In late January 2003, C1R began airing television adverts that announced a submission period where interested artists and composers could submit their proposals for an internal selection until 1 March 2003. On 19 March 2003, C1R announced that the duo t.A.T.u. was selected to represent Russia with the song "Ne ver', ne boisia". Artists that submitted songs to the selection included Smash!!, Plazma, Kristina Orbakaitė and Avraam Russo.
Russia performed 11th at the 2003 Contest, following Germany and preceding Spain. After the voting concluded, Russia scored 164 points and placed 3rd, one point behind 2nd placed Belgium and 5 points behind the winner, Turkey.
After the contest, Channel One Russia complained that Irish broadcaster RTÉ had used a back-up jury, and that it had cost them victory. A statement by Channel One said "Considering [the] insignificant difference in points between the first and third places, there are grounds to believe that the contest results could be much different for Russia." RTÉ responded by publishing the unused results of the Irish televote, which showed that had the jury not been used, Turkey would still have won.