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Russia: Sergey Lazarev – You Are the Only One

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…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package

The One?

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

User Rating: 3.26 ( 46 votes)

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?

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30 comments

  1. Hi Gav!!!How are you? Is this the winning song?The song is nothing special…The vocals are nothing special…But this is sure top 4 for me..And I think Fokas will stage this perfect…Any odd above 5,0 is good at this time…

    • I think there’s time for this to drift a little more. Taking 5s for a top-4 song is bad value. Taking 5s for a winner is perfectly fine, though.

      • There are only 10-12 songs left to here and this is the most suitable for winning for me. With Iceland (with totally different staging) are the two songs i think they are potential. 5s is low but I predict that the odds will crush after rehearsals.

  2. It’s not a winner which is disappointing considering the hype. It will qualify with ease (probably winning the semi) and come 3-5 in the final.

  3. Stephen Colville

    I hear it and think it can’t win, but then I wonder what can actually stop it. Poland if they select Margaret, Iceland with better staging and…what?

    • If Iceland can win I’m a China man.

      • Stephen Colville

        Why? It seemed somewhat unlikely at the time, but since then very little has been selected that is better than it. Unless a bunch of incredible songs are announced before the deadline, Iceland have a shot.

        • Its a song that falls into a category you may have heard of called “fanwank”. The results it got in the Icelandic NF where very similar to what Maria Olafs got last year ( which was also a big fan wan) and look what happened to her, 15th in the semi.

        • Im not saying that its plagiarising or copying Heroes but the technology used in the performance will draw comparisons to last years winner, Loads of fans compared them and if we fans are doing it just imagine what less clued in viewers will think when they are trying to narrow in who they favour. It won’t be an issue qualifying but in the final it will get lost i think, wouldnt surprised if it finished 3rd or 4th in the semi and then came around 14-18 in the final.

  4. Do you know how I know it won’t win? Because it has a major keychange. Since 2000, no song has won with a major keychange, the only three winners that do have one (2000, 2001 and 2007) only have subtle keychanges.

    http://popbitch.com/home/2015/05/23/the-key-to-success/

  5. This song had already charted in Greece,Norway,Sweden and reached no.1 in Belarus already…maybe it can win after all!

  6. I never thought Russia would win and this song is what I expected : a high tempo, slightly dated, catchy yet cheesy entry. As the weeks have gone on however and no certain winner has come, Russia’s chances have gone up. The fact of the matter is that unless Serbia do something pretty good or in the unlikely event we get a huge shock from another country, there is going to be no standout winner this year, and when looking for a ‘default winner’, Russia have a pretty strong case. The ‘Hold Me’ without an ‘only teardrops ‘, the ‘Running Scared’ of this year. An entry from a country with the funds and desire to win and host.A song that can get televote 1st in the East and top 5 in the west, Jury top 2 or 3 in the East but not get punished in the west too much. In a year where no country looks likely to come top on all counts, this may just be enough to hand Russia the victory.

  7. Will Russia conquer Eurovision this year? It would take some bravery to declare otherwise. I’d always felt since Lazarev’s participation before Christmas had been announced, that If the field going to Stockholm were to to be weak than presumably he’d be our winner by default.
    And this is exactly what’s happening. The song is in my view isn’t great and if it had been entered last year it I reckon it wouldn’t have cracked the top five. But for the year that’s in it, it might be enough. Hopefully Latvia will have something to say about that.

  8. I don’t think this is the winner. The lyrics are so cheesy. “Thunder and lightning it’s getting exciting”. Hmmmm. More like a glammed up Belarusian entry. Miss for me.

  9. Overhyped. Well, that this is the first potential winner. Yes, it will do TOP 10, probably TOP 5. But there seems to be a trend in staging from more elaborate set-ups to more stylish videoclip performances. Think of Sweden 2015, Netherlands 2014 and Estonia 2015. It’s the kind of staging that is not that much from Evangelinos playbook anymore.

    The song itself is the same ‘Russian perfectionism’ that in the end comes across a bit pastiche. Just look at Russia 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Yes, good enough. But Eurovision has changed as well. Sergey will obviously introduce us to a slick performance. But…..I think Amir from France has the song that really is more of a winner in 2016. If Russia wins, then it’ll be more of a 2006 winner.

  10. This in not a winner for two simple reasons:
    1. The fact that it’s a bit outdated will significantly reduce the jury score
    2. As professional as the performance will be, there will be zero emotional appeal
    We haven’t heard the winner yet, my guess is it’s one of the Balkans (SRB, CRO, MKD or BUL), though I might be a bit subjective.
    I won’t be backing anything until the rehearsal begin, this year is just too messy.

  11. There are times that I hope Russia comes with a song title like “Let’s Make Europe Better”. I’m getting tired of all the “I Love You” songs from Russia. Let’s hear some songs that are more….emotional…more sincere. It’s all so damn pastiche from Russia.

    Having said all that….it usually works for Russia. My favourite Russian entry so far still is ‘Solo’ from 2000.

  12. I was also surprised at how cheesy and dated the song sounds. This could have easily been a Eurovision entry ten 10 years ago. Last year people were crying ‘style over substance’ at Sweden, but this to me refines that phrase. I was expecting something more along the lines of Armenia 2014, not in terms of sound, but least in terms of quality. Heroes at least had a contemporary sound last year, this does not (for me at least) and I think that could hurt its jury score, especially with the likes of Latvia competing. Plus, I’m not sure they will win that easily by just rehashing last year’s winning formula (handsome guy, uptempo song, spectacular visuals). Rarely has the same kind of act won twice in a row recently. There’s also a danger of going over the top with the visuals and I feel like the more entries we have which rely on a big stage production, the better the chances will be for something simple and understated like Latvia or Sweden if they send Frans. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely see why people call this the possible default winner because of the weak year, but to me the song is just a bit too poor and the overall package a bit too by the numbers to call it a winner just yet.

  13. We can already see that this is going to have amazing staging that is perfect for the song.The problem is the song is probably too dated.I wouldnt say it cant win,but it looks like a top 5 song to me rather than a winner.

  14. Well, don’t know what to make out of this. I mean, looking at the videoclip Russia probably want to do some Motion-Capture-LED-projections. So these segments don’t need lots of choreography or dancing.

    Obviously Sergey and co. have rehearsed extensively already. But if it stays like this; a slick dance choreography….then that’s not exactly ‘new’ or ‘ original’. Eric Saade already did stuff like this in 2011.

  15. It would be better if this thread was quiet with only tumble weed blowing through,Russia is holding the value up elsewhere,dont disturb it.

    • Im seriously worried Russia might win, they are miles ahead of everyone in 1st! then again France being 3rd and Australia being 4th is complete nonsense so it may not be as big a deal.

  16. Gav mentioned a bot locking Russia’s price down a while ago. Is that still in effect do we think, and what are the consequences for the other runners?

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