Always a country to look out for at Eurovision, Russia is turning to its tried and tested method for Eurovision glory: send a singer who did great in previous years.
Dima Bilan won the 2009 competition after finishing second in 2007, so now the country are hoping Sergey Lazarev – a 2016 Eurovision star – will repeat this run.
- When is the Eurovision Song Contest 2019?
- Meet the acts competing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
- Who is the UK’s entry at Eurovision 2019?
But who exactly is Lazarev? And what exactly is his Eurovision record? Here's all you need to know:
Who is Sergey Lazarev and how did he do in Eurovision 2016?
He’s a Russian singer and actor, best known in his home country as a former member of the fabulously-named boyband Smash!!.
However, the 35-year-old also reached a new level of fame after competing for Russia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. His song You Are the Only One came third overall, but topped the viewers’ televote.
(If you’re wondering why there’s so much emphasis on a giant screen during his performance, Mans Zelmerlow won Eurovision for Sweden the year before with the same trick.)
Lazarev has released six studio albums and over 60 (!) singles, as well as finishing second in the Russian version of Dancing on Ice.
Fun fact: Lazarev voiced Prince Arthur in the Russian version of Shrek The Third.
Bonus fun fact: he also dubbed Zac Efron’s High School Musical character for the film's Russian release.
What is Russia’s Eurovision 2019 song called?
Sergey Lazarev’s Eurovision single is called Scream – but it isn't the sort of angry, charged number its name would suggest. Scream is full of melancholy with a music video showing shots of a serious-looking Lazarev spliced together with children in fancy dress, abstract animations and... origami.
What will Russia’s Eurovision 2019 song look like on stage?
Now this is one to look out for: Lazarev appears to be using several screens in his performance, each project an image of the singer. Because there isn't enough Lazarev to go around, apparently.
What are the odds of Russia winning Eurovision 2019?
In February 2019, Russia were the favourites to win the contest – before their song was even released. This probably has a lot to do with Lazarev’s successful track record at the contest.
However, he's now tipped to finish somewhere in the top five by most bookies.
How did Russia do at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest?
For the very first time, Russia failed to qualify for the final, finishing 15th in the semis.
This might have something to do with their act Julia Samoylova, a somewhat controversial choice. The previous year, Samoylova and Russia pulled out of the contest after hosts Ukraine banned them from entering the country over the invasion of Crimea.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on 18th May 2019