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Julia Samoylova: A missed opportunity for Russia in Eurovision 2018?

Thursday 10th May 2018

The second semi-final is almost upon us and it’s Norway and Sweden that have it in the bag, according to the bookmakers.

The countries are a dead cert to qualify for Saturday’s grand final, with both countries at 1/100 with Betfair.

The jigging, fiddle player Alexander Rybak represents Norway again with the song That’s How You Write A Song.

For Sweden you get swagger, poise and confidence from Benjamin Ingrosso and his song Dance You Off.

But Paul Jordan, aka Dr Eurovision, says he thinks Russia might struggle to qualify—and have potentially missed an opportunity with singer Julia Samoylova.

He said: “I’m not sure about Russia. Julia Samoylova is a wheelchair user but you wouldn't know it—in the music video they hid her in the mountains with all the dancers in front of her. She’s almost an afterthought to the performance.

“It’s a shame—it would be a good opportunity to make a statement about disabled people taking part in the contest, but this seems to have been lost.”

As Eurovision fans know, it’s all about how the stage show comes together on the night.

Paul said: “Music videos can distract from the song itself—and that’s the challenge for some countries. How do you recreate what they have done in the video for the stage?”

Speaking of who will and won’t qualify, Paul said: “I think Sweden will qualify and be in the top 5 of the final.

"I think Malta will qualify, but think San Marino will struggle."

Elsewhere, moving nicely up the odds table is Hungary’s AWS, a post-hardcore band that will get everyone head banging.

Paul said: “It’s so different. It stands out because it sounds so unique. When you see the songs all together in order that’s when you can get an idea as to who is likely to do well.”

Semi-final 2 will air tonight on BBC Four from 8pm.

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