Russian broadcaster, RTR, earlier had announced the names of the 35 short-listed finalists of the National Final which will take place on March 7th. Dima Bilan, who represented and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 is not among them.
Highly rumored and tipped for representing Russia at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Dima Bilan,was not listed among the 35 names which are to compete for the ticket to Oslo on March 7th. It is not clear why Dima Bilan and his management suddenly decided to withdraw from the National Final.
It was announced earlier in February 2010 that Phillip Kirkorov, who is a well known name to the Eurovision audience will once again take part in the contest as a composer. A song titled "White Night" was said to be the one Bilan would sing on the day of the National Final.
Dima Bilan's producer, Yana Rudkovskaya in her statement refused to name the reason, and only commented that it was a mutual dicision between her, Kirkorov and Bilan.
The russian national final will take place on March 7th on RTR at 19:00 CET (21:00 local time). The list of the 35 finalists can be found here.
Dima Bilan singing "Believe" at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOP7iTADNLg