Russia’s Eurovision Entry Unveils ‘Tender’ Ballad

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s entry in this year’s Eurovision contest unveiled the final version of her ballad “What If” on Friday, with just two months to go until the annual gathering of European pop fans.

“What if we all opened our eyes, what if we all came together as one?” croons Dina Garipova, 21, in a rock ballad that will attempt to bring Russia a second victory in six years in the competition.

In comments on the Eurovision website, Dina – a Russian of ethnic Tatar decent – modestly described her entry as: “a true call that makes us understand how much in our life depends only on us. Tender but strong music underlines every word.”

Seen as a tongue-in-cheek festival of kitsch by many in the West, Eurovision is generally taken at face value in Moscow, where it is widely considered a genuine chance for European nations to send their top pop musicians out to do battle with one another.

Russian pop star Dima Bilan’s victory at the 2008 competition with the syrupy “Believe” was heralded by state-run media as a sign the country was “Finally making a return to Europe and reclaiming its superpower status in politics and culture, including popular music.”

Dina is one of the dark horses for the 2013 Eurovision with the bookmakers. British bookmakers William Hill rate her fifth favorite at 9/1.

The favorite – at 3/1 – is Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest with “Only Teardrops.”

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