Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
You Are The Only One is another Kontopoulos/Kirkorov hit that is very much in the This Is Our Night mould, which finished 7th for Greece in 2009
Russia’s song was leaked this morning and Sergey’s You Are The Only One was pretty much as expected in being a little better than Sakis Rouvas’ This Is Our Night.
In a low quality year, which 2016 is destined to become, even generic songs can find themselves in contention for the win, or can they?
The initial Betfair reaction to Sergey Lazarev’s You Are The Only One was negative, then when Margaret failed to win in Poland, it was like every gambler switched to Christmas-sale mode and invested in any song that sounded mildly competent, or in Russia’s case, benefitted from vast diaspora and the odd *cough* jury fix.
You Are The Only One is another Kontopoulos/Kirkorov hit that is very much in the This Is Our Night mould, which finished 7th for Greece in 2009. Interestingly, the juries ranked Sakis Rouvas outside the top-10 that year, and comparing the two songs, Rouvas benefits from the more instant hook, whereas Lazarev has the punchier melody and more contemporary instrumentation. Even so, the writing is about 10-years past its sell-by-date, especially with the key-change, as highlighted by Purple Kylie in the comments section.
Russia’s main strength going into Eurovision 2016 is having Fokas on board to design a staging concept. Having said that, Sakis’ box of tricks didn’t work for him in 2009 and the Tolmachevy Sisters’ seesaw looked too gimmicky and forced. One of Fokas’ more recent successes was Azerbaijan’s box in 2013, so until we know which Fokas turns up, it’s important not to get sucked in to the hype and instead continue to focus on how Russia will perform with the juries and televote outside of the former USSR nations.
At the moment, there are several songs ahead of Russia on the jury vote with some selections still to take place, and depending on whether those entries make a positive transition to the Eurovision stage, I still can’t place Russia in the juries’ top-5. Another strong pop-hit of recent times with great staging was Eric Saade’s Popular – he finished 9th with the juries and 3rd overall, which goes to show how much work is required by the Russian team. Saade’s Popular also had a much better hook than this Russian effort.
So with Russia finishing outside of the jury top-5, but maybe 3rd-6th on the televote, another high finish is on the cards, but I just don’t buy into the ‘default winner’ narrative and those crazy short odds for what is an old-fashioned song lacking a memorable hook and emotional peak.
Will Russia conquer Eurovision this year?