The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have reassembled to celebrate the 2010s. The past decade has seen huge changes to the Eurovision Song Contest, and we’re taking a look back at the top-three placed acts from year year.

First up, we’re heading to the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria to review Russia‘s Polina Gagarina with her epic power ballad “A Million Voices”.

In 2015, Russia needed something wonderful and hopeful after unfortunate incidents in 2014. Enter Polina Gagarina, the stunning blonde songstress with lungs for days, and her power ballad “A Million Voices”. Despite the world peace message and all-in-white music video (and later staging), there was a sense of modernity that Russia’s 2013 entry “What If” didn’t possess. The act brought a sincerity in the belief of the message from Polina herself — proved by her posing for pictures with Conchita, an act less than favourable with the broadcaster, but revered across Europe.

The aforementioned lungs for days made a top-five finish inevitable. Polina did better than many expected, getting 303 points and taking home the metaphorical silver medal. Some had said that if “A Million Voices” were up against Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Heroes” in 2019, Polina would walk it — but will our jury feel the same?

Polina Gagarina – “A Million Voices”

“A Million Voices” reviews

Sebastian: It was a somewhat ignored performance that laid under the radar back in 2015. But when you look back at Polina’s performance (and remove any of the clear anti-Russian bias of the time), you’re left with staggering vocals and a visually stunning backdrop with an equally visually stunning singer. Yes, it might be power-ballad-by-numbers, but it is the best rendition of its genre.

Score: 9/10

Robyn: Four years later, the “A Million Years” performance comes across as a number from a Christian family concert. It’s so wholesome, but in a way that doesn’t fit with the altered political landscape of 2019. Polina’s heartfelt vocals can’t be faulted, but viewing this song now, it feels like a relic of its age.

Score: 6.5/10

Jonathan: In all honesty, “A Million Voices” passed me by in 2015 and I fell in love with Polina more for her post-Eurovision discography. Looking back now, it’s clear she flawlessly delivered an inspirational power ballad that’s easily accessible for people of all nationalities. The performance is a good example of how to effectively use the LEDs and lighting options provided by the in-house stage team to enhance the emotion of the song (even if that emotion is craving egg for breakfast the next morning). Polina’s passion and vocal talent helps lift the song, and her joy after finishing the performance is the cherry on top that endears her to the audience at home.

Score: 8.5/10

Oliver: In my eyes, 2015 was the turning point for Russia in terms of the quality of their entries in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the years following “A Million Voices”, all of Russia’s songs — while performed by credible artists — felt a little flat to me and never placed highly in my rankings. However, “A Million Voices” has a powerful yet gentle charm that was magnified to galactic proportions during the live performance.  The vocals, the staging, visuals and Polina’s photogenicity all tied this entry together, catapulting her to the best Russian Eurovision song alongside Serebro’s “Song #1”.

Score: 10/10

Barnabas: Russia has been criticised several times for sending a ballad about peace and love which seemed paradoxical to the political situations of the time (Eurovision is a non-political event, huh?). But who cares about that if musically those songs just work? “A Million Voices” wasn’t in my personal top five but the top-notch live performance and staging truly made the result deserved. Just one more thing… can I have that transparent drum kit for myself? (haha)

Score: 8.5/10

Charlotte: This was definitely winner material. “A Million Voices” is the most memorable runner-up in my Eurovision history — Polina had it all! I absolutely loved her performance. That strong voice and that Cinderella white dress, backing vocalists and a band! Everything came into place at the right moment. Pure magic. Polina blew me away.

Score: 9/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:

William: 8.5/10

Antranig: 8.5/10

Pablo: 6/10

Angus: 6/10

Lucy: 8/10

Bernardo: 7.5/10

Deban: 8/10

Calvin: 6/10

Luis: 6.5/10

Kristin: 6/10

Edd: 8/10

Lukas: 9/10

Florian: 7/10

Steinunn: 6.5/10

Natalie: 9/10

Julian: 8/10

Katie: 7/10

Tom: 8.5/10

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 6 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.7/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all of our Wiwi Jury of the 2010s rankings here.

