Picture: Bez Dushi

Armed with their insanely catchy song “Uno”, Russia’s Little Big were one of the biggest favourites to win Eurovision 2020 before the contest was cancelled. The band, which formed in Saint Petersburg, shocked many of their fans when they announced that they wouldn’t return to Eurovision in 2021.

Little Big frontman Ilya Prusikin explained the group’s reasoning behind their decision not to return to Eurovision in 2021 back in March.

During the national final, the group said, rather briefly, that they had taken the decision together with Russian public broadcaster Channel One. They added to that there are “many talented artists in Russia”.

Ilya Prusikin on why Little Big did not return to Eurovision

Now, in the latest episode of the video podcast Bez Dushi (Without Soul), Ilych elaborated on that statement. He said:

“Listen, we said already from the start in 2020 that we don’t want to. Not just not wanting to, but also thinking that a different artist should go, because [we are not the only ones in the world]. (…) We just didn’t want to be — I won’t say any names — like an artist that goes there four times.”

The show’s host Danila Poperechny suggested the name “Gazarev” to this hypothetical Russian returning act, to which Ilya agreed.

“But why? We have hundreds if not thousands of cool artists in Russia.”

Curiously, their decision seems to have come rather late. Ahead of Eurovision, Manizha told us via Zoom that Russia’s national final was hastily organised because Little Big had left their decision until quite late in the Eurovision season.

Next to that, Ilya revealed several small details about their planned Eurovision 2020 participation. At first, the group was really surprised they were chosen at all. Prusikin notes that “Uno” was never intended for Eurovision — the group wrote it for their album that is supposed to be released at the end of 2021.

When it came to representing Russia at the contest, “Uno” was not the only song on the table at Channel One. Ilya revealed that their August 2020 single “Tacos” was also under consideration.  At first, the group hoped that Channel One would choose the food-inspired number as it would be more “idiotic”.

What do you think about Ilya’s explanation for Little Big not returning to Eurovision 2021? Do you agree with him? Let us know in the comments down below!

Read all our Russia Eurovision news here.

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Alex
Alex
4 days ago

I think Little Big will do Eurovision but when the timing is right and they have the right song. They would be a perfect match.

vetrina
vetrina
6 days ago

This guy is homophobic af. I saw some of his vlogs and he was making some disgusting jokes about gay ppl.

Vlad
Vlad
5 days ago
Reply to  vetrina

Hi! I saw this compilation: https://youtu.be/KdTqnVbRFN0
I’m gay, I speak Russian and I think the jokes are corny and ignorant, like he uses homophobic tropes (it’s all about sex etc.). He’s making fun of homophobes but his own attitude isn’t really clear in this video. I feel he might be more of an ignorant homophobe, not really a gay hater tho.

(Well maybe there are other videos that I don’t know about.)

Shuma
Shuma
6 days ago

Was he making a dig at Valentina Monetta or Sergey Lazarev, or both?

Ducduc
Ducduc
6 days ago
Reply to  Shuma

Valentina’s case is different a bit since San Marino has very few artists to send.

Alex
Alex
6 days ago
Reply to  Shuma

Sergey, Valentina is not Russian and it’s not like people in Russia know her in order to use her as reference. Plus, San Marino does not have any singers to choose from.

Last edited 6 days ago by Alex
Bobby Barto
Bobby Barto
7 days ago

I am sorry that they didn’t come back this year.
I hope that they’ll come back in the future

Valentino
Valentino
7 days ago

I think it’s the artist’s choice (with approval from the broadcaster) to go to the competition a few times.

If Little Big does not want to go again, it’s their choice as well. They don’t have to make as if they are the Moral quotient here!

Last edited 7 days ago by Valentino
Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
7 days ago

I didn’t miss Little Big. I like Manizha much more. I hope also for a normal singer next year for Russia

Hyunwoo
Hyunwoo
7 days ago

Hope that Russia will send a normal singer to Eurovision 2022.

MarinoK
MarinoK
7 days ago
Reply to  Hyunwoo

I hope that the time of “normal acts” for Eurovision are gone and that this year marked a turning point for countries to send more authentic and original performers rather than Swedish by-the-numbers produced songs

Mr X
Mr X
6 days ago
Reply to  MarinoK

Thank you !

SeNhiT
SeNhiT
7 days ago

Why did I think he was referring to Valentina Monetta?

Ben
Ben
6 days ago
Reply to  SeNhiT

Normal people don’t know who Valentina is.

Alex
Alex
6 days ago
Reply to  SeNhiT

Becuase you’re a hardcore ESC fan who thinks that everyone knows every single Eurovision artist??

