Skip to main content

Could Sergey Lazarev make a return to Eurovision?

15 July 2016 at 17:13 CEST
Sergey Lazarev, who finished third for Russia in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, has hinted that he may consider entering the contest again. When asked in an interview with Elle magazine about whether he would return to the contest, Sergey said "If the stars align again and I find the right team and most importantly, a worthy song then why not?" If Sergey does return to the Eurovision stage, he won't be the Russian first act to make another attempt to take the Eurovision trophy home. Dima Bilan, who finished second in 2006 went on to win the contest when he returned two years later. Could it be second time lucky for Sergey?

The summer and autumn months are typically the time when broadcasters plan their various selection processes. In 2016 Russia opted for an internal selection and Lazarev was a popular choice among the fans and indeed the public, winning the televote in the Grand Final. Channel One Russia, which will organise the Russian entry in 2017, said that it is too early to discuss plans for next year but Lazarev's comments will undoubtedly excite many fans.

Over the years several singers have returned to the Eurovision Song Contest for a second attempt, arguably Johnny Logan is the most successful. After winning for Ireland in 1980 with What's Another Year he went on to win again in 1987 with Hold Me Now. Logan also wrote Linda Martin's song from 1984, Terminal 3, as well as her winning song and her second Eurovision attempt, Why Me? in 1992. 

Sweden's Carola finished third in 1983 with the song Främling and returned to the contest in 1991 to win with Fångad av en Stormvind. She made another appearance at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest where she finished 5th.

Elisabeth Andreassen, who finished eighth for Sweden in 1982 as part of the group Chips, went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 for Norway as part of Bobbysocks. In that same year Sweden was represented by Kikki Danielsson, who performed alongside Andreassen as part of Chips in 1982. Kikki finished third in 1985, and like Elisabeth, improved on her original Eurovision placing.       

Weighing up the pros and cons of returning to Eurovision

The decision to return to the Eurovision Song Contest is not an easy one to make especially when the first attempt was a successful one. Lys Assia started the tradition of returning to the competition after she won the very first contest in 1956. She chose to participate again for Switzerland in both 1957 and 1958 finishing eighth and second respectively. Lys attempted to represent her home country again in both 2012 and 2013. She continues to attend the Eurovision Song Contest every year. 

Sometimes a second appearance in the show can be disappointing one. Niamh Kavanagh who won for Ireland in 1993 participated again in 2010 and finished 23rd out of 25. Despite this, she took Ireland to the Grand Final for the first time since 2007. Dana International won the 1998 contest for Israel and yet failed to qualify when she returned in 2011 with Ding Dong. 

Malta's Chiara, who finished third in 1998, managed to live up to expectations when she took part in 2005 and finished second. She returned again in 2009 and placed 22nd. Ira Losco who finished second for Malta in 2002 returned this year but finished 12th in the Grand Final. Despite the disappointment, both Chiara and Ira took Malta to the Grand Final when the country had previously failed to qualify. 

Charlotte Perrelli won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 but only finished 18th when she returned to the competition in 2008. Selma, who finished second to Charlotte in 1999, returned to Eurovision in Kyiv in 2005 only to fail to qualify for the Grand Final. 

Lena, who won for Germany in 2010 took the brave step of returning to defend her title on home soil in 2011 with Taken By A Stranger. She finished 10th in the Grand Final with one of the most striking performances of the night. 

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again

Arguably the best example of this mantra is Valentina Monetta from San Marino. Valentina represented her country in 2012, 2013 and 2014. On her first two attempts she failed to qualify for the Grand Final but on her final attempt she made it, the first and only time that San Marino has reached the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. 

The decision to return to the Eurovision Song Contest is undoubtedly not an easy one. When expectations are high, the pressure can be immense. However the potential rewards for many may outweigh the possible downsides. 

Which artist would you like to see return to the Eurovision Song Contest?