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Regina Phalange
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Regina Phalange

My favorite esc song ever

Jonas
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Jonas

I remember the 2015 final was the same the day the results of the Irish marriage equality referendum were announced – where “yes” won with just over a million votes. I always associate A Million Voices with the million voices who made marriage equality a reality in Ireland, so that gives the song its power for me.

Joe
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Joe

And Ireland gave it a good vote!

Ben ESC
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Ben ESC

i remember not wanting this to win in 2015 because it was russia’s song and i didnt want eurovision to go to russia, but looking back it was probably my second favourite and i should’ve been more supportive of it 🙂

Vlad
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Vlad

I was disappointed in her when she performed in video for Putin’s support along with some other russian singers like Dima Bilan. I thought she is higher than politics.

Indiana07
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Indiana07

Absolutely, the jury should have put this lower too in 2015 (the Russian diaspora obviously votes for it)

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Maybe this is required to have a career in Russia? lol I don’t actually know if I’m joking or seriously asking this question.

Joe
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Joe

It’s weird. Folks like Sergey Lazarev and Philipp Kirkorov have said some stuff that I’m surprised hasn’t gotten them in trouble over there (like supporting Crimean independence and LGBT rights), but Kirkorov is still tight with Putin, which I don’t get.

Trash KAN
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Trash KAN

Excellent singer. Stream her 2016 album “9”.

Fast Food Music Lover
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Fast Food Music Lover

Shame it participated in such a competitive year otherwise the contest would’ve went to Moscow.

Vlad
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Vlad

your avatar reminds me of singer from 80’s russian group “Alliance”

Polegend Godgarina
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it reminds me of aivaras stepukonis from lithuania 2002

Polegend Godgarina
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had she represented ukraine she would’ve won easily in the 2015 political climate

Max
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Max

I think this is one of my all time favourite Russian entries, why? Because it’s sung with REAL emotion, not overly dramatic looks.

The studio cut was, as I call it a “eurovision song from a Northern European country”, which means that it was a really well produced song, with somewhat nice lyrics that were easy to sing a long and really, really soulless.

So you cannot imagine my surprise when I heard her during the semifinal, I got emotional! That was truly an amazing performance.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

At the time, I found her overrated as a singer. Her performance at Eurovision was pretty shaky. Having said that, in the years since, I’ve watched a lot more of her stuff and she is actually really, really good.
As an entry though, not one of my favourites.

Polegend Godgarina
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best song of the decade yet some of y’all still did her dirty smh. it has like 2,500 plays on my itunes

Joe
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Joe

Y’know, I wouldn’t have figured you for a fan of that song. Not obvious.

Jo.
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Jo.

Their best entry in this decade BY FAR
Song: 7/10
Performance 9.5/10
Staging: 9/10

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

This was the song that overcame the politics of the time. For that, the credit has to go to the five songwriters (yes, five), and to Polina herself. Polina displayed such emotion in the Grand Final it really was enough to fuel more than a million voices, and won her millions of adoring fans. This was a remarkable achievement, and fully deserved its 2nd place that year. It might have even won the contest, which is astonishing. Ah the power of the message through music. I am somewhat surprised that opinion is so divided over this one. A cheesy karaoke… Read more »

Michael
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Michael

Although I think this is the best song Russia’s sent in the 2010s, I still think that “A Million Voices” is still only decent as it’s a pretty basic peace song that feels like karaoke. Still, Polina gave it her all and made it work on stage with her passionate vocals. But, if it had been given to anyone else besides Polina (and if it had gone to a country besides Russia) we’d probably remember it about as well as Wars for Nothing.

Joe
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Joe

Wars for Nothing was a good song, dammit.

Joe
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Joe

And of course it isn’t Russia’s best song this decade. That honor goes to Party for Everybody and it isn’t close.

Michael
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Michael

I like Wars for Nothing too, but I don’t think Eurofans really remember it all that well, regardless of my opinion.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Polina did a terrific job (and also who gave her that dress and haircut) and Russia executed the “Love, Love, Peace, Peace” theme (that wouldn’t had been named this way yet, of course) in a very ellegant way. But the song is quite basic and the good-message-power-ballad thing lost so much steam recently that it even feels that this sound is not from 2015, but much earlier. It would make my top 10, but definitely not even close to my top 5.

