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Wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova unveils her Eurovision ambitions

Yulia Samoilova, who will represent Russia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, sees a praiseworthy performance as her main goal in Lisbon
Yulia Samoilova Viktor Drachev/TASS
Yulia Samoilova
© Viktor Drachev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova, who will represent Russia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, sees a praiseworthy performance as her main goal in Lisbon.

"It is important for me to participate, to sing as good as I can, to enjoy my stay in Portugal, and interact with the participants," said the singer, who skipped last year’s Eurovision in Kiev due to a travel ban by Ukrainian authorities.

She also unveiled certain details of her upcoming performance. She won’t be alone on stage. "I will have a remarkable team alongside - the composers of the song. They will be supporting me as back-up singers," she promised.

Samoilova will represent Russia with the song I Won’t Break!, written by Leonid Gutkin, Netta Nimrodi and Arie Burshtein. The young vocalist is looking forward to an unbiased opinion by the judges.

"I am not thinking about it at all," she said when asked if she feared any prejudice given the international situation. "Portugal was assessed objectively. Salvador Sobral took to the stage alone, without any wings and acrobats - and simply sang well. And everybody liked him," she added.

Yulia Samoilova believes a participant in the song contest "simply must be sincere, genuine, bring light and do his job - sing well". "There is surely no politics involved in it," she added.

The singer will release her album in May. "We hope it [the album] will be released in May," she told TASS. In its style, the album will be akin to her song for the Eurovision Song Contest, I won’t Break, "with drive and vigor," she said. By April, the singer will present her book "An usual out-of-the-ordinary story". "This is very emotional, as I speak a lot about myself in it, about my life," she confessed.

Russia skipped last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev since Kiev's spy agency the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) had slapped a three-year travel ban on the wheelcahir-bound Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova, citing her performance in Crimea on June 27, 2015 as a reason. Following the ban, Russia’s Channel One cancelled the broadcast of the contest and nominated Samoilova to represent Russia at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, which won the right to host the 2018 Eurovision after Salvador Sobral of Portugal had won the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev.

The Eurovision semifinals will be held in the Portuguese capital on May 8 and 10. Russia will take part in the second semifinal on May 10. The grand finale will take place on May 12, and the show will be hosted by Lisbon’s Parque das Nacoes.

Yulia, who turned 29 on April 7, has been using a wheelchair since her childhood. In 2013, she took second place in the Factor A television project. She participated in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi with the song Together.