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!
Would LOVE them back. I know they won’t disappoint
little big MUST come back, easily the freshest act russia has sent in years and it’d be a missed opportunity to let them go
From a British point of view I think Russia would have been pipped to the post by Iceland but they would certainly have been up there.
And Lithuania. Both Iceland and Lithuania had fun songs that the jury could’ve embraced which one can’t say of Uno
I’m totally up for it channel one should give them a second chance
What Russia is doing in Belarus i think Russia should not compete. And Belarus should not be allowed to compete until Lukachenka is gone
When “Uno” was first released, I was quite impressed and thought it would do rather well. In the months since, I’ve listened to a lot of Little Big’s other songs and concluded that they can actually do much better than “Uno”. I would be very excited to see them return with a catchier song.
I hope Little Big get selected again but given how popular Uno was I’m not sure they can top that.
I honestly found their song to be obnoxious to listen to and expect that juries would’ve killed it. However they have a huge fanbase and if they came up with something better I wouldn’t oppose their return.
Most viewed in ESC history, and almost certainly a televote win, Russia would be daft not to send them in 2021
Well lets see if Russia can buy the jury of 15 European countries to confirm their victory next year as it happened with the selection of the FIFA 2018 venue back 2010, because their victory in the Televote will be imminent with Little Big and the EBU is a corrupt organization! -> Hello Norway 2019 and Australia 2015!
Because the RAI complained about the EBU strange changes of the result of the Italian televoting that gave the 12 to KEiiNO and about Australia because they allowed them to stay in the contest without complying with the rules. It will not surprise me that Russia soon wins with that corruption that the EBU has inside for money, and already Kirkorov promiced that Russia will win ESC soon in this decade at any cost ..
Italy’s televoting gave 12 to Albania. That isn’t so weird.
Get out of here with that conspiracy theory craziness.
The problem with Italian televoting was in the semi final, where 1 point was given to Lithuania according to RAI dates, while basing on EBU results Lithuania placced 11th in our televoting, so Lithuania got 0 points and scored 1 point less then Denmark, marking their non-qualification by only 1 point
I think the final proved the Italians preferred Denmark
I still can’t explain what happened last year, it was totally crazy ahahah
Maybe in the final more non-eurofans voted, resulting in Denmark getting many votes, especially from kids?
Denmark getting even 5 points was odd, but they generally scored well with European countries that like cheery songs of that vein (Belgium, France, and the Netherlands as well). The jury has just historically had bizarre taste. Italy are known in the televote for reserving the top spots for countries like Albania and Romania and everything after that is general appeal (if the old system was being used, last two years would’ve both been twelve to Denmark, and the feeling would NOT be mutual).
(And holy hell, for literally being a country within Italy’s borders, San Marino got SLAMMED by the jury and televote. Maybe the lack of Italian connection did them in?)
Italian juries ALWAYS love nordic pop, like Love is Forever, That’s how you write a song, I can’t go on, etc… and of course they didn’t like Spirit in the Sky, which is ironically the song the Italian public loved the most since Italy’s return in 2011 (maybe tied with Rise like a Phoenix). I know I am in the minority here, but I think Leonora deserved her qualification, the song was not that great, but compared to other semi finalists (with either bad songs or not impactful enough or even bad vocals/performances), she looked sweet and sincere, I would… Read more »
I agree she deserved to make it. Certainly over Lithuania.
Everything is possible, Lithuania is one of those countries who always score at least 1-3 points from our televoting, but on the other side I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right… I mean Netherlands 0 points look really weird even for Italians general taste and EBU results are more similar to the final ones
I also don’t buy the conspiracy that the jury was deliberately snubbing Italy’s biggest rivals (then or in 1990). History has proven that Italy’s organization probably isn’t that in it to win it.
Fam, Uno isn’t just the most-viewed Eurovision video ever. It’s the most-viewed video IN RUSSIAN MUSIC HISTORY. They’re getting Despacito numbers for this song (…in Eastern Europe. I’m sure the televote would’ve loved them, but I can’t see them winning the whole thing). It would be crazy to imagine them being passed over if they want to do it. I think no matter what people think of the act (it’s not my favorite, but I like it fine) it’s a very welcome change of pace for Russia. I’ll take a million of them over another Dream Team song.
same. “Dream Team” truly is the worst (esc)song-writing team there is.