Rob
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Rob

I think Russia is in a pickle right now. They could either become the country that reassures itself by hoping on the votes of former Soviet-countries, or be more democratic and open up to the rest of the world. Because the rest of the world is letting them down right now. Russia seemed to have lost contact with the West, so they don’t easily get the votes from that part of the world. Because even though it should not be about politics: it always has, and always will be. Remember Britain after the invasion of Iraq? I don’t reckon people… Read more »

Tibor
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Tibor

The upside down year of 2015. A lot of musically more interesting songs were buried in the lower top 10 or outside of it, and 3 songs competed for the crown none of which deserved to win. It’s almost as if the juries didn’t do their job properly, which – as we know – happens once in a while.
Out of the top 3 of that year, for me personally “A million voices” still would have been the best choice, but as a song, honestly, it’s not really remarkable. She has a nice vocal tone though.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Though I like the top 3 for different reasons, I can relate a lot to your post, Tibor. My favorites all did very well, but weren’t contenders for the crow: Norway, Estonia, Belgium, Latvia and Slovenia.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Norway is my one true winner. Their low televoting score was not amusing at all.

Tibor
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Tibor

Yeah, Norway, Estonia, Belgium, Latvia, Slovenia, even Georgia would have deserved a victory more that year, I personally was a Maraaya fan boy, but the battle was fought between the three tenors, a power ballad peace song and a really unimaginative pop number. The 2015 voting was very confusing to me and I was fearing for the worst for the rest of the decade. But luckily, it remained the low point.

Joe
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Joe

Sweden and Italy I still really enjoy, but I’m more likely to bump to Belgium, Slovenia, Norway, or Israel if I’m revisiting 2015.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I always find it hard evaluating 2015 because it sits between the amazing Eurovision years of 2014 and 2016. There are songs I really like (like yourself, they mostly sat at the bottom end of the top ten) but overall, I thought the quality was a bit lacking that year.
I disliked all of the top three (at the time) but since then, Italy’s entry has really grown on me, so much so that is it now in my top five of that year.

Tibor
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Tibor

I wouldn’t say that qualitywise 2015 was weaker than 14 or 16, I only have issues with the outcome. In my opinion, apart from 2011 the quality of the 2010s was pretty consistent.

Joe
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Joe

Good heart, strong performance, by-the-numbers power ballad. One of the best examples I can think of of a song that is elevated entirely through its performance. 7.5/10.

Joe
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Joe

When there were far more interesting songs or bigger jams that year (pretty much everything else in the top ten, plus unfairly-ignored songs like Slovenia, Romania, Georgia, Ireland, Finland, and Germany), this just doesn’t feel worthy of having been such a fierce contender until the second half of the voting. Eurovision had been going in such a cool direction in terms of winners after Loreen won – this would’ve taken us back to Running Scared (but make no mistake, it’s an infinitely better song than Running Scared. At least it’s trying to say something).

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Finally I see someone else who enjoys Finland 2015! I don’t really understand the hate this song gets – granted, it isn’t a masterpiece, but a very nice piece of punk music performed with an astonishing amount of pure energy. Honestly it’s a pity they finished last in the semi. And don’t say anything about Ireland, her NQ breaks my heart till this day…

Joe
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Joe

As someone with a (mild) mental disability myself and a love for punk rock, their performance was awesome and I thought it was really cool of Finland to pick such an out-of-the-box act, regardless of the inevitability that they weren’t gonna do well. So I’ll always stand up for it. And yeah, nine times out of ten I can understand why a song didn’t make it even if I didn’t like it beforehand, but the only two NQs I can’t for the life of me understand missing the final are Ireland 2015 and Finland 2017. They had everything going for… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Polina’s talent was not lost on me, either but I just can’t warm up to these kind of lukewarm world peace songs with one worn-out phrase after the other. I find this song so incredibly dull, my favorite aspect honestly was the good-looking Swede in the background who co-wrote this dull song. I know nobody in the universe voted for it, but I’d rather have seen Lisa Angell take that second place. That was timeless for me.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

