On April 26, just two days before the first rehearsals at Eurovision 2014 kicked off, the Tolmachevy Sisters appeared in a 90-minute special about their journey to Eurovision. The girls were adorable with their blonde bobs and matching Yves St Laurent Mondrian dresses. The audience praised them for their “purity” and “innocence.” And special guests said that they would help counter the “sickness in the West.” At one point in the show the producers contrasted images of Conchita Wurst bathing in a bath tub with images of the girls singing as toddlers.

Wiwi appeared on the show as a special guest to discuss his blog post, “Do the Tolmachevy Sisters Support the Annexation of Crimea?” The lyrics—”Living on the edge/ closer to the crime/ cross the line a step at a time”— seem a bit too loaded in the context of ongoing political tensions. We weren’t stating this as fact, just saying that’s how the song could be read. The host suggested that Russians don’t hear “Crimea” in the lyrics. That is probably true. But there is ambiguity: “crime” could hint at Crimea, but it could also refer to a literal crime—the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory. Given the climate in Eastern Europe at the moment, you’d have expected them to vet every aspect of this song. We discuss all this from 29:30. Unfortunately it’s all in Russian.

For me the most interesting part of the program the passion with which the Russian media are approaching Eurovision. It’s great to see a state broadcaster getting behind its act and giving them a glamorous send-off. Regardless of what you think of Crimea, you have to admit that the Tolmachevy Sisters know how to sing. They can also perform. They work their see-saw at Eurovision and throw down some fierce dance moves. In my mind it’s one of the most beautiful acts at Eurovision this year…

Willy Lee Adams contributed this report from London. Follow him on Twitter @willyleeadams. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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Martin
Guest
Martin

Russia is a great country with a rich history with strong spirit of people and she’s all “sneeze” on whistle. Only their consent to participate in the competition, means that they “sneeze” on everything and everyone!

Just being honest
Guest
Just being honest

But I’m not saying I dislike Russia. I just hope the Sisters & the composer have a good intent behind Shine and that its not a ‘pro-Russian’ anthem directed at the West out of arrogance and pride for their nation.

Just being honest
Guest
Just being honest

Yeah I was thinking about this yesterday. I initially liked Russia’s song entry this year until I came across an article you wrote on March about the lyrics of the song. It has a positive vibe but when you look at it in a different manner, there appears to be a hidden message regarding the Crimea incident in Ukraine. I’m pretty sure the Tomalchevy Sisters absolutely have no idea what they’re singing given their limited English vocabulary so they just looked at this Eurovision experience as “fun” & they were probably ‘trained’ to handle this amount of Western pressure. Russians… Read more »

Robyn
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Robyn

The booing is horrible. I guess it’s hard to convey “you girls seem lovely, but I generally do not support the actions of your government” in one loud sound.

Julian
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Julian

Again since it’s still not clear Song writer(s): John Ballard, Ralph Charlie, Gerard James Borg – these are the guys you wanna talk about lyrics.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Even I made myself uncomfortable thinking about how the sisters are representing Russia while listening to the lyrics, and it’s not because of Crimea. It’s more because of this idea of spreading love all across the world which the lyrics embody – I have the polar opposite feelings about what Russia’s government is doing inside its own country to LGBT people and their supporters. But I do have to feel sorry for the sisters. They’re representing Russia at an extremely awkward time, and they were handpicked by the TV station. That being said, they did agree to do this –… Read more »

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

The headline wording on this blog sounds like “in your face” type of jargon. Disappointing that politics is still a huge part of the world’s biggest “music” fest.

Pastora Soler haha
Guest
Pastora Soler haha

I don’t understand why Eurovision accepted her song

It’s clear that it’s about Crimea… political is not in Eurovison, it’s one of the rules.

fikri
Guest
fikri

urgh, guys… please leave the girls alone. they’re just a bunch of innocent teenagers. i hardly think they can give any comment about the matter, anyway.

Timbardur62
Guest
Timbardur62

Vivi, please. Have some standard with your comments, please. You’re not going to make your God, Mr. Putin or Russia’s entry more liked or beloved with those words of yours. Or if you think like that, please do. But tell it with more nice words. You are just doing more damage to Tolmachevy girls. And your country. I suppose you live in Russia, or you’re born there. Thanks, sincerely yours, from Finland.

vivi
Guest

and I forogot to say and the most powerful! I dont like him but I hate america and now europe too

vivi
Guest

haha Putin sent all europe and america to the hell! Oh yes he is the greates man in the world!!!!

