The victory of Natalia Podolskaya in last Friday's Russian national final leaves a bitter taste. As Russian media is reporting, Channel One manipulated the SMS and televoting in order to make Natalia Podolskaya win. Furthermore Channel One would have influenced Varvara's performance as she was considered Podolskaya's biggest competitor.
Doubts remain whether Natalia Podolskaya has indeed been chosen by the Russian TV-viewers last Friday. For the first time the Russians had the opportunity to vote and to select their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest.
However, only SMS votes for singers who later finished in the first three positions arrived. The three singers concerned, Dima Bilan (It's not that simple), Anastasia Stotskaya (Shadows dance all around me) and Natalia Podolskaya (Nobody hurt no one) had earlier been drawn to be the last three performers in the line-up of the Russian national final.
Those who voted for one of the other six finalists mostly received “message unsent” as answer. As a result Natalia Podolskaya, the singer most preferred by Channel One, won the Russian national final. Dima Bilan finished second, Anastasia Stotskaya third.
According to those who attended the final in the Channel One studios in Moscow, more manipulation has been involved. They claim that Varvara's live performance of Letala da pela sounded different from the way it was aired on TV and accuse Channel One of sound manipulation.