Russia, Polina Gagarina, 1

Yesterday morning the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — headed to Moscow. Being lovers of top Insta-opportunities we hit St Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square, threw a few filters on our gorgeous selfies and then found a cute little cafe for some nourishing Russian soup. While dunking hearty homemade bread, we lent our ears to Russia’s Polina Gagarina and her Eurovision 2015 entry “A Million Voices”. Did we love it or where we rushing to leave Russia? Read on to find out! 

Russia’s Eurovision 2015 song

Reviews: Polina Gagarina with ‘A Million Voices’

Angus: Mother has arrived! Soaring among the best productions this year, Polina Gagarina brings the world together and unites us all through modern technology. Cities and satellites build bridges between Europe and tie us all together and that is what the Eurovision Song Contest is all about. Russia have given us the Earth goddess and every time I hear ‘A Million Voices’ it is difficult to resist the jubilant diamond jubilee message.

Score: 9/10

Russia, Polina Gagarina, 8Bogdan: Another peace song from Russia, seriously? What is it now, third year in a row? I’m sorry. I know it’s not a political contest, but I can’t with Russia. The fact that this was internally selected less than a year after #MH17 is pure insolence. I am a fan of Polina Gagarina’s (please don’t boo her, audience) and that’s why this doesn’t get zero points, but the formulaic song itself, together with its cheesy lyrics, grinds on my nerves. It’s the typical made-for-Eurovision crap that will now get votes from Belarus, Azerbaijan and the like, and I am sick of it.

Score: 1/10

Chris: Much like Maria-Elena, it’s Polina’s voice that is really going to carry her. “A Million Voices” has the same old Eurovision themes of peace and love, which of course raises eyebrows because it’s Russia. I also find the song weaker than “What If” from 2013 – but Dina managed to come 5th and I wouldn’t rule out Russia doing nearly as well this year. Perhaps it will deserve it for Polina’s talents, but it definitely will not for the song.

Score: 6/10

Deban: “A Million Voices” is gratingly cheesy, but I LOVED it until the refrain “..sing it out”. It is an unnecessary ad-lib that hurts the overall song quality. Polina is pitch-perfect, and has a respectable pedigree. However, with her chosen song, she comes off as just another puppet on a pop-music production line.

Score: 7/10

Polina Gagarina Russia Eurovision Secret Poison1Denise: Everyone is talking about the political side of this song and yes it’s a little strange coming from Russia, but come on…! The song is really good, Polina has an amazing voice and the video clip looks fantastic, so there’s no reason to hate this just because of the country she’s born in. She deserves a really high placing, even if I was a little upset in the beginning because I thought Polina would give us an upbeat pop song.

Score: 9/10

Padraig: Cynical. Hypocritical. Manipulative. The message contained within a “Million Voices” is all of these and more. But we must overlook this and remember that Eurovision is a song contest. Polina will be the one taking to the stage in Vienna, not Putin. Whereas Dina and the Tolmachevys both delivered rather insipid sets, Polina is full of life. Her voice soars, and as she sings so do our spirits. Both the song and singer deserve points solely on their own merits. It will be a great shame if they receive nothing but boos.

Score: 8/10

Robyn: It doesn’t help that the opening line of the song sounds like “We are the worst people”. I know Eurovision is staunchly apolitical, but it’s so hard to separate the cloying sentiment of the song from the actions of Russia over the past year. The contrast ends up giving “A Million Voices” a really dark, cynical feeling. Polina Gagarina is a great singer, but the song is a dull, by-the-numbers Eurovision ballad. Russia could, in so many ways, do so much better.

Score: 3/10

Sopon: With the voice of Kelly Clarkson and a blinding smile, how could I not like Polina? Well, the fact that her song is soggier than a bowl of cereal left out for several hours helps me dislike the entry. The lyrics are cheesy and the excessive use of children and the elderly in the clip don’t make it any better. Russia’s internal selections continuously prove that no matter what stars they bring into Eurovision, the voice and name are more important and the song comes second.

Score: 3/10

Russia, Polina Gagarina, 3

William: Whenever I think this is about to veer into boring Polina cranks it up. At 28 seconds we get a timpani. At 41 seconds we get a new beat. At 54 seconds we get some drums. And throughout we get a positive message carried by pitch-perfect vocals. I don’t care if Vladimir Putin is a monster. Polina Gagarina is my goddess.

Score: 8.5/10

William C: This song is quite okay for me. I don’t really understand the hype some people are placing on Polina’s shoulders though. Yes she can sing, but this style doesn’t suit her. I cringe sometimes because of the cheesiness. While I never loved it, it’s a like/hate relationship with this song. These type of songs however will do relatively well, and I know that she will be smooth-sailing to the final. I hope the ride ends there, but I know it won’t.

