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πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί Slideback Sunday: Solo and the beginning of Russia’s Eurovision success

Last week Angelos took us back to the Latin rhythms of Romania’s 2012 entry. This week we go a litter further to the east and a little further back in time to 2000 when Russia began the new millennium with a second place by Alsou.

The first of many successful results…and for me the best one!

Russia is undoubtedly a Eurovision powerhouse having enjoyed many top 10 finishes since their debut in 1994. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that they reached the Eurovision podium with Alsou’s second place with her song “Solo“. I have to admit that Russia is not among my favourite Eurovision countries, although I do like quite a few of their songs (though they tend to be the guilty pleasure ones – think Serebro and Babushki). But if you ask me what I first think when talking about Russia and Eurovision, the answer is “Solo” by Alsou. And I promise it has nothing to do with the fact that Alsou and I are born on the same day, June 27 (although a few years apart). I only discovered that cherry on top detail later.

Blue, beige and smoke

Having become a superfan in 2013, I discovered this song later on my journey to deepen my understanding of the world’s contest and it was love at first listen. I relate to the lyrics a lot (minus the starring at your picture from midnight til noon, I would probably fall asleep after a few minutes): missing someone, trying to move on and friend telling you that you didn’t want to listen. Been there done that. Then, I love the staging, it did the song justice with the dark blue atmosphere, the smoke on the floor and her light outfit. Although that beige is very from being a colour of my taste, I must admit it works well towards the whole package of the performance. Besides, the song was incredibly contemporary for the time and the instrumentation was really top notch, and it includes most of my favourite instruments out there (I only wish there was more piano). I do admit that “Fly on the Wings of Love” was a deserved victory but if it was up to me, my fellow June 27er would have sailed to the trophy.

What others had to say

Nick

Russia have developed into a true powerhouse at the Eurovision Song Contest. That all started in the early 00s, when they had a fluke when Solo suddenly did well. A genuine pop song fitting in with the time, but the very definition of beige as well. It just doesn’t excite me in any way, sort or form. It’s just there and incredibly beige. I mean, they knew what they were doing and I hope they soon find their way back to relevant music, but… not like this.

Tom

Russia were ready, and they were going solo. No worries about anyone else. Easily my winner of 2000, a very strong entry with a confident performance by a young Alsou. This song always sticks in my head and I don’t forget the melody. A good sign for a song. I can’t even remember the melodies of some of this year’s entries, let alone the ones I hate from before so “Solo” really stands up there for me. I’d love to see Alsou make a return to the contest as I feel she’d really add a lot, and I’d be excited to see another entry from her, maybe this time called “Together”! (haha)

Tim

Alsou’s track is such a throwback and definitely suited Eurovision, back when she participated in 2000. Overall the catchy chorus, along with the harmonies and the choreography made it look relatable to the 00’s. With the new millennium just beginning then, the performance looked trendy and ahead of its time.

And what do YOU think of Russia’s 2000 entry? Did it deserve the result it got? What is your favourite Russian entry at the contest?

Don’t forget to come back next Sunday for another throwback that will take us to…Sweden!

Let us know in the comment section below or on all social media platforms @ESCXTRA.

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