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Contest entry:

Song "Ne ver', ne boisya, ne prosi" (Don't fear, don't believe, don't ask)
Performer "t.A.T.u" (Tatu) duet
Composer Mars Lazar, Ivan Shapovalov
Lyricist Valery Polienko
Place 3rd place(164 points), performed on 11th position
Votes for Russia Iceland (4), Austria (8), Turkey (10), Malta (1), Bosnia-Herzegovina (3), Portugal (4), Croatia (12), Cyprus (10), Germany (8), Spain (6), Israel (10), The Netherlands (1), Ukraine (12), Greece (10), Norway (2), France (7), Poland (4), Latvia (12), Belgium (7), Estonia (12), Romania (7), Sweden (2), Slovenia (12)
Votes of Russian Jury Announced by Yana Churikova: Greece 1, Estonia 2, Belgium 3, Norway 4, Israel 5, Spain 6, Germany 7, Ukraine 8, Netherlands 10, Romania 12

ESCKaz rank:

Song rank As song was made of material that was thrown out while recording of the first album, it can not contain any hit potential. 4/10
Preview video rank: The worst preview video - actually there was no video, studio version of the song was dubbed over pieces cut from previos videos of the duet 3/10
Live performance rank Performance can share with Jemini duet title of the worst performance of the year, and this was a result of wasted and spoilt rehearsals.  1/10

National preselection:

Channel One again declared internal selection and period of entry submission was extended till March 1st, while the deadline for sending of complete information about the participant to EBU was 20th of March).
Some performers and managers commented on their possible participation:
Evgenii Fridlyand, producer of "Prime-Minister" band:
"I had an idea to submit from Russia duet of Boris Moiseev and Nilda Fernandez, but then I finally decided to take a break, not to spend my life at Eurovision. Now main priority for me is to produce a musical for Boris and concerts for PM in Moscow. I'm also busy with new project -  MALINA, and I cosider it to be very actual for ESC 2004. Hope Russia won't get relegated. And as I see it is possible to win there!!!"
Evgeniy Havtan, Bravo band: Well, that  not depends on us. We consider participation in ESC as another chance in life, though  it is very small when preselection is organized by well known circles lead by Channel One's manager Konstantin Ernst".
Sergei Pudovkin, producer of Vitas - "I consider Eurovision as a very political event, and it will bring no good to Vitas, so we're not planning to take part in it".

It became known that applications were sent by Moscow performer Kevin with the song "Wonderful Light" and singer DuSha with "Ya ne boleyu toboy" (which was breaking contest rules and was not eligible for the event as it started radiorotation before October 1st, 2002).
Elena Arkhipova, manager of Channel One on International Relations announces that all submitted entries have same chances and specially notes that "best song" will be selected and no preference to the performer will be given. As we will find out later that were only words. 

At the same time, even before the submission deadline, without no announcement, and simply turning running preselection to farce, not even listening to any submitted entries, Channel One invites "Tatu" band and it's producer Ivan Shapovalov to represent Russia at the contest. After it a long negotiations with management of the band and their label Universal, which was strictly against participation of the band in the contest, declaring the following: Eurovision is contest for the yound singers, and participation in it can bring nothing to the performers of such level as Tatu are. We would prefer duet to start working on the second album rather than participating in the contest for newcomers, but this is their choice and we will not argue with their decision".
Time is running, already it is middle of the March, but duet still has no contest entry as they have split with all authors after recording of the first album. In such a hurry decision is taken to make Eurovision entry from the sided material of the first album which was considered to be not of the highest quality, and existed with slightly different lyrics.

This is how creation of the song is described by co-author Mars Lasar:
Founder of Tatu Ivan Shapovalov and I worked together with the artists to create something a little different. Once the initial idea was set in place, we'd send mp3 files from USA to Russia and back till we had the perfect blend, then the tracks were mixed. Technology was definitley a benifit during this bi-continental process.

Official announcement of preselection results was made by Igor Burenkov, Manager of Public relations of Channel One:
"All submitted entries were very different, but we were chosing from the shortlist of 500 candidates and decided to choose Tatu band. Yes, they have certain popularity in the world but this only adds to their chances. But contest is still contest".
Jury was announced to include General Manager of Channel One Konstantin Ernst, General Producer and first Vice Manager Aleksandr Faifman, Manager of Music department Yuri Aksiuta, and also composers Vladimir Matetskiy and Dmitry Malikov. 

But we can judge that all announcements of Channel One were fake from the comments of Tatu manager Ivan Shapovalov:  

"Is it true that we go to the Eurovision? Possibly, yes, but I don't have official information about it. We will participate in the contest with new composition which now exists in Russian language, but specially for Eurovision it will be performed in English"
- So you have presented to selection Jury song in Russian which will be then translated in English?
"I don't know about any Jury. I was asked to give the song and I did".