Score: 4.5/10

Our first impression (March 15)

Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores. 

Anthony: 8/10

Francheska: 6.5/10

Josh: 8/10

Judit: 3/10

Kristin: 4/10

Liam: 6.5/10

Luis: 6/10

Marek: 5/10

Mario: 9.5/10

Max: 9/10

Mike: 10/10

Mikhail: 9.5/10

Patrick: 8/10

Ramadan: 8/10

Renske: 8.5/10

Rezo: 9.5/10

Sami: 6.5/10

Sinan: 9/10

Zach: 8/10

To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 7.06/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2015 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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Andrei
Guest
Andrei

Hi Everyone, I’m from Russia and I wanted to tell that what I read in comments on different websites about Russia is just very upsetting. I couldn’t even imagine that people hates Russia so much. All the Russians I know are unbeliviably kind and tolerant to all people from all over the world (even thoungh you can’t say from the first look cause Russians may seem gloomy, that’s kinda a trait of national character, but on the inside they are very frinedly and delightful), so it breaks my heart knowing that so many people hating us. I know it’s all… Read more »

Hiro
Guest
Hiro

I thought Russia gives the best singer with the (not-so) worst song ever. I really like Polina and her voice, but “A Million Voices” doesn’t give me any chills like “What If” does. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, they sent a really good and strong songs but this year I feel this song is much weaker. I really like world peace themed song, but this song is a no. Still, Polina is great singer.

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

She is really pretty and has a strong voice. I hope by next year, Russia will stop sending these ‘world peace’ themed songs and get back on track.

Francisco
Guest
Francisco

I have always complained about the politics of Eurovision. We have to look at each song based on artistic merits, we all know the voting is always done politically and not artistically, but we, as reviewers, ought to transcend that pettyness. I don’t particularly care for Tsar Putin and his bonker ideas, but this is a lovely song, the music is very well developed, her voice is amazing and instrumentally, it’s very nicely orchestrated. In short, it is an amazing song, it won’t win, of course, because of the politics mentioned above, but it is a great song and she… Read more »

Deea
Guest
Deea

@TeleRoger “I hate to say it but I do like the song and Polina is giving it her best.” Polina is such an amazing singer, but I don’t think she gives her best. She can do much better with this song. I’ve watched her in “Million voices” live performances and though she was smiling most of the time, her eyes spoke a different story. I don’t know if it was because she felt some negative pressure from Eurovision fans or because she is aware of the fact that joining “Russia” with “peace”, in a time when Russia took a “trip”… Read more »

Deea
Guest
Deea

I have to go with @wozzeck on this one. Eurovision is not a talent show but a competition between countries, so yes, we are entitled to feel like puking when we hear Russia speaking about peace. It is not Polina’s fault and she shouldn’t be booed, but it’s difficult to ignore all the innocent blood that flood the earth in Russian wars (and this also includes dead Russian soldiers who were just disposable pawns for their government).

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Rebecca, Deven: Good point.

@Wozzeck (2nd post): Also a good point, I have to say.

Right not, after my 2nd evaluation, it is a toss-up to qualify (13th on my card for the 1st round). The music reminds me of their 2013 entry, along with a few songs from the 1980s.

Jeremiah
Guest
Jeremiah

Can we please make sure the backup dancers don’t show up? God…

TeleRoger
Guest
TeleRoger

I hate to say it but I do like the song and Polina is giving it her best.
I hope she doesn’t get the Boo’s in the auditorium
Sure the voting can get the Boo’s
Deserves a left side of the scoreboard finish

Adams
Guest
Adams

I like it’s music and I think it’s well produced, but the lyrics of this song are just… A million voices… calling for what? In what kind of dream do you believe?

Michael
Guest
Michael

The song will be in the top 5.Because It’s Russia and the song is good.I would like Russia to win.So the gay people will stop booing.I mean they are shouting about peace,respect and equality.But last year they booed 2 harmless 17-year old girls and made them feel like shit.Please!!!!!

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

Hold on a second. ESC is not just a song contest and performers arent just mere artists. Some countries thightly monitorize the profile of their perfomers and the message they want to comunicante with each song. Therefore their entries arent just an expression of art, they are tools from goverments with agendas. Let’ s not be naive here. It’s ok to like this song, it’s a strong entry. But lets not forget who is it representing and what is it trying to sell us.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

It may be Russia’s 3rd song in a row about peace. But I don’t care, it’s a great song. There is no doubt that Polina will get booed in Vienna. Which is a pity because it is a song contest, not a political playground. What goes on in Putin’s regime is out of her control. It’s not Polina’s fault. In fact, I sympathize with her, the Russian delegation and the people of Russia in general. It’s the fault of Mr. Vladimir Putin and his crew. He’s to blame for the political turmoil, the invasion of Ukraine (and possibly Moldova in… Read more »

ct
Guest
ct

Yes it is generic and it is cynical. However it is also masterfully well done and Polina, along with Greece’s Maria Elena, is the best female singer this year. I don’t necessarily approve of it but I certtainly enjoy it…

R
Guest
R

It’s a good song, but I will never stand behind Russia.

