From booing Russia’s 12 points during the voting segment to heckling the Tolmachevy Sisters’ after their performance, there was a lot of hate directed toward Russia at Eurovision this year. Much of it was undeserved and all of it was inappropriate. If you take a step back from politics, you’ll see that Russia did an outstanding job this year across the board—and we should applaud them for it.

First let’s talk politics. I’m pretty sure that Russian policy is not set by two 17 year olds. They have nothing to do with Russia’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine nor Russia’s detestable anti-gay laws. Zero. None. Sorry.

In addition, Russia kept their Eurovision act completely apolitical and focused solely on the music. They made no statements. They issued no attacks. They just let their twins “Shine”.

Second, they sent a superb act that got a well-deserved seventh place. The song is really good, the twin’s voices are amazing, and the staging was inspired. The combination was greater than the sum of the parts. And they made good use of the girls being twins without over-playing it.

It was much more than the bubble gum pop that it so easily could have been (and way too many Eurovision songs are). Their entry was classy, compelling and special. Any country should be proud to send an entry of this caliber.

Third, their jury votes showed an independent set of members that gave reasonable votes. There was a decent spread among the individual jurors. Yes, overall the jury ranked neighbour Belarus first. But only two of the five individual jurors did, showing a bit of a spread in opinion. And they awarded Ukraine sixth place, something a controlled jury would never do. (And kudos to Ukraine for giving Russia tenth place.)

Fourth, a number of people called the twins out for being so scripted and limited in what they said. You had two 17-year old girls who many wanted to make the face of the Putin regime. I say good job to the people managing them for protecting them from what could have been an awful experience.

This year’s Eurovision is richer for Russia’s participation. Despite all the calls for “Russia, goodbye!” at Eurovision, we need to turn the other cheek. If we exclude countries that are imperfect, where do we draw the line? And how many would make the cut…

What do you think? Are you glad that Russia participated? Do you hope to see them in Austria next year?

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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V_AUS
V_AUS
6 years ago

I think some people are forgetting that the ESC is an international *song* contest, not an international criminal tribunal. The competition is meant to bring people together through music, not be a platform for encouraging antagonism, hatred and intolerant behaviour. Aren’t we above booing like immature children? Those who scream that Russia should be expelled would do better to take up a petition and present it to the EBU rather than tarnish the contest for everyone.

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
6 years ago

If everyone really hated Russia, they would’ve got “nul points”. I really wish we could all take a leaf out of Conchita’s book and say, “That’s OK, you don’t have to like me, I don’t mind, have a nice evening!” (as she did in the doco., “Conchita’s Way to Eurovision”. I don’t care whether Russia competes or not, I just wish they’d contribute a song that didn’t sound as though it’d been written by a committee. Come back, Boronovskiy Babushki, all is forgiven …

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

@Day One (Marcus)

My Dad’s tenant from Daugavpils in Latvia (It is a mainly Russian city) told me that 80% of Russians support Putin and he thinks that Putin will be president until he (Vladimir Putin) dies.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

As much as I am against it for political reasons, I am not bothered by Russia’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Davve
Davve
6 years ago

Booing russia was the right thing to do. Just because they sent two young twin girls as some sort of alibi doesnt help. If a country is a backwards war monger and then sends song to ESC about the importance about peace and love then that country deserved either a good ass woooooping or a boo at ESC!

I think Putin is a psychopath and a complete silly boy…… he is obviously mentally challenged.

Day One (Marcus)
Day One (Marcus)
6 years ago

Its funny how Russia’s last 1two entries have been selected internally and have both been about peace and love. Coincidence? I think not. As for the booing. It was half because Russia is nearly always booed for sending dreadful songs that always do well do to bloc voting. And the other half for Russia being a gay bashing, human rights breaking invading country. It’s a shame for the twins but surely they must have expected it? I’m 17 and I’m smart enough to know Russia gets booed most of the time anyway and the whole invading of my Mothers country… Read more »

Anna
Anna
6 years ago

Do not agree with this article
Russia’s song was bad

Edward
Edward
6 years ago

Very well put, David. Couldn’t agree more.

Karl
Karl
6 years ago

Amen!

