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1997
Euro97Russia.jpg (5957 bytes)

Contest entry:

Song "Primadonna"
Performer Alla Pugachova
Composer Alla Pugachova
Lyricist Alla Pugachova
Conductor Ruthger Gunnarson
Place 15th place (33 points), performed on 20th position
Votes for Russia Slovenia (12), Netherlands (8), Estonia (7), Austria (5), Norway (1)
Votes of Russian Jury Announced by Arina Sharapova: Cyprus 1, Greece 2, Austria 3, Turkey 4, Ireland 5, France 6, Italy 7, Spain 8, Slovenia 10, UK 12.

ESCKaz rank:

Song rank Pathetic song, rather good in compositional scheme, but simply not for the Eurovision contest 6/10
Live performance rank Same kind of pathetic performance, but we should mention that it was done very professionally. Unfortunately appearance of Russian star and her dress antagonized both viewers and jury members. 8/10

National preselection:

Again ORT was running internal preselection, and, again, not thinking a lot, they have decided to send well-known performer of local level, with strong financial possibilities. Such performer of course was Alla Pugachova. Organizers never had an idea, that format of Eurovision contest is simply not the format of this Russian performer...

Officially National Jury made of: Yuri Saulskiy, Maksim Dunaevskiy, Aleksandr Koutikov, Yuri Aksyuta (Europe Plus), Sergei Arhipov (Russian Radio) have listened to 53 submitted entries - exctracts of which even were put online at the website of "Programma "A", though they were not connected directly to preselection this time. Among candidates were traditionally "Nogu Svelo", Zhanna Dobrovolskay, Andrei Kosinsky and other lesser known performance. As head of Jury Konstantin Ernst reported, as the result of the voting of Jury second place with just a few points difference from winner was occupied by "Angel" song by duet "Chai vdvoem".

Alla Pugacheva: Origianally I shouldn't perform this song at Eurovision. I was only due to go there as composer, but the male singer who was due to perform the song (if you noticed it has male lyrics, but thankfully, they can be also performed by woman) felt ill and couldn't sing. I was hopinh for a beautiful male vocal. But I had to perform it myself. Though that was quite strange for me to perform this song. And I was thinking whom should I devote it to perform it from the whole soul? And I couldn't find better candidate to be called Primadonna than actress Lyudmila Gurchenko. I had no other image in mind. I looked on all the shootings of Bondarchuk and understood she is real Primadonna. I didn't want to sing about opera or theater, and this is the very synthez of the star and primadonna in that show, where I wanted to see myself and others in future. And when I imagined that it becamy much easier to perform lyrics which were originally written as man's song to woman. 
Despit popular rumours that singer mentioned by Alla is Nikolay Noskov (who has released his version of Primadonna in his albums Paranoia, Stekla i Beton, Okean lyubvi, Best songs), it was not him, but Valery Meladze.

On April 2nd the first variant of video was broadcasted at ORT, it was very late and without any specific announcement. It was not the final version of preview video, which was later redone by Fyodor Bondarchuk, but at many European broadcasters this version was shown in previews. In the middle of April single with 3 versions of the song was released by "Sintez - Records" which contains following phrase:
"Alla Pugacheva is Queen of Russian Pop music. She has become the last People's Artist of USSR during Gorbachev's preiod and first singer of Russia which judging on the number of sold CDs (150 millions) can be compared with Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson"

Preparation and participation in the contest:

Husband of Alla Philip Kirkorov: Of course, Alla, understands, that her song in Russian language can not win Grand Prix, and will never become international European hit, but just to push our colleague artists to start some activities next year, she agreed to participate there. To push our composer to right good songs, suitable for such contest... She is sacrificing herself, knowing for sure that Russian language song can not reach first places. But why not to show to everyone that Alla Pugachova is in a good condition, that she sings! Already achiving such status that Alla has, she can not loose anything participating in the contest.

When Alla was asked what she thinks about other participants, she said she never heard any names of them, as they all are new artists on the stage. She decided to work with Swedish conductor, but explained that not as she was not able to find Russian one, but as it was interesting to work with different people. She added that the most important thing for her is to get maximum satisfaction from the music.

