Russia - Osmar Valdebenito

After its first absence in more than 17 years, Russia hopes to return to the good results it has obtained in Eurovision the last decade.

Yulia Samoylova was chosen as the Russian representative to Kyiv 2017 with the song "Flame is Burning". However, her selection generated controversy due to her visit to the disputed territory of Crimea and Ukrainian authorities forbade her entry into the country. Immediately, the representatives of Rossiya 1 and Channel One affirmed that Yulia would be their representative the following year if she wasn’t allowed to participate, which was what finally happened.
Despite this announcement, the Eurovision managers in Russia delayed for several months the confirmation of their promise. Even some rumors mentioned the possibility that Sergey Lazarev was going to take revenge after his 3rd place in 2016, mentioned even by famous composer Philip Kirkorov.

Yulia's participation was finally confirmed in late January 2018 and her song was finally released on March 11th. "I Won’t Break" was composed by Leonid Gutkin, Netta Nimrodi and Arie Burshtein, the same team behind "Flame is Burning". According to the authors, this song reflects the life of Yulia, who has fight a spinal muscular atrophy since childhood. "This is a song about me”, said Yulia. “It's not so much a tender ballad as a song about strength".

The lyrics reflect on how Yulia has been able to be successful despite her physical struggles (“Those so-called broken wings are soaring through the sky, I've flown against the winds with freedom in their eyes”) and how she has been hopeful even in difficult situations (“'Cause even in the darkness, I can see a light”).

After the controversy in 2017, Yulia will finally be able to show her talent when she enters the Altice Arena on May 10th for the second semifinal of Eurovision 2018.