Country of the month is back. We decided to continue our series of articles “Country Of The Month” with Russia. In a period of four weeks, we are going to remind you of the best Russian entries. Note: we selected the entries not by their place in their final, but by their impact on the fans.
Dima Bilan – Believe
In 2008, Russia selected Dima Bilan and his song “Believe”. The song is entirely in English.
It was composed by Dima Bilan and Jim Beanz. The song won the contest with 272 points, making it the first and only until today victory for the country.
Dima was born on 24th December 1981, in Russia. His real name is Viktor Nikolayevich Belan. His career dates back to 2000 but it wasn’t until 2006 when he rose to fame. That year was internally selected by the public broadcaster to represent the country in Eurovision, with the song “Never Let You Go”. The entry managed to place 2nd in Athens, making it the best performance for the country since the Alsou’s second place in 2000. After that, he released several albums and singles including collaborations with global artists like Nelly Furtado and Ryan Tedder (One Republic). In 2008 he represented again his country and won it. Dima has been a judge in many seasons of the Russian version of The Voice – both in adults and kids versions.
Dima is a fan of the contest having expressed his interest in representing Russia again in the contest. In 2010, he recorded a demo for the national final but didn’t submit it, considering it was too soon after his 2008 victory. In 2012, he competed in the national final along with t.A.T.u.’s singer Yulia Volkova placing second behind Buranovskiye Babushki.
Russia in the Eurovision 🇷🇺
Russia debuted at the contest in 1994. Since then, it has participated 22 times, missing the final only one time. Since its first participation, Russia didn’t compete three times, in 1998, 1999 and 2017. In 1998 the absence was due to the rules that applied these years. Because the public broadcasters didn’t air the contest, EBU didn’t allow the country to return the following year. In 2017, Russia intended to participate with Julia Samoylova and the song “Flame Is Burning”, however, the host nation, Ukraine, decline the entry of the Russian team to its territory, due to the ongoing Crimea dispute among the two nations.
The country is considered the most successful country in the contest between 2000 and 2009. Russia has also the record with the most Top-10 places in the 21st century. The country has finished 13 times in the Top-10. Its best result, the 1st place, was achieved in 2008, with Dima Bilan and the song “Believe”. In 2016 the country scored 491 points (under the new voting system), making it the most points Russia got in any Eurovision Contest it has participated. In contrast, its worst result came in 2018, when it was eliminated at the semis placing 15th with just 65 points. At a final, the worst result for the country its Philipp Kirkorov’s 17th place in 1995.
What do you think about the song? Do you like it? Do you think is it one of the most memorable entries from Russia? Let us know in the comment box below.