Sergey Lazarev is back in Eurovision and hungry for more
It has been strange, not having Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest final for two years in a row. After loads of controversy, the country withdrew in 2017 when the contest took place in Ukraine and last year Julia Samoylova failed to qualify for the final. It was the first time in history the country crashed out in the semi finals. To make sure this ain’t going to happen again, Russia brought back Sergey Lazarev. He is one of the biggest pop stars of the country and represented them in 2016 with the song ‘You’re The Only One’. He won the televote, but juries placed him lower, causing him to finish in 3rd place overall. This year he is hoping to do even better!
Last time Lazarev performed a typical Eurovision pop banger with a visually spectacular show, but he chose a different approach this time around. His song ‘Scream’ is a dramatic power ballad with a lot of big notes (or ‘screams’ if you will). The song was written by Dimitris Kontopoulos, Phillip Kirkorov and Sharon Vaughn. Kontopoulos and Kirkorov co-wrote Lazarev’s 2016 entry too, while Kirkorov was also part the writing team for Ani Lorak’s ‘Shady Lady’ (2nd place for Ukraine in 2008) and last year’s Moldovan top 10 entry. Their Eurovision experience lead them to compose a song that is suitable for an over the top theatrical staging. ‘Scream’ is a dynamic song with climax after climax, but it almost seems like they forgot to write an actual hook to keep all the drama and big emotions together. In comparison to the Dutch entry ‘Arcade’ (which just pushed Russia to the second place with bookmakers at the time of writing), the emotions ‘Scream’ tries to make you feel are a lot less subtle and the tune itself is not as instantly catchy.
Having said that, we can no doubt count on Sergey and the Russian delegation to deliver a memorable staging and judging by the music video they already have some good ideas. Vocally, he usually delivers, but ‘Scream’ seems like a challenging song to perform live. If Russia wants to win this year, the vocals will have to be pitch perfect. Qualifying for the final will be a formality and reaching top 10 there too as this will probably do well with lots of juries as well as televoters especially in the eastern parts of Europe where Lazarev is already a star. Having said that, I do not hear a winning song in ‘Scream’ just yet.
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