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Contest entry:

Song "Believe me"
Performer Yulia Savicheva
Composer Maksim Fadeev
Lyricist Brenda Loring (Marina Boroditskaya)
Place 11 place (57 points), performed at 14th position
Votes for Russia Belarus (12), Serbia and Montenegro (1), Cyprus (6), Estonia (8), Finland (4), Greece (2), Israel (6), Lithuania (8), Latvia (10), Ukraine (10)
Votes of Russian viewers Announced by Yana Churikova: Ukraine (12), Serbia and Montenegro (10), Turkey  (8), Greece (7), Cyprus (6), Croatia (5), France (4), Sweden (3), Iceland (2), UK (1).

ESCKaz rank:

Song rank Absolutely poor and slightly can be called original. 4/10
Preview video rank Director Andrei Boltenko. Very poor video, as phonogram studio recording is trying to be disguised as concert stadium performance 5/10
Live performance rank Nothing special, first of all failure of idea, not to back poor vocal by backing vocalists and use dancers instead. 3/10

National preselection:

First Channel One spread information that there exists some short list of four candidates one of which will be selected for Eurovision 2004. This list included Verka Serdyuchka (Andrei Danilko), Via Gra, Smash!! and Anastasia Stotskaya. 
A bit after ORT changes it's opinion and as usual announces submission period for internal selection. As in previous year, this submission was purely nominal, as it was run for half of the month only and all submitted entries, as in 2003, were thrown out to the thrush.

Yuriy Aksuta, Channel One music director:
- What is your first criteria in selection of performer for Eurovision? Whom do you prefer personally?

- First of all - this is song and individuality of the performer. And task is not to just participate, but to win.
- Why Channel One is not covering preparation for the contest?
- I'm not sure that the preparation itself is interesting to the big audience.
- When Russia represented by Channel One will conduct open National Final for ESC as majority of European countries do, including debutants- Belarus?
- Pity, that you don't rely on professionalism of our selection comission, we will see, may be next year we will have such a preselection. And we will find out whether it would be more productive than work of jury.

Some submitted entries became available to the public:
Smash!! band has submitted 2 song to the National Contest, written by British authors "This coud lead to something" and "Would you cry to me", which were later included into the last album of the duo. (Despite known opinion  (published also at Smash!! site) song "Obsession"was not submitted to the contest and which was recorded later). With the show of the band Tatu as source false information that Smash are already selected as representatives of the Russia, but Channel One quickly denied this rumour.
Moscow performer Kevin has announced entering song "You may", some Mary X entered with "Collision", and Vladivostok band "Gorod B" also announced entry submission (they sent live recording of the old song as sample of their material).
Young singer Andrei Berestenko, laureat of "Delfiyskie Igry" festival has submitted song "September 11th" written by Vitaliy Okorokov and devoted to New York tragedy. This is just the list of performers who had announced that they had submitted their entries, and were expecting that they will be at least considered. 

Channel One later declared 700 entries received. Among "applicants" appeared Anastasia Stotskay (not with "I ty skazhesh" song, as some sources report, as present song was ineligible as it was breaking official release rule), Dima Bilan (promoted by Yuri Aizenshpis), "Reflex" band, Abraham Rousso, some song by composer Vitaliy Okorokov, AfroRussian Jam, and some Zazhigalka. No single of this performers had confirmed their participation and named the song they were entering with.
Selection comission was made of: General director of Channel One Konstantin Ernst, First Vice Director - General Producer of Channel One Aleksandr Faifman, head of General Director service Maria Danielan, Director of Music Department Yuri Aksiuta, composer Vladimir Matetskiy, singer Valeria (Alla Perfilova).

Another interesting fact, participant of the preselection 2005 Vladimir Gustov (Be Good) told us:
"Our song "Take Me Back To Rio" was composed and recorded in 1999 at my studio favourite specially for the Eurovision contest, after another shameful failure of Russia there. We didn't issue that, remembering the rules. For many years in a row we've been submitting it to the Channel One and only last year (2004) they managed to listen to it and judge properly. It was declared the best song of submitted and we have started negotiations about our participation in Turkey. Unfortunately, in the end managing interests of Channel One prevaled, and they've sent another performer close to the channel, and experienced another failure"
Song of the band appeared at the open national preselection 2005.

As Mr. Aksiuta reported, after "full comprehensive analisis" expert comittee decided to choose song written by Max Fadeev, simply because it is "abolutely fitting format of the contest and by it's potential can fight for the highest places"
Igor Burenkov - director of Public Relations of Channel One:
"In national contest selecting the performer to represent Russia at Eurovision 2004 from 10 stars of Russian scene, who had submitted their entries, we decided to stop on Yulia Savicheva. Yulia is very talented performer. Despite of her age, she has already good experience of professional activities, including concert one. And it is very important for Eurovision, as participants have to perform live for the huge audience "

