This Sunday, the 15th of December, Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome will be filled with Eurovision stars when Het Grote Songfestivalfeest showcases some of the greatest acts in the song contest’s history. However, one name has been removed from the list: Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan.

Earlier in the week, rumours had surfaced suggesting that the Russian hitmaker had withdrawn from the concert. Now Dima himself has confirmed his withdrawal via a post on Instagram.

In the post, he also explained that he felt misled by the organisers over what was on the concert’s poster. He wrote on his Instagram account:

“I don’t understand the necessity to cheat with posters, the organisers sent me one, but on social media they published another… It was totally clear to me, I don’t suffer from insecurity, this is entertainment for young people, but there are unspoken rules, when you see smaller than the smallest swindle in the organisation, then your belief immediately falls!”

View this post on Instagram

?? ??????? ???? ???? ???????? ??? ?????? ????????,?? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ? ????????? ?? ???????? ??????? ????? ??????????? ! ???????, ???????, ????????, ?? ????? ????????? ? ??????????? ????????? ?????? ??????????? @eurovision ! ?? ???? ????? ??????????? ????? ??????????? ?? ??????? ??????????- ??????????? ??????????? ? ? ?????????? ,??????? ????????? ? ????? ????????? ?????????????, ????????, ? ??????? ? ??????? ?????? @thegrahamnortonshowofficial – ???????? ???, ??????? ??????????????? ?? ?????????? ???????. ? ???? ?? ??????, ? ?????, ??? ???????, ???-????, ????????? ??????? ? ? ??? ??? ????? «??? ?????????? ???????????», ????? ????????? ? ?????? ?????? ???????? ?????????, ? ???, ????? ??????, ????? ? ??????????? ????????? ???????. ? ? ?????????????? ??????? , ???????????????, 15 ?????? ????????????? ????????? ????????????? ,???????? ?????? ??????????? ???????? ?? ???????? ??????. ??? ????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ????????????????? ????? 15 ?? ???????, ? ?????? ???????? ? ???????? ????? ??? ??? ?????. ??????????? ?????? ? ??????????! ????????! #????? #????????? #????????????????? !

A post shared by Dima Bilan (@bilanofficial) on

The font size issue

Dima’s problem stems from how his name was presented on the poster. His is listed as a second-tier artist, with his name displayed a smaller font size than Eurovision winners such as Netta and Katrina and the Waves, as well as non-winners Eleni Foureira and Sergey Lazarev.

Dima Bilan took offence to this. He explained that the show organisers told him that Het Grote Songfestivalfeest would be a Eurovision all-winner concert, like Eurovision’s Greatest Hits, which was organised by the BBC in 2015. Dima wrote:

“I have been working with international companies for a long time and I know how it should ideally be done! And this moment with the posters happens to be another reason for my urgent request to discuss the termination of the agreement! It’s totally wrong that the organisers are only now saying that I’m not participating in the concert when asked by those who bought a ticket just to see me! Why is there only now this hype three days before the concert???”

No drama with Sergey Lazarev

Dima then continues by denying the rumour that he withdrew over the fact that fellow Russian star Sergey Lazarev was also set to perform at the concert.

“I have an absolute love of and thankfulness for that very contest, the original one! And there is clearly no animosity that there are artists participating from Russia, and especially Sergey Lazarev, with whom I often meet for different occasions (yesterday – is a confirmation!).”

The two Eurovision stars recently performed together, recording a New Year’s Eve special for Russian television.

But Dima Bilan’s fans in the Netherlands won’t miss out entirely. The singer will tour Germany in February 2020 and he says he hopes to see his fans during those performances.

Are you sad that Dima Bilan has withdrawn from Het Grote Songfestivalfeest? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Russia Eurovision news here

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Erik van den Corput
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Erik van den Corput

A pity Dima felt mislet, i thought all winners and 2nd and lower placed artists were treated the same. Don;t understand either why some names on the posters wer bigger than others. Everyone should have been treated the same, Hope to see Dima on an other occasion

EscAddict
Guest
EscAddict

Why does the poster have two tiers? There are more winners in the second their. A question for the organisers.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Thirty-one acts? That’s at least three hours. Heavy going even for Eurovision fans. And why is Duncan Lawrence not there? Seems like a glaring omission.

