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Sergey Lazarev – again – for Russia in 2018?

Now that the 2017 contest is over, the rumours about the 2018 participants are in full swing. After the withdrawal in 2017, Russia is now back in the contest and free to choose whichever performer they please and after a surefire confirmation that Yulia Samoylova, who was banned to enter Ukraine, would participate in 2018 instead, it all seems they have chosen their participant already. Or have they? Or will we see a familiar face returning instead? And not just any familiar face. The man, whose performance won over European viewers in 2016 and somehow managed to break the political divide between Russia and rest of Europe – Sergey Lazarev!  

Thunder and lightning it’s getting exciting…

The pop titan of Russia has posted a series of intriguing social media posts yesterday afternoon. He (and his manager) namely travelled to Portugal, the 2018 host country. One of the Stories posts was a video with him saying: “Just landed in Portugal for a secret mission. Can’t tell you more now. More details to follow later.” One of the fan accounts of the singer later on managed to grab the Stories video, which you can see here. 
Earlier today, Sergey posted series of pictures as some sort of photo shoot in Portugal’s second largest city Porto. One of the pictures was a part of his Stories from today and contained a caption, which in English would mean “Looking at the future.” Which, another fan account was quick to screen-grab as well.
This has caused many Eurovision-fans to speculate wildly whether this is all a hint of Lazarev’s return to the contest. Secret mission? Can’t explain the details? Looking at the future? One can also back these speculations with a previous interview answers by Russia’s king of showbiz Filipp Kirkorov, who has claimed that he (and the Russo-Greek Dream Team) was looking for potential artists for the next ESC.

Flame is still burning?

However, all these speculations contradict with the previous confirmations and guarantees by Russia’s state broadcaster Channel One, that Yulia Samoylova would be flying the country’s flag in Portugal, after being banned from entering Ukraine earlier this year. Moreover, in the recent Q&A round online, Samoylova herself re-affirmed that she is representing Russia in Portugal and that she’s working on the right songs. But is Channel One the broadcaster to participate in 2018? Or will Rossiya 1 take over? Remember, Channel One did not receive any repercussions from EBU for missing the Head of Delegations meetings. Does Filipp Kirkorov know something Yulia doesn’t? Will she be chosen for Russia after all?

What do you think? Do Sergey’s recent social media posts have legs and will we see him again in Eurovision? In case he comes back to ESC, can he pull a Dima Bilan and win on second attempt? Discuss the matter in comments and follow us on social media on @ESCXTRA. 

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