Donna
Donna
6 years ago

I totally agree with this article! In fact, I really hope Russia still joins Eurovision next year and if they do, I hope they send the Tolmachevy Sisters again because they were one of the best singers to be ever sent by that country to the Eurovision.

Semechkin
Semechkin
6 years ago

Russia should stay if they will leave Crimea
Turkey should come back without fail

Armenia must leave forever because of diaspora corruption
Austria must be punished for ridiculing the women in general

abhi
abhi
6 years ago

iberian – i assume you are from spain. can we all agree to boo the spanish song next year because your stupid ignorant politicians still allow barbaric bullfighting in your country and declare it as a cultural heritage? how would you feel if people started to boo at all the different countries (and yours) because of politics?
i can give you a reason for every single participating country to be booed for…

Iberian
Iberian
6 years ago

Azeri, what makes you think, people criticize Russia without having been there? Me, for example, I’ve studied Russian for six years and I’ve spent three weeks in Moscow and St. Petersburg. So, if I say something about Russia, it is because I’ve experienced it. And, dear Hans, we well never be tolerant with the intolerants. That would be silly. Do you expect black people to be tolerant with racists? Or do you want jews to be tolerant with Anti-Semites? And of course, booing is a form to express yourself and protest, so obviously it has to do with freedom of… Read more »

MTD
MTD
6 years ago

“Hahahaha” to the ones that want to be “tolerant” but are bashing Russia 1005 throughout this website and elsewhere. I mean, c’mon, you’re clearly full of hate towards Russia and you can’t deny it. Booing on Russia when it gave points to Belarus but not booing Denmark or Norway when they were giving points to Sweden. This drama, this stupidity out of these people (gay ones, mostly) is disturbing, to say at least. You do need to “take a trip out of your head” and your comfort zone. I’ll not comment anything plus. Thank you Wiwi (not the whole team,… Read more »

Hans
Hans
6 years ago

@David, @Iberian, @Andrew amd @MargaretBurger

Be tolerant please 🙂

Margaret Burger
Margaret Burger
6 years ago

What if we
Came together as one
What if we chose to
Bury our guns
Why don’t we always
Reach out to those
Who need us the most

Beautiful song of peace and unity from Russia! Everyone join to Intervision to make a happy world

Azeri
Azeri
6 years ago

It’s funny how people say what you can’t and can do in Russia when you haven’t even been there, go to Russia and you might change your opinion. I’m from Azerbaijan and i have been to Russia so many times and it’s not so bad that everyone says

Diane
Diane
6 years ago

But booing is not the same with what you called “freedom of speech”.

And as someone asked earlier why they didn’t make any statements about war and blabla on their presscon? Well, as David Thielen said, they’re trying to focus on the music. Why should they said about that in an international music event?

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago

Russian sisters acts and performed like amateurs

Iberian
Iberian
6 years ago

For god’s sake, would you guys please stop moaning and crying over some booing? The booing didn’t kill anyone. And this is freedom of speech, y’all! Thank god it took place in Denmark, where the public is allowed to express itself. I know one is not allowed to speak out in Russia, but hey, that’s the point: gays in Russia are not allowed to fight for their rights in public, gay prides and all kinds of pro-gay demonstrations are forbidden in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and that’s why Russia got booed at the ESC. Because we won’t be quiet. We… Read more »

David
David
6 years ago

Russia acts like high school bullies towards their neighbours. I think punishing bullying by booing these two fake twins was in order.

Me
Me
6 years ago

I have to disagree. Any attempt that is buying a song from abroad is a poor attempt. Then making it a characterless ballad makes it even worse. And then even importing backing singers from a abroad. The only thing that was Russian were the 2 girls, who (once again) were dull. I do agree that the booing was wrong and I 100% want to see Russia stay in the competition since their previous 3 entries were all in my top 10 (despite 2 of them being written by Swedes). I just hope this time its something genuinely RUSSIAN. 🙂

Dhani
6 years ago

yes Russia should participate next year and i hope they will win cause then they would maybe host an awesome contest like in 2009 again! Everyone, especially Malmö/Sweden could learn from that!!