It is certain that Tatu band and their song didn't pass through any kind of preselection, and was simply invited to participate in the contest despite announced submissions. Let's return to producer of the band.
"We have received suggestion from Channel One (ORT) in February, when we were working on the new album. We replied with the non format song, with modern aggressive sound, that is not similar to the songs usually performed by the Eurovision winners. This is chance for Russia to restore adequate attitude towards this contest and for Eurovision to widen their audience. For Tatu it is important to do there what we want to. Where others can not let themselves to do the same thing. And live performance for the whole Europe is pretty interesting anyway, not depending on the status of the event."

One more quote from press-conference of the band:
- How did you get to Eurovision?
I. Shapovalov: We were invited.
- But there was some sort of contest, some song selection, do you know about it?
I. Shapovalov: Yes, there was some sort of contest, we were told about it today, but as we were explained contest comission didn't find any suitable entries and that's why...

- Nothing suitable at all?
I. Shapovalov: You should refer this question to that comission.

It is pretty strange how contest comission couldn't find any suitable entries when submission deadline has not even approached when Tatu were "invited".
The other reason was given by Yulia Volkova:
"If our country is asking us and is promoting us, so why we should decline?".
"We are promoting Tatu, as it is now the most popular band in America and Europe. It would be foolish if Russia missed opportunity to send the best and most known name from our scene",
continued Igor Burenkov.
Poor Russian scene if it had nothing better than scandalous duet of fake-lesbian orientation, commercial project without any music and vocal talents...

Some time later when all fans already knew about "results" of preselection Channel One holds press-conference for mass-media. It was run by chairman of Musical Department Yuri Aksiuta who patheticly announced that contest was honest, and they spend a lot of time searching through 500 contenders, and Tatu's song was the most impressive of all.  
"Contest, I should say preselection was run according to our usual criteria, same ones we used in 2001 and 2002. There were quite a number of entries received from different Russian cities, republics of ex-USSR. Very active were contenders from Baltic states, we have received a lot of entries from Riga, Latvia. We have received about 500 entries. We spent a lot of time to be honest to all of the contenders and decided that none of this entries is suitable for the contest as they are very weak."

Ivan Shapovalov, denying Aksiuta's words said that they are not interested neither in the contest at all, not at the win there, as it will not bring them money and popularity. He mentioned that they had agreed to go to the contest only being patriots of the homeland, to "cure Russia from every year humiliation".
As it was announced at the conference Tatu will perform new song "Ne ver', ne boisa, ne prosi" and they are sure that this criminal motto should be used by every Russian citizen.
This is criminal law - Don't believe. Don't be afraid. Don't beg. - this are words that all nation should tell to itself now. Everyone should believe only to himself and not be afraid of anything.

We will complete this part of the story with another quote from Mr. Shapovalov:
We are participating in this contest absolutely for free. We are participating because of practical considerations. We are not interested in the win, as we are not interested in the contest itself.

Preparation and participation in the contest:

After managing to find out the song and submit details of it in the last moment to EBU, Channel One and Tatu management didn't even think that they have submitted only Russian variant and EBU sets special deadlines for changes of language of performance.
The game with EBU starts later when Russian delegation is begging to allow them to change performance language and at the same time trying to convince fans that song will be performed in Russian because of special patriotism of the band.
At first representatives of Channel One patheticly comment on controlled mass-media how brave the band is as they decided to perform the song in Russian, lately officially denying it at the same sources announcing English language of performance. But when EBU is publishing on it's official site article about scandals of National preselection and officially denies possibility to change language of performance after the deadline, chiefs of Channel One had to make another, 4th announcement on the language which finnaly is confirmed to be Russian. Looking a bit forward we should mention that still band managed to add one line in English language to the song at the contest final, but EBU decided not to punish duet for this breach of the rules.

Besides contest song Channel One had to present biography and preview video of the entry. Being late for two weeks Shapovalov and Channel One finally send as preview video cuts of old videos of the band overdubbed by studio recording of the song (interestingly, just before the Eurovision the new video has appeared - and it was also made of different cuts from different shootings). European contest related sites start asking questions whether EBU should be loyal even for very popular band but the band which misses all official deadlines? EBU reacts on it with another warning also mentioning undesirability of usage in the lyrics of abusive words and strictly prohibits any kind of scandalous live performance. (Representatives of the band, who hardly understood what contest they got in, announced possibility of usage of rubber vibrators instead of microphones, not even mentioning passionate kisses which were displayed at every concert of the duet).