As Channel One managers reported - song is written in English language, lyrics are still worked out and there is no title yet. But as Yuri Aksiuta explaned they were having doubts last year whether Tatu is fitting format of the contest, this year this song and performer are "absolutely striking at the bull's eye". He denied information that all this qualities strangely have appeared at protegee of Channel One's song as pure coincidence.
"The song is European hit! What has presented Max Fadeev is impressive and effective. Task of composer is to make song give impression from very first listen and we are sure this will happen with this song "

Lately truth though was discovered as at the moment of preselection "entry" by Yulia Savicheva only existed as instrumental with voclal line performed in la-la-la method. More than that - arrangement of the instrumental was simply copied from the well know hit by "Texas" band. It is interesting which talents should Jury members have to predict judging by the song in such a stage whether it is european hit, whether it is fitting format and where it strikes? Strike though was done by producer of Yulia Max Fadeev and it was rather impressive, as Philip Kirkorov (producer of Stotskaya) and Mikhail Topalov (producer of Smash) left with nothing.

Preparation and participation in the contest:

As search for foreign authors announced by Max Fadeev ended with no result and time was running out (as usually Channel One was trying to do everything at the last moment), the lyrics writtern by famous Russian poet and tranlator, author of one of the Russian versions of "Jesus Christ - Superstar" Marina Boroditskaya were accepted, though she decided not to take risk and sign this variant by her own name but used name of one of heros of TV movie Brenda Loring.  

While management of Yulia desperatly tries to make a song for her, she herself totally fails at amateur World Best contest, finishing only on 9th position of 11, leaving Europe wondering, how this small creature, withouat any big musical talents failing at the starters level will represent her country at Eurovision contest, event of much bigger scale?

Preview video for the song was shot soon. It failed to prove Yulia's possibilities. Shot in an empty studio of Channel One with guitar (which she can not play actually) Yulia tried to copy Avril Lavigne style, and tried to mime lyrics of her new song in the video, which was later overdubbed with studio version. Clipmakers attempted to disguise studio shooting with plans of stadium and audience, but this didn't work perfectly. 

Short extract from the precontest interview with Yulia Savicheva:
- Russia was represented at Eurovision by such a famous performers as Alla Pugachova, Philip Kirkorov and Tatu group. How do you fill getting into this company?  

- I don't even think on comparing me with anyone, as Eurovision is contest of songs and not artists.
- Tell us how song Believe Me appeared? How can you characterize it's style? 

- Max Fadeev has written this song pretty quickly, but we had spend a lot of time on arrangement selection, tried a lot of variants, until we found what we were looking for. Concerning style - I think this is "eurostandard" in a good meaning of this word, it was written specailly for Eurovision format.
- What do you think are your chances to win in Istanbul?
- I can not tell what are my chances, I don't even want to think about it. I will do everything to secure win.
- Can you name us some of your favourite performers?
- Most favourite are Limp Bizkit, Korn, Incubus, Ceitnot...  I can name a lot of them really... I like to listen to the good music, I listen a lot of music and very different ones too.

Under the pressure from the listeners to avoid plagiarism allegations, thankfuly there was still some time available, Max Fadeev issues new version of the song hiding old arrangement.

Yulia Savicheva: "
Psychologic condition - we are ready for the battle! After Worldbest I even more look for win to get reward for everything and to show high class." " Though I'm ready to win and to loose at same time. Participation itself is very important, cool and adding responsibility"

Officially Channel One is also looking for the win: "Win at Eurovision Song Contest 2004 will attract attention of western producers to Russian music market and our singers. Despite Latvia last year was having big financial problems in the organization of Eurovision, there are no doubts that we can host this show on the highest level. We guarantee that contest in Russia will be run in the highest level as in organisation, as in a show aspect."
But really Russian delegation is in a very low spirit. After understanding that their attempt has no chances Maxim Fadeev and Stas Savichev, father of the singer, stayed in Moscow.

Rehearsals look very faded. Choreography for the song is prepared by Frenchman Kamel Ouali, who now, possibly, for long time will be avoided by any of Eurovision artists, after he almost spoilt French and Russian entries at the contest. Main mistake of Russian management is that spending a lot on hiring professional choreography, very week vocals of young singer was even more spoit by difficult stage movements, and no backing vocals were used. Performance itself made no impression and the only hope resided on Russian speaking audience in different countries. And this is quite impossible to polish performance in 2 weeks in such an international team where singer couldn't communicate with her dancers. Costumes for performance were actually also prepared by Russian-French couturiers Seredin and Vasiliev, and one of the variants of dress was accidentaly left in Moscow...
Yulia as ORT tries to pretend things are going rather well:
"I like how my voice is sounding here. The most difficult thing is to get used to the new stage. Acrobatic movements are also not easy form me. May be because scene here is very specific, it is not flat - there are some high and low places. A lot of other things are situated there and I should be very cautious not to fall down..."

At press-conferences it was mostly Channel One management doing talking job. They claimed that raitings of the contest in Russia are so poor and nobody will watch semifinal without Russian participant in it. Though they were having one thing to be proud of - for the first time in Russia televoting is due to be held (as delegation members claimed - most difficult thing is to explain to the viewers that they can not vote for their home country). Yulia just speaks pretty boring stories of her life and again speculates on her difference from Avril Lavigne.

