Little Big, the self-described punk-pop-rave juggernaut behind the infectious Skibidi Challenge, will represent Russia at the Eurovision song contest this spring, organizers announced Monday.
The choice represents a break with Russia’s reliance on more traditional pop stars to bring home the trophy and hosting rights for the first time in more than a decade. This year, the annual festival of kitsch and shameless political voting that draws around 200 million viewers will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
“It was really unexpected for us,” Little Big frontman Ilya Pruskin said in an interview after Russian state television’s Channel One announced the band as Russia’s representative in the European sing-off.
“Of course we were happy when the news came. But then it got a little scary. It’s still a great responsibility to represent Russia,” Pruskin told the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid.
Little Big is due to unveil its participating song sometime before the March 9 submission deadline.
“We have huge expectations and we’re afraid of not meeting them,” Pruskin said. “I can say that the song will be fun.”
Observers have welcomed the choice, pointing to the band’s ability to craft viral, meme-ready hooks and dance moves. The band's song “Skibidi” went viral around the world last year when band members challenged fans to film themselves performing the dance from the music video. The video has racked up more than 360 million views on YouTube since its October 2018 premiere.
Eurovision will be held between May 12 and May 16.
Russia won its only Eurovision contest in 2008 and has finished in the top five nine times since its debut in 1994.
Last year, 182 million tuned in to the spectacle.