Marcelo N
Guest

I will continue to state that the lyrics are extremely loaded in a biased, vile way. That does not mean the singers should be slaughtered for it. Suffice to remember they are 17-yr-olds and there must have been an awful lot of pressure and of course no-one would take “no” for an answer once they were “invited” to participate. On the other hand, I still believe that they are being “sacrificed” (please notice the downtoning via the inverted commas) as the Powers that Be may as well be using them to peddle their own ideas -‘them’ being everyone from composers… Read more »

Maria
Guest
Maria

I find these girls very adorable and you people should really stop stirring things up with topics that have nothing to do with music. Eurovision is all about music and bringing the european countries together and politics should have nothing to do with this competition. Booing and hating two young girls for something they are not even responsible for, just because they are from Russia, is childish in my opinion. I’m not Russian, I don’t support Russia but I also I don’t support fascist governments and that’s what the government of Kiev is. Everyone puts the blame on Russia without… Read more »

Sam "Sopon"
Guest

@Wergie

At least that is somewhat funny.

I am Pat
Guest
I am Pat

Awful song. A shame Filip Kirkorov written this song and include names as wroters with him just for support Russia politics

Anni
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Anni

This song is really bad !

Timselvision
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Timselvision

Russia was one of the best yesterday in my opinion. It impressed me, anyway. And people, booing Russia is just the same as making jokes about gay people, or isn´t it? It´s the same thing! You discriminate people from whole Russia. Russia is not only Putin, you know, there are lotsa nice Russian people who´ve got nothing to do with the Ukrainestuff. And the girls are and look nice. This is so annoying that I almost voted for it yesterday.

Good luck Russia, and don´t be down about the boo´ing. There are some people who understand you.

Beaulah
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Beaulah

Boring!!!!

Timbardur62
Guest
Timbardur62

The conscience. A strange thing that works in mysterious ways. Although I like H&M -fashion and clothes, I don’t buy them because it’s not ethic. If somebody thinks it is not ethic to vote for Russia this year, I accept it because it is a matter of conscience. So let’s everybody have their own way of thinking, because there never is just one truth. And let’s everybody speak out on this webb page, because telling somebody not to do it would be just the same as denying the freedom of speech from somebody who doesn’t think alike.

Wergie
Guest
Wergie

By the way, Verka Serduchka made some jokes about Conchita. She said that Conchita is singing all the time and she didn’t have a time to shave her beard.

one cent
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one cent

@Paul

i have never heard of “Russia, Azerbaijan and Belorus” club.
change Azerbaijan for appropriate member that will do well:-)

Paul
Guest
Paul

@Med – what is the other side to the homophobic laws in force in Russia? What about those laws make Russia a suitable host for any event, let alone an event with a large gay support base?

Heyy
Guest
Heyy

Seriously, I dont think any of this political nonsense should have any connection with Eurovision.

Also, Russia is one of my fave entries this year, so the political situation didnt stop me from liking the song (Im a Western European) , and neither will it stop millions of other Europeans next Saturday.

The booing was so immature and vile yesterday. They’re 17 year old girls, come on!

Med
Guest
Med

@Paul – you’re watching a little bit too much one sided news. Read and see what the other side has to say and understand their point of view. Nothing is one sided. Your comment is, by the way.

Woz
Guest
Woz

@Rashad “Those sisters are representing neither Vladimir Putin nor his policies.”

Oh yes they are. As innocent as they look, these two girls represent the official russian dogma, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Let’s not be naive.

Do you know what doesn’t represent Vladimir Putin nor his policies? t.A.t.U, Pusy Riot. I doubt we are getting any of them in ESC in a long time.