IMG_0879_0.jpg (2434 bytes)After performance, Yulia, soiled in paint, pushes one of her darkskinned dancers putting by this 'stopmark' for another Russian failure at the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Maxim Fadeevs comments after the contest were quite predictable:
Don't you think that Russia should be represented by more strong contestant at the event of such level? 
- I don't consider Yulia as week singer. She is talented and professional performer. She just had no luck. She got too nervous. Show me those who won't get nervous before singing for the whole continent? Don't forget also that winner is selected by viewers. And they care for one thing only: appearance, tits, asses. Of course judging on this parameters Yulia was loosing to Ukranian Ruslana. But from professionalism point of view Yulia was on the highest level. 
- Do you think that your behaviour during the contest was very strange and nonadequate? Why didn't you accompany Yulia to Turkey? 
- Once again, I'm explaining to those who are interested, I have my own business matters here. Pretty much things to do. And what my presence could change? I think that I could spoil Yulia's preparation there as she could get even more nervous in mine presence.
- Immediately after the announcement of the results you've called Yulia. What were you talking about? 
- She was talking most of the time. That she will not stand this shame and everything like this. I tried to explain her calmly that she has achieved better result than Alla Pugachova, whom I respect a lot, who also couldn't get in to the top ten. 
- People say that you were insisting on Savicheva just to promote your artist. And they say that between prestige for the country and money you have selected last one...  
- What a f...! I'd like to look into the eyes of the person whose ill mind could imagine things like this... 
- Honestly speaking, your selection left a lot of people puzzled. Why didn't you send to Turkey more popular singer Glukoza? 
- That would have been total failure. This I'm telling you as the person who knows show-biz from A to Z. Natasha is not fitting the format of Eurovision. Her style is not the one that organizers and viewers of this contest need. Our decision was not taken without any prethinking I should say again.
- So finally why Yulia lost? 
- I don't think she has failed. She was the best one...


Yulia Savicheva was born in Kurgan town in the family of musiciants, her father Stas Savichev is drummer.
Since being 5 yeass old Yulia is studying in children choreography club "Svetlyachok".
When Yulia is 6, her family moves to Moscow. Yulia is taking part in shows of student's theater "Faust" led by P. Poleiko. Yulia was studying dances and with her partner becomes twice champion of Moscow.
In 1996 Yulia participates in recording of "Vorona" album by popular Russian singer Linda as back-vocalist. In the same album Yulia's father also play drums. Producer of Linda Max Fadeev, who was aquainted with Yulia's father, decided to start her promotion. First of all he invites Yulia to his project Stars Factory 2 (Fabrika Zvezd) on "Channel One" Russia. Yulia is not successful in the show, as she couldn't qualify to top 3 final, but Max still thinks of her potential.  Yulia releases single "Vysoko" produced by Fadeev and it is good positioned in different TV-radio charts.
The next step decided by Max Fadeev, now one of the most influential producers of Russia, Producer of the year 2003, is promoting Yulia at different world festivals. Despite her failure at Stars Factory he managed to decide with Channel One, that not winner of the show, but Yulia will represent Russia at World Best - show for Pop Idol style show winners with Torn by Natalie Imbruglia.
Another interesting fact is that in the interview to our site Ukranian singer Ruslana mentioned that from Russian singers she prefer and would like to meet in Tallinn same Yulia Savicheva.

Song lyrics and translations:

"Believe Me"

Believe me, I just donít care
If you look away or stare,
If you choose to go or stay...
Donít believe me, I pray!

In my head Ė every day, everywhere Ė m-m-m, no
You and I can talk, and I sound colder.
In my heart, though I say I donít care,
I just cry and cry on your big shoulder.

Believe me, I just donít care
If you look away or stare,
If you choose to go or stay...
Donít believe me, I pray!

Believe me, I just donít care
If you look away or stare,
If you choose to go or stay...
Donít believe me, I pray!

Far away, like the man in the moon, (my dear!)
You just wave to me, you are always lying.
Every face, every voice, every tune
Brings you back to me, and I start crying!

Believe me, I just donít care
If you look away or stare,
If you choose to go or stay...
Donít believe me, I pray!

Believe me, I just donít care
If you look away or stare,
If you choose to go or stay...
Donít believe me, I pray!

Believe me, I just donít care...

Official releases and versions of the contest entry:

1. Believe Me (first version of the song) 2:50 (official album Eurovision 2004)

Versions from promosingle:
2.Original version (2nd version) (2.45)
3.Playback (instrumental) (2.46)
4. DJ mix (4.56)
5. Radio mix (4.31)

6.Trance mix (6.10) - longer version of Radio mix

Promo single of Yulia Savicheva was the biggest rarity for Istanbul guests, as Russian delegation was the only one that didn't prepare spare copies of promo-singles for mass-media representatives.

Studio version of "Believe me" (2nd version) is included in Yulia's debut album "Vysoko" and different mixes-compilations. Live version of "Believe Me" is included in audio-tape version of Yulia album "Esli v sertse zhivyot lyubov" but is left out of CD version of this live album.

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

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

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