Lerika, who represented Moldova at Junior Eurovision last year, will compete in the contest for a second year in a row after winning Russia’s national selection last month. The 13-year old holds dual Moldovan-Russian citizenship, which makes her eligible to compete in both countries. Just in case there were any questions about her authenticity, she’ll be competing as Valeriya Engalycheva, which sounds much more Russian.
Last year, as a 12-year-old going on 40, she wowed audiences with her number “No, No.” It showcased her theatrical qualities, and her ability to work pink frills while wearing sneakers. Her voice was already mature. But this year her stage performance is too. She’s less girl and more woman, and sounds like she had a run in with Lady Gaga’s producers. Her song ‘Sensatsiya’ (Sensation) is a grown-up dance number that will bewilder all the kiddies who show up clutching their teddy bears.
Lerika at Russia’s national selection for Junior Eurovision 2012:
Lerika performs at Junior Eurovision 2011: