This evening Russia held a national final in order to determine its 2021 Eurovision act and entry for Rotterdam.
A total of three acts battled for the golden ticket to Rotterdam during a televised national final broadcast on Channel 1 Russia.
Manizha will have the grand honour of represent Russia at the forthcoming 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam next May with her entry ‘Russian Woman‘.
This is a song about the transformation of a woman’s self-awareness over the past few centuries in Russia. A Russian woman has gone an amazing way from a peasant hut to the right to elect and be elected (one of the first in the world), from factory workshops to space flights. She has never been afraid to resist stereotypes and take responsibilities. This is the source of inspiration for the song. By coincidence I wrote it on March 8, 2020 while on tour, but for the first time I perform it a year later.
A bevy of Russian and international Eurovision stars from the past and present graced the occasion: Philip Kirkorov (Russia 1995), Polina Gagarina (Russia 2016), Dima Bilan (Russia 2006, 2009), Natalia Gordienko (Moldova 2006, 2020, 2021), Little Big (Russia 2020), Koldun (Belarus 2007) etc.
Channel 1 and RTR share Eurovision participation
In Russia two national broadcasters are EBU members and thus alternate when participating at the Eurovision Song Contest: Channel 1 has been participating in Eurovision during odd years, whilst RTR (Rossija 1) during even years. But this changed in 2017 when Channel One withdrew from the contest due a ban imposed by Ukrainian authorities barring Yulia Samoylova from entering Ukraine.
Initially 2018 was RTR’s turn to partake in the event, but due to the circumstances the previous year Channel Once competed in Lisbon. In 2019 RTR competed at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.
Channel 1 Russia was set participate in our beloved competition in 2020 with Little Big, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 global outbreak, hence the broadcaster will compete in the contest this year.
Russia at Eurovision
Russia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has won the event once in 2008 with Dima Bilan’s Believe. The country successfully hosted the contest in 2009 in Moscow.
The Russians have enjoyed massive success in the Eurovision Song Contest with 1 victory (2008), 4 2nd placings (2000, 2006, 2012, 2015), 4 3rd placings (2003, 2007, 2016, 2019) and 1 5th placing (2013). The country had never missed a Eurovision final since the introduction of the semifinals in 2004 until 2018 when Julia Samoylova failed to qualify to the Grand Final in Lisbon.
Russia has sent some of its most acclaimed and celebrated artists to the competition: Dima Bilan, Sergey Lazerev, t.A.T.u, Alsou, Polina Gagarina, Alla Pugacheva, Philip Kirkorov, Serebro etc.
Russia has competed 22 times in the contest and has enjoyed great success in the musical festival with 10 top 10 placings including a victory in 2008.
In 2019 Russia opted for an internal selection in order to select its Eurovision act and entry for Tel Aviv. Sergey Lazarev was given the grand honour of defending the Russian colours for the second time in ESC history, he flew the Russian flag at ESC 2019 with his powerful ballad ‘Scream‘, achieving an hoourable 3rd placing in the Grand Final.
In 2020 Little Big were set to represent Russia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with ‘Uno‘.