In July we learned that Latvia’s Eurovision 2015 star Aminata had auditioned for The Voice of Russia 2016.
And on Friday Russia’s Channel One finally broadcast the episode featuring her blind audition.
The Latvian songstress — who placed second in the jury vote at Eurovision, ahead of The Voice judge Polina Gagarina — chose to sing Polina ‘s old hit “Ya tebya ne proschyu nikogda”.
She nailed the performance not only with her powerful voice, but also with her pure Russian, which lacked any accent, leaving one of the judges surprised and impressed.
Two former Eurovision participants — Polina and Dima Bilan — turned their seats for Aminata, who came off as humble as ever.
The “A Million Voices” singer complimented Aminata on her performance at Eurovision 2015 and was bursting with positive comments and feelings for her old pal.
For his part, the Eurovision 2008 winner was practically begging Aminata to join his team, joking that “friendship interferes with work”, making her old acquaintance Polina less fit to work with her.
But as expected, Aminata chose her 2015 rival and now mentor Polina Gagarina.
In the grand final, Polina finished as the runner-up overall, while Aminata came sixth.
The sequence was all good-spirited and friendly, though there was one slight gaffe, when one judge seemed confused by Aminata’s ethnicity.
After praising her voice and talent he queried the colour of her skin, not knowing that her father hails from the African nation of Burkina Faso. Although he was attempting to give her a compliment, it all came off a little awkward.
Aminata brushed off the comments like the pro she is.
#Eurovison alum #Aminata served Burkina Faso realness on The Voice of Russia last night. Then a judge says THIS 🙁 pic.twitter.com/eI7t3VMTeN
— William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) September 10, 2016
Did you like Aminata’s blind audition? Let us know in the comments section below.
I didn’t known Aminata was fluent in Russian, but it sounds logical, since her mother is Latvian-Russian, she must have learned to speak both languages. Does anyone know if she speaks her father’s native African language, too? That would make her trilingual, which is interesting.
Guliguli, I totally agree with you, Russia is bigger and more divers than anyone could imagine, just look at a map to see what country is the biggest, and I am not russian, but I want to say that eastern countries are so used to be relaxed about race, only american movies are very condescendent about telling others how to fight against racism…..as if…..
@an esc fan Western people are sensitive to skin color because of the long history of slavery and colonialism in their countries. “What color are your eyes?” and “what color is your skin?” are both normal questions in Russia. Of course there are racists in Russia, like anywhere but a person asking such a question can never be considered racist. Racists are those who think they are better only because they were born the way they were born. People who have nothing else to be proud of except their skin color or eyes form and not the ones who are… Read more »
Remember that the color of the skin is like the color of the hair / eyes.
So it’s not a big deal after all. Western countries are too sensitive about that, in east people are more relaxed, maybe because since Middle Age till now, racism was not really that big in the east, like in the west.
Awesome! Hope Russia will give her more opportunities than ESC did. Fingers crossed Team Polina or Team Dima wins!
@Zack sounds interesting. Why not. In 2017 Channel One is responsible for the representative. They usually choose someone who is very popular in Russia at the moment of Selection (Polina Gagarina in 2015, Dina Garipova in 2013, Alexey Vorobyov in 2011, national selection in 2009, Serebro in 2007, national selection in 2005, Tatu in 2003, Alsu in 2001) Besides, the jury won’t vote against her only because she is Russian. For example, all members of Lithuanian jury board won’t rank her 26th.
Got a great idea, depending on Aminata’s popularity on the Voice. She could be a great representative for Russia in ESC 2017. Since she was a jury favourite, it would deter the “jury bias” against Russia.
@Maclaren She will shine brightly and become huge star in Russia, I am sure. The Voice is the most popular TV show watched all over the CIS countries. Her one appearance in the show benefits more than the participation in Eurovision.
There is a gossip in social media that it was Polina who pursuaded Aminata to participate in order to get more career momentum. A place in the final guaranteed?
@Jamaraqueer, William tweeted #…Then a judge says THIS 🙁 I agree it was stupid question, but he said immediately about her unique look: european face and dark skin. So it was kind of compliment!
Anyway her audition has already more than 250 000 views on youtube!
No, for example Elhaida Dani, Albanian that wins The Voice Italy
Just a wonder: Shouldn’t contestants of each country’s version of The Voice be residents/citizens of the country they’re auditioning in?
And doesn’t Aminata already have a fledgeling career? Why the need to audition?
Wait, didn’t Aminata audition for this format in another country a couple of months before? That’s some progress I tell youxD
Anyway, she was my favorite in 2015 <3
Her mother is a Russian Latvian like Markus Riva, which explains why she auditioned for Golos. Great audition and so glad that she’s part of team polina!
Talent supporting talent, what’s new. Buy ‘9’ by Polina Gagarina on iTunes! Wiwibloggs, y’all should make an article about her new, bilingual, dark pop album – it’s brilliant!
She’ll easily win this – maybe she can sing “Love Injected” as her final performance! The west, especially english-speaking countries, and the East have veeeery different views on racism, btw. There are so many subtleties to consider in the English-speaking world that yes, if this were an American/UK/Aus show and the judge asked that, then it would be major news and he would probably get fired. So that’s why some of us can recognize instances of racism where some might not see. Either way the judge’s *intent* was to just be curious about her ethnicity, so it’s all innocent and… Read more »
Aminata! You are such a sweet and talented woman. A perfect presentator for Latvia. So classssy…!
@Lina — the presentation of what happened is completely fair…especially in 140 characters. And, in any event, this post clarifies that even further.
William, please why are you making big thing of this question????
You took it out of context. He was impressed by her unique look!
And Agutin is famous for his lOve to color women. Check this out https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3CSm6MGE9EM
@Sal It may sound racist if considered out of context. Agutin was amazed by her appearance, he says “you have European features and color skin which is very unusual” Leps says “And how she sings!” Agutin adds “Your voice is amazing too”. Then Gagarina says “…I feel awkward sitting in the chair of the coach, because when we were both participating at Eurovision, I was shocked by her amazing song, her scene image, and of course her fenomenal voice with cosmic voice range which has no limits…”
The one judge asks Aminata ‘is that a tan?’…wow