Funkycoffin
Guest
Funkycoffin

He has his own tour

A random russian guy
Guest
A random russian guy

I haven’t seen anything about font size on Dima’s instagram. I have read twice. If that conclusion is made by the author of the article, it should be mentioned. Instead, he writes that originally he was told that the concert was being organized by official Eurovision (probably referring to EBU). He also writes, that he is grateful to eurovision and fans, that’s why participates in shows dedicated to Eurovision, like Graham Norton’s show. However in this case the organizers weren’t completely sincere from the beginning.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I’m sorry he won’t be there as he’s still a Eurovision winner
However, there are so many other winners I would love to see more, like Secret Garden, Marie N, Sertab Erener, Helena Paparizou, even Tanel and Dave from 2001
So many winners from that period of time are left out
And where the hell is Marija?! Molitva is a huge favourite to this very day

Martin
Guest
Martin

A smart concert producer invites acts that are still popular and that is exactly what the organisers did. To answer your question: Noone in the Netherlands even remembers Marija and Molitva.
So inviting Dima wasn’t really smartin the first place. That is why he won’tbe missed at all. Dima is just being a diva, creating lots of drama over nothing.

Veta
Guest
Veta

I think they were inviting everybody, just not everyone accepted.

Veta
Guest
Veta

Ok, but why didn’t you translated all the text from his Instagram post, but only parts of it?? He wrote absolutely nowhere at his Instagram the problem was the font size! Why are you spreading fake news? And if it’s not a fake information, why didn’t you mentioned the source (cause it’s not his Instargam definitely!)? First of all, besides the invitation to this concert, he got an invitation to another concert, a charity one, just as he wrote in his Instagram post. Why no mentioning about this in the article? So, he had to choose between the two concerts,… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Y’know how Russia just this week were banned from all global sports events for the next four years? Y’know how they notoriously interfered with the US elections?

Does anybody really think that they are above tampering with the 2008 televote?

yom124
Guest
yom124

Mate stop, Dima Bilan was the heavy odds on favourite to win throughout the entire 2008 season. It wasn´t a surprise to anyone that he won., especially as he stood out as a male singer with a ballad whilst all the other contenders were women with uptempo songs. Just because the entry hasn´t aged as well as those around it doesn´t mean it loses its legitimacy. Not to mention there has never been a case in eurovision history where a broadcaster has successfully tampered with the results. Even in the notorious 2013 case with Azerbaijan, the EBU was able to… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Sure. He was the favorite, yes, but that doesn’t count for anything. It just means that a Russian victory was inevitable, it’s not proof of why or how…but whatever about Russia, you’re totally wrong about Azerbaijan. They were cheating for years, and their 2011 victory (much like 2008) defies credibility.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

it should’ve been written in comic sans

Lobstr
Guest
Lobstr

Oh no! I guess we will have to watch the 2012 train wreck interval act instead, to remember what a true talent he is.

https://youtu.be/u4-Rwe7tT3s?t=92

Martin
Guest
Martin

And let’s not forget this epic moment. A true talent indeed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwYjFA0f5jY

Jack
Guest
Jack

So he won’t participate because his name wasn’t a bit bigger in the poster? Thank u next Felicia

Alex
Guest
Alex

I can understand him yet the Dutch audience only gave him 2 points in 2006 and 0 in 2008.
That said, Keiino and Mahmood got 12 and 10 points from Ducthies and probably should have been in bold. Poster is weird though. Organizers must know I guess but still.. .
Is there any reason for Sergey or Eleni to be there over winners? I mean Ducth wise, they didn’t get that many points. Dutchies loved Michael Schulte’s song in 2018 and not Fuego for example. And Sergey got the lowest score from Netherlands in 2016 when he smash televoting everywhere else.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Nope. Dima managed to scrape up one measly little point from the Netherlands in 2008 (and two in the semi-final where they both competed). I think you have to consider the dual factors of not just Dutch popularity but also Eurovision-wide popularity. If this was only an event for Dutch Eurofans, it would probably just be Dutch Eurovision acts, but fans are almost certainly going to be coming in from all over the place, and some acts transcend just popularity with the locals. (Beyond Keiino, I note at least four acts the Dutch awarded the top score to: Katrina and… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

No better comment fits this topic:
“Bye Felicia”

Joe
Guest
Joe

So many festival posters have a ton of artists on them, and even big ones will still wind up with slightly smaller billing. It happens.

Denis
Guest
Denis

To be honest, I dont think he is one of the most beloved winners. He won due to massive fame and show but that’s that. Im surprised he was even included in Eurovision Greatest Hits when Rybak wasn’t.

filipko54
Guest
filipko54

He withdraws because of the size of the font? seriously? 😀

Where I belong
Guest
Where I belong

Divas are sometimes so complicated .

Veta
Guest
Veta

Well actually no. At least he himself never said that.

Mar
Guest
Mar

Foureira was second last year, Lazarev third (twice) but their names are written bigger than the names of other winners or the name of the runner up 2019, whose song is the most streamed Eurovision song ever: yes it is true, it’s difficult to understand why the organizers did that poster but it isn’t a so important issue

Funkycoffin
Guest
Funkycoffin

Can they not get someone else like Luca hanni

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Does the font size signify the order of appearance? Will the bigger names be performing more songs than the smaller names?

seaside
Guest
seaside

This is my last post to this topic. If people don’t get it, then turn everything into a Pride Parade. ESC winners were written with small letters, because DIVAS needed big letters. What is ESC for The Netherlands?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I’m glad this was your last post, because your repeated delusional nonsense has become tiresome.