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

I love how objective everyone is. If this was a song from a Western country, it would do top 5 for sure, now I don’t know.

Graph
Guest

6/10

It’s good, but I like Russia’s song last year more – it had a stronger sense of character and style. But people said it was dated. I’m only 23 but my mental age must be a lot older cause people say all my favorite Eurovision songs are old fashioned lol

Alex
Guest
Alex

“What If” was a much better song than this…

Z24
Guest
Z24

I don’t dislike this song for Russia. I dislike it because it’s dull, corny, grating and not good.

Peace songs aren’t unwelcome, but songs like this talk down to their listeners and comes across as preachy and undwrwhelming. The fact Russia has sent these 3 years in a row is what makes it semipropagandistic and repetitive. Polina is the one to give us Serebro like beats, not a preachy message.

Rayman
Guest
Rayman

Don’t know if I can bring anything new here… It’s a nice song, the best Russia has sent for some years, but I feel like it’s too… generic? I’ve read that Polina is a very good performer, so I’m looking forward to the stage performance. I can’t help but feel that the song’s deeply cynical though, with it’s positive uniting message. Just the title leaves a bad taste in my mouth, given how many opposing voices are silenced in today’s Russia. Of course all countries have their problems, but the question is how many are on the same level as… Read more »

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

I hate being grumpy and annoying… but this is definitely not my cup of tea. Dull, boring and I can’t stand the video.

Bronson
Guest
Bronson

This is a strong contender for a Top 5 spot, but it won’t win because there are better songs (and Western Europe because it’s Russia).

It’s actually incredibly frustrating how people say that Eurovision is to unite people and they complain that people disrespect gays, yet they throw major shade at Russia. Double standards anyone? It’s a great song, so get over yourself and your biased opinions.

per
Guest

This song is awful. Its shit. Its old, i have herd it before. Russia BUUUUUUUUUU

Mark Dowd
Guest
Mark Dowd

Like Sweden, this feels mass produced, song composition by focus groups and is therefore ticking all the common denominator boxes…forget the politics, the fact that she can sing…it’s a highly plastic and unoriginal song, just like Russia 2013…”What If?”……7th place, with the usual countries voting for it. Thank God for Norway, Slovenia and Australia who are trying to break the mould a bit.

Mario
Guest
Mario

By the way,I don’t think that Polina will get booed in Vienna…At the most intense degree we will hear just only few mild booings & thats all..

rob
Guest

Bogdan are you serious???
1/10??????

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

A great song from Russia – better than last year but I can only describe the song as ‘great’ – nothing less , nothing more.
7/10

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

Noah – if a Russian entry can’t be criticized without the person criticizing it being considered someone who hates the entire country, you’d almost think that being from Russia would be an asset rather than a liability.

Oostenrijk
Guest
Oostenrijk

I like Russia still as a county but this song gets Lost & Forgotten, at least for me.

Oostenrijk
Guest
Oostenrijk

It’s a good song, but seriously, it’s no coincidence Russia sends a sweet, innocent song of Peace. That’s a bland, political move.

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

8,7/10

Nice voice, song and video. I really like the strong refrain. And the sing it out part, where she gives all her power.

Jonathan UK
Guest
Jonathan UK

10/10 Please, get over yourself people! This is amazing! If this was sent to ESC by a country like Sweden or Norway, it would be the hot favourite! It is an amazingly well written song, from a hell of a singer and has an amazing, amazing message! You need to think about the song and not be such a hypocrite (you want peace but then go skating a country?). Come on people, this is a SONG contest, not your favourite country contest. Vote with that in mind! Irrespective of the opinions of the WiWi Jury, Russia will sail through the… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

Well, what can I say really? Its Mother Russia at its most stereotypical when it comes to Eurovision. Polina looks absolutely stunning and sings the song fantastically, but I am so over these hypocritical peace songs and cheesy ballads. I actually dont think I have ever liked a song from Russia, perhaps maybe only 2009’s “Mamo”. Russia needs to enter with something uptempo and dancy,(And no, Alex Sparrow doesnt count, he loved himself much more than his perfomance) I thought Moscow was renowned for its all night raves and all night club culture? Why not bring this to ESC for… Read more »

Noah
Guest
Noah

You seem to hate Russia and that hate is ruining your taste of music. This is a well produced song, like it or not, and if this came from Denmark, for example, you would have loved it. And why so “3rd peace song in a row”. Why is that even matter when you’re judging THIS song? Sometimes…no, it seems to me that you always see the things through glasses other than the musical ones. And that Serbia profiling and score giving is the prime example of it. That song will be long forgotten if it came from the Czech Republic… Read more »

