Despite being promised to be the Russian Eurovision representative in 2018, Yulia Samoylova has yet to receive confirmation that she will be participating in Lisbon next May.
According to Russian news site Life, Yulia has still not received any confirmation that she will be heading to Lisbon, four months after initially being told that she would be the Russian representative in 2018.
A spokesperson told Life, “Yulia has never been to Portugal. Of course, she would like to go because the performance at the Eurovision Song Contest is the dream of her life.”
Life also reports that Yulia is currently busy with her solo music career and has not prepared a song for Eurovision 2018. She has released the single “Yad” (Poison) back in May.
Russia had originally confirmed their definite participation in last year’s contest, despite the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. However, as the Head of Delegations meeting in March approached, it transpired that there would be no Russian delegation at the meeting, leading to rumours of a Russian withdrawal. However, a day before the meeting, Yulia was announced as Russia’s act for Eurovision 2017 in March.. Channel One had internally selected the singer who would perform the song “Flame is Burning”.
However, controversy soon erupted when Ukraine authorities banned Yulia from entering Ukraine for three years after having previously travelled to Crimea, a region annexed by Russia but claimed by Ukraine, without entering through Ukraine first, which is illegal under Ukrainian law. Despite the EBU proposing various solutions, including having Yulia performing via satellite or selecting someone else to represent Russia, Channel One decided not to broadcast this year’s contest, effectively meaning Russia’s withdrawal from the contest and the country’s first absence from a Eurovision final since 1999.
At the time, Russian broadcasters Channel One and Russia-1 issued a joint statement which promised that Julia would have the chance to represent Russia at Eurovision 2018.
Russia-1 will select Russia’s entry for 2018. They have yet to state whether they will send Yulia or send another artist of their own choice.
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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. On their last two appearances, Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.