Russia: Channel One confirms national final for Eurovision 2021

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,920 views

Russian national  broadcaster, C1 (Channel 1 Russia), has announced that the 2021 Russian Eurovision act and entry will be selected via televised national final. It is yet unknown if the 2020 Eurovision hopefuls Little Big will compete in theupcoming show.

The 2021 Russian Eurovision and entry will be determined via a televised national final scheduled to take place on Monday 8 March at the 18:00 CET in Moscow. The Russian national final will be broadcast live on Channel One.

Mr. Yury Aksyuta (Head of Entertaiment C1 Russia/ Head of Delegation) says:

There are two main ways to choose the national act for the ESC. It can be an internal decision by the broadcaster, like it was in the case of Duncan Laurence, who went on to win the contest in 2019. Or the broadcaster may arrange a national selection with the winner to be named by the jury and/or public. During recent years we often selected our representative internally but this time we want our viewers to make the final choice after we present them with songs that meet the Eurovision Song Contest requirementS.

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.

The Russian national broadcaster has decided to hold a national final in order to determine Russian entry and act for Rotterdam.

Russia in 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 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with ‘Uno‘ but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is yet unclear if the band will partake in the national final next week.