The Scoop

Will the Eurovision Dream Team come back?

If you don’t know them, you surely know their entries. The so-called “Eurovision Dream Team” is behind some of the most successful Eurovision songs of the last 11 years. And if Philipp Kirkorov is to be believed, the team might be back yet again for Lisbon.

What is the Dream Team?

The “Eurovision Dream Team” (sometimes called the Russian/Greek Dream Team or simply the Dream Team) is a group of several men who started working together in the mid 2000’s. Together, they composed, wrote, choregraphed, coached and promoted several of the most successful Eurovision performances.
The composition of the team isn’t fixed (not all the members have worked on all the songs). Yet, the core of the dream team is a Russian-Greek trio: Philipp Kirkorov, Dimitris Kontopoulos and Fotas Evagelinos. Their first entry together was Belarus’ Work your Magic in 2007.

Philipp Kirkorov

Kirkorov is a Bulgarian-born Russian singer. Born in 1967, he became a pop star during the last years of the Soviet Union, and was one of the most successful Russian singers of the 1990’s. He represented Russia in Dublin for the 1995 edition of the ESC, with Kolybelnaya dlya vulkana, where he finished 17th. Ironically, this is the worst result in Russia’s Eurovision history.
In 2005, he was part of the Belarussian delegation in Kyev, as a manager for Agurbash, who performed Love Me Tonight. There, he met Fotas Evagelinos, a meeting that would start the Dream team.

Philipp Kirkorov and Sergey Lazarev
He composed or co-composed several of the songs from the Team:

  • Work Your Magic (Belarus 2007) – 6th
  • Shady Lady (Ukraine 2008) – 2nd
  • Shine (Russia 2014) – 7th
  • You are the only one (Russia 2016) – 3rd

He was also Dima Bilan’s manager in 2006. And as a friend of Sakis Rouvas (Greece 2004 and 2009), he promoted his 2009 entry for Greece, This is Our Night, while the rest of the team was behind the composition and choregraphy.

Fotas Evagelinos

Evagelinos was born in 1963, in Greece. A dancer and a choregrapher, he’s behind every choregraphy from the Dream Team. Before that, he organised the choregraphy for Sakis Rouvas in 2004 and Helena Paparizou in 2005, a performance that won the contest for Greece. That’s when he met Kirkorov. The year after, he was both the Creative Director for the Contest in Athens and the choregrapher for Dima Bilan. He was also behind the winning choregraphy for Russia in 2008, but no other members of the Dream Team participated in this entry.
For the Dream Team, he created and directed the choregraphy of all these entries:

  • Work Your Magic (Belarus 2007) – 6th
  • Shady Lady (Ukraine 2008) – 2nd
  • This Is Our Night (Greece 2009) – 7th
  • Hold Me (Azerbaijan 2013) – 2nd
  • Shine (Russia 2014) – 7th
  • You are the only one (Russia 2016) – 3rd
  • This is Love (Greece 2017) – 19th
Dimitris Kontopoulos

Kontopoulos was born in 1971. He is one of the most famous Greek composer and music producer. Before the Dream Team, he composed many songs for Greek national selections in the early 2000’s. He then composed, co-composed (with Kirkorov) an/or produced every song from the Dream Team (the same one listed under Evagelinos’ name).

Dream Team
Dimitris Kontopoulos (L), Farid Mammadov (C) and Fotas Evagelinos (R) in Malmö, in 2013
And who else?

While this trio has the most “visible” participation (the music and the staging), other people have contributed several times to the same entries, making them also part of the Eurovision Dream Team.

  • Alexandros Panayi, from Cyprus, who represented his country in 1995 and 2000. He acted as a vocal coach for several of the Team’s entries
  • Ilias Kokotos, from Greece. He’s an hotelier whose family founded the Elounda Resorts & Hotels, and he acted several times as a sponsor for the Team’s entries, helping with the promotion
  • John Ballard and Ralph Charlie, both based in Sweden. They wrote the lyrics of the most recent entries from the Team (since 2013)

Kirkorov’s Instagram post

Last week was Dimitris Kontopoulos’ 45th birthday, and for the occasion, Philipp Kirkorov sent him a “Happy Birthday” message on Instagram:

The post hints at a return for the team at Eurovision next year, at least with the two composers and the hotelier. That being said, Fotas Evagelinos has been the choregrapher for every entries of the Team, so it is safe to assume he would be part of the “Miracle Adventure” too.

One question remains: with which country could they return?

Greece? Maybe not. The national finalists were revealed last week, but Greece’s ERT asked for songs that could really portray Greek music and specific ethnic song, something the Team never really tried together.
Azerbaijan? Maybe… Only the artist is known for now, Aisel. Her musical range of genres might be broad, but she still seems to prefer Jazz and Soul music, genres that are really not into the team’s DNA from what we know.
Russia? The most likely possibility, especially since Russia hopes for a triumphant return in 2018. But there is still much mystery about the Russian participation in Lisbon, with many rumours going on about who could represent the big country. Kirkorov himself hinted at a return for Sergey Lazarev. Officially, Yuliya Samoylova is still the 2018 artist for Russia, but there has been no official confirmation in the last months.
What do you think? Should the “Eurovision Dream Team” come back?  For which country? And what is your favorite entry from the team? Tell us on the comments below or on social media at @escxtra!
And here is a playlist of the different performances by the Dream Team:

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