Russia at Eurovision 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 mp3 cd covers faces links

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Contest entry:

Song "Vechniy strannik" (Eternal wanderer) ("Magic word" in English version)
Peformer Youddiph (Maria Kats)
Composer Lev Zemlinskiy
Lyricist Pilgrim (Maria Kats)
Conductor Lev Zemlinskiy
Place 9th place (70 points), performed on 23rd position
Votes for Russia Ireland (4), Cyprus (3), Iceland (4), UK (5), Croatia (1), Portugal (2), Estonia (1), Romania (3), Netherlands (5), Germany (6), Lithuania (6), Norway (3), Greece (4), Austria (6), Hungary (6), Poland (10), France (1).
Votes of Russian Jury Arina Sharapova reading votes: Iceland 1 , Cyprus 2, Hungary 3, Portugal 4, UK 5, Poland 6, Germany 7, Norway 8, France 10, Ireland 12

ESCKaz rank:

Song rank Song which in full version is a bit too long in 3 minute one is exactly what it needs to be. Powerful chorus is of course main point. 8/10
Preview video rank Youddiph appeares with different backgrounds, video itself look more like shooting of photomodel, but this model also sings. 8/10
Live performance rank The thing to remember is magnificient costume of singer, but we should mention that vocally song was perfect too. 10/10

National preselection:

Organizing questions of selection of debut performer for Eurovision contest were given to the productional team of "Programma A" show on Russian Television RTR, which after long studies of ESC rules (which appears very difficult task for the other Russian broadcaster ORT as future will show us) have produced public national final. It was held on 12th of March 1994 in one of the RTR studios, and Vadim Dolgachev was hosting it. 2 entries were disqualified before the contest, but still were included in the TV show - Alena Apina's "Oi Oi Oi" was rotated on radio before the event which was prohibited by the rules, and there are different explanations why Vika Tsyganova's entry "When I will be back in Russia" was disqualified, with most probable reason being the decision of the singer herself.
According to the rules Jury was made of 16 persons - 9 of them being music professionals and 7 representatives of the public.
# Performer Title Music Lyrics Points Place ESCKaz
1 Megapolis Pushkin O.Nesterov O.Nesterov 0 8 Rather standard track, but concept of the band itself could get some support at the contest. Hair and hat of Oleg looked very strange but effective  8/10
2 Youddiph Vechniy strannik (Eternal wanderer) L.Zemlinskiy Pilgrim 9 1 Not so effective costume as at Eurovision, but still same charming vocal performance 10/10
3 Andrei Misin Rossiyskaya liricheskaya (Russian lyrical) A.Misin S.Patrushev 4 3 Extravaganza festival is continued. Half religious, half patriotic song was perfomed very nicely, but was nowhere close to the Eurovision format  7/10
4 Tatiana Martsinkovskaya Raspyatie (Crusifixion) S.Streletskiy A.Ispolnov 1 5 Another religious song with interesting and very well worked out vocal line 8/10
5 Sergei Penkin Vspomni (Remember) S.Fedorov S.Fedorov 1 5 Performing again in his original dress, one of the best voices on Russian scene had presented not best and difficult to remember entry 7/10
6 Nogu Svelo Sibirskaya lyubov (Siberian love) M.Pokrovskiy, I. Lapukhin, A.Yakomulskiy M.Pokrovskiy 7 2 Nogu Svelo has appeared as pank band, with jumping all over the scene and tearing of guitar strings  7/10
7 Kvartal Prileti ko mne (Fly to me) A.Pilyavin A.Pilyavin 1 5 Kvartal band continued their poor effects to create copy of Bravo band, performed entry was poor  6/10
8 Alisa Mon Va-banck A.Mon A.Mon 0 8 Extravagant dresses and dances of Alisa and her group couldn't save her song  5/10
9 Elena Kiriy Devki pesni raspevayut (Girls are singing) S.Matvienko S.Matvienko 3 4 Very static performance of the singer being in trance with awful pseudo folk song  3/10
dis Alyona Apina Oi, oi, oi A.Ukupnik S.Osiashvili     Well known hit of Alena Apina was living picture of Russian pop-scene of middle 90th.
dis Vika Tsyganova Kogda ya vernus v Rossiyu (When I'll be back in Russia)         Another pseudo-patriotic song in White Guard style of Russian shanson.