“It’s the most-viewed video IN RUSSIAN MUSIC HISTORY”. Not even close. Even Little Big have videos with more views (Skibidi, Farandenza). And there are a lot of videos of other artists with 200mln+ views. Search in youtube for example:
I want Little Big to come back for 2021 but given how popular Uno was I’m not sure whether they can top that.
I don’t think they were going to win, I expected place 3 to 5. Winner was either Lithuania, Switzerland or even Iceland.
can I just ask why do you use hashtags so much? they don’t work on this website.
I don ‘t like Little Big !! I hope for someone else. There are many great singers in Russia.
Little Big is the most popular Russian group now! they never has been in ESC until now.
By the way, what do you think about the scandal at the selection of Junior Eurovision in Russia?
I really hope that Ziver will go to represent Russia in Eurovision 2021!
She really sings cool!
And she also have most beautiful costumes!
Zivert also said “If it ever grows together, I don’t mind,” the star explained. “It is certainly an honor for any artist to represent their country at an international competition.”
Hope it’s Little Big next year, but Zivert should definitely represent Russia some day as well!
there is no way they would have won. the juries would have slaughtered it.
well, I’m almost certain. uno is a joke song, albeit a good song, and not a single joke entry has ever scored high with the juries. televote would have pushed it to top 10 or top 5, tho.
Now I’m just waiting the confirmation of
Italy (my country)
Hungary (they must come back)
Montenegro (They have to come back just like Hungary )
Then I think Belarus will withdraw because of the political situation and one country between Bosnia, Morocco or Turkey could surprise us with an unexpected come back.
It’s time to break the record, I want more than 43 countries in the contest.
Belarus will not withdraw because if Russia is participating then Belarus will also.
Belarus will do jesc 2020 upcoming November so I don’t find the reason to withdraw from esc 2021 when things till then can be better
This would be the best for Russia as a country if they chose Little big…. I’m not a fan but tons of others are. I Think they could have a chance to win at 2021 cuz we don’t know if Lithuania’s The Roop is gonna win the Lithuanian NF which I can’t spell. Iceland is still probably gonna have a NF too. But Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland is probably the main completion.
Little Big would’ve likely won the televote. The only question is – How high or low would they go with the juries. But another top five result for Russia was almost certain. I’d really like to see them again, with something different, but equally bonkers.
Great news for Russia! 🙂 I really hope Little Big are back too. 🙂
Now only five of the 2020 participants have yet to confirm:
Personally, I’d say that Italy’s Sanremo and Portugal’s FdC confirmation are as good as sealing the deal. I see no reason why UK or Poland would withdraw (especially since Poland is now the host of JESC). That leaves only Belarus, which is a bit more complicated case.
I’m not predicting it will happen, but Italy may whitdraw even if Sanremo is held, as Sanremo is a priority over ESC for many Italians; besides Italian government is among the most careful ones about the Covid emergency, so they might see ESC as a risk(?)
well I hope not.
I am from Italy, so big thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate it 🙂
I don’t think Italy will withdraw. If we see from jesc a lot of countries have withdrawn becuase of the pandemic (Albania, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal and Wales) but some of them have already confirmed that they will participate in esc, and Italy as well is a big 5 country in eurovision so I think they will participate.
I expected Albania to whitdraw from ESC actually, but luckily I was wrong. Italy often confirms ESC participation between mid September and mid October, so I will start worrying after OCtober 15th-18th ?
Exactly, let’s cross fingers that will confirm participation in the 2 following weeks
I think Portugal and Poland will definitely be there. Portugal has been quite silent, but they confirmed that Elisa will not be internally selected and that their representative would most likely be selected through Festival da Cancao. Poland is hosting Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2020, so they are busy with that now. Last year they also hosted JESC and were among the last ones to confirm participation. United Kingdom has been a little quiet about their 2021 participation, but they usually confirm relatively late. They could also be discussing the methods to select their 2021 participant whether it being James… Read more »
From the UK: Hopefully the BBC will do something for Eurovision 2021, whatever that may be. I liked our 2020 artist and song. The trouble is not the creativity, but rather the willpower. Right now, the UK is, um, how can I put it?… distracted with more urgent matters. And that’s being understated about it. 🙂
As for Russia’s broadcaster’s choice for 2021; they always come up with something amazing and challenging, so Little Big again would be just fine.
I don’t think that they were sure winners. Sure, they were popular with the general public, but I think the jury would’ve been a bit more critical.
With that said, it would be a waste for Russia if they didn’t send them. And I believe they deserve another shot at Eurovision as I do for all of the 2019 artists.