Despite rumours of imminent withdrawal surfacing once again over the last few days, Russia have today released their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in a spontaneous last-minute announcement on Channel One.
Yulia Samoylova will represent Russia with ‘Flame is Burning’ at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest, due to be held in Kyiv, Ukraine this May. For months Russia have been rumoured as withdrawing from the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 due to the ongoing conflict with Ukraine over the Crimea region and concern over the safety of their participant.
This is the fifth year running that Russia has opted to internally select both their singer and song for the Eurovision Song Contest. The song has been written and produced by Leonid Gutkin, who has written the Russian entry for Eurovision in both 2013 and 2015.
Last year’s winning song, ‘1944’ by Jamala, was performed in Crimean Tartar, the first time that the language has been performed in the contest. Jamala beat the Russian entrant, Sergey Lazarev, who finished in third place despite receiving the most points from the public vote.
27 year old Yulia Samoylova is from Ukhta in the Komi Republic. She took part in the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014 and was the runner up in the 2013 Russian version of the X Factor. Whilst taking part in the X Factor she was coached by Alla Pugacheva who represented the country at the contest in 1997.
Source: Channel One
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Russia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has gone on to be one of the most successful countries in the contest. Since the mid-00s Russia has had a string of strong results including their first and only victory to date in 2008. Dima Bilan won the contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song “Believe” taking the contest to Moscow the following year. In the past two years Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.