“A Million Voices” is a power-ballad that still gives me chills. A beautiful woman singing in a flawless dress with an amazing backdrop. The dynamic of the song is wonderful <3 9.5/10

Sam
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Sam

My favourite song prior to and after the 2015 contest: perfect vocals and outstanding performance. Leaving politics and Russian controversies aside, Polina and Sergey (2016) had both winning songs and great voices, which deserved those top spots (more than Dima and Believe, in my opinion)

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I usually have a hard time with Russian songs (the only ones I liked were from ’94, ’97, ’03, ’09, ’10 and ’12), and this one is no exception. While Polina’s vocals are stellar and possibly outclass all the participants of ESC 2015, and her level of commitment is just unbelievable, the song to me is bland, middling at best. I’m convinced that if it hadn’t been Russian song, and if it hadn’t been sung by Polina, it would have struggled to qualify. On its own it’s not memorable, nothing more than a standard peace song, which we had a… Read more »

KESC
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KESC

Couldn’t agree more!! A Million Voices was a good song, but I personally think that a 2nd place was too high. Her vocals were really good, but the song and the staging wete nothing innovative.

Joe
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Joe

Russian entries I’ve genuinely enjoyed: 94, 97, 02, 07, 10, 12, 13, 15, and 19. Kind of 06 and 09 as well.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Fun list! My clear favourite is Alla, who just owned the stage with that excellent number, Buranovskiye Babushki being the runner-ups. t.A.T.u. delivered arguably the worst vocals Eurovision has ever seen, but they’re my big guilty pleasure and the melody was pretty catchy. I was never a fan of ’02 and ’07 tho, boy/girlbands are fun to watch, but to me the music is pure trash. And 2013 is 2015 minus Polina’s voice and stage presence equals borefest.

Joe
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Joe

I use “enjoy” in a very very loose sense for 13 – it’s very well-sung, and I like the chorus better, but it has the same genericness as Polina (and, strangely enough, also managed to be one of the few Russian songs to score very well with Western countries like Ireland and the UK). 02 was a big guilty pleasure, possibly my favorite song that year because of how weaksauce everything else was (besides Malta and France, maybe Latvia and Israel too). t.A.T.u. sounded awful, no idea how they finished that high, but I can see why someone might find… Read more »

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

I don’t know about US, but t.A.T.u. were crazy popular in Europe back in the days, and with the all-televote system them not winning was a miracle. “Vechni stranik” was nice, but it was the multifunctional dress that really sold it for me ;). 2002 (possibly the weakest ESC ever) will always be the year of Jessica Garlic to me, one of the last entries of British Eurovision glory. And when it comes to Sergey, I like neither of his songs, so you didn’t offend me.

Joe
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Joe

All the Things She Said was a big hit and I recall hearing They’re Not Gonna Get Us a decent bit at the turn of the decade when hi-NRG Europop suddenly had a moment again (Mr. Saxobeat, Everytime We Touch, the memeification of songs like Sandstorm and Dragostea Din Tei, etc – why didn’t Eurovision catch on again?). They did a mediocre version of The Smiths’ How Soon is Now, that didn’t really go anywhere but I like the original a lot. (Also led to a rare not-insufferable Morrissey quote: an interviewer asked if he heard and he said he… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

I love this entry so much! Russia totally deserved their top 3 placing that year because they sent an excellent song delivered with flawless vocals. Polina really “felt” the song (unlike some other Russian balladier) and the visuals for this performance were spectacular as well.

9/10

Vrede
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Vrede

This is a fun idea! Definitely going to make my own rankings now, haha.
Polina will be high up. I’m well aware of my own anti-Russian bias. But this song breaks through it all. I love the song, love the performace, love her vocals, love her stage presence. Would’ve been a very worthy winner over Heroes.

Kosey
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Kosey

This was my favourite from 2015. A timeless message, a flawless performance and a stunning visual. I just watched the video for the first time for a while and I still got goosebumps. Wonderful!