Primadonna herself comments after Eurovision:
My arrival to the Eurovision was shock for everyone. I was not in Europe for some period and decided to check my popularity there. It appeared that I'm still remembered and my song (not the best I ever performed actually) was adding popularity every minute. You can not even imagine that bookmakers put "Primadonna" on third place, right after Italy and UK. Everyone was understanding that it is real claim for the win... and they got afraid. We had mixed all cards for them. So they have to shuffle the votes in their favour, but that is not the most important thing. They still remember me and my song, I was the most popular person among journalists. I was like Fellini there. And I was not looking for the good place. If I wished to win I could make it for sure. And about contest dress, I had another very luxurious one, but I after looking at recorded rehearsal video decided that I look fat in it. So I decided not to risk and I appeared in my casual dress, same one I used on streets.
I was real winner of the contest. I don't speak about the formal result, but the way it was really felt. English singer was rather good one, and I was second favourite, only because of Russian language of performance. But we knew from the beginning that they don't want us to win. Usually Germany, Russia never win there, and it is good, as they themselves never need the win. But we needed it. Of course I went there to do some sort of promotion. I never expected such a great reaction from the people. Only for this reaction I had to go to this contest. Not to invent something, I'm not insidious, but I'm clever.
Contest can not be without people who are dissatisfied by the results or offended. My God, I performed the best of all singers - that is what I thought. But contest is chance to perform, to show yourself. If you will sacrifice life and relations with composers, with whom you have been working for many years, and will show your individuality, you will be recognized and loved. Now, all journalists and fans call me primadonna. That is the biggest award artist can dream of!  For me title of the song "Primadonna" gave new start of image and everything. And really, whether I'm not real Primadonna?

Oppinions of the press were different after the contest:
"Arguments and Facts" newspaper
issued very critical article, where openly asked question "What for Pugacheva and why her went to the contest? Was it what singer who is on holidays for 2 last years wanted herself?"
One of Jury members critic Artemiy Troitskiy spoke out in same newspaper:
"I was among the people selecting contest entry for Eurovision. And I was against sending Alla to this contst, because it is contest only for performers of 3rd-4th class. Yes, ABBA really got famous with Eurovision participation, but this was back in 1974. Performers like Elton John, Kate Bush, Milene Farmer, Charlez Aznavour never participated and will never be in this contest as it is not their level. The decisive point was ambitions of Kirkorov and Ernst who persuaded poor girl to go there. Problem was that there was no single good song in the contest. And among all this rubbish Pugacheva was like Everest among Russian mountains... Her lose is not connected with Russian language at all. Simply Eurovision contest has it's own clear style and format, to which Alla is not fitting at all. It won't be fare if because of failure in the contest anti-Russian language campaign will be started. We have to blame now only ourselves. That's it. "
Famous businessman Lisovskiy in Komsomolskaya pravda newspaper: It wasn't my project, and I didn't wanted to to there, to give some advices, to try to persuade not to do this, no - but in private talk with Alla, I told her that Eurovision is festival of youth and participation in it of the Star of her status is quite nonsence..."
- Singer Larisa Dolina has expressed another thought in "Musical ring" that it was not Pugacheva's fault, but the failure of Russian language...
- Host of "Programma "A" Sergei Antipov issued other version - At the rehearsal whole world saw that we can not handle simple things right (it took half an hour to establish communication with Moscow, and it was found that there in studio nobody speaks English language...) and possibly they thought, that in case Pugacheva will win, we will not be able to host festival in Moscow next year...

Own opinion expressed author of timeline of Soviet and Post-Soviet music composer Eduard Khanok:
a) our PRIMA went to the wrong place. It was mentioned by commentator of British TV, when he said: In the contest of young singers participates young Russian performer, ha-ha-ha, sorry..."
b) our PRIMA went there without any reason, as words of Kirkorov that "she went there to push Russians singers for some actions next year", and opinion of Mr.Lisovskiy "that it will be easier for those who will represent Russia next year" are unthoughtful, as there won't be next year, as there was no 1996 after failure of Kirkorov in 1995. This are the rules of the contest...

:

Alla Pugachova was born on 15th of April 1949 in Moscow. In 1965, during radio show "Good morning" Alla, who at that time was still schoolgirl, performed song "Robot". She has graduated from conducting-choir department of Moscow State Music College and in 1981 she graduated from directing faculty of GITIS. Then for number of years Alla performed with number of bands, like VIA "Noviy Electron", "Moskvichi", Oleg Lundstrom's orchestra, VIA "Veseliye Rebyata", "Rhythm" band.
In 1975 at "Golden Orphei" festival she got Grand-Prix for the song "Arlekino" and in 1978 at contest "Sopot-78" Grand-Prix for the song "Kinds can do everything". In 1977 she debuted on screen in movie "Woman which sings", which become a big hit among the viewers. Other movies like "Season of miracles", "I came and I say", "Love for the love" and others.
For many years of her musical activities Alla Pugachova had performed with a number of concert programs, in 1988 she has created show "Christmas meetings" in which all established artists of Russian music scene usually participate. She has issued more than 10 albums and discs, not long time ago her full collection including 13 CDs was issued by "General Records". She was participating in dozens of international festivals and contests, including Slavyanski Bazar, San Remo and Nashville and also tours in USA, Germany, Switzerland, India, France, Italy, Hungary, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Israel, Poland, Finland, Japan, India, Australia and other countries
In 1988 Alla Pugachova creates own studio "Song Theater" and promotes different performers who in future have reached star status, as Phillip Kirkorov, Vladimir Presnyakov, Arkadiy Ukupnik, Tatiana Bulanova. Though in 1995 Alla after successful tour "Star Summer" decided to leave the stage, she returned with triumph in 1998, with conducting successful concerts in 45 cities of Russia and CIS.
At the present time continues her career, and produces new performers, also being director of reality show Stars Factory 5 (Fabrika Zvezd).