Speaks Lev Zemlinskiy - author of the song:
We were finishing recording of one of the albums of one not so popular singer, and Masha Kats, back vocalist of Nikolay Arutyunov's "Liga Bluza" was also working on it. Suddenly I have received phone call from one of the managers of "Tau - product" and he suggested be to submit entry to the contest which was organized by "Programma A". Before this our country had never participated in the Eurovision Song Contest and onlu host of this show, who regulary visited it as commentator was aware about the conditions, rules etc. From different talks I found out that he was suggesting different stars to go to Dublin, but all of them had refused for some reason. So they had to announce open selection which was very honest as it was not prebought by some company or singer.
In the Soviet times I was working myself in Ostankino and had good chances to watch all contests and festivals, not like our citizen. So I tried to remember Eurovision Song Contest. This is the contest for "family" European music with good orchesta performance as I remembered. I started calculating my chances. Song should be sang in the native language, so only in two - three countries viewers will understand what is the song about... Guitar music, r-n-b are not suitable as guitar equipment is not permitted. So we have to make good song for orchestra, and it should be good orchestra. I was thinking that the best orchestras in Europe are located on islands (the best of them is London one). So I've decided to select song, where all bonuses of orchestra can be used, also my possibilities as arranger and possibilities of performer. With Russian lyrics we have done it pretty quickly - Masha has prepared it in one night.
But we had to won national selection first. We have easily qualified through first stage of preselection and entered open national final one. When I saw all participants I have understood that we are the only one suitable for Dublin. The other choices could be real failure for the country (patriotic Tsyganova, A.Mon as unlucky striptease dancer, patologically crazy "Nogu svelo" - same Soviet music but turned inside out), or would not be understood by public (Misin with his deep national ideas, or "Megapolis" good guys, I like them, but their music lacks a lot. I should mention in the brackets that it is always so shameful when people abroad get to know Russia with such a persons like crazy Max from "Nogu svelo". In this case Alsu was much much better...
So I think we really deserved the win in Russia, on my opinion.
So we opened champagne, started pouring it out... Then suddenly door opens, and all organizers of TV project enter the room. Their mood was pretty funeral. I can not give exact quote but they say something like this: "OK, you have already won. But this is not enough. Now you have to find enough money to take all of us to Dublin". It appeared that they were hoping that someone like Vika Tsyganova or "Nogu svelo" will win. Cossaks promised to pay 50 thousand dollars in case of Vika's qualification, and "Nogu svelo" have very good connection in TV world. In any of this cases there was no problem for big delegation of Russian TV to go abroad to the contest.
First I've got very disappointed, but then I understood that we will go with Masha to Eurovision anyway, and stopped thinking about it. And money were brought by Krylov who found some businessmen

Youddiph about national preselection:
I liked a lot performance of "Nogu svelo" in Russian national final - they were simply magnificient. I was sure in their win for more that 100 percent. I so liked them, so enjoyed their music even before the contest, so I was absolutely sure   in there win when they performed their "Siberian love", they should have won. There also was "Kvartal" band. I used to be backing vocalist in it, they were also singing pretty good song. But I had no feelings towards it, my heart kept silent for this song as well as for "Megapolis" song who also are my friends by the way.
Now unfortunately only those who can pay go to the Eurovision. When I was participating I really honestly won national preselection, not paying not single penny to anyone, and all PR was done only in coincidence. Like story of Cindirella. I just was lucky enough that Sergei Krylov had payed for all the campaign. He just came to the press-conference and said: "I like her, I will pay", and he did, that was like a miracle which never happens now.

Maksim Pokrovskiy, "Nogu svelo" :
In 1994 we were going to participate in Eurovision and recorded song which was fitting main rule - it was less than 5 minutes long. We have presented it on the national selection for Eurovision, here is Shabolovka studios. We tried two times to enter this contest. In a year, or in a two I should say, as we didn't participate in internal selection by other broadcaster, we have entered again with "Moscow romance" song sung from a face of tramp asking for money in the transport. Why we did it? We thought it would be cool. "Syberian love" got second place, and "Moscow romance" was considered to be too humiliating and offensive for Europe.

Preparation and participation in contest:


There was enough to do. We had to prepare arrangement urgently, to find a guitar players and to prepare documents for them, to run rehearsals with Masha. There appeared to be few problems, as Masha suddenly had her head going round, and she started non adequately think about her position, especially about her talent. Also some editor Grisha was also calling me every day and maliciously asked (he deemed himself also too clever with conservatory education): "So, haven't you finished your arrangement yet? I was doing such a things in the army in one night"
And finally we have got to the plane. I found out that our delegation is pretty big. Some persons from TV, someone calling themselves as enterpreneurs and other. I am speaking English so I didn't check them. Some mass-media representatives from "Literature newspaper", "Komsomolskaya Prvda", tabloids like "MK". Some bad things happened during the flight too, we appeared not to have transit visas through London, and it took some time to solve this problem.
Dublin, Dublin... One of the cities with it's specific charm. We are living in the center, near university, a lot of students around. Nice is to stand on the bridge, with Joyce's quote on it, feeling fresh sea breeze. Our delegation also got cheerful feeling from this city and all disappeared in the shops and stayed there till the end. Only two-three reporters from most experienced newspapers got some interview, about 10 minutes, and that was the only source of all publications made in Russia after the contest.
I had my own business to do. We had to learn music score, as I decided to conduct orchestra myself. We had number of rehearsals. So quickly finishing our regular Irish breakfast - fried eggs with bacon, I  stayed in my own room studying. In the room close to mine our guitarists were studying too.
I should note here that arranger has right to make some changes after first orchestral performance. First of all he checks job of the person transcribing the score and his mistakes, as he knows how the arrangement should sound like. Most of our rivals already had chance to do it, as their national contests were run with the orchestras. And here in Russia contest was run with minus-1 phonogram, so we had to be 100% sure in the arrangement, as we had no chance to check it.
What was special in the rehearsals? Orchestra was working for 12 hours per day, with dinner break. During one day 12 countries were rehearsing. 45 minutes were given, and during 15 minutes we had only to talk, to describe something, and in next half an hour we could perform song 2-3 times and correct something. All in all we had 2 rehearsals, then full dress rehearsal with viewers and then live show. I liked orchestra a lot. Our first rehearsal was scheduled for 16.00 and orchestra was busy from 9 in the morning. Of course when we came they were already in absolutely no condition. Only rhythm section was somewhat alive. Then I had a chance to use my language knowledge. It appeared that they used some special counting, or they will not enter. The problem was that same time I had to give counting to my guitarists, who were on stage in 50 meters from me, and between them and conductor's place was big TV camera cutting the view. It was very difficult to look for guitarists and to count to them with one hand and to orchestra with another.
At that time our soloist had a nervous breakdown. She started yelling... Orchestra people looked on us very surprised and I had to pretend all rehearsals in Russia are like this and tried to take situation under control. Of course performed that time we very badly, but good point was that there was no mistakes in score, and next rehearsal was much better.
Irish TV was very organized, not like ours. Everything was there, even person with radio, who take me from dressing room to conductor's place. All rehearsals were recorded so we could take a look on it and give some advices about picture and sound. But in our delegation everything was disorganized. It appeared that some of members managed to get out of the shop and watch first rehearsal. And while they were discussing I felt myself as in communist meeting when I was going to be punished for something. And I was right. With serious faces, feeling their importance our delegates said that arrangement is very bad, and what would we do? It appeared that rehearsal was broadcasted in Russia and their in Ostankino, our famous composers were very critical about it. I kept silent, as I knew they couldn't bring replacement in face of Saulskiy from Moscow. So it finished.
Next day Masha and managers went to do sightseeng, and we with musiciants were not even invited.
At the next rehearsal orchestra was more alive, and performed everything quite good. Our delegation was cheered up, everyone started smiling, and I was not outcast anymore. 

And finally once again more comments from Maria:

What can I say about Eurovision? This is great TV holiday, but unfortunately more TV than music. I will never agree to participate in such a event, as I know what tense atmosphere is there. Eurovision is pretty same to Olympics when you are representing not yourself but the whole country. I was sure that I was among favourites of the contest, at least one of the favourites, but organizers secretly told us that newcomer never got higher than 19th place, so I don't think that 9th place is some sort of failure, but this was just acquaintace with new country in the contest, and I did all what I can do.
Youddiph that was an image, and not simply image, but one specially prepared for the contest. This is not secret that Kliment's paintings were hit at that time and he did paint Yuddiph a lot, and we have selected colours depending on the colours of my hair. We have selected dress, specially designed by Pavel Kaplevich. There were no such interesting projects as "alive painting" at that time, which now are popular on TV and in magazines. So Vanya Gnesiev had decided (it was he who prepared me for that contest) that we can enliven Kliment's painting Yuddiph, and we had done this. Yes, we had prepared it very good, some fantasy, some image, some make up, and we prepared number called Youddiph, for educated viewers, and I should say that this performance was recognized.

Biography of the performer:

Born on 23rd of January 1973 in Moscow.

Maria is the vocalist that can imitate manner of almost every pop music star, but, unfortunately, despite impressive start of her career, because of unability to select material, lack of own style and personal ambitions that don't allow her to work with producers, she didn't become well-known name in Russia, mostly remembered as backing vocalist working in almost every Moscow recording studio.