It was a shade towards Sergey who’s been already twice in a short period of time and he will plan to return. Russia is a MASSIVE market and Ilya wanted to say that there is no need to see the same people doing Eurovision when there is so much talent to choose from. Also, a shade for Kirkorov being in charge of the entry every 2 years with the same producers.

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
7 days ago

Russia’s music industry is too big to keep recycling acts for Eurovision. Both Sergey and Dima’s follow-up songs aren’t better than their previous efforts too. Little Big did the right choice.

Charles
Charles
7 days ago

Regardless of whom he was refering to, Lazarev or Kirkorov, this shade was absolutely deliciously necessary. I also have many “whys” in the back of my mind for the same topic. And bare in mind: a) Kirkorov takes part of it literally every year because he thinks he is the Russian/Bulgarian Ralph Siegel and wants, thus, to win this desperately. He is not thinking about “us” for a moment … his ego is like his height, way too big. b) Lazarev to come back again for the zillionth time … only if he bring an uptempo song, in which he… Read more »

Shuma
Shuma
6 days ago
Reply to  Charles

“Lazarev only if he bring an uptempo song, in which he shows off his naked torso,

Yes yes yes

Roo
Roo
6 days ago
Reply to  Shuma

I don’t really enjoy the performances of a singer who pretends he isn’t gay, so he can enjoy a privileged position in corrupt Russian society. For the titillation of a small group of gay fans of Eurovision? Both the people who want Lazarev to return and Lazarev himself should have more integrity. All topless torsos are the same after a while anyway. It’s the personality in the topless torso that counts.

Mark
Mark
7 days ago

You don’t want to go four times? Love, you haven’t even been once.

Charles
Charles
7 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Taking part of it more for than once hasn’t really proven to be very artistically benefitial from a credibility point of view. So I understand he is aware that once you managed to reach that kind of success without even going through the competition, you need to balance things and reconsider everything and not risk damaging your popularity and credubility, Doing it over and over and over for the sake of a desperate win is a very Russian thing, but Little BIg have proven to smarter and better than that. Apart from Céline Dion, Olivia Newton-John or ABBA no one… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Charles
Red X
Red X
7 days ago

I honestly want the Russian national selection back next year but with more songs and more planning.

Veta
Veta
7 days ago
Reply to  Red X

Me too! Imagine what an euphoric feeling that was for us to be able to vote again after 9 years!

The French Hufflepuffie
The French Hufflepuffie
7 days ago

Or they found Eurovision too gay for them…

Zisk
Zisk
7 days ago

Not sure why this is getting downvoted to them given Little Big made vlogs about straight pride and the lead singer saying he would rather gay people don’t recognize him in public.

msn
msn
8 days ago

I thought they were talking about mans

Roo
Roo
6 days ago
Reply to  msn

He is someone we don’t need back again. BTW how lovely were Anne Marie David and Niamh Kavanagh this year?

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 days ago

Nah, they were just scared of Maneskin.

P.s. this is a joke.

Jo.
Jo.
8 days ago

2022 is another kirkorov year for russia, so be prepared for the “dream team” and a possible returnee

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago
Reply to  Jo.

-.-

Azaad
Azaad
8 days ago
Reply to  Jo.

At least we can get a great entry for 2023 then.

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
8 days ago
Reply to  Jo.

I have the feeling that it can be Sergey.

2016: 3rd place

3 years pass..

2019: 3rd place

3 years pass..

2022: either finally a victory or another 3rd place lol

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

he won’t win… his era is gone… and generic and “eurovision” songs won’t win anymore I think…

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
8 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Well, I definitely hope so.

esc_fl
esc_fl
7 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

I’d only want Sergey back if he participates with an entry in Russian and not with the Dream team

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago

Well, I feel sorry for him that he feels this way because they didn’t actually go to eurovision… so it’s different to for example Sergey who will probably keep trying until he wins.

I’m just praying that the broadcaster won’t go for Kirkorov once again… It is unlikely but I’m still praying… Russia has too much talent for sending the same team all over again… and that team is not even good.

Jonas
Jonas
8 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

It’s not different. The point is to give somebody else a chance.

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

yeah but they didn’t get their chance like it’s not the same hahah.

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
8 days ago

As much as I love Manizha and Russian Woman (it’s my favourite Russian entry), the national final was so weird. I think it was quite obvious from the beginning that they had chosen Manizha, but they didn’t want to announce it internally due to the controversy around the song and Manizha’s Tajik origin. What I also found weird was that it didn’t seem like the audience heard Russian Woman for the first time. On the National Final performance one can see the audience clapping always exactly at the same moments and even starting to clap before the “Boryustya Boryutsya..” part.… Read more »

Teddy
Teddy
8 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

They had probably attended the dress rehearsals before the show

Max
Max
7 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

It’s quite common to warm up live audiences before the broadcast starts. Nothing surprising here.