Entry lyrics and translations:

"Primadonna"

Slovno ranenaya ptitsa
S operen'em zolotym
Na pomost vyydesh' ty
I vizhu, vizhu ya tebya schastlivoy


Poy, dlya menya lish' poy, Primadonna
Poy ranenoy dushoy, Primadonna
Umiraya kazhdyy raz
Smeysya v litso sud'be, Primadonna
Ne privykat' tebe, Primadonna
K roli strashnoy i prostoy
Byt' zvezdoy


I svoim ustalym vzorom,
Koronovannym slezoy
Glyadish' ty v etot zal
I slovno vidish' son, no son rastayal


Vot on, posledniy boy, Primadonna
Boy so svoey sud'boy, Primadonna
Smeysya v litso sud'be, Primadonna
Ne privykat' tebe, Primadonna
K roli strashnoy i smeshnoy
Byt' vsegda odnoy


Day zhe sily, o nebo,
Osushit' etu chashu do dna
Tam, gde ty esche ne byl,
Ey uzhe nalivali vina
Ey krichali: bravo
Za prichudlivyy fars
Podnimayu bokal
Za schastlivyy final
Bravo, primadonna, bravo!

"Diva Prima Donn"
(French version)


A lOpera quand la diva
Joue un role damoureuse
Malheureuse ou heureuse
Elle a toujours vingt ans
Eternellement

Le maestro conduit prima donna
L`orchestre et les guitars suivent, prima donna
Comme on suit une femme
Et le public conduis, prima donna
Le publilic tapplaudit, prima donna
Et reclame cette femme
Qui lenflamme

Mais dans la vie de la diva
Lhomme quelle aime ne laime pas
Car il aime dans les choeurs
Une chanteuse de vingt ans
Ca lui brise le coeur

Pauvre Paillasse en pleurs, prima donna
Ris donc de ta douleur! Prima donna
Chante ou cric si tu crois, prima donna
Chante en portant ta croix! Prima donna
La jalousie ca tagrippe
Arrache-toi les tripe's

Chante comme tu n'a jamais
Jamais chante en tant que chanteuse
Pour lhomme que tu aimais
Chante en femme blessee, allez chante!
Le publique crie: "encore!"
Donne lui tout de toi
Ta voix, tes larmes, ton corps
Fais lui lamour! "encore"
Chante, prima donna!
Encore!
Encore!

Primadonna
(English version)

Like a bird with golden feathers,
Flying with your broken wings
I see you on the stage
So happy in your world, in your illusion

Sing just for me tonight, primadonna
Sing, make the darkness bright, primadonna
Play your part, though it's sad
Smile at your destiny, primadonna
Smile through your tears for me, primadonna
Pay the price of success
You're a star

Life is only a reflection
In the mirror of your mind
When the lights all go out
Your dreams will fade away, they're an illusion

Sing just for me tonight, primadonna
Sing, make the darkness bright, primadonna
Sing for the stars above, primadonna
Sing in the key of love, primadonna
Hide your tears and your scar
Show the world a star

Holy Heavens Above
You help you empty that bittersweet grail
Make the audience love you
And you swear that you never will fail
If they're shouting: "bravo"
For a song and a dance
I will drink to the chance
That you'll have a grande finale
Bravo, primadonna, bravo!

Official releases and versions of contest entry:

1. Primadonna (in Russian) 3.01
2. Diva Prima Donna (In French, lyrics by Rivegauche M.) 3.01 - also issued on "Da!" album
3. Primadonna (in English) 3.01

Arrangement: Ruthger Gunnarson, recorded at KMN studio AB, Sweden. Produced by: Konstantin Ernst and Philipp Kirkorov.
4. Primadonna - 3.03 - CD "Surprise from Alla Pugachova" - first version of the song
Arrangement: V.Demianov, A.Pugachova, recorded at studio "Salam", Tver city, Russia

Nonofficial version: Primadonna 2.59 - Alla performs live in the first person

Russian Eurovision mp3 collector's guide
Russian Eurovision CD collector's guide

Used: materials of official site, fan-site parom.da.ru, and also own information
All recordings exept official are presented with a lowered bitrate for demonstrational purposes only.


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