Hello and welcome to another Eurovision article on The Blogging DJ, where we will be continuing to look in-depth at each of the forty-one entrants for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Today we are looking at Russia, one of the Eurovision powerhouses in the last couple of decades. Can they make a return to the Grand Final after last year’s non-qualification with 2016 contestant Sergey Lazarev and his new song, “Scream”?
Ever since the 2013 edition of the contest, Russia have internally selected their entry for Eurovision. As they swap between two host broadcasters every year, in 2019 Russia-1 has that honour. On the 7th of February, they announced that Lazarev, who came third in the 2016 contest, would again be representing his country. “Scream” was later released to the public on the 9th of March. It has also been announced that Russia will perform two-thirds of the way through semi-final two, in position number thirteen.
The Blogging DJ’s Review
Dramatic but also driven, Russia has succeeded where most other entries this year in a similar genre have missed the mark. From the outset, you can get a sense of the drama with the heavy beats and the string instruments. It builds until the chorus explodes as Sergey Lazarev screams out his emotions; hearing the live performance below, he will have no problems doing that in Tel Aviv. The song is more dramatic pop than modern pop, which actually helps it to stand out, especially when it is done so cleanly and is memorable. What I think Russia does well is not overdoing the music, so that they have a great base on which to put some memorable staging. Compared to a lot of entries, this is simple but the emphasis is on the emotion and drama. I prefer this to “You Are The Only One” and think Russia could do very very well on the night if the staging fits the song. 8.5
Live Performance Video
According to Oddschecker, you can currently get odds ranging from 9/2 up to 13/2 on Russia winning the Eurovision Song Contest. This puts them in second place behind The Netherlands as of now, suggesting that bookmakers see this song as the closest potential challenger to Duncan Laurence in Tel Aviv. However, it can all change once rehearsals and the semi-final have been completed.
Record at Eurovision
Russia have competed in the Eurovision Song Contest twenty-one times since making their debut in the 1994 contest, with last year’s slip-up the only time they have failed to make the Grand Final. Dima Bilan’s win in 2008 with “Believe” remains the only time that this country has lifted the trophy. However, with four second places and three third places, they are one of the most successful countries at Eurovision in the last couple of decades.
So what do you make of the Russian entry for Eurovision 2019? Does it make you “Scream” with delight or in agony? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below; it is great hearing what all of you think about the entries and this series of reviews in general. Subscribe to the blog to get notified about when new articles are published and stay tuned for more Eurovision themed pieces in the weeks leading up to the contest!