Yesterday, during a press conference held by Russia TV channel, some information on this year's preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest were revealed.
One hundred and seventy entries were submitted this year to Russia Channel. Out of those, 25 will be selected by a special committee to compete in the Russian national final on 9th March. As it is customary, the names of the committee members are a well-kept secret so as to avoid any pressure put on them by interested parties.
Among the artists that have submitted songs we see Dima Bilan, who represented Russia in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, Prime Minister, the 2002 representatives but with a new line-up, Aleksander Panayotov (ex-participant of Russian Pop Idol), Yulia Mikhalchik (ex-participant of Star Factory) and well-known band A-studio. The much discussed as potential entrants, superstars Valeria and Sergei Lazarev have not submitted songs after all.
There seem to be some complications though regarding Dima Bilan's participation. The legal department of Russia TV is currently looking into a claim by Victor Baturin, husband of Dima Bilan's producer Yana Rudkovskaya, that Dima cannot participate in any contest without Baturin's consent.
Marija Serifovic has accepted the Russian broadcaster's invitation to appear in the national final as a guest star. Russia TV will produce a documentary about the contest and the participants and Muz-TV and Love radio will be following the contest with special diaries. Russia TV will only broadcast the first semi final.
A very special thank you to Anton Kudrevich, vice-president of OGAE-Russia for the submission of the information.