Best of the Bunch: Russia

They’re one of the most successful nations to participate in Eurovision, with a total of nine Top 5 results since their debut in 1994. Many of those Top 5 places happened during the years 2006 to 2015, which is the range of years we will be discussing in today’s Best of the Bunch! We’re going to recap on the performances, then it’s up to you to decide which act, or which acts are your Best of the Bunch!

We’re starting our journey with Dima Bilan, one of the most successful Russian entrants. His entry in 2006 was titled Never Let You Go, which was performed firstly in the semi-final, due to a finish outside of the Top 10 the year previous. It had no problems qualifying to the final, qualifying in 3rd place. In the final itself, Dima gave Russia their second 2nd place since their debut, with Dima gaining a total of 248 points.

The following year, it was the girl group Serebro who were chosen to represent Russia at Eurovision with the song, Song #1. Due to Dima’s results the year before, Russia automatically qualified to the final, and incredibly, Russia managed to gain yet another Top 3 result, this time in 3rd place with a total of 207 points.

In 2008, Eurovision saw the return of Dima Bilan, as it was hoped that he could build on his results from 2006, and gain Russia’s first Eurovision win. The song he performed was called Believe, and it turns out that the rest of Europe believed in Russia that year, with Dima Bilan winning Eurovision 2008 with a total of 272 points.

With Russia hosting the competition due to their 2008 win, the nation selected Anastasia Prikhodko who performed the song Mamo. As the host nation, Russia was automatically part of the final, and with Anastasia’s performance, Russia managed to reach 11th place with a total of 91 points.

In 2010, it was Peter Nalitch and Friends who were selected through a national final of 25 acts. Despite the competition, Peter Nalitch and Friends comfortably won the national selection with their song Lost and Forgotten. Interestingly, the Buranovskiye Babushki were in this selection too, but we’ll get to them later! At Eurovision, Lost and Forgotten was barely that, reaching the final and finishing once again in 11th place, this time with one point less at 90.

An internal selection was used to choose the Russian act of 2011, and it was Alex Vorobyov who would represent the nation with the song Get You. This was after a few years effort to reach Eurovision, but finally Alex made it to the Eurovision stage. Their results didn’t reach the heights of the previous acts, finishing in 16th place in the final with 77 points.

The following year, the Buranovskiye Babushki were chosen to represent Russia at Eurovision with the song Party For Everybody. It was a popular choice – it had the novelty of a successful Eurovision performance, whilst still being a song that fans loved, and success was certain. The babushka finished in 2nd place overall, with 259.

In 2013, Dina Garipova was selected with the hopes of continuing the success of the Buranovskiye Babushki the year previous. Dina performed the uplifting ballad titled What If, which cruised into the Eurovision final in 2nd place. In the final itself, the song finished in 5th place, yet another Top 5 position for the Eurovision powerhouse.

The following year, Russia selected from the Junior Eurovision pool, with their act being the Tolmachevy Sisters, who had won Junior Eurovision in 2006. Obviously in 2014 they were of age to participate in the ‘adult’ Eurovision, and it would have been an incredible feat to win both Junior and regular Eurovision, however with their song Shine, they fell short, finishing in 7th place with 89 points.

We finish our journey here, in 2015, where Polina Gagarina was internally selected by the Russian Broadcaster. The song she performed was titled A Million Voices, and was described as an anthemic ballad. With a mixture of her incredible voice, and a strong song, Russia once again found themselves in 2nd place, this time with 303 points.

Now that we’ve recapped the entries, it’s your turn to pick the Best of the Bunch!