MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Only around 16% of Russians watched the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Finale, which is less than half of the 2016 figure, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said on Friday, citing a recent poll.
Russian wheelchair-bound contender Yulia Samoilova failed to enter the final stage of the contest, held in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on May 8-12. Russia’s Channel One chose her to represent the country in the Kiev-hosted 2017 Eurovision Song Contest but the Ukrainian Security Service banned the singer from entering the country over her performance in Crimea in 2015.
"The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest’s audience rate in our country was 16%, which is much lower than two years ago (38%)," the pollster said in a statement. A total of 51% of those surveyed said the jury vote was not impartial, while 32% believe otherwise and 17% had difficulty in answering the question. As many as 41% of the poll’s participants agreed with the results of the popular vote, while 43% opposed them.
"There are two reasons behind the public’s loss of interest in the contest. On the one hand, the Eurovision situation got ‘overheated’ and there was nothing new in Yulia Samoilova’s participation as the country lived through it all a year ago. Under those circumstances, it was very difficult to pump up enthusiasm over Yulia taking part in the contest. On the other hand, Samoilova’s poor performance also diminished people’s interest," said Mikhail Mamonov who heads the pollster’s Political Analysis and Consulting Department.
The nationwide poll involving 2,000 was conducted on May 14-15. The margin of error does not exceed 2.2% at the 95% confidence level.