Anna
Guest
Anna

The booing was indeed very immature. People complain about how political this contest is yet they’re the ones who are bringing in the politics.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Let’s be clear – as long as the winner of Eurovision goes on to host it the following year, Eurovision will be political. I do not believe Russia should have hosted the Winter Olympics, or the World Cup in 2018, and I don’t want them to host Eurovision. Their song is rubbish this year, but even if it was the best song, I still wouldn’t vote for them, and would express displeasure at them getting through on the basis that I do not want Eurovision hosted in a repressive and homophobic country whose leaders use such events to try and… Read more »

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Hang on Rashad and Armenian Guy, you’ve both missed the most disturbing part of Wiwi’s posting which was that “special guests said that they would help counter the ‘sickness in the West’.” So Rashad, that’s the controversy, this act is being used as anti-west (or should I say anti-gay) propaganda. That’s not an act of politics, it’s an act of hate so I’m not surprised it got booed. You should be complaining about these guests, not Wiwi. And Armenian Guy, isn’t it Russia who have taken Crimea, not Europe ? Neither you or Rashad can expect the rest of us… Read more »

suzy will win
Guest
suzy will win

FUCK PUTIN’S SONG!

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

I agree with Rashad, actions like these only seek to cause even more controversy on an already controversial topic, which is unnecessary and honestly? ridiculous. I want to believe the article published here some weeks ago about the political undertones in the song’s lyrics wasn’t intended to be taken seriously, or at least I hope so, but I didn’t find it funny. People is always saying this is a song contest and the focus should be on the music, but the same people keeps bringing politics and nationalism into the discussion, I really don’t get it. But oh well, at… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

Almost all Europe politicians have boycotted the Winter Olympic Games but sport delegations still participated. Russia is out of G8. Various restrictions were made on the top Russian politicians.
There is no reason however to extend hate to normal people from Russia. It is just wrong and all people that are engaged in such exercises of hate are very small people. We people of the world should respect and love each other irrespective of where politicians or various leaders try to manipulate us guiding to hate.

Woz
Guest
Woz

“And special guests said that they would help counter the “sickness in the West.”

Please FEMEN, INVADE THE B&W STAGE THIS SATURDAY. Bring on your best gimmicks.

That would help counter the sickness of a dangerous regime for its own people, it’s neighbours, human rights, freedom of speech and sexual freedom.

I’d give you the biggest douze points ever.

adriana_gabriela
Guest
adriana_gabriela

I like the twins just a note…When i said creepy i refer to their attitude towards Ukranians .

adriana_gabriela
Guest
adriana_gabriela

They are creepy..All russian are cold people?

Armenian guy
Guest
Armenian guy

Pfffff seriously ???? Does it have anything to do with Eurovision ? xD But well … All countries included USA have already SOO much problems,that their presidents firstly need to care about their country and their nation.In some European countries and in some American states people even starve ,while their presidents ‘desperately ‘ want to help Ukraine .It’s even pathetic . And unfortunately Europe CARES LESS about Ukraine and Ukrainians all they want is gas and oil ,which is in Crimea.That’s what all leaders want …And one day this will results in World war 3. This is a deep issue… Read more »

D
Guest
D

I don’t like Russia’s government or Putin, but I don’t want people to take their anger out on the sisters. They’re not members of the government and had nothing to do with Russia’s policies. I actually really love their song.

Rashad
Guest
Rashad

William, I’m sorry, but you seem like you’re seeking controversy, and this is so wrong. The sisters are extremely nice, and their response was very mature despite their age. They said, “we are not interested in politics and Eurovision is a musical contest, not a political one”. As I’ve heard, some people jumped on the Russian flag yesterday night in the EuroClub. This kind of posts only provokes those people, and leads to unpleasant results. Those sisters are representing neither Vladimir Putin nor his policies. BTW, I do NOT support Russia’s annexation of Crimea as we have a similar conflict… Read more »

Timbardur62
Guest
Timbardur62

A sad truth is, because the audience can’t boo directly at mr. Putin and his policy, they have to do it at those who represent Russia. The anger is a human feeling that comes spontaneously. Sorry for the girls but I would have done it too if I were amongst the audience: boo at Russia. Nothing personal against the girls. Just against Russia. It just deserves the booing. Not worth something better.

Ryanireland
Guest
Ryanireland

It makes me cringe every time I hear it, awful song, which is trying to distract from the poor lyrics and music by using a bloody see saw. Please Europe don’t be fooled.
Should not have qualified and that’s on musical merit alone, nothing political.