Veta
Veta
7 days ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

In my opinion the national final was good. My vote went to Manizha as well, but I was pleasantly surprised, even can say proud none of the three songs was entirely pop. I legit didn’t expect it from our TV. The studio version of “Future is bright” is so good, I still listen to it.

Last edited 7 days ago by Veta
Robert
Robert
8 days ago

Kirkorov, Ralph Siegel and more of these Muppets should maybe give others a chance

Nils
Nils
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Ralph Siegel gave up a few years ago, though. But I really think there should be a rule limiting composers to one entry per year. Nobody wants to see Barker/G:son/Deb/Kontopoulos each having two or more songs in the Grand Final.

Last edited 8 days ago by Nils
Robert
Robert
8 days ago

I’m sad they didn’t compete and even more sad that 2020 was canceled as Uno would’ve slayed.. Winning the televote possibly.. BUT I respect their decision a lot! It takes balls, they had winning material and this shows they dare to let go where others stay on where they should’ve let go.. I say that with respect

Azaad
Azaad
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert

I think Russia would’ve tanked with the juries – I couldn’t imagine even the Belarusian or Azeri juries giving Little Big 12 points.

ESC Stan
ESC Stan
8 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

I agree, but this year showed just how much 5he televote can change things.

JadePenguin
JadePenguin
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Iceland disagrees

EurovisionBenny_AUT
EurovisionBenny_AUT
8 days ago

Ilya is right saying that there are many talented artists and songwriters in Russia. So I don’t get why Kirkorov should write Russia’s song next year yet again as he has teased. Kirkorov’s songs are far from innovative and exciting. The Russian broadcaster should consider songs from other Russian songwriters, and not let Eurovision in Russia become something exclusive.

ales
ales
8 days ago

Seriously. I feel like Kirkorov doesn’t really fit into new eurovision anymore… he should move on as the contest did…

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 days ago
Reply to  ales

yep he is so 2008.. like stop sending us entries literally nobody wants them..

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
8 days ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Is he so 2000-and-late?

JadePenguin
JadePenguin
7 days ago
Reply to  ales

Moldova did well though (their song was by Kirkorov). Not saying I don’t agree with more diversity but ultimately it’s up to each country to pick their favorite

Erasmus
Erasmus
7 days ago
Reply to  JadePenguin

well u forgot to mention the fact that they bought a few votes 🙂

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
8 days ago

From Manizha to Kirkorov.. I don’t want that downgrade :/

Veta
Veta
7 days ago

In Russia we have a childish short rhyme intended to mock the name Philip: “Phillip – k zadnitse prilip”, which means “Philip: [the one who] got sticked to the a*s” and I find it hilarious how much it fits our Nightmare king. 🙂

Last edited 7 days ago by Veta
ales
ales
8 days ago

I recently discovered a russian synth/indie rock band called dayte tank (!) they’re insanely talented and I’ve been obsessed with their music lately. Would love to see them in eurovision at some point

Eugenie
Eugenie
7 days ago
Reply to  ales

I’m not Russian, but Dayte Tank is f-cking incredible.

ESC fan
ESC fan
8 days ago

I was hoping they would return for 2021, but now I understand their reasoning. I think they deserved representing Russia this year because ESC 2020 was canceled, but only because of that. The list of Russian representatives in the last five years is repetitive. Between 2016 and 2019, we had Sergey Lazarev and Julia Samoylova only–and I’m happy Julia came back for obvious reasons. Maybe Little Big will return to Eurovision when it’s the right time.

Ashton
Ashton
8 days ago

the SHADE at Sergey, as they should

Leo
Leo
8 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

No offense to Sergey fans but why do they push him to win the contest?
It’s not like he’s destined to win
You can’t make another Dima Bilan scenario out of it
And if they want to select him again, why would they choose dream team again?
I mean he basically worked with them twice and none of the attempts led to a win

Last edited 8 days ago by Leo
Apollo
Apollo
8 days ago
Reply to  Leo

one word…. Kirkorov

esc_fl
esc_fl
8 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Sergey Lazarev has an amazing voice, but unfortunately I think the Dream Team underplayed his potential in both 2016 and 2019. I actually liked the song “Scream” and even more the Russian version “Krik” where he holds the C5 note longer like in the Eurovision performance

Last edited 8 days ago by esc_fl
canada_piano
canada_piano
8 days ago

we finally have an answer to russia’s nf! or not. they really couldnt have just gone for the cheaper option and selected an artist internally…