Wergie
Wergie
6 years ago

‘They have nothing to do with Russia’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine..’
So, typical for an westerner. David congratulations, you’re brainwashed. Look, Russia do not destabilize Ukraine.., or at least not as it does UK/USA. Anyway, if Russia does, it has all rights to do so, since these lands South/East of Ukraine is actually always been Russian and the majority of people living there are the Russians. Even Kiev is a mother of Russian cities- so its called in old slavic chronicles.
#stopwatchingBBCCNN-watchRT

Katie Wilson
Editor
6 years ago

I really like this post 🙂 I think a lot of people forget that the Western media does show a lot of bias against Russia while the Russian media presents a different bias. That’s to be expected – it’s just important to focus on the facts of the news rather than the angle of the news. In regards to the anti-gay laws, I saw a lot of gay couples when was in Moscow last April and the people who gave them a second glance weren’t the local Police or Russians nearby but the tourists whispering to each other, “Look, RUSSIAN… Read more »

JAy
JAy
6 years ago

Not a classy song! Closer to the Crime(a)

Thiefo
Thiefo
6 years ago

Thank you David! I’m glad someone at wiwibloggs decided to post something like this, I think the russian act deserved more love. People keep saying Eurovision sould stay out of politics, but it’s the same people who hate on a pair of twins just because of the country they represent, and see a political message in a seesaw and a giant fan… I mean, really? Talking exclusively about the act, leaving what is happening in the country out of the equation, Russia got a very deserved 7th place. The song itself is nothing special, but I think the twins deserve… Read more »

Amperglyph
Amperglyph
6 years ago

To me, there was one thing I was really happy about with Russia this year: they were substantially less tacky than they were in 2013. Any nation that improves on last year, rather than sliding back deserves some degree of respect for it.

David
David
6 years ago

A song from Russia about the importance of showing love and being friends. Performed by two young cute girls…. One word! DISGUSTING!

Russia deserved to be booed!

Amy
Amy
6 years ago

I think this song and entry was not good, not classy! The only special with the Russian entry was that it was so crap!

Ohdear
Ohdear
6 years ago

I don’t agree. I know Russia very well, and I am pretty sure that the organizers (and the politicians) would miss the chance to make a statement in front of 195 million viewers! Take a look at the performance again: Monozygotic twins, bound togethers with their hair on a weird construction kept in perfect balance. As soon as they start to move away from each other and the hairy connection is lost, the seesaw or scale gets out of balance. One of the sisters even steps off the construction – but in the end they are standing hand in hand… Read more »

beccaboo1212
6 years ago

Eurovision NEEDS Russia!!!

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

David, I think you’ve gone overboard. The act wasn’t that good and you’ve completely ignored all the hate which has come out of Russia towards Conchita, both before and after the contest. Hardly surprising some if it came back to them, and also (in Amsterdam especially) to Aram mp3. And why do we keep calling them 17 year-old “girls” ? They are fully grown women and experienced performers at this level.

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

Callum Nowacki
“It’s like Russia’s anti-gay laws; Eurovision fans have anti-Russia laws – quite contradictory, really.

What a very silly thing to say. In Russia, the anti-gay laws give justification to those who persecute gay people. All the Eurovision fans did is boo at the mention of Russia. It’s not “like” those laws at all.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

I really liked that song, and the twins. But overall, I still like Russia as a country. It’s the country that gave shelter to Edward Snowden and that gave us wonderful Winter Olympics.

DJ
DJ
6 years ago

Quite a turnaround from the post of your collegue, ‘James Puchowski the Scotland correspondent for WiwiBloggs.Com.’

He states . . . “But in the current climate it would feel natural for me to boo. I’m sorry that it has come to this.”

Callum Nowacki
Callum Nowacki
6 years ago

Russia were sublime this year.

And it’s true, Eurovision fans take it out on Channel 1, and Russia’s entrants, which is a despicable thing really.

It’s like Russia’s anti-gay laws; Eurovision fans have anti-Russia laws – quite contradictory, really.

D
D
6 years ago

I agree 100%, it disgusts me seeing people saying things like “I wish Russia left ESC”, “ESC would be better without Russia” and stuff like that. No matter the politics of the country, the winner should be decided on the song and only the song.

nano
nano
6 years ago

I truely want to russsia comback next year

kaseylinn
kaseylinn
6 years ago

Couldn’t agree more!