In the Aftermath, we take a look at the outcome of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 one more time. In this episode we talk about Russia, the big favourite to win the contest, that ended up in third place.
From the moment that Sergey Lazarev was internally selected to represent Russia in Stockholm, expectations were high for Russia. The country only won the contest once, in 2008, but has booked great results in the following years with a lot of top 10 results.
Lazarev is one of the biggest stars from the country and already had a lot of fame over the borders as well. For his song ‘You Are The Only One’ he used a team that has a great track record at Eurovision as well. Philipp Kirkorov composed the song, whilst Fokas Evagelinos did the stage directing of the act.
When the first rehearsal was over, there was some doubt, all of a sudden, about the possible Russian victory. Things did not look so certain anymore. Wasn’t this act a bit “too much” to handle? The fears turned out to be true: Russia still won the televote in a convincing matter, but in the jury vote, Russia only got a fifth place with 130 points. Not enough for victory.
Sergey Lazarev is a big star and he knows how a star should react after a disappointing result. In a professional matter he published a series of compliments on his Social Media accounts, without smearing the competition. He is still calling Stockholm 2016: “One of the best experiences in my life…”
His composer Filip Kirkorov spoke out a bit more, pointing out the fact that Sergey received zero points from 21 juries. Clearly offended, he went on to suggest that the jury’s share of the overall vote should be reduced from 50% to 25%.
As the composer and producer of Russian entry I fully respect the result. I knew the rules and I accepted them. As a fan of this contest I am sad that a song, an entry and an artist like Sergey Lazarev @lazarevsergey was given zero points from 21 juries! When at the same time, the audience all over Europe voted for him with 3 points and above. 29 countries gave him 8, 10 and 12 points!! I really believe that EBU should reconsider the way juries are voting. Maybe take them down to 25%? Something needs to be done for Russia to take part again. This is my opinion
In the aftermath, a lot of speculations are being made whether Russia wants to participate in Ukraine and whether the country is able to participate in Ukraine. Small polls amoungst just 1600 people in a country with over 140 million people are being covered as representative, whilst the officials are already making plans for 2017.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the rules of selecting participants of Eurovision are general for all countries and Ukraine that will host the song contest in 2017 has to follow them. Russia wants to take part in 2017, of course. “Eurovision is an international contest and the hosting side should follow the Eurovision rules,” Peskov said when asked to comment on Kiev’s alleged statement on plans to “filter” participants from Russia.
The most significant victory at the Eurovision contest is that the attempt to change the audience’s attitude toward Russian singers was successful, Sergey Lazarev told Russian press agency TASS: “We understand some “specificities” regarding us, so to say, from the outset. I’m pleased we managed to break some negative perception of Russian participants that was present there during the last several years. Everyone knows that and I was warned that the audience had a highly negative response towards Russian performers despite their decent shows. This year I was supported by the audience and Europe voted for me,” Lazarev said.
“This stands high. This is the greatest victory that I managed to change the attitude in such way and set viewers to positive mood,” he added.