Russian 2019 Eurovision Song Contest participant Sergey Lazarev tells us why he is back this year, gives a sneak peek at the staging for his song 'Scream' and has some good advice for himself.
Sergey Lazarev previously represented Russia in 2016 with You Are The Only One when he finished third and won the televote. This year, he is back with a vengeance.
Loving the Eurovision Cong Contest and praising its celebration of music, Sergy is happy to set foot again on the stage this May in Tel Aviv with the track Scream. The song is produced by Philip Kirkorov, composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos, written by Sharon Vaughn and accompanied by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. This will be the second time Sergey performs a track composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos and Philip Kirkorov, as his 2016 entry You Are The Only One was also created by this team.
Since Sergey reached the number 3 position at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the expectations are running high for his comeback this year.
When asked what made him decide to return to the contest, he says: "When I heard the melody of the song [...]. It's a completely different song from what I did in 2016, it's a completely different genre, it's an epic ballad with a strong vocal. For me it's a good opportunity to show myself from a different side. And of course it's a big honour to represent my country again for the second time at the Eurovision Song Contest."
The staging of Sergey's 2016 performance of You Are The Only One was incredibly complex and involved him climbing on a tilted LED screen.
Sergey tells what to expect from the staging of Scream in Tel Aviv: "This time it's a completely different song, completely different emotion. We would like to express all emotions that the song has to the stage performance. So the audience will understand the whole meaning of the song, the whole meaning of this performance.”
With all the experience and knowledge that he gained during the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Sergey recalls the high expectations surrounding his performance that year:
"First of all, don't look at the bookmakers. […] Don't react on what others say. I remember before the final night in 2016 [...] everybody came to me and said you're the winner for sure, like 100%. And I understood that it's too early to predict and everything could happen. So I was right."
With 2016 in hindsight and looking forward to the period leading up to the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, Sergey is approaching the contest in a different way: "This time I will never see the bookmakers, I will never listen to what others say about me, about my performance. I will be, till the end, in my own head because I want to be sure of myself and I want to be self-confident."
Russia in Eurovision
Russia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and despite only winning once, they have one of the best track records in the competition. In 21 attempts, Russia has finished in the top half of the Grand Final scoreboard 17 times and reached the top 3 an incredible 8 times including its last appearance in the final when Sergey Lazarev finished third, topping the international televote with You Are The Only One.
Dima Bilan took second place in 2006 with Never Let You Go before returning in 2008 to deliver Russia’s first ever Eurovision victory with Believe in 2008. Russia also managed second place in 2000 with Alsou, 2012 with Buranovskiye Babushki (affectionately known as the six Russian grannies) and their dance song Party For Everybody and again in 2015 with Polina Gagarina's A Million Voices. Last year however, Russia’s proud 100% success record at qualifying from the Semi-Finals at the Eurovision Song Contest broke when Julia Samoylova finished 15th and missed out on the Grand Final with I Won’t Break.