At the age of 13 singer creates own band which performed ... cover versions on the songs of heavy metal band "Aria". In 1989 Maria meets famous poet Karen Kavaleryan who promotes her to the first TV contest of Yuriy Nikolaev "Morning star", but she has passed only the first preselection tour. In 1991 Masha succeed on the castings to the band "Kvartal" and enters it as backing-vocalist. A bit later she joins band of Nikolay Arutyunov "Liga Blyuza", where she performs as backing vocalist for almost 8 years. Together with keyboard player of the band Lev Zemlinskiy Masha, under stage name "Yuddiph" records English language album "Eternal wanderer".

Along with working in "Liga Blyuza" Maria forms project with ex-drummer of band "Kruiz" Sergei Efimov callerd "The Beauty and The Beast", which is again in English language, but Efimov later moves to USA. Later Masha works with band "Cry, baby", and then forms own band titled "Maryland", which records album "Ryzhiy blyuz". With creation of own band Maria stops touring with "Liga Blyuza" but still works with it in studio. Since 1998 Masha mostly performs in clubs, singing cover versions of Western blues hits.

In year 2000 she was awarded "Ledy blues" and "Voice of Russia" awards and started preparing own recording company "Hit Start". In "Hit Start" there is vocal training school where Maria tells secrets of her professionalism to different young and already established performers.
From autumn 2002 Maria works as vocal coach with pop band "Drugiye pravila" winner of Russian reality show "Stan Zvezdoy" on RTR channel.

In 10 years Maria had recorded backing vocals for more than hundred eighty albums, performing for the most of famous Russian singers. Maria also ovedubbed Hollywood films ("Chicago" musical) and cartoons ("Anastasia" - special prize of 20th century Fox for the best native language performance), she also sang in number of advertisements.


" "

Ty ne so mnoy seychas, ty daleko -
V raznyh mirah zhit' nelegko.
Mozhet byt', tol'ko son mozhet pomoch'
Uvidet' tebya, kosnut'sya rukoy

I snova noch' uhodit proch', tvoy golos daleko,
I ya krichu tebe cherez morya:
Nash dom hranit tvoyo teplo, v nyom pusto bez tebya
V etom dome ya.

Vechnyy strannik, ya tvoya sud'ba.
Znayu, pomnish' obo mne.
Ty vsegda v puti, no dlya tebya
Yarkiy svet v moyom okne

Tam daleko rassvet, v nebe zarya
Vnov' polyhnyot yarkim tsvetkom.
V utrenney tishine ya ne odna:
Den' prinesyot vstrechu s toboy

I snova noch' uhodit proch', tvoy golos daleko,
I ya krichu tebe cherez morya:
Nash dom hranit tvoyo teplo, v nyom pusto bez tebya
V etom dome ya

Vechnyy strannik, ya tvoya sud'ba.
Znayu, pomnish' obo mne.
Ty vsegda v puti, no dlya tebya
Yarkiy svet v moyom okne

Vechnyy strannik, ya tvoya sud'ba
Znayu, pomnish' obo mne
Ty vsegda v puti, no dlya tebya
Yarkiy svet v moyom okne
"Magi word"

Living in different worlds, trying to find
Any way through, how can we do?
Hoping to understand what is inside
In each other's soul, in each other's hand

I dial again, hang on the phone, it's hard to catch the words
I'm crying through the oceans and the seas
The door is locked, the key is lost, and so I'm asking, Lord
Take away my fears

I had never thought I'd go so far
No one ever can support
Now you came and opened up my heart
With the only magic word

Listening to your heart, how can I find
Anything else to talk about?
Living in distant land, trying to meet
Each other's soul, each other's hand

Another night is passing by, your voice is far away
I'm crying through the oceans and the seas
Who in the world can tell me why it was so hard to say
When you're close to me

I had never thought I'd go so far
No one ever can support
Now you came and opened up my heart
With the only magic word

I had never thought I'd go so far
No one ever can support
Now you came and opened up my heart
With the only magic word

Official releases and versions of the contest entry:

"Vechniy strannik" 5.05 - promosingle for mass-media
"Magic Word" - 5:05 "Eternal Wanderer" album - official sample
"Vechniy strannik" 3:00 - only live contest version

"Vechniy strannik" 3:00 - on the preview video is simple cut from the original version, "Vechniy strannik" 3:33 - another cut

Russian Eurovision mp3 collector's guide
Russian Eurovision CD collector's guide

in preparation of this page we had used: Lev Zemlinskiy official site materials, archives of official site of Maria Kats and her interview of 2002 and information of our site
All recordings exept official are presented with a lowered bitrate for demonstrational purposes only.

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