Representatives of Channel One come back with another unreasoned announcements. As they possibly knew contest rules not better than Mr. Shapovalov, who openly declared that he has never seen it, they demonstrate the new version of the song, which will be performed at the contest. Unfortunately deadline to change instrumental for the contest has already passed as less than two weeks were left before the event, and duet has to use old version at the final.

Another rumour spread by Channel One and Tatu management is information that some Katya Nechaeva will be invited to the contest as third member of the band, and possibly the only one who can sing in this "trio".
Ivan Shapovalov commented it: "
I am not fluent with the rules of the cotnest Eurovision and I don't know whether backing vocals can be prerecorded or not. We usually use backing vocals performed by the same main singers at our studio recordings to improve choruses of the songs. So if prerecorded vocals are allowed then we will use backing vocals performed by the girls themselves. If rules are against it - then we have to use some other backing vocalists."
At the end though Nechaeva had arrived to Riga she didn't appeared on stage with duet, as Tatu didn't use any backing vocalists.

Now we move to the events of Euroweek in Riga.

Tatu were the only participants that were one day left with their arrival to the contest. First rehearsal and first press-conference were ruined:
Duet was late at the rehearsal, argued with stage workers, then demonstrated some singing: standing static at the stage Lena managed to sing the song till the end, while Yulia appeared not to remember lyrics at all and stoped her attempts at the middle. Band tried to use new version of arrangement adn prerecorded backing vocals at this rehearsal.
At the conference duet declared that they are not satisfied with everything including their own phonogram, told to the journalists that they are here to bring win to Russia and left the conference hall.
As answer to this EBU warns the band for the final time that in case of another spoiled part of official schedule, scandalous duet will be disqualified from the event and will have to go back with nothing. 

During second rehearsal band managed to perform song till the very end and during it girls even moved at the stage.
At the second conference duet gave their official appologies and recognized that
"There will be no bombs and explosions. We will follow the rules, we respect viewers and we will do everything according to the rules"

But that was not the last trick of the band - to the final rehearsal with audience Lena comes alone. Russian delegation present health certificate confirming illness of Yulia and that she is not able to perform that day. Band is heavily booed by the fans, as some of them bought tickets just to see performance of the duet. Lena performs solo.

Everyone possibly saw what had happened during the contest final. The main problem was not nerves, or bad sound (and how it could be good as duet has not conducted a single full regearsal?). The main problem was total lack of professionalism. You can win Eurovision even without huge vocal talents, turning your performance into the show. Show but not chaotic runs at the stage with screams.

After the contest manager of the band blamed political voting:
ęWe failed to convert love to Tatu to the love to Russia in Eurovision frames. And the reasons are political. Eurovision uses music with political aims, popularity of the artist has nothing to do with this contest. Question was: whether Tatu can break Eurovision format? And that was possible only if Russian authorities decided to act accordingly. We don't need to knock at the door of this old club. We have to start own contest in Moscow which will be following Russian geopolitical interests. Let music become politics. May be we should have taken choir of schoolgirls. But we decided not to use any backing vocals at all. This is not the case whether girls performed good or bad, reason is that at Eurovision everyone is voting not for performer but for the countryĽ.
I consider result as reality. We went there not for the first place, though we have considered possibility of win of course. From our side that was sacrifice for nothing. We wanted to exchange some love of our fans to the votes for Russia, but that was not enough. At Eurovision all results should be considered as if this should be. If there were faked votes - than it should be. Everyone understands that this is not song contest. This is mixture of European money and political ambitions with some religious-ethnic moments. That rubbish - poor songs that are performed there can not unite Europe. I think you will not argue that Tatu were drastically different from all participants by format and by everything. Eurovision is club contest of satisfied Europe where music is similar to the one performed at the shows in casino.
Of course more popular at the European arena Turkey and Belgium are the main problem why Russia couldn't occupy first place at the contest. This is where leads opinion of Ivan Shapovalov... Unfortunately for us reason of failure is clear - have you seen any other performer besides Russian and UK ones at the contest 2003 which couldn't sing correctly even a single note? If you know the answer that reason is clear for you too. 

And finally Channel One tried of course to submit official protest on the results of voting. As press-release of Russian broadcaster claimed the reason for the protest are unbeliavably low marks for the performance of Russian t.A.T.u. band from different countries of European Union (UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Malta, Sweden and Norway).
Also the reason for distrust of Russian delegation was claimed information from Irish telephone provider Eircom - in Ireland televoting was changed at the last moment with the voting of Jury (which was actually done absolutely according to the rules of the contest, which Russian broadcaster still failed to read).

Speaking about the results of voting we should mention not less suspicious Russian Jury voting result (in Russia also Jury voting was used) which was not objective at all, as public favourite Polish entry has not entered even top 10 and first place as year ago went to Romania, which was more than strange.