Martin
Guest
Martin

Thanks to whoever did that poster for doing us all a favor! Now we don’t have to hear him and his awful song any longer. What an arrogant talentless prick.

Steven
Guest
Steven

If only his talent was as big as his ego. I doubt anyone will miss him. He’s among the least known artists to the Dutch audience in the line-up, despite his win. I just hope that the will sue him for breaching his contract.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I agree with him. Can you guys understand how an artist like Dana International who CANT SING LIVE is in bigger text then all who can sing live. Outragerus to me.

seaside
Guest
seaside

Indeed, the big letters are only for divas. I hope The Netherlands will not prove to us that is the most stereothypical of hosts. Is this Logo TV from US?

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

The only thing “outragerus” is your spelling. You have got to be the most hateful homophobic homosexual on this planet! I see your negative comments regularly, which tend to be largely directed towards the LGBT Eurovision contestants, yet you’ve stated in the past that you yourself are gay. You need to listen (and I mean really listen) to Germany’s 2019 Eurovision song. It was written for people like you, who try to take away the thunder of other people who are categorically similar to you. I hate making negative comments like this on Wiwibloggs, but I’ve reached my threshold with… Read more »

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

i am gay myself and ps your an idiot haha. good luck with that by the way

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

You dont like live singing and like opinions from the Medieval times where everyone has to think alike and i dont like 99% men in the ESC audience. thats fine:)

RoboESC
Guest
RoboESC

HAHAHAH Dima who? I’m sure no one will miss him in the Netherlands

pepe
Guest
pepe

Apart from Dima, I count 13 winners with the smaller font. Including two Dutch ones.

seaside
Guest
seaside

I’m a fan of Dima 2006 song and nothing else from him. I have no interest to defend him, but he has a point. He was shown a different poster. If ESC winners are not respected in ESC bubble, then where? The big letters are for divas (including Sergey). It’s not fair, it’s stereotype.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

And all of them have been done dirty. They just don’t make a big fuss about it.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

First things first, I’m not his fan or anything. I think it’s one of the worst winners in “recent years”, but he’s still a ESC winner and if you’re inviting ESC winner to ESC concert, then it should be one of the main performances, simply out of respect to what he’s done (same thing I’d say about Emily or Ruslana if they withdrew). So even though I don’t like his songs, he simply deserved better spot. If they didn’t want to give him any spotlight, they shouldn’t invite him to begin with. To be fair, if you were invited to… Read more »

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

I’ve never realised how often I use “to begin with” .-.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest

There is something really unsettling about his facial expressions. Maybe Sergey could give him some tips. All names should be the same size, though. It’s not like any of them is this huge star compared to the rest.

seaside
Guest
seaside

Are you wearing fur in that avatar?

Mr Vanilla Bean
Guest

Yes. Serhat shaved everything for me.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Really stupid poster. Music artists aren’t always known for being humble and this was just inviting issues.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Man, now I wish I could go even more! (And Eurovision’s Greatest Hits wasn’t all winners either: Rosa Lopez and Natasha St-Pier also performed).

Campbell Grace
Guest
Campbell Grace

I mean I’ll be honest… his 2008 win wasn’t deserved compared to Ukraine, Greece and Armenia

seaside
Guest
seaside

But this is not the point. He is winner, just like others who are below him on this poster. I think it is about the feud with Sergey, but the poster is still silly.

Denis
Guest
Denis

To be honest. he is probably one of the least popular winners. He won due to massive fame and show but that’s that. Im surprised he was even included in Eurovision Greatest Hits when Rybak wasnt.

James
Guest
James

Recency bias, regional familiarity and the fact that there’s quite a lot of alumni taking part means that one has to be extremely sensitive over something as trivial as a billing on a poster the way Dima is showing apparently.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

These fond sizes seem very random to me. Bad designing

James
Guest
James

At least they’re not using Comic Sans. Now THAT would be a crime. haha

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

That’s the great Valeriy Meladze on the left in Dima’s Instagram picture. I wish he had done Eurovision.

Alybloggs
Guest
Alybloggs

If Russia doesn’t want him, I hope Georgia will pick him to represent them.

seaside
Guest
seaside

He is right, you like it or not, after all he is a winner, his name should not have been where it is with those letters.

yayaya
Guest
yayaya

I can pinpoint a few other winners in the “second tier”. Should they withdraw too? I think the organisers just wanted to highlight (Dutch) crowd favourites. No clue if they actually are more popular than the small-fonted artists, though. Anyway, not the smartest way to highlight them. Lesson learned (I hope).