Leonid Gutkin, the man behind Polina Gagarina’s “A Million Voices” is working on the Russian song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
Yulia Samoilova’s husband and producer Alexei Taran has confirmed that Leonid Gutkin is working with the pair on the Russian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. As of last month two songs were in consideration to compete at the contest; one was said to be about space and the other about fairytales. It is not yet known which one, if either, has been selected.
Leonid Gutkin has written a number of anthemic ballads for the Eurovision Song Contest. He has writing credits for the following entries at the contest:
- A Million Voices – Russia – 2015 – 2nd – 303 points
- Falling Stars – Moldova – 2016 – 17th (SF) – 33 points
- Flame is Burning – Russia – 2017 – Withdrawn from the contest
- What If – Russia – 2013 – 5th – 174 points
Alexei Taran also confirmed that Russian entry for Lisbon will not be released before March.
Last year, Yulia Samoilova was internally selected to represent Russia at Eurovision in Kyiv. However, she was later banned from entering Ukraine after it was discovered she had travelled to Crimea in 2015 in breach of Ukrainian law.
Initially, the European Broadcasting Union suggested Yulia should be able to participate by video link from Moscow, an idea which was rejected by Channel One. The Executive Supervisor of the EBU, Jon Ola Sand, later proposed that the ban be enforced only after the conclusion of Eurovision 2017. Russia was ultimately removed from the contest on 13th April 2017 after it was announced that Channel One would not broadcast the contest.
UA:PBC, the Ukrainian broadcaster responsible for Eurovision 2017 was subject to a substantial fine by the EBU as a result of the 2017 Russian controversy.
Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest
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 2015 and 2016, Russia finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.