It’s not exactly a surprise, but it’s still good news: Russia, song contest powerhouse and giver of Dima Bilan and Polina Gagarina, has confirmed its participation at Eurovision 2021. Russia’s Channel One, which alternates Eurovision duties with broadcaster RTR, will once again take the reins after its plans had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the ongoing pandemic.
Russia’s participation at Eurovision may be certain, but it’s not yet clear how its artist will be chosen. Precedent would suggest Russia will once again go for an internal, behind-closed-doors selection process as it has done every year from 2013. The question on everyone’s lips is whether Little Big — last year’s chosen artists — will be invited back in 2021.
Will Russia send Little Big to Eurovision 2021?
Although we’ll never know how the results would have played out on the scoreboard, indications were looking good for the Russian band, which consists of former members of a comedy troupe. The music video for their 2020 entry “Uno” is the most-watched video ever on the official Eurovision YouTube channel, and our reaction video to their entry has racked up over 581,000 views.
Back in April, the band made it clear they were interested in returning — though they weren’t sure if that was possible. At the time it had not been confirmed that Channel One would once again select the country’s Eurovision 2021 artist.
Here’s what Ilia Prusikin – Little Big’s lead singer — told Forbes Russia back in April.
“Listen, the thing is that nothing is clear now. This year, Channel One [financed] Eurovision. I think. No, I’m sure. Next year it can be Russia channel. So it’s not clear whether someone else or us will go. If it’s us, then I’m totally up for it. Because we tried, but it didn’t work out due to [coronavirus].”
The singer went on to add that he wouldn’t be disappointed if Little Big don’t end up competing next year. Ilia believes that there are many talented artists in Russia who should be given the opportunity to wave the country’s flag at Eurovision.
“Sending us again would be a bit wrong I think, because we ourselves are against [staying unchanged], and here it’s like – so we didn’t go, so let’s send us again? It’s not like we don’t have enough artists who can go. We have a lot of cool artists. We tried and did what we could, which seemed to turn out good. Well, we got unlucky, but life goes on. We got what we wanted from this contest, and we would like for other artists to get [media exposure] as well. I think you need to make way for others, too.”
In the meantime, the band have kept on going. Their upbeat Eurodance track “Hypnodancer” was a huge hit, and last month they served a high-calorie visual feast in the form of “Tacos“. The official music video for this wacky tune clocked over 37 million hits in just a month….aided by some alluring quesadilla-print clothing.
What do you think? Could Little Big have won Eurovision 2020 with “Uno”? Should they return to Eurovision 2021? Tell us your thoughts below!