Allen
Guest
Allen

Booing last year was one of the worst moment I have ever seen in Eurovision and it just showed how hypocritical are some self proclaimed Eurovision fans. Booing Russia and at the same time not booing: -Israel (a country that has been terrorizing thousands of civilians year after year. And btw they send peace songs very often but then fans clap their hands and say :”Cool, peace message”. Awful.) -France (a country that literally expelled without any legal rights one ethnic minority) – Should I continue with the list?! Think about your own country. Every country has some serious problems… Read more »

Alex
Guest

Russia is top 5 for me 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH3ho9DJH7w

John
Guest
John

Why is Bogdan giving this 1/10 because of the country she’s from? So much bias, judge the freaking song from how it sounds you nut.

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Polina is AMAZING. Love her song and I hope she does well <3

Easpag
Guest
Easpag

The song is awfully cheesy and lacks any sincerity. Completely over-produced, and it’s horribly disconnected. Disappointing. 4/10

eurovisionfun
Guest
eurovisionfun

I’m the only one who think that this song is bad….but I think that it doesn’t have something special , it’s just a boring song………..

Dmitriy
Guest
Dmitriy

And what about MH370, eurovision “analytics”?

What we can do if Vladimir Putin so popular? But Eurovisin is not about geopolitics, it’s about music.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Hopefully people will forget about what country has sent this and just focus on the song. If they do not, it does not matter. Either way, it results in a lot of eye-rolling. With Boggie bringing the hand-holding, love-the-world song with a lot more sincerity, this should get the cold shoulder that it deserves. Boring, repetitive and annoying towards the end, this is a real waste of a talented artist. Terrible song choice.
4/10

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

People don’t always agree with their country’s government, like if Ed Miliband is elected I’m leaving the UK. Who knows if Polina agrees, who knows if her song or the previous songs were a protest? But, we know this….THEY ARE NOT INVOLVED WITH THE RUSSIA GOVERNMENT..except last year when they were singing about the annexation of Crimea. With this song, it took me a few listens to love..then a few more to hate it. 6.5/10.

Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love ~ From Rainbow Russia With Gay Love..
Guest
Mario ~ My Vision of Gay Love ~ From Rainbow Russia With Gay Love..

I actually LIKE Russia’s entry 4 this year’s Vision <3 🙂
With a great performance Polina Ga(y)Ga(y)rina <3 not only can qualify from the SF but do very descently on the final.. 🙂
Good Luck to her 🙂

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

9/10 Another one of ten songs in the contest that I have in my playlist (number 10 in my top 40). An uplifting ballad in the midst of ballads about pain, suffering and whatnot, with the lyrics presenting a sense of hope (sadly ironic) makes me feel better if I’m in a mood. That being said, I find it kinda cheesy but it’s something I can stomach. This is wishful thinking but I’m hoping Polina doesn’t receive the reception that the Tolmachevy Twins got last year. They didn’t deserve it and neither does she. Given Russia’s track record, this is… Read more »

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Polina is beautiful and has one of the best voices this year. The song has immediate impact and is very catchy and sounds like so many songs, which is what it is supposed to do. It’s good, but I’m disappointed as it sounds like a manufactured made to measure big song by numbers and has almost sickly OTT lyrics and video. They are trying too hard to create a nice image to be liked and it really shows but does not work. It’s basically written by the same team that wrote “What if” for Dina Garipova in 2013 which came… Read more »

WTF
Guest
WTF

I have listened to some of her other work and I have to say I’m disappointed with this entry. It’s decent and, being Russia, it will probably do well but with something like “Spektakl’ Okonchen” or “Shagay” they would have been serious contenders to win. Not to mention Polina is smoking hot…

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

The fact that Vladimir Putin isn’t onstage doesn’t mean that what is on stage is anything but the biggest piece of fluff since “Running Scared.”

Steven
Guest
Steven

Lol people actually hating on this song. Do you think they run the song past Putin first to get his go ahead?! This song is beautiful and mesmerizing. If this is booed it is clearly for political reasons. Would you start booing Ireland if they failed to pass the marriage referendum?! Literally loling. Polina is going to rock Vienna and this song is guaranteed top 10, not because of neighbour voting, but because it is an incredible song. Ireland have given Russia points 2/3 last years, is that neighbour voting? No it’s because they actually send amazing songs year in… Read more »

wozzeck
Guest
wozzeck

Overcalculated overproduced extracynical music void. That would be bad enough, but this is ESC, and above the song, the singer, the staging and the voice, is the country. Of course it will be top 5 because it’s Russia. That’s why I will love when it gets booed for the same reason.