The list of the 25 participants of the Russian final for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest has been finally revealed today by TV Russia. The broadcaster received a total of 167 entries, the vast majority of which is in English.
Almost 170 artists have submitted their bid to represent Russia in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, 60-70% of them in English, according to Producer Gennadiy Groshtein. A special jury appointed by TV Russia has shortlisted 25 of them who will compete in the national final on 9th March, at 21.20 (Moscow time) at the Akademicheskiy Concert Hall. The winner will be decided by televoting and an eight-member jury.Possible hosts of the show will be Dmitriy Guberniev and Olga Shelest but that remains to be confirmed.
The full list of the Russian finalists is as follows:
1. Andrei Makarenko (Nizhniy Novgorod)
2. Nora Adam (Moscow)
3. Natalia Terehova (Moscow)
4. Natalia Astafieva (Chelyabinsk)
5. Anna Mushak (Sankt-Peterburg)
6. A-Studio band (Moscow)
7. Alexandr Panayotov (Ukraine)8. Prime-Minister band (Moscow, Ukraine, Mongolia)
9. Pierre Narciss & Jam Sheriff (Camerun, Nigeria)
10. Alexei Vorobyov (Tula)
11. Zhenya Rasskazova (Moscow)
12. Yuliya Mikhalchik (Moscow)
13. Aza Bataeva (Grozniy)
14. Anatoliy Alyoshin (Moscow)
15. Elena Gorbushina (Gorskaya) (Moscow)
16. Zhenya Otradnaya (Moscow)
17. Tamila Grischenko (Odintsovo)
18. Roman Bezhin (Moscow)
19. Alsou Zainutdinova (Kazan)
20. Dima Bilan (Moscow)
21. Max Lorens & Satsura (Belarus)
22. Monte-Christo band (Moscow)
23. Sabrina (Moscow)
24. BK band (Pyatigorsk)
25. Olga Vyarvus (Tiraspol)
The biggest name on the list is of course that of Dima Bilan, the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest runner-up. But his participation is still under investigation as his sponsor, Victor Baturin, has written to the Russian broadcaster general Director Anton Zlatopolski demanding that he is not accepted in the preselection, claiming that the style of song he has submitted is not in accordance with Dima's contract. The issue is still under investigation by the legal department of RUTV.
Apart from Dima Bilan, we also see Prime Minister, the 2002 Russian 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.
A very special thank you to Olexander Fedorov for his contribution to the article.