A bit later results of Irish televoting were published at different mass-media and they proved that Irish televoters, same as Irish Jury and British televoters didn't include Russian song in the top 10, and didn't give any single point to it.
Russian delegation finished affair by publication of another bravado telling that they have succeeded to disclose corruption at Eurovision contest and head of organizing comittee Sarah Yuen had to leave her position because of that scandal. Unfortunately this information is nothing but simple lie, as Sarah Yuen got higher post of Live Events coordinator at European Broadcasting Union and that was known prior to the contest...  

Biography of the performer:

Lena Katina was born on October 4th 1984, Yulia Volkova was born on February 20th, 1985.
Both had performed in children group "Neposedy" but were ruled out of it because of unprofessional behaviour. They entered duet Tatu as the result of casting run by Ivan Shapovalov. Since creation of the band in 2001 they managed to issue one full Russian language album, it's English version and number of singles and videos. First album of the duet was very successful at Russia, European, American and Asian countries. It received platinum status at some countries.

Recording of 2nd album was run for more than 3 years - and during that period band didn't manage to record any single final version of the new track, exept different demos, soloversions, and versions without arrangements. At that time producer of the band leaved faith in it, a lot of concerts were annuled because of low public interest and poor ticket sales. Ivan Shapovalov leaves the band and Yulia Volkova takes break connected with her pregnancy.
At the present moment duet with new management desperately tries to continue recording of the second album but chances that it will appear soon are pretty low. 

Song lyrics and translations:

ďNe ver', ne boysya, ne prosiĒ (original lyrics) - higlighted are lyrics different from original version

Raznye nochi, raznye lyudi
Hochet - ne hochet, klyunet Ė ne klyunetÖ (lyubit - ne lyubit...)
Kto to otstanet, kto-to soskochit,
Kto-to ustanet i perehochet...

Kto-to zakrutit provod na klemmy,
Kto-to zamutit novye temy,
Kto-to ponty, a kto-to man'yak
Kto-to kak ty, kto-to kak ya...

Ne zazhigay i ne gasi,
Ne ver', ne boysya, ne prosi,
I uspokoysya...
Ne ver', ne boysya, ne prosi,
Ne ver', ne boysya, ne prosi,
Ne ver', ne boysya.

Raznye nochi, raznye lyudi
Etot Ė ne budet, eta Ė boitsya
Kto-to zavodit druzhbu s vragami
Kto-to uhodit v pyl' pod nogami

Gde-to est' mnogo, to, chego malo
No na dorogah budet oblava
Kto-to risknet, a kto-to ne smozhet,
Kto-to poymet, no ne pomozhet...

Kto-to uydet, kto-to vernetsya,
Kto-to naydet novoe solntse,
Kto-to v kusty, a kto-to v menya,
Kto-to kak ty, kto-to kak ya...
"Don't believe, don't be afraid, don't beg (literal translation) - higlighted are lyrics different from original version

Different nights, different people,
Wants- doesn't want, bites - doesn't bite (loves - doesn't love),
Someone will leave alone, someone will jump off,
Someone will be tired and fed up.

Someone will spin wire from cleat
Someone will start new themes
Someone will show off, someone is maniac,
Someone is like you, someone is like me...

Donít light and donít extinguish
Donít believe, donít be scared, donít ask
And calm down, calm down
Donít believe, donít be scared, donít ask

Donít believe, donít be scared, donít ask
Donít believe, donít be scared

Different nights Ė different people
He will not, she is scared
Somebody makes his enemies his friends
Somebody goes down into the dust under feet

Somewhere thereís much of what is little
But round the roads there will be a raid
Somebody will risk, and somebody will not be able
Somebody will understand, but wonít be able to help
Somebody will go away, somebody will come back
Somebody will find his new sun
Somebody into the bushes, somebody into me
Somebody like you, somebody like me.

Official releases and versions of the contest entry:

1. Ne ver', ne boisa, ne prosi (first version) 3.03
2. Ne ver', ne boisa, ne prosi (second (Eurovision) version) 3.04

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

All other versions of the track are nothing but homemade mixes and are of nointerest to the collectors. We would like to mention here only brilliant instrumental cover done by "Eurovision magician" Matheson Bayley (Eurovision 2003 Piano Improvizations).

There is rumoured to exist demo mix of the track with first full lyrics, as first demo session recordings of the time of first album preparation. This demo developed later into "Prostye dvizheniya" with identical vocal line.

used: materials of official site of the duet, materials of press-conferences and different interviews of the band, and also own information and interviews.
All recordings exept official are presented with a lowered bitrate for demonstrational purposes only.

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