work really well on stage.
And people like fantasy motifs from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc.

imho, Duncan is potentially in danger if he comes out with too simple, stripped back concept.